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Stuart Little


Stuart Little

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In case you're confused, Stuart Little is this season's mouse-centered movie that's not a heartwarming story set on death row. Instead, it brings E.B. White's beloved children's book into the age of digital animation. As voiced by Michael J. Fox and given body by a team of Sony technicians, Stuart Little is an endearing little fellow caught in a movie that's not quite as winning. Geena Davis and Hugh Laurie play a happy couple whose decision to adopt a mouse into their family meets with initial puzzlement from those around them, including a son played by a not-aging-so-gracefully Jonathan Lipnicki (Jerry Maguire, Meego). Eventually, everyone learns a valuable lesson about caring, sharing, and the elasticity of the concept of family—everyone except a jealous Persian cat (voiced by Nathan Lane), who at one point invites Stuart to "talk to the butt" and conspires against the new addition to the family. Technically impressive and essentially unobjectionable (not to mention short), Stuart Little nonetheless feels perfunctory, at once an exercise in special effects, marketable whimsy extracted from the first Babe movie, and safe, apolitical moralizing. Nothing wrong with that, but there's nothing special about it, either.