In a summer full of the typical blockbusters and action films, Stuart Little 2 stands out as a fun “little” film for the family to see together. There are no explosions or big action sequences, just the continuing story of the Little family in their house in New York City.
The story takes place five years after the original. In that time, the Littles have grown, adding a baby girl named Martha to their happy family. George (Jonathan Lipnicki) and Stuart (voiced by Michael J. Fox) go to school and play in a soccer league together.
Snowbell (voiced by Nathan Lane), the cat, has grown to tolerate Stuart but still has not lost the attitude he had in the first film.
Stuart has a problem making friends and clings to his brother. But when George gets fed up with Stuart always hanging around, Stuart is forced to make a new friend. As luck would have it, Stuart comes to the aid of an injured bird named Margalo (voiced by Melanie Griffith) the next day. The Littles take her in and nurse her back to health.
Stuart is happy with his new friend until the Falcon (voiced by James Woods) kidnaps her. Stuart decides he must run away and find her with the reluctant help of Snowbell.
The standout voice performance of this film is Nathan Lane. He steals the show with his moody, finicky character. Snowbell is on the hunt for one thing – food. He makes sure that everyone knows it, too. At one point in the film, Snowbell stands outside a cafÃ©, licking his chops over the menu and then almost passes out from the joy of discovering all of the different kinds of fish the restaurant serves. He also has some hilarious moments attempting to help Margalo escape from the Falcon and ends up in a metal barrel rolling down the side of a building.
Perhaps the best part about Stuart Little 2 is the way it incorporates morals into its story line.
The film makes a point to teach kids about lying, friendship and the importance of family. Throughout the film, Fredrick (Hugh Laurie) and Eleanor (Geena Davis) Little try to teach their sons about right and wrong, as well as “the silver lining of every cloud.”
Even when Stuart and George get into trouble, their parents are there to help them out without lecturing them endlessly. Stuart and George know they have their parents’ support no matter what, and when something goes wrong, the two boys know they can count on their parents to help them out.
Another aspect to point out is the animation of certain characters in the film. It takes the animated characters and puts them in with the real action characters so that the audience believes both were really in the shot. The animation blends in such a way to make the effect work.
Stuart and the other animated characters interact right alongside their human, live-action counterparts.
For instance, in one scene, Stuart is driving his little red car down a busy New York City sidewalk while talking to George on their way to school.
The red car and Stuart move effortlessly through the crowd while people move around him. The animated characters are realistically depicted as well, without the look of cartoonish animation. And while this may not be groundbreaking, it definitely deserves mention.
Stuart Little 2 may not be a typical summer blockbuster filled with explosive action sequences, but it’s a film the whole family can sit through and enjoy.