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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

Stuart Little 2 (review)

The second outing with E.B. White’s beloved mouse pulls off the rare feat of surpassing its excellent predecessor in all aspects, though once again the story is simple enough for small children to grasp yet so delightful that adults can’t help but cheer, too. This time out, the CGI-animated Stuart (the voice of Michael J. Fox: Atlantis: The Lost Empire) meets Margalo (the voice of Melanie Griffith: Celebrity), a little bird who isn’t quite what she seems. Honor and honesty, friendship and family take center stage, but this amiable tale never lectures, and the sweetness is leavened by the tart cattiness of Snowbell, the Persian with an attitude (the voice of Nathan Lane: Love’s Labour’s Lost), and the candy-colored quirkiness of the Littles — Geena Davis and Hugh Laurie (The Borrowers) balance their unlikely domestic bliss between gentle irony and heartfelt conviction. The conviction is the key here: The CGI is lovely, Stuart’s face (and Margalo’s) beautifully expressive, but the film wouldn’t work if Davis and Laurie (and Jonathan Lipnicki [The Little Vampire] as George, the elder Little child) didn’t utterly believe in the reality of Stuart. They do, and so we do, too.


MPAA: rated PG for brief mild language

viewed at a semipublic screening with an audience of critics and ordinary moviegoers

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