Of Mice And Men

Stuart's back...and this time, he's brought friends.

If you have seen and enjoyed the first installment of the "Stuart Little" movies, get ready to anticipate the same essence of humour and warmth when you watch the sequel. "Stuart Little 2" comes off as an extended version of its predecessor, with all the essential ingredients that made the first movie a hit, together with added characters and a more action packed storyline.

For those of you who have not seen the first movie, let me give you a brief outline on the main characters. We have the "perfect" Little family residing in New York, which consists of Mr. (Hugh Laurie) and Mrs. (Geena Davis) Little, and their two sons, George (Jonathan Lipnicki) and Stuart (voiced by Michael J. Fox), who also happens to be a mouse. They also have a wisecracking pet cat called Snowball (voiced by Nathan Lane). In the sequel, we see that the family now has a fifth member, a baby girl named Martha.

In the movie, we are once again introduced to the Little family. Stuart has, by this time, managed to fit right in as the fourth family member, and has even started school. We find Mrs. Little as the over-protective mother, constantly trying to curb Stuart from performing dangerous activities such as playing soccer or jumping down a drainpipe, and other such feats of courage, which may prove harmful because of his "littleness". George and Stuart, too, get along quite well, except that George now hangs out with his age group, and unintentionally leaves Stuart behind and lonely quite often. Mr. Little, on the other hand, has the role of the encouraging father, giving Stuart that extra push which he needs, and some fatherly advice.

This time around, Stuart takes on his adventure in the Big Apple, when he comes across a wounded little bird named Margalo (voiced by Melanie Griffith). Stuart takes her home, where he tends to her broken wing, and helps her get better. He also convinces Mr. and Mrs. Little to let her stay with them for a while, to which they readily agree. However, little do the Littles know (sorry!) that Margalo is actually working for a dangerous crime lord, a falcon named, well, The Falcon (voiced by James Woods).

The Falcon has devised a well-conceived plot to let Margalo into the Littles' home under the pretext of an injury, and get her to steal from the family. The loot, of course, goes to the big bird. Slowly, Stuart and Margalo take on a liking for each other, both of them sharing a lot in common, and also being of the same size. Margalo, who cannot bear the guilt of stealing from someone she loves and cares for, runs away from the Little home. Stuart, now completely head over heels for the little bird, is determined to find Margalo and rescue her from the evil clutches of the Falcon.

Rob Minkoff, who has also worked on the first "Stuart Little", directs the sequel with the same creativity. He deserves quite some credit for a movie involving animated, as well as human, characters side by side. The animated characters in the movie are portrayed very impressively, and almost seem alive and human, merging quite well with the other actors. The movie also offers some great production, with the main sets and backdrop being New York City.

"Stuart Little 2" has a storyline suitable for the typical family entertainer. It has the average little guy on a big adventure theme, with a simple plot and a few jokes thrown in here and there. The story is well paced, although the writers could have used a little more time on the screenplay, which mainly comprises of some very simple and cheesy lines. Snowbell steals the show when it comes to the humour, with some very funny wisecracks mixed with that perfect tinge of sarcasm.

The movie also boasts an all-star cast, with a lineup including Micheal J. Fox and Geena Davis. Hugh Laurie and Geena Davis portray their roles as the loving and perfect parents quite well. Jonathan Lipnicki, too, manages to pull off his role as George Little. The voice-overs in the movie are also well suited to their respective animated characters, especially Micheal J. Fox playing Stuart.

Overall, "Stuart Little 2" is the perfect fun-filled family movie, which can be enjoyed by audiences of all ages. It has a fair helping of humour, emotion and adventure, and drives home a good message on love, family and friendship.

This article was first published on06 Nov 2002.