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A disappointing Adaptation of a great book
Stuart Little (DVD)
Member Name: SimonCook
Stuart Little (DVD)
Date: 22/06/01, updated on 22/06/01 (47 review reads)
Advantages: Great Animations
Disadvantages: Poor Story, Wooden Acting
Ron Minkoff directs this M Night Shyamalan screenplay adaptation of the heart-warming book by E B White.
M Night Shyamalan, a talented young writer (and director – he wrote and directed Sixth Sense starring Bruce Willis) adapts this wonderful E B White book detailing the story of Stuart Little. I read this book to my children when they were six and was excited and intrigued by the screen adaptation. The book tells the tale of a mouse that is adopted by a family, and the adventures that he has. The book is an enchanting fairy tale that is superb for young children (And old adults like myself!)
Mr and Mrs Little (played by Geena Davies and Hugh Laurie), decide to adopt a younger brother or sister for their son George. George is initially very excited at the prospect of having a younger sibling to play with. The Little’s are a fairly prosperous family and live in the cutest little house you could ever find in New York.
The Little’s go to an adoption home and search for a new child. As they arrive and view all the young children they become very confused, as all the children look wonderful. They sit down and try to contemplate which child would be perfect for them. Suddenly Stuart Little, a cute little mouse talks to them and tells them that they should relax and then the choice will effectively make itself. The mouse is very philosophical and sad; he always knows that no-one is going to pick him. Much to Stuart’s surprise, the Little’s instantly fall in love with Stuart and adopt him.
George, expecting a young brother is not very impressed with having a mouse as a sibling and initially becomes jealous of Stuart. His dislike is very evident throughout the first part of the movie as they both vie for their parent’s attention. However, as Stuart begins to live in their house and offers to help George build a boat for an imminent boat race, a friendship builds that event
ually transforms into love.
The family has a cat who is very put out at having a mouse as a master. After his cat friend laugh’s at him for having a mouse master he decides to get rid of Stuart. Initially this involves getting his ‘real’ parents to come and take him home, but as it is found out that these are fake, it becomes necessary for Stuart to be eliminated by cats. An also mafia like cat organizes a posse and Stuart’s life is suddenly in danger.
There are several twists in the plot that are fairly predictable, and the movie involves Stuart’s adventures trying to outrun the cats through sewers and New York’s central park. There are some very funny scenes throughout the movie; one being where Stuart somehow gets washed in a washing machine, that add a lot of laughter to the movie.
Geena Davies, who is perhaps more used to playing more flamboyant characters in action type movies plays a very quiet mother who is demure and kind. Her performance is adequate as she doesn’t really make an impression on the audience.
Hugh Laurie, who is a very funny British Comedian and is famous in Britain for his duo with Stephen Fry and has appeared in several british sit-coms including Black Adder, also fails to impress. Perhaps because he is trying to play an American, his charisma and comedy abilities do not really come through in this movie.
Michael J Fox is perhaps the best performer in the whole movie as he disguises his voice and becomes Stuart Little.
The animations in this movie are excellent.
Stuart Little combines the mannerisms of a mouse with the mannerisms of a human to create an adorable and cute character. With animated tears, shrugs and smiles, the animation of Stuart is the best part of the movie.
The animation of the cats combines trained cats with animation. The mouths are animated to cre
ate the illusion that the cats talk. This is generally very good and adds some excitement to the movie.
Stuart Little is one of my favorite books. The screen play brings the book to life but cannot really portray the excitement held in the book. Shyamalan has perhaps over simplified the story not expecting children to be able to follow a more complicated script.
The movie could be improved by adding more plot and letting the actors show a little more of their true characters