Making the Grades
This third installment of the Stuart Little franchise is bypassing theaters and debuting directly on home video/DVD. That's not the only obvious change form it's predecessors; the movie is also completely animated instead of the live action/computer graphics combo of the past. What's the same, though, are the cast (albeit they are only lending their voice talents this time) and the premise.
Still trying to assert his independence, the tiny white mouse (voiced by Michael J. Fox) asks if he can join the Lake Scouts while the family takes a summer vacation at a cabin in the woods. His over protective mom (Geena Davis) thinks he is too small for such a large adventure, so his Dad (Hugh Laurie) volunteers to go with him. His parents also conscript big brother George (Jonathan Lipnicki). It's not quite what Stuart had in mind, but he sets off with the other Little men anyway, hoping to find a way to prove himself.
Unfortunately, both George and Dad prove to be far more capable in the great outdoors than the aspiring woodsman--even when they aren't really even trying! Mocked or overlooked by the other troop members, Stuart feels totally rejected until he meets someone closer to his own size.
Reeko the Skunk (Wayne Brady) is equally unpopular among his fellow woodland creatures, however he's not about to let Stuart know that. Feigning superior knowledge and skill, the black and white hip-hopper agrees to show the eager mouse around the 'hood. In truth, the little stinker uses their newfound friendship to get close to Snowbell, the family's pet cat. With a little flattery, Reeko convinces the fluffy Persian to come to a party in the forest where he plans to hand the unsuspecting kitty over to The Beast--a nasty extortionist to whom the skunk owes a great debt.
Of course Stuart will get wind of Snowbell's dangerous plight. Then he'll be forced to launch a rescue plan, which in turn will give him he opportunity he has been seeking to show his real worth.
The quest will put the heroic mouse in some dangerous situations, which may be a bit frightening for the youngest of viewers. Other content concerns include some mild name-calling and bulling behavior. Along with these storylines, the scriptwriters have tried to include messages of self-esteem, loyalty, forgiveness, bravery, and standing up for one's beliefs. These are certainly commendable ideals--it's just too bad the predictable plot isn't equally praiseworthy.
Most likely, the target audience won't be too worried about such quibbling. Parent also should feel fairly comfortable sharing this rather average movie with their children--just as long as the kiddies don't start singing the production's irritating musical number about the "skunk with the funk."
Discussion Ideas After The Movie
Teaching ideas and topics to discuss about Stuart Little 3: Call of the Wild.
Why do you think many characters talk about The Beast, but the mysterious creature’s identity isn’t revealed until almost the end of the movie? How does this technique affect the story?