Stuart Little 2 is a sweet family movie with excellent voice talent and special effects. Fans of the first one will enjoy it and it is one of the best family movies of the summer.
It takes place where the last one left off, with Stuart (charmingly voiced by Michael J. Fox) living in New York with his parents (Hugh Laurie and Geena Davis), big brother George (Jonathan Lipnicki, seeming a little bored with making kid movies) and a new baby sister. The lives of the Little family are already somewhat tumultuous, with the new baby, George making new friends, and Mrs. Little loving but often a bit overprotective.
Stuart finds meets a lovely little bird named Margalo (voiced by Melanie Griffith) with an injured wing, and he takes her into his home. They quickly become close, but soon we find out that she’s not who she makes herself out to be and although she cares very much about Stuart and his family she has to leave unexpectedly.
Stuart doesn’t understand and enlists the Littles’ grumpy cat Snowbell (Nathan Lane, spouting off comedy that wouldn’t feel out of place coming from Rodney Dangerfield) to help him find her. In the meantime, George covers up for Stuart by lying to his parents (who come across as particularly clueless) and Stuart and Snowbell encounter many obstacles on their journey, but (spoiler warning!) it all works out in the end.
Thus the story, a very watered down version of the second half of the classic book, is nothing to write home about, but it’s a safe bet that fans of the first one will enjoy it. The meticulous computer animation is still something to marvel at, with all the animated animals being realistic down to the last hair and feather. Also, Steve Zahn shines in a small role, and whoever cast James Woods as the villainous Falcon must’ve seen Disney’s Hercules and realized that nobody can beat him as a bad guy.
Families should know that this film has barely enough toilet humor to get a PG so that kids won’t think it’s a dumb G-rated film. There is some peril, but everyone but the bad guy comes out of it without any injury.
Families who see this should talk about if it’s ok to lie in order to keep a promise, especially if the promise is particularly dangerous.
Families who like this movie should catch the original if they haven’t already, as well as Shrek and the Toy Story films.