Stuart Little (film)
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Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Rob Minkoff|
|Produced by||Douglas Wick|
|Screenplay by||M. Night Shyamalan
|Based on||Stuart Little
by E. B. White
|Music by||Alan Silvestri|
|Edited by||Tom Finan|
Global Medien GK
|Distributed by||Columbia Pictures|
|Box office||$300.1 million|
Stuart Little is a 1999 American family comedy film directed by Rob Minkoff. It is loosely based on the novel of the same name by E. B. White. It combines live action and computer animation. The screenplay was written by M. Night Shyamalan and Greg Brooker. The plot bears little resemblance to that of the book, as 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.
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.
Eleanor Little (Geena Davis) and Frederick Little (Hugh Laurie) go to the orphanage to adopt a younger brother for their son George (Jonathan Lipnicki). At the orphanage, they meet and fall in love with an anthropomorphic 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 (Nathan Lane), who is disgusted at having a mouse for a "master".
Stuart's new life at the house gets off to a bad start when George unknowingly traps him in a pile of laundry and his mother puts the laundry in the washing machine. Stuart quickly feels like an outsider in the large Little family, especially when George declares Stuart is not his brother, but simply a mouse. When Stuart tells his parents that he is lonely, they ask Mrs. Keeper to do some background research on Stuart's biological family. After accidentally stumbling across George's playroom in the basement one day, Stuart and George get to know each other and plan to finish George's remote-controlled boat, the Wasp, for an upcoming boat race in Central Park. At the same time, one of Snowbell's alley cat friends, Monty (Steve Zahn), visits unexpectedly and discovers Stuart. Determined not to have his reputation destroyed, Snowbell meets with Monty's leader, Smokey (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, but when the control is broken on the day of the race, Stuart pilots the Wasp himself. He ends up entangled with a larger boat belonging to George's rival, Anton (Miles Marsico), but Stuart snaps the wires of Anton's boat and manages to win the race. After this, George warms up to Stuart and calls him "his brother". During the family celebration, however, the Littles are visited by a mouse couple, Reginald and Camille Stout (Bruno Kirby and Jennifer Tilly), who claim to be Stuart's parents and that they gave him up to the orphanage years ago due to poverty. Reluctantly, Stuart leaves with the Stouts. 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 they have been tricked, the Littles call the police, who start a search operation.
Meanwhile, Snowbell meets with Smokey and the alley cats, who reveal they had forced the Stouts to pose as Stuart's parents in order to remove him from the household. Fearing retribution should the Littles discover Snowbell's deception, Smokey orders the Stouts to hand Stuart over to them. However, the Stouts, having grown fond of Stuart, tell him the truth and instruct him to flee. Smokey subsequently orders a hit on Stuart. He and the alley cats corner him in Central Park, and after a brief chase, Stuart evades them in a storm drain. He returns home, but finds the Littles absent, having gone out to put up posters of him. The only one present is Snowbell, who lies that the Littles have been enjoying themselves 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.
When the Littles return distraught, Snowbell starts to recognize his selfishness and feels guilty for what he has done. The cats pinpoint Stuart's location in Central Park and bring Snowbell for the hunt. However, he 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 refuses and demands his gang to kill both Stuart and Snowbell. Stuart lures the cats away, but is cornered on a branch. Snowbell rescues him by breaking the branch the cats are on, sending them falling down into the Hudson River below. An angry Smokey prepares to kill Snowbell, but Stuart hits Smokey off the tree with another branch into the river. Humiliated, Smokey runs off, only to be chased away by a pack of dogs. Stuart rides Snowbell all the way home and they share a happy reunion with the Little family.
- Geena Davis as Eleanor Little
- Hugh Laurie as Frederick Little
- Jonathan Lipnicki as George Little
- Jeffrey Jones as Uncle Crenshaw Little
- Connie Ray as Aunt Tina Little
- Allyce Beasley as Aunt Beatrice Little
- Brian Doyle-Murray as Cousin Edgar Little
- Estelle Getty as Grandma Estelle Little
- Harold Gould as Grandpa Spencer Little
- Patrick Thomas O'Brien as Uncle Stretch Little
- Stan Freberg as Race Announcer
- Jon Polito as Detective Sherman
- Jim Doughan as Detective Phil Allen
- Julia Sweeney as Mrs. Keeper, Head of the Orphanage
- Miles Marsico as Anton
- Taylor Negron as Salesman in mall
- Michael J. Fox as Stuart Little
- Chazz Palminteri as Smokey the Chief
- Nathan Lane as Snowbell
- Steve Zahn as Monty the Mouth
- David Alan Grier as Red
- Bruno Kirby as Reginald Stout
- Jennifer Tilly as Camille Stout
- Jim Doughan as Lucky
One of the paintings used as a prop for the Littles' home was the 1920s painting Sleeping Lady with Black Vase by Hungarian avant garde painter Róbert Berény, which had long been considered a lost painting. A set designer for the film had purchased the painting at an antiques store in Pasadena, California for a small amount of money for use in the film, unaware of its provenance. In 2009, art historian Gergely Barki, while watching Stuart Little on television with his daughter, noticed the painting, and after contacting the studios was able to track down its whereabouts.
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. It covered its budget and was a box office success.
Stuart Little received generally positive reviews from movie critics. According to Rotten Tomatoes, 66% of critics gave the film a positive review. The site's consensus reads: "Stuart Little is charming with kids and adults for its humor and visual effects." On Metacritic, the film has a score of 61 out of 100, indicating "generally favorable" reviews.
Stuart Little was released theatrically on December 17, 1999.
Stuart Little was released on VHS and DVD on April 18, 2000. It was later released on a Deluxe edition on May 21, 2002.
Stuart Little: The Journey Home is a video game for the Game Boy Color system based on the book.
- "Stuart Little (1999)". Box Office Mojo. 2000-04-16. Retrieved 2012-10-01.
- "Stuart Little leads art historian to long-lost Hungarian masterpiece". Guardian. Agence France-Presse in Budapest. 27 November 2014. Retrieved 27 November 2014.
- "Stuart Little". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2012-10-01.
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