Ligia and I really loved the first two Stuart Little movies. They both combined live action with 3D computer animation, and back in 1999, this was an achievement. By today’s standards, we can tell the animation’s a bit dated, but still, the overachieving, little white mouse is a lovable character and you soon gloss over the flaws in the animation that couldn’t be helped back when it was made.
The first movie deals with Stuart’s adoption by the Little family, and his adventures while fitting in with both the Little’s only child, George, and the family cat, Snowbell, voiced by Nathan Lane. We find Stuart befriending a little canary named Margalo and gaining a little independence from his overly protective mother in the second movie.
I must admit that I was bothered a bit by Stuart’s introduction to the audience in the first movie. Yes, this is a children’s story, and we’re supposed to suspend disbelief, and I’m more than willing to do that, but still, for such a pivotal plot point, the screenwriters might have done a better job explaining why the Littles would adopt a mouse instead of a child, and why it didn’t seem odd to them that a mouse spoke and read, or was treated as one of the children at the orphanage.
My impression was that Stuart dominated the first movie as a character, but Snowbell blew everyone else away in the sequel. Nathan Lane’s whiny voice was the perfect complement for the lazy, spoiled Snowbell, who comes through in a big way for both Stuart and Margalo. I would also be remiss if I wouldn’t recognize Michael J. Fox’s contribution to the two movies. His voice was the right choice for Stuart.
I would not recommend the third installment in the series, made in 2003. It was a complete departure from the first two movies. While still featuring the voices of the original actors, it was completely (and poorly) animated in 2D, thus losing that winning combination of live action and 3D animation that really made the first two movies. The Stuart Little in that third movie looks so unfamiliar, and the animation is so choppy and un-lifelike, that it’s really nearly impossible to bond with the characters. Only children unfamiliar with the first two movies might enjoy it.
- Stuart Little and Stuart Little 2 at IMDB
- Stuart Little and Stuart Little 2 at Netflix
- Stuart Little and Stuart Little 2 at Amazon