[Screen It]


(1999) (Geena Davis, Jonathan Lipnicki) (PG)

Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Tense Scenes
None Minor Moderate Moderate Minor
Minor None Heavy None Minor
Smoking Tense Family
Topics To
Talk About
None None Mild Mild Mild

Children’s Drama: After being adopted by a full-sized human family, a small, talking mouse tries to fit in with his new parents, brother and a series of cats who want to make trouble for him.
Mr. and Mrs. Little (HUGH LAURIE & GEENA DAVIS) are a loving, New York City couple who’ve always wanted another brother for their young son, George (JONATHAN LIPNICKI). Thus, they head off to an orphanage and much to their surprise, find that they’re most taken with Stuart (voice of MICHAEL J. FOX), a small, talking mouse.

Unfortunately, George isn’t pleased when he discovers that the new brother his parents brought home is a rodent, but the Littles do what they can to make sure that Stuart is as comfortable as possible. Of course, that means making sure that the pet cat, Snowbell (voice of NATHAN LANE), doesn’t eat the newest family member.

While Snowbell tries to keep Stuart’s presence a secret from his moocher buddy, Monty (voice of STEVE ZAHN), the mouse and George soon become friends and the little fellow meets his extended family including Uncle Crenshaw (JEFFERY JONES), Grandma Estelle (ESTELLE GETTY) and Cousin Edgar (BRIAN DOYLE-MURRAY).

Despite that, the Littles realize that Stuart’s missing something in his life and thus return to the orphanage where they ask Mrs. Keeper (JULIA SWEENEY) about Stuart’s real family. Not long after that, Mr. and Mrs. Stout (voices of BRUNO KIRBY & JENNIFER TILLY) show up, claiming to be Stuart’s parents and they return him to their summer home overlooking the fairway of a miniature golf course.

With a discovery about the Stouts sending Stuart back across town and through Central Perk, he must contend with Monty and some hired alley cats, Smokey (voice of CHAZZ PALMINTERI), Lucky (voice of JIM DOUGHAN) and Red (voice of DAVID ALAN GRIER) as the Littles send out their own search parties to bring him home.

Younger kids probably will, especially if they enjoyed the talking animals found in the "Babe" films or are familiar with the popular children’s story.
For brief language.
  • STUART is a humble and polite, real-sized mouse who can speak and bravely faces adversity in the form of dangerous alley cats and familial longings.
  • HUGH LAURIE & GEENA DAVIS play the loving and kind parents who only want the best for Stuart.
  • JONATHAN LIPNICKI plays their son who initially isn’t pleased with having a mouse as his brother, but soon warms up to him.
  • SNOWBELL is the family cat who hates the idea of a mouse being his master, and thus sets out to drive Stuart from his home, but eventually changes his view and saves his new friend.
  • SMOKEY is the alley cat who’s hired to take care of Stuart.


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.

    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).

    Here’s a quick look at the content found in this PG rated, children’s film. Very brief and minor profanity ("damn" and ‘hell") earn the film its rating and a few colorful phrases might prove to be of imitative fodder for some younger kids.

    Although mostly played for laughs and/or adventure, a few scenes may prove to be suspenseful or somewhat scary to some kids, but such reactions are dependent, of course, on any given child’s age, level of maturity and tolerance for such material. In relation to those scenes (and others) some characters exhibit bad attitudes (with most directed at Stuart).

    Beyond that and some material related to orphanages and longing for one’s family, the rest of the film’s categories are void of any major objectionable material. Nonetheless, should you still be concerned about the film’s content and its appropriateness for anyone in your home, we suggest that you take a closer look at our more detailed listings.

  • None.
  • After we hear that Monty gets gas from eating meatloaf, the cat tells Snowbell to line him up and "light a match." Later, we hear him pass gas.
  • George isn’t initially happy with his parent’s choice for his new brother and states that he’s not his brother because he’s a mouse.
  • Snowbell initially wants to eat Stuart, is then upset that he’s a "higher ranking" family member than himself, and then gets some alley cats to take care of his "problem."
  • Another kid at a miniature boat race is mean to George (telling him someone has to finish last) and then proceeds to ram the other contestants’ boats with his remote-controlled one.
  • The Stouts fake being Stuart’s parents in a deal with Smokey (who has both toward Stuart in wanting to kill him - but in the fashion of a children’s story).
  • Snowbell lies to Stuart about the Littles reaction to him being gone, but later tells the truth and saves Stuart from Smokey and the other cats.
  • Some kids may find scenes where Snowbell approaches Stuart as somewhat suspenseful.
  • The same may hold true for a comical scene where Stuart accidentally ends up in the laundry and then in the side-loading washing machine (where he nervously watches the water rising, is then underwater, and finally gets washed out onto the floor when Mrs. Little saves him).
  • We see Stuart tied up and lying on some railroad tracks as a model train approaches, but it turns out he had tied himself up with his own tail and jumps out of the way without any harm coming to him.
  • Stuart must pilot his miniature sailboat through other, wrecked boats and avoid a mean kid’s boat during a sailboat race.
  • In a scene set in Central Park at night, several cats approach Stuart in a menacing fashion. He then takes off in his toy car with them in hot pursuit. Going through a sewer pipe, he just manages to jump to safety before going over a miniature waterfall.
  • Stuart has another encounter with Smokey and the other cats in a tree at night (where Smokey gives the order "Scratch ‘em both"). As Stuart rests on a branch, Smokey pushes it down so that the other cats can try to get him.
  • Toy guns: Seen on toy figures in George’s miniature town setup.
  • Phrases: "Talk to the butt" (what Snowbell tells Stuart as he walks away, tail in the air), "Nuts," "Lilly-livered, one-eyed son of a prairie dog," "Shut up," "Loser," "Jerk," "This stinks," "I’m in deep poopy-doo," "Moron" and "Broad" (for a female).
  • Although the actions are cat upon cat (and not human to cat), some kids may get the wrong idea about being victorious (how the movie ends) by having several cats falling into a body of water. In addition, during the end credits we see a bowling ball land on a tennis racket that sends Snowbell flying out through the window.
  • As several cats quickly pass by in the foreground of a shot already accompanied by suspenseful music, the sudden movement may startle some smaller kids.
  • A heavy amount of adventurously suspenseful and occasionally ominous music plays during certain scenes.
  • None.
  • 1 damn (with another possible one that also could have also been "dang"), 1 hell and 1 use of "God" as exclamations.
  • None.
  • None.
  • Stuart asks the Stouts (his presumed parents), why they didn’t want him and then put him in an orphanage. We later learn, however, that his real parents died long ago.
  • The Littles worry about Stuart when he’s missing, while he thinks (from Snowbell’s lie) that his new family doesn’t care about him anymore.
  • The fact that while Stuart is different from the rest of his family, he doesn’t let that bother or stop him.
  • Kids in orphanages.
  • Although the actions are cat upon cat (and not human to cat), some kids may get the wrong idea about being victorious (how the movie ends) by having several cats falling into a body of water. In addition, during the end credits we see a bowling ball land on a tennis racket that sends Snowbell flying out through the window.
  • Snowbell pounces toward Stuart and we then see only Stuart’s tale sticking out from the cat’s mouth (but he’s forced to spit out the new family member).
  • Snowbell jumps onto an ironing board sending Stuart flying through the air and crashing into a wall and then briefly chases him through the house.
  • During a miniature sailboat race, a mean kid pilots his remote-controlled boat into and over other contestants’ boats, damaging or destroying them. George then tackles this mean kid after he calls Stuart a stupid rat.
  • Smokey orders that Stuart be "scratched out" and later he and other cats talk about giving Stuart "a break" by breaking his arms and legs and carving him up (none of which occur).
  • Mrs. Stout hits Mr. Stout with her purse.
  • Snowbell causes several cats to fall into a pool of water, while Stuart lets a tree branch go that hits Smokey in the face and similarly sends him falling into the water.
  • During the end credits we see a bowling ball land on a tennis racket that sends Snowbell flying out through the window.

  • Reviewed December 9, 1999 / Posted December 17, 1999

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