Stuart Little 2

After the extremely successful Stuart Little, it was inevitable that a sequel was going to pop up at some point. The next instalment is a more ‘grown-up’ than the original, but still provides all the right ingredients for a children’s film. 

We join up with the Littles again, this time with the addition of new baby girl, Martha. Father, Frederick (Hugh Laurie) and mother, Eleanor (Geena Davies) still dote over their other children; son George (Jonathan Lipnicki) and adopted son Stuart (voiced by Michael J Fox). Stuart (for those who have never seen or heard of Stuart Little, or seen a poster for the film, or have been living in a box for the last few years) is a mouse. Yes, that’s right - a walking, talking, 2” tall rodent, but enough of the background of the family.  

Stuart is feeling lonely and getting a little depressed. George is outgrowing the novelty of having a little brother and has started hanging out with new friends. His parents are concerned for the young boy…err…mouse but cannot really do much. Optimistic dad, Frederick, tells him to keep his chin up and every cloud has a silver lining. As luck would have it, one day a canary called Margalo (voiced by Melanie Griffith) falls from the sky with an injured wing.  

The Littles take her in and soon Stuart and Margalo become friends (with worrying romantic suggestions with it!). Unbeknown to Stuart, Margalo is actually in cahoots with an evil falcon called...err…Falcon (voiced by James Woods) and feigned injury to gain access into the Littles household. Falcon is after Eleanor’s diamond ring and is using Margalo to steal it.  

Once Margalo gives the ring to Falcon, she decides that the Littles, who have selflessly looked after her, deserve better and rebels against her life style of thievery with Falcon. Falcon doesn’t take to kindly and locked her in his hideout at the top of a skyscraper.  

So the stage is set; Stuart, oblivious to Margalo’s treachery, sets off to rescue her, believing that Falcon has kidnapped her. He takes Snowbell (voiced by Nathan Lane), the family cat, with him for protection (even though he’s more scared than Stuart) and begins his epic journey across New York to save Margalo.  

That’s basically the story for Stuart Little 2, and it does improve on the original. Needless to say, the computer animation is excellent, with some shot of Falcon looking so realistic that it seems the filmmakers used a real bird. Stuart and Margalo are good, but have been given more ‘human’ aspect to their faces whereas Falcon hasn’t. The clothing on Stuart is excellent with attention to detail.  

The cinematography of New York gives the impression that it’s a very happy jolly place and everyone is nice. People don’t blink at all seeing a mouse driving a little red sports car around. Mind you, it’s a fairy tale world where animals can talk and be adopted by humans as children as opposed to pets and no one minds. You just have to accept it otherwise you’ll end up shouting at the screen “Don’t you people see?1? It’s a MOUSE!!! Fer christsake, what’s wrong with you people?!?!” (Like I did during the first half of the first film!) 

Performance wise, Laurie and Davies deserve some form of award for being so optimistic and doting. Michael J Fox is charming as the voice of Stuart and really suits the character to the ground. Nathan Lane (who seems to do a lot of voiceovers) is great as the smart-mouth cat, whose lines are more geared to adults that kids. Melanie Griffith’s role could have been done by anyone, as her voice is just childlike and otherwise non-descriptive. James Wood is good as Falcon, oozing menace with ease. Animated villains always seem to have so much fun being bad, which adds to the appeal. 

On the whole, Stuart Little 2 is a nice film and one that appeals to the whole family, not just kids. It’s a little short (no pun intended) with a run time of 78 minutes. Rob Minkoff, who also directed the first film, manages to keep the charm and magical feel central to the film. The romantic ‘suggestions’ between a mouse and a canary is a like strange, but hey; it’s about the person inside and not the species on the outside (all together now – “Awwww”). Logic aside (Canaries don’t migrate, mice don’t talk, falcons don’t steal things to sell etc) it is a great little film and recommended.

SCORE 6/10

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