Little 2 starts off strong enough, reintroducing dad Fredrick (Hugh Laurie), mom Eleanor (Geena Davis), son George (Jonathan Lipnicki), and adopted child Stuart (voice of Michael J. Fox), who's actually a talking mouse. Since last we met the Little clan, the family has added baby girl Martha, which gives Eleanor someone else to dote over besides her pint-sized sons. Speaking of, Stuart's depressed because George is outgrowing the novelty of having a kid brother.
Instead of exploring its established characters - a wealth of material, in my opinion - Little 2 introduces new character Margalo (voice of Melanie Griffith), a yellow canary who enlists Stuart's help to avoid a stalking falcon (voice of James Woods). Perhaps screenwriter Bruce Joel Rubin missed the episode of The Simpsons where Homer voices doomed character Poochie - an immediate detriment to the popular Itchy and Scratchy program. New characters signify serious droughts in creativity.
Margalo and Stuart become fast friends, which solves Stuart's existential dilemma and sets up a shamelessly fluffy music video montage of caring, sharing, and togetherness. Ugh. However, the plot thickens when we learn Margalo's got ulterior motives, leading to a NYC-based adventure for Stuart and his cat chum, Snowbell (voice of Nathan Lane).
As in the first film, Manhattan and its recognizable landmarks play significant roles in Stuart, and Steven B. Poster's vibrant cinematography brings the Big Apple to life. Too bad it's the human cast who really needs the jolt. Perennially young Lipnicki (this kid should be driving by now) possesses the pizzazz of a potted plant, while Davis buries her character in petty fits and fusses. Only the animated animal characters pick up the slack. The neurotically hilarious Lane gets more sarcastic quips in this sequel, while Fox loads Stuart with sincerity, warmth, and endless charm.
The Stu 2 DVD features a filmmaker commentary and a pop-up track that takes viewers to outtakes and behind-the-scenes footage. A handful of extra games and videos will appeal to the kids.
Run time: 77 mins
In Theaters: Friday 19th July 2002
Box Office USA: $64.7M
Distributed by: Columbia Pictures
Production compaines: Sony Pictures Entertainment, Columbia Pictures
Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5
Rotten Tomatoes: 81%
Fresh: 99 Rotten: 23
IMDB: 5.4 / 10
Director: Rob Minkoff
Screenwriter: Bruce Joel Rubin
Starring: Michael J. Fox as Voice of Stuart Little, Geena Davis as Mrs. Eleanor Little, Hugh Laurie as Mr. Frederick Little, Jonathan Lipnicki as George Little, Anna Hoelck as Martha Little, Ashley Hoelck as Martha Little, Nathan Lane as Snowbell (voice), Melanie Griffith as Margalo the Bird (voice), James Woods as The Evil Falcon (voice), Steve Zahn as Monty the Alley-Cat (voice), Maria Bamford as Teacher, Kevin Olson as Irwin (as Kevin Johnson Olson), Rachael Harris as Additional Voices (voice), Marc John Jefferies as Will, George's Friend