on May 8, 2001
Stuart Little is a much-hyped comedy that has the small power to be continuously enjoyable. It's story, adapted from E.B. White's winning children's book, is quite mawkish at times. However, the corny note doesn't feel forced, but it is still there, which is the only reason Stuart Little loses it 3 points. The visual effects are just amazing, its remarkable to see the talking cats and mouse's without those bulging mouths and poorly edited vocabulary. The star line-up includes the talents of Michael J. Fox as Stuart, Geena Davis as Mrs. Little and a fantastic voicing talent from Nathan Lane as the Little's cat, Snowbell. There are also some exhilirating sequences, including the boat race and the scene in which Stuart is chased by a bunch of hungry ally-cats. Some scenes aren't like this, though. Some are just really unfunny and laughable, but those come along briefly and thankfully not often. All in all, Stuart Little is a step in the right direction after Rob Minkoff's 1994 animated directing success of Disney's The Lion King. It's flawed but fantastically fun stuff that gets to the point and does it in a stylishly likeable way.
on April 7, 2001
He's clever. He's enthusiastic. He's a can-do little guy with an attitude. And he's a mouse. From the co-director of The Lion King and the writer of The Sixth Sense comes an entertaining family film from classic American author E.B. White. It's surely a star-studded crew there, and there's not much a family of four could white other than a couple of talking mouse's and many exciting scenes. Even though Stuart Little falls flat from a few flaws, it's still a fun children's comedy, that will be worth your time, depending on your feelings towards movies like this.
In a cosy house near New York City's Central Park, Mr. and Mrs. Little (Hugh Laurie and Geena Davis) bring home a surprising addition to the family...Stuart (voiced by Michael J. Fox), and he's a er...mouse. Despite the urgings of Mrs. Keeper at the orphanage to adopt within their own species, the Littles beam with the pride of new parents. At home the little guy with a big heart (not to mention whiskers, a little pink nose and a really dapper wardrobe), searches for a sense of belonging and a place to call home in the decidedly supersized world. When Stuart is adopted by the Littles he embarks on an adventure with a variety of characters - including his nemesis, the cat Snowball (voiced by Nathan Lane) - and learns the true meaning of family, loyalty and friendship. The Littles, in the meantime, each discover there is a Stuart in all of us - the spunk, spirit and courage to be true to ourselves and follow our dreams despite the odds.
Stuart Little is a good movie, but it suffers majorly from an over-corny note. It's big smiles and drowning frowns all the time, none of the characters ever look normal. Their expressions are practically drawn in, and none of them have much originality about them apart from Stuart, of course. Still, the film provides plenty of entertaining scenes, including an exhilarating cat chase and a superb boat race. It may have a sense of bore in some parts of the film, but overall, it's a very bearable movie that will silent children and, surprisingly, adults for a rainy day. It's a film that combines live action with some groundbreaking visual effects by artists and innovators who have taken digital character creation to a bold new level with the birth of Stuart. The visual effects are the most plausible thing about the film, they are truly memorable, it's some of the most amazingly done animal-talking done since Babe.
Not as good as it could've been, Stuart Little is still watchable fun, a film where you can really expect the whole family to enjoy it.
on March 4, 2001
Stuart Little is one of the funniest Family movies that has come out in a long time... everyone I know who's seen it loves it, kids and adults alike. It also has a star-filled cast of Michael J. Fox & Nathan Lane's voices, Geena Davis, Hugh Laurie and Jonathon Lipnicki (who could forget him from Jerry Maguire?). But if you are going to buy this movie, make sure you get it on DVD, because there are so many great bonus features.
The features include: Stuart's Central Park Adventure Game, Bloopers, Visual Effects Gag Reel, Making it Big: HBO Special, Isolated Music Score, Music Videos, a Racing game for the PC, Director and Animation Supervisor's Commentary, Visual Effects Supervisor's Commentary, Read-Along with Stuart, Artists' Screen Tests, DVD Rom & Weblinks, Boat Race: Early Concept Reel w/Director's Commentary, Art Galleries, Talent Files, Theatrical Trailers, and a Widescreen format.
After you finish the movie you can sit back and enjoy all the extras-- this movie is definitely worth getting on DVD, and a great addition to any family's movie collection.
on February 9, 2001
When Stuart Little begins, an exited George Little (Jonatahn Lipnicki) runs out for his bedroom and into his parents bedroom saying "It's today." What does he mean by that?
His parents, Mr. and Mrs. Little (Hugh Laurie, Geena Davis) are going to adopt a little brother for George. At the orphanage, they meet and fell in love with a mouse. They adopt the mouse. And name him Stuart Little.
Stuart thinks he is headed for a happy home, but the family cat named Snowbell (Nathan Lane) and George Little are not to happy about this. Snowbell decides to eat Stuart Little, but Mr. and Mrs. Little make him spit him up. The next day, George is still un-happy. Stuart Little ends up in the wisher. And Mrs. Little is too stupid to notice.
So Snowbell askes a cat named Smokey (Chazz Palminteri) to help him get rid of Stuart. There is aslo a boat race (which George Little wins). And Mr. and Mrs. Little throw a party. At the party, is George's Uncle Crenshaw (Jeffrey Jones). By now George has come to love his tiny brother. But a couple of mice show up (Bruno Kirby, Jennifer Tilly, Liar Liar) and take him away.
George and his uncles, aunts, Cousin and grandparents help make posters and put them up around Center Park.
on August 15, 2000
I bought this DVD for my three-year-old, having recently read him the book by E.B. White. I decided to preview it first, and I'm glad I did! This movie should come with a warning label: ADOPTED CHILDREN SHOULD NOT WATCH THIS! Needless to say, the movie plot has little to do with the book. Counting the fact that Stewart is found in an orphanage, he is abandoned by parent figures a total of three times in the course of the movie! Once by his real parents, once by the Littles, and once by some mice posing as his real parents. This is a child's worst nightmare!
If you decide your little darling can get past that small detail, then there are other shortcomings to consider. Snowball the cat is his dasterdly self, but he also engages the help of mafia type alley cats that chase Stewart through Central Park. It's pretty scarey for little tykes.
Technically, it's what one would expect. Gena Davis is very disappointing. She seems to be comatose half the time. None of the characters has any depth.
Personally, I'd say it's not worth it!
on June 19, 2000
I think the best part about Stuart Little is not the talented actors, or the dazzling CGI and visual effects. It's the screenplay. When I first heard M. Night Shyamalan, the genius behind 1999's smash hit wonder "The Sixth Sense", cowrote this movie, my jaw hit the floor in disbelief. I saw the movie to check it out, and boy, was I impressed! Hard-core Sixth Sense fans can immediately tell when M. Night Shyamalan sprinkled his fairy dust in this movie, including the realism behind the Little family, Stuart's heartwarming speech at the orphanage, the emotional confession by the Stouts to Stuart that they were threatened into posing as his parents, and the segment immediately following, when Stuart proclaims to the city of Brooklyn that he is Stuart Little. Also, he lend a hand in determining the setting of this movie, which is Brooklyn, because there's something about M. Night Shyamalan that influences him to pick big city locations for his movies (ex. "The Sixth Sense" took place in Philadelphia), and the emotional sequences, like at the moment when the entire Little clan is searching for Stuart, when at the same time Stuart comes back to his real home: the Littles' home, but only comes home to Snowbell, who tells a blatant lie that the Littles were glad he left, and he helped with the ending alley cat sequences that were literally the entire reason this movie was rated PG. Through the movie, you scratch your chin wondering why this movie was rated PG. When these sequences begin near the end, it all becomes clear to you. During these sequences, there are 3 instances of foul language spouted by the very unflattering alley cats, and also there are rude and/or offensive comments by them as well, and through it all, there is suspense a little too great for kids, making the whole ordeal a little thematic for kids. Yet through it all, Stuart still has the fairy-tale like urge to say "Oh, dear...", and when the moment of the movie is out of M. Night Shyamalan's hands, it's good, clean family entertainment brought to you by Greg Brooker. And by the way, this movie isn't terribly along the lines of E.B. White, but it's still a good movie.
Now how 'bout that DVD? If you want it, make your pick: widescreen DVD or fullscreen DVD. They both have the same outstanding array of features made easy by Stuart, and they both have the same price, but I do wish both versions could have been put on ONE disc to make it simpler, because Columbia-Tristar Home Video already proved that possible with the DVD release of "Blue Streak". But, still, the features are impressive, and include a fun game about the movie which you don't need a DVD-ROM drive for, you can play it right on your player with your navigation buttons and your "enter" button. And the disc also has all 3 music videos of the main songs from the soundtrack, commentary by the director, animation supervisor, and visual effects supervisor, a Music-only track, CGI animation samples from effects animators trying out to work on the movie, deleted scenes with optional director commentary, trailers from several Columbia and Tristar movies for kids, including Muppets From Space, Baby Genuises, The Adventures Of Elmo in Grouchland, and, of course, Stuart Little, and many other films as well. AND (I never thought I'd have to say that about a DVD) the original concept reel of the Boat Race constructed of storyboards with commentary by the director, and talent files. And finally, it has an extended blooper reel that is FAR more pleasing than the one included on the VHS tape, and even a visual effects blooper reel, proving that visual effects animators are not just computer-jargin-spouting workacholics, with animated bloopers including a very brief one involving Snowball insisting he's "not strange", then his eyes and tongue bug out in a cartoony way, and a blooper from the scene where Mr. Stout pinches his wife.
So if you like a good movie based on a good book, see Stuart Little.
on June 18, 2000
This has got to be the cutest and sweetest movie I've ever seen. Michael J. Fox was the perfect voice for the Little mouse. I could almost see Michael J. Fox as Stuart Little held his little hands in front of himself and said, "I'm family."
It took George, the little boy, time to get used to Stuart, but once he did, he was just like a brother.
The cat, Snow Bell, was perfect. All the little bits of dialogue between him and Stuart are priceless. "Can't we be friends?" Stuart asks. "Mmmm,... NO!" Snow Bell sputters. It was perfect. And the part where Stuart doesn't know what to do with a pet: "Can I scratch your belly?" and the cat says, "From the inside?"
E.B. White must be awfully proud of this film, as E.B. White wrote the book. I'm afraid I do not know how old the book is, but I think it is a classic, and the film done it proud.
Any child from three to a hundred and three should watch this movie.
on June 18, 2000
There are good things about the movie, there are bad things about the movie. The four-year-old reviewer didn't like it because, and I quote, "the cats were mean." They were also funny, and the feline antics in this movie were one of its high points. The kid who played George was top-nitch, as well, even if the script he had to work with was a little thin (movies where one cast member's feelings about another go from hate to love in one scene drive me bats, and it happens here twice). Having never read E. B. White's book, I've no idea whether any of this at all was faithful to that, but if so, I need to go back and look at E. B. White with a far more critical eye; I think he's a better writer than this, though. Blame the adaptation.
And the mouse? The animation was good. Could have been better, but then I saw this five days after seeing Toy Story 2, and anyone's animation would pale in comparison to the wonders being churned out twice yearly by Pixar. So I can't really fault them for not spending the extra twenty million or so to come up with the world's best animation.
Now for the humans. First off, no one will be giving makeup Oscars to the person who worked on Geena Davis; had someone hit her with a ruler during the making of this film, it would have sunk in at least to the 6. She moves very slowly throughout the movie, no doubt because she's wearing at least fifty pounds of pancake makeup. The other main human character is Hugh Laurie; I've never been a Fry and Laurie fan, but I must admit he's an engaging sort. Almost as good as the kid.
And then come the cameos. There were so many stars in this movie with less than a minute of screen time I had flashbacks to The Thin Red Line. The always-underrated Kimmy Robertson shows up for a single line; Dabney Coleman gets about fifteen seconds. And so on, and so on. Even Chazz Palminteri (as the voice of the main alley cat) gets more screen time, and he never shows up bodily. Sheesh. (Palminteri, by the way, is a riot.) Even Estelle Getty, who's a many-times-proven comic genius, gets one line. The rest of her screen time is great because she plays a deadpan role better than any other seventy-odd-year-old lady in movies today, but it's still a waste of awe-inspiring talent.
So what do we have? A cute story that could have been scripted better; an excellent cast that could have been used better; and a bunch of really, really good animals. You make the call. If you take into account the fact that I got free parking out of it, I paid $1.25, which is about right.
on June 7, 2000
I never read the book. I guess I'm so sheltered that I never knew about Stuart Little. Why did I buy this DVD? I read articles of how this DVD is packed with extras on one DVD and they were right. It's loaded with extras! Just for that, I knew I had to check this DVD out.
I must let you know though that this DVD uses the "seamless branching technology" which a few DVD players won't play. My newer player has this problem but fortunately you can access the special features via your "goto" and "title" buttons.
The movie has great colors and the digital 5.1 can be heard in certain areas of the movie which is cool.
The movie itself was great and would be great to show your children. Cat lovers may question the movie and maybe PETA as well.
As for the extras...my when they say it's loaded...it's LOADED! Although the movie is 85 minutes long, they loaded this DVD with perhaps hours of extras. The gag reel is very funny and expect yourself to be watching this DVD for several hours.
I have to say that Stuart Little is one of the best DVD's that children and parents will love. It also features an all-star cast doing the voices of the characters.
The Stuart Little DVD is highly recommended!
on May 31, 2000
Stuart Little is one of those rare films that the entire family can watch and enjoy together. Children will be completely enthralled and adults will alternately laugh uncontrollably and wipe away the odd sentimental tear. The basic plot revolves around the Little family, who adopt Stuart (a mouse) despite warnings to "adopt within your own species." The computer-generated animation is flawless, and those with pet cats or rodents will share a knowing smile or two as the watch their pets' various personalities acted out on the screen. The DVD sound and picture is unbelievably clear and as for the extras - it's what Disney would call a 'special edition' - This is what a DVD should be like as standard. Great menu systems on the DVD and so many added extras. The commentary is much appreciated, as it's lovely to know how such effects were done. A HUGE hit for ALL AGES! I disagree with anyone saying this is just for kids - Imagination isn't confined by age! I'm 21 and love Disney and now, my new friend, Stuart Little!