Urban Cinefile
"I was at that Lolita phase in my life, although fortunately I hadn't had any such sexual experiences - "  -Dominique Swain on her role as Lolita
 The World of Film in Australia - on the Internet Updated Wednesday, October 18, 2017 

Search SEARCH FOR A VIDEO_FILE
Our Review Policy OUR REVIEW POLICY
Printable page PRINTABLE PAGE

Help/Contact

STUART LITTLE

SYNOPSIS:
Mr & Mrs Little (Hugh Laurie and Geena Davis) go out one day to adopt a little brother for their 9 year old son, George (Jonathan Lipnicki) but find it too hard to choose from among the lovable orphans at Mrs Keeper's place. But the plucky little mouse that's also at the orphanage - badly dressed though he is - wins their hearts. George is not impressed, not to mention the Little's pet cat, Snowbell (Nathan Lane). But Stuart is desperate for a family of his own, where everyone sticks together no matter what - and no matter what they look like! He wants a family to fill an emptiness in his heart. By the time he earns that place, the alley cats and the hired thug cats have devised a plan to mouse-nap Stuart.

"Hey you - yeah, you there. If you think it's crazy or silly that a mouse has clothes on and talks to you, you don't belong in this cinema. OK, now the rest of us can talk about this crazy adventure my friend Stuart had. He was in the orphanage one day, then next day, he was in a very cozy house, like those warm and lovable houses in fairy stories, but right in the middle of Manhattan. The Little family was very comfortably off and dressed in really colourful clothes - not the sort you'd often see in Manhattan streets, mind you. (They even bought Stuart whole new wardrobe so he wouldn't look . . . like an orphan.) Young George was as precocious as any kid would be who had the best toys, like model trains and model radio controlled yachts and model cars that had real headlights and a real engine! And everything - even humans - worked like they work in a fairy tale. Although Stuart wasn't made to feel welcome by the cat or even by George, he won their hearts in the end. And then he had this really scary big adventure when . . . but we can't spoil the story otherwise it wouldn't be fun. All I can say is that he met some pretty scary cats (no, not Snowfalling or whatever) who were after him. And the other thing is, Stuart is a unique mouse in more ways than one: he could wear clothes and say clever and funny and pathetically heartwarming things because he came from . . . naaah, you'd never believe me."
Andrew L. Urban

"Suspend your disbelief, Stuart Little is a delightful charmer for all ages, that will melt your heart. It's cute, adorable and off-the-wall funny. Once upon a time there was a little orphan mouse in tailored clothes who longed for a family to fill the empty space inside. Oh and he drives a roadster, races on a yacht and er….. get the picture? And what a picture it is! Superb visual effects make this adorable mouse with the soulful eyes, pink tail and lovable personality so real that we forget he isn't human. And what about the cats! Well. If you are a cat lover, like me, you will even forgive the fact that the cats are the baddies of the piece. The interaction between cat and mouse plus the interaction between house and street cats, is irresistible. M.Night Shyamalan and Greg Brooker's screenplay lures us into a world where we all feel three inches tall and we don't have to look alike to be a part of the family. Casting is perfect. Geena Davis and Hugh Laurie are swell as mom and dad, while Jonathan Lipnicki (Jerry Maguire) is perfect as George. But it's the voices that win all the prizes – Michael J. Fox as the mousie with attitude, Nathan Lane as Snowbell the Judas chinchilla plus the irrepressible Steve Zahn, husky Jennifer Tilly and throaty Chazz Palminteri, all of whose comic talents are used to perfection. Stuart Little is more than a one-joke gag. The actors don't really stand a chance, it's the cat and mouse, who play cat and mouse games throughout who steal the scenes. If you're feeling cynical, you don't stand a chance either, Stuart Little is witty, warm and wonderful. Don't miss it! I came home and told my cats Napoleon and Mephisto all about it."
Louise Keller

"As we know, modern Hollywood 'family' films must contain 1) broad slapstick, 2) cheesy one-liners, and 3) state-of-the-art digital effects. Most probably, there will also be stylised sets, mock-dramatic high and low camera angles, and whimsical orchestral music closely tied to the action. Occasionally someone manages to transcend this formula (as in the Babe films) but mostly it's a recipe for crap. You wonder why the filmmakers bother adapting 'classics' when they treat the material with such contempt. Only one scene here, the boat race in Central Park, even approximates the charm of E.B. White's wistful children's book. And the book's open-ended conclusion, with Stuart still searching for his lost love, the bird Margalo? Forget it. Instead, there's a lame new subplot involving alley-cat gangsters and Stuart's yearning to be accepted - all of which which seems designed, fairly tactlessly, to exploit basic childhood fears of losing one's parents or not being loved. Then there's the peculiar snobbery: I don't mind the idealised treatment of the comfortably wealthy Little family, but why contrast them so crudely with another household's lowly, uncouth ways? And why make Stuart himself - the first digital being to star in his own live-action feature - so horribly winsome? White's original character was something of a dandy, but the movie takes it to the limit: to show off the technology that created him, Stuart struts his stuff like he's auditioning for a Broadway musical. He makes flamboyant hand gestures, he tells jokes, he bats his eyelids and beams insincerely - he seems ready to sing 'Puttin' On The Ritz' or present an Oscar. He's not human, he's not an animal, he's not real, he's not a cartoon, and I don't want to see anything like him ever again."
Jake Wilson

Email this article

CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 2
Unfavourable: 1
Mixed: 0

TRAILER

Andrew L. Urban REPORTS on a walking, talking mouse created with a computer mouse

Read Brad Green's SOUNDTRACK REVIEW

SOFCOM MOVIE TIMES

WEBSITE

STUART LITTLE (G)
(US)

CAST: Geena Davis, Hugh Laurie, Jonathan Lipnicki; voices: Michael J. Fox, Nathan Lane, Steve Zahn, Jim Doughan, David Alan Grier, Bruno Kirby, Jennifer Tilly, Stan Freberg

DIRECTOR: Rob Minkoff

PRODUCER: Douglas Wick

SCRIPT: M. Night Shyamalan and Greg Brooker (based on book by E.B. White)

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Guillermo Navarro

EDITOR: Tom Finan

MUSIC: Alan Silvestri

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Joseph Porro

RUNNING TIME: 85 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Columbia TriStar

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: April 6, 2000







© Urban Cinefile 1997 - 2017