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When the Littles go to an orphanage to adopt a new family member, their son, George, insists on a little brother as opposed to a big one. His request is honored more literally than he ever imagined when a charming young mouse named Stuart is chosen. While George is disappointed and initially unwelcoming to his new brother, the family cat, Snowbell, is even less enthusiastic at the prospect of having a mouse as his "master" and plots to get rid of him. Against these difficulties, Stuart resolves to face them with as much pluck, love and courage as he can muster. In doing so, he shows his beloved new family that great things can truly come in small packages. Written by
Kenneth Chisholm <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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The "Little" family is the gentlest, most genial movie family in recent memory. They live in a quiet house amidst the hustle and bustle of New York City life. They are the straight-shooter Frederick (Hugh Laurie), understanding Eleanor (Geena Davis), and spunky tike George (Johnathan Lipnicki), who is excited as can be the day his parents set out to adopt a new member of the family. They go in hoping to walk out with a younger sibling, but walk out with a whole other creature. Literally.
They adopt Stuart, a precocious, easily lovable mouse with the cutest smile you'll ever see, the most impeccably charming voice (thanks to Michael J. Fox), and the most adorable little clothes this side of Barbie and Ken. When the Little's take him into their home, they find "difficulties" plaguing them from the start. George is a tad underwhelmed when he finds out his new brother is a five inch rodent and the house cat isn't happy that his master also serves as lunch. The cat is Snowbell (voiced by Nathan Lane) and he develops a plan to get back at Stuart for coming into his house, allegedly trying to take over his home.
But how you could hate Stuart? One look in those eyes and you melt under the weight of his cuteness. Rob Minkoff's (co-director of Disney's The Lion King) Stuart Little pays careful attention to little background details and cinematography, but refuses to shortchange the people in the story. The screenplay, written by Greg Booker and the unlikely M. Night Shyamalan is sensitive to the idea of sibling adoption and never seems to exploit this idea or turn it into a laugh riot. E.B. White's original story sort of muted the concept, while its film counterpart puts more of an emphasis on this event.
There's a wide array of side-character voices you're likely to pick up on. David Alan Grier, Chazz Palminteri, and Steve Zahn are among them, as well as cameos by Estelle Getty, Harold Gould, and Julia Sweeney. All the characters are portrayed under a wonderfully positive light, but the writing doesn't hesitate to take a dark turn and punctuate some rather depressing sequences within its delectably sweet interior. There's a word for films like Stuart Little and that word is "jolly." This is a completely acceptable and wonderfully told spin on the "new brother" formula.
Starring: Geena Davis, Hugh Laurie, and Jonathan Lipnicki. Voiced by: Michael J. Fox, David Alan Grier, Nathan Lane, Chazz Palminteri, and Steve Zahn. Directed by: Ryan Minkoff.
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