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Stuart Little 2 is a 2002 American family comedy film directed by Rob Minkoff. It is the sequel to 1999's Stuart Little, itself loosely based on the original 1945 children's book by E. B. White, and stars Geena Davis, Hugh Laurie, and Jonathan Lipnicki, alongside the voices of Michael J. Fox, Nathan Lane, Melanie Griffith, James Woods, and Steve Zahn. Set three years after the first film, the plot follows Stuart Little as he and family cat Snowbell must save a small bird named Margalo from the Falcon.

The film was released to theaters on July 19, 2002 by Columbia Pictures, and grossed $170 million against a $120 million budget.[3] It was followed by a third film, a direct-to-video sequel entitled Stuart Little 3: Call of the Wild in 2005. However, unlike the previous two films, which were hybrids of live action and animation, the third one was entirely animated.

Plot

Three years after the first film, Stuart Little (voice of Michael J. Fox) questions his abilities following a disastrous soccer match alongside his brother George (Jonathan Lipnicki), who accidentally kicked him with a soccer ball despite said kick scoring the winning goal for their team. Stuart's relationship with George is strained further after he accidentally crashes a model airplane they were working on in the city park. Stuart's father, Frederick (Hugh Laurie), tries to encourage him, telling him that "every cloud has a silver lining."

Later, an apparently injured canary named Margalo (Melanie Griffith) falls into Stuart's roadster on his way home from school. Stuart takes her home and introduces her to the Little family, where he invites Margalo to stay with them for a while, to which she accepts. However, Margalo is secretly assisting a peregrine falcon aptly named Falcon (voice of James Woods) to steal valuables from households upon earning the homeowners' trust. Orphaned as a fledging, Margalo assists Falcon in exchange for a home, but Margalo grows reluctant to steal from the Littles. Unable to concentrate on her assignment for Falcon, Margalo becomes close friends with Stuart. Falcon eventually loses patience and threatens to eat Stuart unless Margalo steals Eleanor's (Geena Davis) wedding ring. Concerned for Stuart's safety, she reluctantly complies.

When the Littles discover that the ring is missing, they think it has fallen down their kitchen sink drain. Stuart offers to be lowered down the drain on a string to get it, but the string breaks while he is down the drain. A guilt-stricken Margalo saves him, then leaves the Littles' house the following night to protect Stuart. Upon realizing Margalo's disappearance, Stuart assumes she has been kidnapped by Falcon and decides to rescue her with the Littles' cat Snowbell (voice of Nathan Lane). Before he runs away from home, Stuart asks George to lie about his whereabouts to his parents while he is gone.

With the help of Snowbell's alley cat friend Monty (voice of Steve Zahn), Stuart and Snowbell discover that Falcon lives at the top of the Pishkin Building. There, Falcon reveals to Stuart that Margalo works for him, stole his mother's ring, and faked being injured. When Margalo tries to reassure Stuart that she really is his friend, Stuart begs her to come home with him. Unwilling to lose his asset in Margalo, Falcon then attempts to kill Stuart by dropping him from the top of the building, only for Stuart to land in a passing garbage truck before he ultimately gets knocked unconscious upon impact. Falcon traps Margalo in a paint can as punishment for befriending Stuart, but Snowbell manages to reach the top of the building while Falcon is absent and releases her.

Regaining consciousness on a garbage barge and seemingly losing hope, Stuart sadly considers giving up until he finds George's broken yet still-functioning model airplane on the barge, repairs it with various pieces of junk, and uses it to return to Margalo. Meanwhile, the Littles discover that George has been lying about Stuart's whereabouts and demand to know where he is. George tries not to break his promise, but when Frederick tells him that Stuart's safety matters more, George tells them that he is at the Pishkin Building but is still in big trouble for lying. Falcon attacks Snowbell, but Margalo declares her independence from him and attempts to flee with Eleanor's ring. Just as Falcon catches up, Stuart catches Margalo in his plane.

The Littles follow them by the New York City Taxi as Stuart and Margalo fly through Central Park, with Falcon in hot pursuit. Eventually, knowing they cannot outrun Falcon, Stuart decides to attack him directly. Using the glare of the Sun reflected in Eleanor's ring to temporarily blind Falcon, Stuart jumps out of the plane just before it crashes into Falcon. Margalo catches Stuart, and they reunite with the Littles to return home. Falcon, crippled and no longer able to fly, falls out of the sky and lands in a trash can where Monty is searching for food. Sometime later, Margalo says goodbye to the Littles and leaves to migrate south for the winter. After this, Martha, George and Stuart's new sister, says her first words, "Bye-bye Birdie", much to the delight of the family, who celebrate before heading into the comfort of their home.

Cast

  • Michael J. Fox as the voice of Stuart Little, an anthropomorphic teenage mouse adopted as the middle child of the Little family.
  • Melanie Griffith as the voice of Margalo, a canary who befriends Stuart.
  • Nathan Lane as the voice of Snowbell, the family cat who is Stuart's best friend.
  • James Woods as the voice of The Falcon.
  • Geena Davis as Eleanor Little, Stuart and George's mother.
  • Hugh Laurie as Frederick Little, Stuart and George's father and Eleanor's husband.
  • Jonathan Lipnicki as George Little, Stuart's older brother.
  • Steve Zahn as the voice of Monty the Mouth, an alley cat who is friends with Snowbell.
  • Anna and Ashley Hoelck as Martha Little, George and Stuart's infant sister.
  • Marc John Jefferies as Will Powell, George's friend and classmate.
  • Jim Doughan as Stuart and George's soccer coach. Doughan previously voiced Lucky and played the role of Detective Allen alongside Jon Polito who played Detective Sherman in Stuart Little.
  • Brad Garrett as Rob, a plumber called to find Eleanor's ring in the kitchen sink's pipes.
  • Amelia Marshall as Rita Powell, Will's mother.
  • Ronobir Lahiri as the cab driver

Release

Stuart Little 2 was originally released on VHS and a special edition DVD on December 10, 2002 by Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment. A Blu-ray/DVD combo pack was released on June 28, 2011 alongside the first film. [4]

Reception

On Rotten Tomatoes, it has an 81% approval rating based on reviews from 122 critics.[5] On Metacritic, the film has a score of 66 out of 100, indicating "generally favorable" reviews.[6]Audiences surveyed by CinemaScore gave the film a grade A.[7]

Ann Hornaday wrote a positive review in The Washington Post, noting how the film's idealized setting makes it family-friendly. Hornaday praised the vocal performances of Fox, Griffith, and Woods in their roles as Stuart, Margalo, and Falcon, respectively, as well as the characters' computer animation: "The animated characters engage in such natural movements and, more important, exude such subtle emotional expression that they mesh seamlessly with their live-action counterparts."[8] Tom Shen of the Chicago Reader, described the film as "fairly formulaic", but praised its jokes as "hilarious", especially those coming from the character of Snowbell, the Littles' cat.[9]

Music

The soundtrack, Music from and Inspired by Stuart Little 2, was released by Epic Records on July 16, 2002 on Audio CD and Compact Cassette. The final two tracks are score cues composed by Alan Silvestri.[10] Tracks in bold are not heard in the film.

Soundtrack

No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
1. "I'm Alive (End Titles)" (performed by Celine Dion) Kristian Lundin, Andreas Carlsson Kristian Lundin 3:28
2. "Put a Little Love in Your Heart (Opening Titles)" (performed by Mary Mary) Jackie DeShannon, Jimmy Holiday, Randy Myers VME 3:09
3. "Top of the World" (performed by Mandy Moore) Jeff Cohen, Leah Haywood    3:22
4. "Another Small Adventure" (performed by Chantal Kreviazuk)       2:57
5. "One" (performed by Nathan Lane) Harry Nilsson Rick Jarrard 2:18
6. "What I Like About You" (performed by The Romantics) Wally Palmar, Mike Skill, Jimmy Marinos Pete Solley 2:56
7. "Hold On To The Good Things" (performed by Shawn Colvin) Roxanne Seeman, Holly Knight    3:30
8. "Count on Me" (performed by Billy Gilman)       3:42
9. "Smile" (performed by Vitamin C) Josh Deutsch, Colleen Fitzpatrick Josh Deutsch, Garry Hughes 3:58
10. "Alone Again (Naturally)" (performed by Gilbert O'Sullivan) Gilbert O'Sullivan Gilbert O'Sullivan 3:38
11. "Born to Be Wild" (performed by Steppenwolf) Mars Bonfire Gabriel Mekler 3:30
12. "Little Angel of Mine" (performed by No Secrets) Orrin Hatch[11]    3:47
13. "Falcon Finito" (Alan Silvestri)       6:51
14. "Silver Lining" (Alan Silvestri)       4:21
Total length: 51:27

Video game

Video games based on Stuart Little 2 were released for the PlayStation, Game Boy Advance, and Microsoft Windows.

Accolades

Year Awards Category Nominee Result
2002 BAFTA Children's Award Best Feature Film Douglas Wick 

Lucy Fisher 
Rob Minkoff 
Bruce Joel Rubin

Nominated
2003 Golden Trailer Award Best Animation/Family Film Nominated
Visual Effects Society Award Best Character Animation in an Animated Motion Picture Tony Bancroft 

David Schaub 
Eric Armstrong 
Sean Mullen

Won
Best Visual Effects Photography in a Motion Picture Earl Wiggins 

Mark Vargo 
Tom Houghton 
Anna Foerster

Nominated
Young Artist Award Best Family Feature Film Rob Minkoff Nominated

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References

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