Stuart Little (film)

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Stuart Little
A smiling white mouse standing atop a big sneaker. A blue suitcase sits beside it.
Theatrical release poster
Directed byRob Minkoff
Screenplay by
Based onStuart Little
by E. B. White
Produced byDouglas Wick
CinematographyGuillermo Navarro
Edited byTom Finan
Music byAlan Silvestri
Distributed bySony Pictures Releasing[2]
Release dates
  • December 5, 1999 (1999-12-05) (Mann Village Theatre)
  • December 17, 1999 (1999-12-17) (United States)
Running time
84 minutes[3]
  • United States
Budget$105[4]–133 million[5]
Box office$300.1 million[5]

Stuart Little is a 1999 American live-action/animated fantasy comedy film loosely based on the 1945 novel Stuart Little by E. B. White. Directed by Rob Minkoff in his live-action directorial debut, the screenplay was written by M. Night Shyamalan and Greg Brooker, and stars Geena Davis, Hugh Laurie and Jonathan Lipnicki, alongside the voices of Michael J. Fox, Nathan Lane, Chazz Palminteri, Steve Zahn, Bruno Kirby and Jennifer Tilly.

Stuart Little premiered in Westwood at Mann Village Theatre on December 5, 1999, and was released in United States on December 17, 1999, by Columbia Pictures.[5] The film received generally positive reviews, and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Visual Effects, but lost to The Matrix.[6] After its success, it also started a franchise, spawning the sequel Stuart Little 2 in 2002, the short-lived television series Stuart Little in 2003, and another sequel in 2005, the direct-to-video Stuart Little 3: Call of the Wild. It was Estelle Getty's final film role.


Frederick and Eleanor Little go to an orphanage to adopt a child to be a brother to George, their son. Instead they adopt an anthropomorphic mouse named Stuart. George refuses to acknowledge a rodent as his brother, and the family cat, Snowbell, is disgusted to be pet to a mouse. Eleanor accidentally traps Stuart in the washing machine and Stuart becomes ill as he coughs up soap bubbles. He recovers after a visit from Dr. Beechwood.

The Littles invite their extended family to meet Stuart where George confesses he does not regard Stuart as a brother but simply a mouse. Stuart asks Eleanor and Fredrick to enquire about his biological parents, feeling an empty space. Stuart encourages George to finish his model boat for an upcoming race and the two start to bond. Snowbell and his friend Monty meet with rogue alley cat Smokey and hatch a plan to remove Stuart from the household. On the day of the race, Stuart accidentally breaks George's remote control. He jumps into the boat and takes control himself, narrowly avoiding a crash and winning the race, finally enabling George to accept Stuart as his brother.

As the Littles host a celebration, a mouse couple introduce themselves as Reggie and Camille Stout, and claim to be Stuart's biological parents who were forced by poverty to give him up. The Littles reluctantly allow Stuart to leave with the Stouts. The orphanage calls to ask how Stuart is doing, and when the Littles explain he has gone home with his real parents, orphanage head Mrs. Keeper informs them that Stuart's real parents had died several years earlier. Realizing Stuart has been kidnapped, the family organizes a search party with "missing person" posters, using his photograph from the family photo. Fearing his involvement will be exposed and that he will be kicked out of the house, Snowbell informs Smokey the Littles know about the Stouts. Smokey decides Stuart must be killed instead.

Remorseful at Stuart's sadness, Reggie and Camille tell him the truth; he is delighted and makes his way back to the Little house. On the way, he is ambushed by Smokey and his gang but evades them by going into a sewer. At home a jealous Snowbell lies that the family is out celebrating his absence, using the fact that Stuart's face has been removed from the family photo as evidence. Heartbroken, Stuart leaves. The Littles return home and Snowbell regrets his actions. Snowbell finds Stuart and admits his lie, encouraging Stuart to come home. When the pair are confronted by the other cats, Snowbell refuses to hand Stuart over and the cats give chase, cornering Stuart hanging from a branch over a pond. Snowbell breaks the branch the cats are on, sending them into the cold water. Smokey sneaks up on Snowbell but Stuart releases a branch that hits Smokey in the face, sending him also into the pond.

Snowbell takes Stuart home, and everyone is happily reunited. Stuart tells them he owes his life to Snowbell, who has realized Stuart truly is family.


Live-action cast[edit]

  • Geena Davis as Mrs. Eleanor Little, the mother of the Little family and Frederick's wife.
  • Hugh Laurie as Mr. Frederick Little, the father of the Little family and Eleanor's husband.
  • Jonathan Lipnicki as George Little, the eldest son of the Little family and Stuart's older brother.
  • Jeffrey Jones as Uncle Crenshaw Little, the older brother of Frederick Little and the younger brother of Beatrice.
  • Connie Ray as Aunt Tina Little, the wife of Crenshaw and the sister-in-law of Beatrice and Frederick.
  • Allyce Beasley as Aunt Beatrice Little, the older sister of Crenshaw and Frederick.
  • Brian Doyle-Murray as Cousin Edgar Little, the cousin of Beatrice, Crenshaw and Frederick and the nephew of Grandpa Spencer.
  • Estelle Getty as Grandma Estelle Little, the mother of Beatrice, Crenshaw and Frederick.
  • Harold Gould as Grandpa Spencer Little, the father of Beatrice, Crenshaw and Frederick.
  • Patrick Thomas O'Brien as Uncle Stretch Little, the husband of Beatrice and the brother-in-law of Crenshaw and Frederick.
  • Julia Sweeney as Mrs. Keeper, the head of the New York City Public Orphanage.
  • Dabney Coleman as Dr. Beechwood, a doctor who visits the Littles' house.
  • Miles Marsico as Anton Gartman, a mean-spirited boy who bullies George during the boat race.
  • Jim Doughan as Detective Phil Allen, Detective Sherman's partner. Doughan also voiced Lucky the Cat in the film.
  • Jon Polito as Detective Sherman, a police detective who works for the New York Police Department.
  • Joe Bays as the Race Starter
  • Taylor Negron as the Clothing Salesman

Voice cast[edit]


Filming began on August 3, 1998, and wrapped on November 11.[7]

Lost painting unknowingly used on set[edit]

One of the paintings used as set dressing for the Littles' home was Hungarian avant-garde painter Róbert Berény's 1920s painting Sleeping Lady with Black Vase, which had long been considered lost. A set designer for the film had purchased the painting at an antiques store in Pasadena, California, for $500 for use in the film, unaware of its significance. 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.[8] In 2014, its owner sold the painting at an auction for €229,500.[9]


Box office[edit]

Stuart Little was released theatrically on December 17, 1999. On its opening weekend, Stuart Little grossed $15 million, placing it at #1 dethroning Toy Story 2. It dropped to #2 over its second weekend, but went back to #1 on its third weekend with $16 million. According to Box Office Mojo, its final gross in the United States and Canada was $140 million and it grossed $160.1 million at the international box office, for an estimated total of $300 million worldwide.[5]

Critical reception[edit]

On Rotten Tomatoes, 67% of critics gave the film a positive review based on 97 responses with an average rating of 6.4/10. The site's consensus reads: "Critics say Stuart Little is charming with kids and adults for its humor and visual effects."[10] On Metacritic, the film has a score of 61 out of 100 from 32 reviews, indicating "generally favorable" reviews.[11] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A−" on an A+ to F scale.[12]

Jesus Freak Hideout said that "from start to finish, Stuart Little is a near flawless family film"[13] while Stephen Holden of The New York Times had said "the only element that doesn't completely harmonize with the rest of the film is the visually unremarkable digital figure of Stuart."[14]

Home media[edit]

Stuart Little was released on VHS and DVD in the United States on April 18, 2000, by Columbia TriStar Home Video,[15] and in the United Kingdom on November 27, 2000. It was later re-released on a Deluxe Edition on May 21, 2002, by Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment. In 2008, the film was released as part of a double feature with Stuart Little 2. Stuart Little and Stuart Little 2 were released in a combo on Sony PSP's UMD format on January 3, 2006, and Blu-ray on June 28, 2011, by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.


The soundtrack album Stuart Little: Music from and Inspired by the Motion Picture was released by Motown and Universal Records on November 30, 1999, on audio CD and audio cassette. Tracks in bold do not appear in the film.

1."I Need to Know" (R Angels)3:54
2."The Two of Us" (S Club 7)3:35
3."You're Where I Belong" (Trisha Yearwood)4:17
4."If You Can't Rock Me" (The Brian Setzer Orchestra)2:40
5."1+1=2" (Lou Bega)4:04
6."He Rules" (702)3:04
7."Home" (Brian McKnight)4:22
8."Walking Tall" (Lyle Lovett)3:16
9."Lucky Day" (Matt Goss)4:03
10."Mouse in the House" (Colby O'Donis)4:34
11."As Long as I Can Dream" (Debelah Morgan)4:27
12."The Boat Race" (Alan Silvestri)5:12
13."I'm Gonna Miss You" (Alan Silvestri)4:43
14."You're Where I Belong (Soul Solution Remix)" (Trisha Yearwood)4:04
Total length:56:15


  1. ^ "Stuart Little". AFI Catalog of Feature Films. American Film Institute. Retrieved August 24, 2018.
  2. ^ "Stuart Little". AllMovie. Retrieved August 24, 2018.
  3. ^ "Stuart Little". British Board of Film Classification. Retrieved May 28, 2018.
  4. ^ "Stuart Little (1999) – Financial Information". Retrieved May 28, 2018.
  5. ^ a b c d "Stuart Little (1999)". Box Office Mojo. April 16, 2000. Retrieved May 28, 2018.
  6. ^ "The 72nd Academy Awards". Academy Awards. Retrieved May 28, 2018.
  7. ^ "Stuart Little: Production Notes". Retrieved 2023-01-25.
  8. ^ "Stuart Little leads art historian to long-lost Hungarian masterpiece". The Guardian. Budapest. Agence France-Presse. November 27, 2014. Retrieved May 28, 2018.
  9. ^ Laura Westbrook (December 14, 2014). "Lost painting auctioned after discovery in Stuart Little film". BBC News. Retrieved May 28, 2018.
  10. ^ "Stuart Little". Rotten Tomatoes. 17 December 1999. Retrieved March 3, 2022.
  11. ^ "Stuart Little". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved May 28, 2018.
  12. ^ "Home". CinemaScore. Retrieved 2022-03-06.
  13. ^ "Stuart Little". Jesus Freak Hideout. Retrieved May 28, 2018.
  14. ^ Stephen Holden (December 17, 1999). "Film Review – Extra! Sly Cat Upstages Stuart Little!". The New York Times. Retrieved May 28, 2018.
  15. ^ Inc, Nielsen Business Media (March 4, 2000). "Billboard". Nielsen Business Media, Inc. – via Google Books. {{cite web}}: |last= has generic name (help)

External links[edit]