Friday, August 13, 2010

What's the big deal about "Stuart Little"?

That's right, people.  I thought the book Stuart Little stunk.  I hardly ever say this about a book, but I liked the movie better.  The book was very disconnected, the characters weren't very likeable, and even Stuart made some decisions that I completely didn't understand. 

In the spirit of full disclosure, I saw the movie with Geena Davis first.  I thought it was cute and heartwarming, a bit cheesy, but overall a good family flick.  The only parallel I can draw between the movie and the book is that the main character in both is a mouse who lives with a family named the Littles.  That is where the similarities end.  In the movie, Stuart is adopted; in the book, he's born to Mrs. Little and just happens to be small and look like a mouse.  In the movie, a main plot point is about Stuart's parents and what happened to them; in the book, the main plot point is Stuart pursuing his friend who is a bird.  They are nothing alike! 

One very weird part in the book is when Stuart comes to a town during his road trip in pursuit of the bird and he asks a 2 inch tall girl who happens to live in the town out on a date.  When his plans to take her on a canoe trip are thwarted when some kids ruin his souvenier size canoe, he throws a fit and doesn't even want to hang out with the girl so she leaves.  The book ends with him driving off into the sunset (okay, actually he's driving north) still looking for the bird Margalo.  That's it.  Did E.B. White just get bored with writing the story?  That's how I felt when it ended.

We had a Trumpet of the Swan lined up to read next.  I had some qualms about it after the Stuart Little experience, but we read through Chapter 2 yesterday and so far so good.  Let's just let it be known that I'll read Tom Thumb Charlotte's Web and I'll probably read him Trumpet of the Swan (based on what we've read so far), but we'll pass on Stuart Little as a read aloud.  Bring on the movie and some popcorn.


c(*oo*)o said...

Hi, I followed your link from the WTM forum. We are almost done reading Stuart Little as a read aloud with my DD(5) (my first time) and I kind of feel the same way. And, I haven't even seen the movie yet but we plan to after finishing the book. It's not that interesting, clever or witty. The concept that he's born a mouse to human parents is weird and hard to get used to. Too many nautical terms. And I agree, a bit disjointed. I'm glad it's not just me.

We plan to read Charlotte's Web and Trumpet of the Swan next. Thanks for your review.

Anonymous said...

I agree. I pre-read Stuart Little and hated it. I felt the "date" with the 2-inch teenager girl was inappropriate in a "children's book," especially when Stuart tells her to not tell her parents that she's sneaking out of the house to meet a complete stranger near a river, because they might not understand. What?

We will not be reading this book, but we did read Charlotte's Web. It was okay, but not as special as the movie. And I thought Trumpet of the Swan was stupid. Just plain stupid.

I don't understand why everyone makes such a big deal about E.B. White's stories. His use of language is superb, his stories (other than C.W.) leave a lot to be desired, IMO.

Jennifer in MamaLand said...

Visiting from WTM! I also thought it was weird. But I had a neat conversation about this with my dd6 and apparently, she had some decent literary take-away despite its strangenesses.