Reviewed by: Eric Schmidt
Starring: Michael J. Fox, Geena Davis, Hugh Laurie, Jonathan Lipnicki, Steve Zahn | Directed by: Rob Minkoff | Produced by: Douglas Wick, Lucy Fisher | Written by: Bruce Joel Rubin | Distributor: Columbia Pictures
“Stuart Little 2” asks the viewer to undertake the suspension of disbelief. Accepting that characters in the film see nothing out of the ordinary in Stuart the mouse playing soccer with children, adopting him into a family setting, and conversing with other parents about the whereabouts of their “child” will be difficult for some. But once this is achieved, viewers can see the forest through the trees. “Stuart Little 2” is one of the best family films of the summer.
With sly humor, loveable characters, a great script by Bruce Joel Rubin (Academy Award-winner, “Ghost”) and a refreshing absence of sex, gratuitous violence, and profanity, parents need not be worried about taking kids six and older to see the film. (Though scenes involving drops from great heights and a sharp-toed falcon may upset very small children.)
The story begins with Stuart’s brother, George having found a new friend to play with, leaving Stuart (brilliantly voiced by Michael J. Fox) feeling left out. His father (Hugh Laurie) sympathizes, but reminds Stuart of an old family adage. “Always look for the silver lining in the cloud,” he instructs Stuart.
Silver lining appears when Stuart rescues a homeless bird named Margelo (voiced by Melanie Griffith) from the sinister Falcon. A friendship forms, and all is well until Margelo disappears in the middle of the night. Stuart, convinced Falcon is responsible, ventures out into the world with the family cat Snowball (voiced by Nathan Lane) to rescue her.
Children are taught positive messages regarding friendship, determination, trust, respect, and acceptance. I especially liked how the screenwriters were quick to have George’s parents chastise him after he lies about Stuart’s whereabouts. This is the rare movie that has lies to parents reaping bad consequences instead of good ones. (And they’re saying we shouldn’t put the Ten Commandments in public schools?)
Let’s really give this film a box office success so others like it will continue to be made!
Note: Before the film, there is a short computer-animated cartoon. It features scenes involving sharp-fanged aliens that may prove upsetting to younger children. My recommendation is to wait out in the lobby until it ends if your kids are easily disturbed.