Stuart Little (film)

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Stuart Little
Stuart Little.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Rob Minkoff
Produced by Douglas Wick
Screenplay by M. Night Shyamalan
Greg Brooker
Based on Stuart Little 
by E. B. White
Starring Michael J. Fox
Chazz Palminteri
Nathan Lane
Geena Davis
Hugh Laurie
Jonathan Lipnicki
Steve Zahn
Music by Alan Silvestri
Cinematography Guillermo Navarro
Edited by Tom Finan
Production
  company
Franklin/Waterman Productions
Global Medien GK
Distributed by Columbia Pictures
Release date(s)
  • December 17, 1999 (1999-12-17)
Running time 84 minutes[1]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $133 million[1]
Box office $300,135,367[1]

Stuart Little is a 1999 American family comedy film directed by Rob Minkoff. It is loosely based on the novel Stuart Little by E. B. White. It combines live-action and computer animation. The screenplay was co-written by M. Night Shyamalan and Greg Brooker. The plot bears little resemblance to that of the book; only some of the characters and one or two minor plot elements are the same. The movie's sequel more closely resembles the original novel.

Michael J. Fox is the voice of Stuart Little. Geena Davis and Hugh Laurie star as Eleanor and Frederick Little, with Jonathan Lipnicki as Stuart's big brother George Little and Nathan Lane as the voice of the family cat Snowbell.

The film was released on December 10, 1999 by Columbia Pictures.

It received an Academy Award for Best Visual Effects nomination, but lost to The Matrix. The film, the first in the film series, spawned a sequel in 2002, Stuart Little 2, the short-lived TV show Stuart Little: The Animated Series in 2003, and another sequel in 2006, the direct-to-video Stuart Little 3: Call of the Wild.

This film was Estelle Getty's last film before her retirement in 2000 and her death in 2008.

Plot[edit]

Eleanor Little (Geena Davis) and Frederick Little (Hugh Laurie) and their young son George (Jonathan Lipnicki) are intending an adoption. While George is at school, his parents go to an orphanage where they meet and fall in love with a humanoid mouse named Stuart (voiced by Michael J. Fox). Despite misgivings from Mrs. Keeper (Julia Sweeney), they adopt Stuart and take him home. However, Stuart is greeted coldly by George, who refuses to acknowledge the mouse as his brother, and the family cat Snowbell (voiced by Nathan Lane), who is disgusted at having a mouse for a "master". Despite Eleanor and Frederick's intentions, Stuart quickly feels like an outsider in the large Little family, especially when the family's unknowing relatives bring Stuart large presents and George snaps at his family, claiming out loud that Stuart is not his brother. When Stuart admits his feelings of loneliness to his parents, they ask Mrs. Keeper to do some background research on Stuart's biological family.

After accidentally stumbling across George's playroom in the basement, Stuart finally bonds with George when they play together and plan to finish George's remote controlled boat, the Wasp, for an upcoming boat race in Central Park. At the same time, however, one of Snowbell's alley cat friends, Monty (voiced by Steve Zahn) visits unexpectedly and discovers Stuart. Determined not to have his reputation destroyed, Snowbell meets with Monty's leader, Smokey (voiced by Chazz Palminteri), a mafia don-like alley cat, and plans to have Stuart removed from the household without harming him.

Stuart and George finish the Wasp in time for the 92nd race, but on the day of the race, the control is broken when George's enemy purposely steps on it. Stuart pilots the Wasp himself, but ends up in a tussle with a larger boat belonging to George's rival, Anton, who has already smashed the rest of the boats without being disqualified. Stuart snaps the wires of Anton's boat and manages to win the race, at the same time finally winning George's acceptance and respect. During the family celebration, however, the Littles are visited by a mouse couple, Reginald and Camille Stout (voiced by Bruno Kirby and Jennifer Tilly), who claim to be Stuart's parents who gave him up to the orphanage years ago due to poverty. Reluctantly, Stuart leaves with the Stouts, George presenting him with his toy car as a farewell gift. A few days later, however, Mrs. Keeper comes to visit and tells the Littles that Stuart's parents actually died many years ago in a supermarket accident. Realizing their son has been kidnapped, the Littles call the police and stick posters of Stuart across the city.

Meanwhile, Snowbell meets with Smokey and the alley cats: he had actually conspired with them to have the Stouts pose as Stuart's parents in order to remove Stuart from the household. Fearing retribution should the Littles discover Snowbell's deception, Smokey orders the Stouts to hand Stuart over to them, but the Stouts, having grown fond of Stuart, tell him to flee. Smokey subsequently orders a hit on Stuart. They corner him in Central Park and a chase ensues. Stuart manages to evade Smokey and the cats, but at a high cost: he ends up having his car and belongings lost down a storm drain. Stuart barely escapes the storm drain and returns home, unfortunately, while the Littles are out putting posters up. The only one present is Snowbell, who lies that the Littles have been enjoying themselves greatly since Stuart's departure, and uses Stuart's removed face from the family photograph as proof (which they had actually used for the posters). Heartbroken, Stuart leaves again. However, when the Littles return distraught, Snowbell starts to see his selfishness and feels guilty.

The alley cats locate Stuart in Central Park and bring Snowbell for the hunt. However, Snowbell locates Stuart first and decides to save him from the cats, admitting that he lied and the Littles do love him. Snowbell then tries to reason with Smokey to let Stuart go, but Smokey takes no notice and demands his gang to kill both Stuart and Snowbell. The cats eventually corner Stuart hanging for his life on a branch, but Snowbell saves the day by causing the branch the cats are standing to break, sending them falling down into the Hantan River below and leaving them to run off. An angry Smokey prepares to kill Snowbell from behind but Stuart saves him by hitting Smokey off the tree with another branch into the river. Humiliated, Smokey runs off, only to be chased by a pack of dogs.

Stuart rides Snowbell all the way home and they share a happy reunion with the Little family.

Cast[edit]

Live-action[edit]

Voices[edit]

Release[edit]

Box office[edit]

On its opening weekend, Stuart Little grossed $15,018,223, placing it at #1. It dropped to #2 over its second weekend, but went back to #1 on its third weekend with $16,022,758. According to Box Office Mojo, its final gross in the United States and Canada was $140,035,367, it grossed $160.1 million at the international box office, with a total of $300,135,367 worldwide.[1] It covered its budget and was a box office success.

Critical reception[edit]

Stuart Little received generally positive reviews from movie critics. According to Rotten Tomatoes, 66% of critics gave the film a positive review.[2]

Video game[edit]

Stuart Little: The Journey Home is a video game for the Game Boy Color system based on the book.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "Stuart Little (1999)". Box Office Mojo. 2000-04-16. Retrieved 2012-10-01. 
  2. ^ "Stuart Little". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2012-10-01. 

External links[edit]