Blu-ray and DVD Reviews

Stuart Little 2 (Special Edition)

Reviewed by: Scott Chitwood
Movie Rating:
8 out of 10
Extras Rating:
8 out of 10
Movie Details:
View here

Starring:
Michael J. Fox as Stuart Little
Geena Davis as Eleanor Little
Hugh Laurie as Fredrick Little
Jonathan Lipnicki as George Little
Nathan Lane as Snowbell
Melanie Griffith as Margalo
Kevin Olson as Irwin
James Woods as Falcon
Steve Zahn as Monty

Special Features:
Filmmaker's Commentary
"Show And Tell" Behind the Scenes
A Touch Of Evil - Creating the Perfect Villain
Life In The Fast Lane - Zoom through the filmmaking process
Stuart Little's Big Adventures Read Along
Interactive Game: Stuart's Circle of Friends
Music Video: Celine Dion's "I'm Alive"
Stuart Little 2: The Playstation Game Promo
Theatrical Trailers
Animated Menus
Motion Scene Selections
Weblinks
A Playable Level from Infogames new game Stuart Little 2
Record your own Stuart Little Read Along

Other Info:
Widescreen and Fullscreen Presentations
Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound
English and French Audio Tracks
English and French Subtitles

Synopsis:
Stuart Little is now a part of the Little clan, but he faces new problems fitting in with his human family. He's too small to play in sports with the other kids, his mother keeps babying him, and he can't find a friend of his own. However, things begin to look up when he rescues a little bird from a falcon. The bird's name is Margalo and Stuart hits it off with her. Finally, a small friend of his own!

Unfortunately, Margalo is more than she appears to be. When she disappears from the Little's home, Stuart believes that the evil falcon has kidnapped her. He goes on a rescue mission to find her with the help of the family cat Snowbell.

"Stuart Little 2" is rated PG for brief mild language.

The Movie:
I reviewed this movie upon its theatrical release and really enjoyed it. You can view my original thoughts here.

I think "Stuart Little 2" is a better movie than its predecessor. The sequel has more humor, more effects, and is faster paced than the original. The effects in this film are stunning. Stuart Little has incredible detail in his movements and hair. The bird Margalo is also well animated. She moves just like a bird but still manages to have a cartoon kind of face. The falcon is pretty cool and evil looking, too. All in all, it's an amazing accomplishment by Sony Imageworks. The effects hold up particularly well on the small screen and the colors are bright and clear. The DVD presentation looks great.

The voices in this film were well cast. Though I despise Melanie Griffith, her voice fit the bird well. She had just the right mix of innocence and street smarts. James Woods is excellent any time he plays the bad guy, and his voice fits the evil falcon well. And if you saw the original then you know Michael J. Fox fits the mouse's voice perfectly. However, the show stealer is Nathan Lane as Snowbell. Pretty much all of the characters are dull compared to this cat. He has some of the funniest one-liners of any film this summer and steals the show any time he's on screen.

The music in "Stuart Little 2" is pretty good, too, and sounds great on a home theater system. You may find yourself tapping your toes to this soundtrack.

The Extras:
The "Stuart Little 2" DVD has a good share of extras. There's a nice balance between features for adults and children. While there are games and such for the kiddies, there's an equal amount of coverage of the CG effects and actors. Here are some highlights:

Filmmaker's Commentary - The commentary on this film with the director and producer is a mixed bag. It's rather dry and technical at times with the two filmmakers pointing out what's CG and what's not. Occasionally they tell stories from the set, bits about what was improvised, and other stuff that was of interest. They mentioned that at one time Falcon was going to have a flock of pigeon minions, but this was cut out for budgetary reasons. You'll find other bits of trivia in the commentary.

"Show And Tell" Behind the Scenes - As the movie plays, you can turn on this feature that will cause icons to pop on the screen. When you see them, you hit "enter" and it will start a short Behind the Scenes feature. They include pieces on animating Margalo, Stuart Little's wardrobe, casting Snowbell, recording dialogue with Nathan Lane, getting the look of the film right, and more. There's even a segment featuring the ditzy Melanie Griffith (sporting a heart tattoo with the name "Antonio" on her arm) recording dialogue with Michael J. Fox. The features are well worth watching and they give a good look at the making of the movie. I only wish there was a feature where you could watch them individually without going through the movie itself.

A Touch Of Evil - Creating the Perfect Villain - This short documentary covers the making of Falcon. There are interviews with James Woods, the animators, and more. They get into detail on the making of the CG creature. It's a nice segment.

Life In The Fast Lane - This is a "Making of Stuart Little 2" feature for those with Attention Deficit Disorder. It whizzes through storyboarding, scripting, casting, filming recording dialogue, scoring, and more in a couple of brief minutes. You are blasted with a million images in very short order. It's a cute quick look at the making of the film, but I prefer the long drawn out approach.

Stuart Little's Big Adventures Read Along - This is one of the Stuart Little spin-off books on the DVD. You can have a narrator read the story to you or read it yourself. Kids like it, so it's a nice feature for them.

Music Video: Celine Dion's "I'm Alive" - Speaking of computer generated characters, Celine Dion looks rather fake in this music video. I thought the music was pretty good in this movie, but seeing Dion sing and dance to it is a lot to take.

There are a lot of other features that kids will enjoy on this DVD. Be sure to take advantage of the DVD-ROM features.

The Bottom Line:
"Stuart Little 2" is a fun kid's DVD for both children and adults. Children will love the movie and adults will marvel at the visual effects and the behind the scenes features.

Order this DVD @ Amazon

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