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OF MICE AND MEN

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When Elwyn Brooks White wrote "Stuart Little," lo, these 55 years ago, he could never have imagined the cinematic fame the little guy would attain. Nor, one would think, would he have wished it.
However, from all reports, Stuart Little, the movie mouse, as handled by Director Rob Minkoff, who co-directed "The Lion King," is true to White's creation.
It all starts in New York City when a young couple, the Littles, go to the orphanage to get a little brother for their young son, George, played by Jonathan Lipnicki. Imagine George's surprise when they bring home a mouse.
The Littles, played by Geena Davis and British actor Hugh Laurie, fall for Stuart at the orphanage when the mouse offers advice on who to, and not to, adopt. The proprietress of the orphanage suggests they adopt "within their own species," which just serves to seal the decision for the Littles.
Of course, George at first hates his little brother – he had a human in mind. But Stuart proves to be useful in other ways; for one thing, he can track down errant ping pong balls. Another hard case for Stuart to bowl over is Snowbell, the cat. When Snowbell learns of Stuart's arrival, she says, "They go to the orphanage to adopt a son, and they bring home a mouse. I need a drink."
Stuart teaches the Little family how to be Big, and, ultimately, they all live happily ever after – after many of life's Little lessons, that is. This is not to say the movie is saccharine. From all reviews, it's anything but, and it's highly touted for the whole family.
The technical mastery of Imageworks has come in for high praise in the digital creation of Stuart. "More than half a million computer-generated hairs make up Stuart's head.," the production notes read. One has to imagine White, a seasoned New Yorker columnist, tipping over in his chair at the Algonquin Roundtable.
Michael J Fox is Stuart's voice, with a score of well-known personalities vocally backing up other characters.
The movie is rated PG for "brief language."
It starts Thursday, Dec. 30 at Market Square East.

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