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Stuart Little 2 (2002)
Director: Rob Minkoff

review by Gary Couzens

Stuart Little was one of the better summer hits of 1999. Based on a book by E.B. White, it showed how a young mouse, Stuart (a digital creation voiced by Michael J. Fox), was adopted into New York's Little family (parents Geena Davis and Hugh Laurie, older 'brother' Jonathan Lipnicki, snooty cat Snowbell voiced by Nathan Lane). Now there's a baby sister too. Stuart is off to school but is sad that he has no friends of his own. Then one day, a bird called Margalo (voice by Melanie Griffith) literally falls out of the sky. But she has problems of her own, being menaced by a falcon with the voice of James Woods. One day Margalo vanishes, and Stuart and Snowbell go in search of her...
   The original film was a very pleasant family film. Rob Minkoff is a former animation director (of The Lion King, among others) and he gave New York a nicely stylised look. This sequel is more of the same, and at 70 minutes plus credits won't stretch its target audience's attention span. Davis and Laurie play their roles with enough irony to make this palatable for adults, preventing the saccharine level from rising too high. Jonathan Lipnicki has less to do: as a six-year-old he had an attractively offbeat quality in Jerry Maguire and the original Stuart Little, and quite some talent. It will be interesting to see how his acting develops once adolescence hits. As for Stuart himself, he shows how CGI technology has developed: an animated mouse interacts with real humans and cats, and animated birds, and disbelief is willingly suspended.
Stuart Little 2
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