Stuart Little 2 (2002)
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Overall Rating: 3/5
Director: Rob Minkoff
Tagline: The mouse is in the house — again.
The Film: This is not Spider-man‘s New York. This is not Panic Room‘s New York. This is the sunniest, happiest New York you’ve ever seen, and it stars just as big in Stuart Little 2 as any digital character. The move starts and ends with glorious views of the city’s famous skyline — as if announcing squarely to the audience that despite two recent blows, the Big Apple is still shiny and beautiful.
Since the introductions were handily performed in the first Stuart Little, the sequel is a little quicker getting to the plot. On the way home from school, a bird (played by Melanie Griffith) falls into Stuart’s car. The bird has been chased by a vicious falcon (played by James Woods), and Stuart (played by Michael J. Fox) helps her escape from certain death. Things are not as they seem, however, and soon there’s a double-cross, a search, an aerial battle, familial epiphanies and a lot of hugs. Hey — the movie is only 77 minutes long, so things have to move a bit quickly.
The movie looks fantastic. The sets (physical and digital) are perfect, the exterior shots of the city are beautiful, and the digital characters work a whole lot better than Jar Jar and nearly as well as Yoda. Geena Davis is absolutely stunning, and Hugh Lorie does a great job of looking like a guy very pleased with himself for having married Geena Davis. The child actors, however, are bad enough to seem out of place to this jaded viewer — but nobody under age 12 is going to notice or care.
A special mention has to be made for Nathan Lane, who should be arrested for stealing every single scene he’s in.
This is fine family fare, sweet and innocuous but ultimately forgettable.
Movie Rating: 3/5
DVD: 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen and fullscreen versions are on the same disc, English and French Dolby Digital 5.1 and 2.0 sound, English and French subtitles.
Extras include filmmakers’ commentary, two behind-the-scenes featurettes, Stuart Little’s Big Adventure’s Read-Along, an interactive game, Celine Dion’s “I’m Alive” video, trailers, some DVD-ROM content and a promo for the Stuart Little 2 Playstation game.
DVD Rating: 3/5
Five Degrees of Separation:
Stuart Little — Probably not quite as good, but obviously in the same vein
Monsters, Inc. — Skip analog actors entirely and go digital with this great family film
Mouse Hunt — What is it with mouse movies and Nathan Lane?
Lilo & Stitch — A film with similar themes to the first Stuart Little, about what it means to be a family
The Long Kiss Goodnight — Put the kids to bed and watch a real Geena Davis movie. Rowr.