Director/Writer: Rob Minkoff/M.Night Shyamalan and Greg Brooker
Cast: Michael J. Fox, Geena Davis, Hugh Laurie, Jonathan Lipnicki, Nathan Lane, Jennifer Tilly
Rating: PG (for brief language)
Stuart, a young mouse in the city orphanage, is adopted by Mr. and Mrs. Little, a human couple, despite the fact that the orphanage discourages “inter-species adoption.” Their birth son, George, who had asked for a younger brother, is disappointed that Stuart is a mouse and refuses to talk to or play with him. The Little’s cat, Snowbell, is angry and embarrassed that a mouse is a part of the family, and plots to get rid of him. Meanwhile, Stuart begins to question Mr. and Mrs. Little about his “real family” and says he feels “an empty space inside” himself. Just when George accepts him as a brother and Stuart begins to feel secure in his new family, Stuart’s birth parents, Mr. and Mrs. Stout show up. They tell Mr. and Mrs. Little that they want Stuart to come home with them. Reluctantly, Mr. and Mrs. Little tell Stuart that he should go with the Stouts because they are his “real family”… but are they?
Points to Consider
- This movie may remind some adoptees and their families of the challenges involved in transracial adoption.
- Some of the ways in which adoption can affect sibling relationships are illustrated in this movie.
What Do You Think?
- Under what circumstances might it make sense for a child to be placed back with his birth family? Who do you think should have a voice in this decision?
- “I’m not Stout, I’m a Little! I’m Stuart Little!” Many adoptees are renamed by their adoptive families and some may not find out their birth names till later in life, if ever. To what extent do you think names and identity are intertwined for adoptees?
- If you are uncomfortable with any of the directions that this movie takes or decisions that characters in this story make, does the fact that this is a children’s movie make it easier for you to watch and enjoy? Do you think your reactions might be different if Stuart were not a mouse, but a human child? What messages do you think this movie sends to adopted children?