Australian Council on Children and the Media

Stuart Little 2

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Short takes

Parental guidance under 5 (Viol.)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Stuart Little 2
  • a review of Stuart Little 2 completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 15 September 2002.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 5 May find some of the scenes a little frightening
Children aged 5-7 Some children in this age group may need some parental guidance
Children over the age of 8 Could see this with or without parental guidance.

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines.

Name of movie: Stuart Little 2
Classification: G
Consumer advice lines: None
Length 99 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

Stuart Little (voice of Michael J. Fox) is a talking mouse who lives as if he is a human member of the Little family, father Frederick (Hugh Laurie), mother Eleanor (Geena Davis), brother George and baby sister Martha. Stuart is keen to prove himself and feels frustrated by his mother’s protectiveness. One day on the way home from school in his miniature red sports car an injured bird Margalo (voice of Melanie Griffith) falls into the car. A large falcon, Falcon has been chasing her and continues to chase them until they get safely home.

Margalo is welcomed into the Little home and Stuart and she become close friends. It is revealed, however, that Margalo and Falcon work together as con artists, and Margalo is forced by Falcon’s threats to betray her new family and steal Eleanor’s precious ring. Not realising this, Stuart thinks Margalo is in danger and sets off with Snowbell, the family cat, to rescue her. The two friends are often in great danger, but eventually find Margalo who helps them attack and defeat Falcon and returns the ring to Mrs Little.

Margalo apologises to the Little family and is forgiven, then fulfils her dream of migrating south with the other birds.

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

There is some violence in the movie, including:

  • graphic description of how Falcons kill their prey, that is by dropping them from a great height
  • Stuart Little is later dropped from a very tall building, but lands on a garbage truck
  • Snowbell is jammed into a paint can which rolls out onto a ledge and appears about to topple
  • Stuart Little’s is flying a propeller driven airplane in the final scene which collides head on with Falcon.

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

There are a few scenes which may scare very young children:

  • Falcon swoops very suddenly out of the sky after Margalo has fallen into Stuart’s car
  • Falcon is very threatening throughout
  • Snowbell, Stuart and Margalo are all placed in very dangerous situations at the end of the movie

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

Younger children in this age group may be scared by the above mentioned scenes.

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

Because of the unreality of the characters and situation, older children are not likely to have a problem with the movie.

Over thirteeninfo

Children over the age of thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic physical harm or threats, molestation or sexual assault and / or threats from aliens or the occult.

None of concern

Sexual references

There are no sexual references.

Nudity and sexual activity

There is no nudity or sexual activity.

Use of substances

There is no substance use.

Coarse language

There is no course language.

In a nutshell

The take home message of the movie is that friendship and loyalty can triumph over evil. Another message is that you can achieve what you want to, no matter what the obstacles. “You are as big as you feel.”

The issues of lying and stealing are addressed, although simplistically resolved without real consequences.

There are quite a bit of ‘bathroom humour’ (references to litter trays and so on) which many children will find amusing.

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