Stuart Little


Directed by: Rob Minkoff
Written by:M. Night Shyamalan
Starring: Geena Davis, Hugh Laurie, Jonathan Lipnicki, Estelle Getty, Michael J. Fox, Nathan Lane, Chazz Palminteri
Released: April 6, 2000
Grade: B+

Stuart Little is a fine example of family entertainment.  Based on the classic novel by E. B. White, it’s the story of an orphan mouse named Stuart who is adopted by a human family.  He loves life with the Little’s but has an empty space that longs to find out about his real family.  He must make the decision whether to stay with the life he has found or go in search of the one he was meant for.

Superb computer graphics bring Stuart to life and you don’t even notice the effects are there.  It received an Academy Award nomination for its brilliant visual effects.

I was surprised to find the screenwriter behind this children’s tale was M. Night Shyamalan, the same man who penned The Sixth Sense.  I don’t think you could find two films more unlike that came from the same writer.  It almost guarantees Shyamalan’s future and I’m really looking forward to his next project.

What works for Stuart Little is direction designed for a younger audience.  It’s kept simple with dialogue that’s easy to understand, lots of vibrant colours, costumes and sets, and plenty of action with cute, furry animals.  Having grossed over $100m in the United States., it’s been a sure fire hit amongst the kids.

Geena Davis and Hugh Laurie play the live action parents and you’ll have fun guessing the voices of the other characters.  Michael J. Fox voices Stuart but keep your ear out for Nathan Lane, Chazz Palminteri, Estelle Getty, Steve Zahn and even Jennifer Tilly.

The only disappointing aspect I had with the film was with the underdeveloped story.  It’s not all that exciting and perhaps could have done with some sprucing up and more interesting subplots.  It’s the sort of story you could sum up in a 30-minute TV episode, not a full-length motion picture.

Filled with charm and cuteness, Stuart Little has been a kids’ favourite for a long time (in book form) and it will only rise in popularity given this screen adaptation.  Take the kids, sit back, relax and enjoy.