Stuart Little Parent Guide
Parent Movie Review
Mr. & Mrs. Little (Hugh Laurie and Geena Davis) have one son, George (Jonathan Lipnicki), who appears to be a normal young boy. But then his parents seemed quite normal when they headed to the New York Orphanage to pick out a “little” brother for George. We know it’s a quirky fantasy story when they select Stuart (Michael J. Fox) from a room full of healthy human children.
George meets his new sibling, and expresses what all the rest of us are thinking: “He’s a mouse!” The close-knit extended members of the Little family also look confused with their choice. Although Stuart is an intelligent communicator and flashy dresser, perhaps the orphanage director was right to warn them of the risks of adopting “outside of their species”.
Without a doubt this new addition is the hardest on Snowbell (Nathan Lane), the family’s large cat, who is only willing to accept Stuart - for lunch, (causing the Littles to enforce a no-eat policy). Now Snowbell is the only cat in the world with a mouse for a master, and that makes him the target of much teasing from neighborhood strays.
While adults may think the film is gearing up to teach about prejudice and acceptance, they will be surprised when the story switches gears before the popcorn is even finished. Stuart’s greatest challenge proves to be Snowbell and his feline friends, who plot to get rid of him. This cat and mouse chase creates familiar cartoon-style comedy, setting off numerous chain reactions, and leaving young audience members on the edge of their seats wondering what Stuart’s fate may be. However, it is more often Snowbell that ends up in the garbage can, or with a bowling ball on his head.
With the humans in the mix, the script becomes two stories, and loses its direction. I couldn’t reason past the communication problems where the cat and mouse can talk, the humans and mouse can talk, the cat can understand the humans, but the humans can’t understand the cat. Confused? Me-ow too.Starring Michael J. Fox, Hugh Laurie, Geena Davis, Jonathan Lipnicki. Updated April 14, 2009
Stuart Little Parents' Guide
Why didn’t the Little’s just go to the pet store instead of the orphanage?
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While the movie rates a B-, the film offers two grade-A websites. Check the main one at www.stuartlittle.com It offers many games and activities, and children can “read” the story of the movie.
Even better is www.lightspan.com/stuart/default.html This sight is full of educational ideas, most of them related to the original book of Stuart Little by E. B. White. Teachers will be especially interested in the lesson plans based on the book that are offered on this page. Just click “Stuart Little’s Lesson Plans” on the left side of the page.
Finally, check for E. B. White’s book at your local library or bookstore.