Stuart Little is a 1999 American family comedy film directed by Rob Minkoff. It is loosely based on the novel Stuart Little by E. B. White. It combines live-action and computer animation. The screenplay was co-written by M. Night Shyamalan and Greg Brooker, with uncredited script doctoring by David O. Russell and Billy Ray. The plot bears little resemblance to that of the book; 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.
The film was released on December 17, 1999 by Columbia Pictures.
It received an Academy Award nomination for Best Visual Effects, but lost to The Matrix. The film spawned a sequel in 2002, Stuart Little 2, the short lived TV show called Stuart Little: The Animated Series in 2003, and another sequel in 2006, 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.
Plot[edit | edit source]
Eleanor Little (Geena Davis) and Frederick Little (Hugh Laurie) and their young son George (Jonathan Lipnicki) are intending an adoption. While George is at school, his parents go to an orphanage where they meet and fall in love with a humanoid 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 (voiced by Nathan Lane), who is disgusted at having a mouse for a "master". Despite Eleanor and Frederick's intentions, Stuart quickly feels like an outsider in the large Little family, especially when the family's unknowing relatives bring Stuart large presents and George snaps at his family, claiming out loud that Stuart is not his brother. When Stuart admits his feelings of loneliness to his parents, they ask Mrs. Keeper to do some background research on Stuart's biological family.
After accidentally stumbling across George's playroom in the basement, Stuart finally bonds with George when they play together and plan to finish George's remote controlled boat, the Wasp, for an upcoming boat race in Central Park. At the same time, however, one of Snowbell's alley cat friends, Monty (voiced by Steve Zahn) visits unexpectedly and discovers Stuart. Determined not to have his reputation destroyed, Snowbell meets with Monty's leader, Smokey (voiced by 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 for the race, but on the day of the race, the control is smashed when a bystander accidentally steps on it. Stuart pilots the Wasp himself, but ends up in a tussle with a larger boat belonging to George's rival, Anton, who has already smashed the rest of the boats without being disqualified. Stuart snaps the wires of Anton's boat and manages to win the race, at the same time finally winning George's acceptance and respect. During the family celebration, however, the Littles are visited by a mouse couple, Reginald and Camille Stout (voiced by Bruno Kirby and Jennifer Tilly), who claim to be Stuart's parents who gave him up to the orphanage years ago due to poverty. Reluctantly, Stuart leaves with the Stouts, George presenting him with his toy car as a farewell gift. 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 their son has been kidnapped, the Littles call the police and stick posters of Stuart across the city.
Meanwhile, Snowbell meets with Smokey and the alley cats: he had actually conspired with them to have the Stouts pose as Stuart's parents in order to remove Stuart from the household. Fearing retribution should the Littles discover Snowbell's deception, Smokey orders the Stouts to hand Stuart over to them, but the Stouts, having grown to truly love Stuart, tell him to flee. Smokey subsequently orders a manhunt for Stuart. They corner him in Central Park and a chase ensues. Despite losing his car and almost falling down a storm drain, Stuart manages to evade Smokey and return home, unfortunately, while the Littles are out putting posters up. The only one present is Snowbell, who lies that the Littles have been enjoying themselves greatly 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, but Snowbell begins to question his actions when he sees the pain the Littles are going through.
The alley cats locate Stuart in Central Park and bring Snowbell for the hunt. Snowbell locates Stuart first and saves him from the cats, but they catch up and eventually corner Stuart hanging for his life on a branch. The cats almost catch him, but Snowbell breaks the branch they are standing on, sending them falling into the river below. Smokey prepares to push Snowbell to his death from behind, but Stuart hits him off the tree with another branch. All but defeated, Smokey leaves angrily, but is chased by dogs.
Stuart and Snowbell return home and share a happy reunion with the Little family.
Cast[edit | edit source]
- Michael J. Fox as Stuart Little
- Chazz Palminteri as Smokey the Chief
- Nathan Lane as Snowbell
- Geena Davis as Mrs. Eleanor Little
- Hugh Laurie as Mr. Frederick Little
- Jonathan Lipnicki as George Little
- David Alan Grier as Red
- Steve Zahn as Monty the Mouth
- Jim Doughan as Detective Allen / Lucky
- Bruno Kirby and Jennifer Tilly as Reginald Stout and Camille Stout
- Stan Freberg as Race Announcer
- 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
Trivia[edit | edit source]
- In the trailer, it did not have "Coming this December" from The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland.