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George Little (Jonathan Lipnicki) is fast outgrowing his mousy younger brother Stuart (voiced by Michael J Fox). He's making new friends at school and winning soccer games. Stuart feels unloved, but when he rescues a free spirited little bird named Margalo (voiced by Melanie Griffith) from a nasty Falcon (voiced by James Woods), the two become best friends. Romance is even in the air. But Margalo is not as she seems, and when she steals Mrs Little's (Geena Davis) diamond ring for Falcon, the whole Little family - including cowardly cat Snowbell (voiced by Nathan Lane) - springs into action.

Review by Shannon J. Harvey:
Stuart Little, that computer generated, tiny white talking mouse who endeared himself to the Little family is back for his inevitable sequel adventure. The good news? Stuart Little 2 is deeper, richer and cuter than the original. The filmmakers stick to the same formula and add a handful of new characters, like robin bird Margalo (from the E B White storybook), the sinister Falcon, and the Little's new baby, Martha. For Stuart, his new adventure means a bi-plane, a girlfriend, more independence, and abandonment issues to work through as George outgrows him and finds new (human) friends. It overcooks the corn sometimes, like the sickeningly sweet "Little hi little low," "little hey little ho," and a pregnant Geena Davis does her best busty all-American-mom routine. But it makes for good, clean, wholesome all-ages fun.

The DVD package is equally impressive. In director Rob Minkoff's commentary with senior visual effects supervisor Jerome Chen, they discuss SL2s computer generation considerations and technical difficulties. Highlights include troubleshooting the camera-shy twins who play Martha and covering alley cat Monty with rubber bands, which stand in for the noodles he spills on his head. In 'Show and Tell' mode, enjoy 17 'Making Of' clips by clicking enter when icons appear on screen. There are explanatory audio segments, maps of Central Park, and sidelines. 'A Touch of Evil' is a documentary devoted to big bad bird Falcon, and James Woods and many technical advisors get in on the action.

There's plenty more. 'Life in the Fast Lane' is a nifty 123 second time lapse glimpse of SL2 from inception to cinematic release. It's followed by the real time documentary 'Soaring,' where you find out what Stuffies are, what a feather janitor does, why Stuart's wardrobe is so expensive and what an ex-Israeli fighter pilot was doing on set. It's basically the same as the HBO Making Of feature hosted by Geena Davis. Read-along is a three minute storybook feature with a narrator option.

It's a pity the film voices don't appear here; you have to purchase other books to find out what happens after Margalo falls into Stuart's car. Circle of Friends is an interactive trivia challenge with multiple choice questions, and there's promos for the Playstation Game and DVD-Rom Roof Skate games, which look like fun. Overall, SL2 is a lightweight, squeaky clean, harmless little charmer that can be enjoyed by tykes and parents alike. The DVD is a colourful, detailed package which curious kids can investigate - and be educated - for hours and hours.

Published March 20, 2003

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CAST: Geena Davis, Hugh Laurie, Jonathan Lipnicki, voices of Michael J Fox, Nathan Lane, Melanie Griffith, James Woods, Steve Zahn

DIRECTOR: Rob Minkoff

RUNNING TIME: 74 minutes

PRESENTATION: 1:85:1 widescreen; Dolby 5.1

SPECIAL FEATURES: Filmmaker's Commentary by director Rob Minkoff and senior visual effects supervisor Jerome Chen, 'Show And Tell', Featurettes - 'A Touch of Evil,' 'Life in the Fast Lane' and 'Soaring'; 'HBO Making of - On the Set of SL2'; Read-alongs - Stuart Little's Big Adventures; Music Video 'I'm Alive' by Celine Dion; Stuart's Circle of Friends Game; DVD-Rom; Filmographies; Original Movie Trailers; Bonus Trailers

DVD DISTRIBUTOR: Columbia TriStar Entertainment

DVD RELEASE: March 19, 2003

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