Case Number 01944: Small Claims Court


Sony // 1999 // 84 Minutes // Rated PG
Reviewed by Judge Eric Profancik (Retired) // June 7th, 2002

The Charge

Little high, little low. Little hey, little ho!

The Case

Stuart Little is a great movie that can appeal to both children and adults: there's a cute mouse, some nice humor, great CGI, a good moral, and, quite simply, an excellent story. A movie like this would normally deserve a full review, but as this is a "re-issue," I will refer you to Chief Justice Jackson's original review for the full verdict.

To take advantage of the upcoming release of Stuart Little 2, Columbia TriStar has dipped into its vaults and released a new version of the original film. This new version is triumphantly called the "Deluxe Edition." However, be absolutely forewarned that this is double-dipping at its worst!

Yes, this is a terrible, hideous, and blatant display of double-dipping. There is very, very, very little new to be found on this re-issue; and, thusly, there is absolutely no need for you to buy this new edition if you already own the previous version. The same video and audio transfers were utilized for the deluxe edition and almost all of the original bonus supplements are exactly included. Much to the dismay of Chief Justice Jackson and myself, the isolated music score was removed from this deluxe edition. And, Columbia did include different trailers: SL2 teaser, Kermit's Swamp Years, Maggie and the Ferocious Beast, The Trumpet Of The Swan, and Little Secrets.

Don't get me wrong, the transfers and supplements are top notch, but Columbia TriStar should be ashamed for trying putting out this new edition. Why? Because this edition really isn't "deluxe" and worthy of purchase. According to the packaging, it's the new Stuart Little 2 bonus materials that will make you want to own this disc. Unfortunately, these new supplements are extremely flimsy and shallow. You get three new items:

* The theatrical teaser (not the full trailer) for SL2

* On-the-set of Stuart Little 2

* A Little Look with Stuart

Most people don't care about trailers. I love them, but a simple teaser trailer doesn't motivate me. The "on-the-set" piece is only four minutes long and is pure fluff; no insightful information because the movie isn't out yet. And, the "little look" is a silly game that gets boring very quickly. Putting these new SL2 tidbits do not equal the loss of the isolated audio score.

Overall, I agree with everything that Chief Justice Jackson stated about this film. It's warm, funny, and a lot of fun. Though I really can't stand Jonathan Lipnicki; I think he's a terrible child actor.

One cautionary last word: I am not sure of the video transfer format for this disc. On Amazon, you can only buy the Deluxe Edition in widescreen; on, DVD Planet, and, you can only purchase the full frame Deluxe Edition. I read the packaging of my version and it has this conflicting information: "Full Frame Presentation"; "Digitally Mastered Audio and Anamorphic Video." I don't know what to think, but I'm inclined to believe that only a pan and scan is available. With a widescreen TV, I set the TV to receive a widescreen signal and that's what I thought I was watching. I then set the TV to normal mode and watched part of the movie and did not see any black bars on the top and bottom. Buyer beware! Read your packaging before you walk out of the store!

So, what are your choices?
* If you own SL on DVD already, there's no need to buy this Deluxe Edition.
* If you don't already own it on DVD, then you need to be careful:
* Is the deluxe version available in widescreen? If not, buy the Collector's Edition.
* Do I want the isolated audio score as a bonus feature? If so, buy the Collector's Edition.
* Do I want the SL2 bonus features? If so, buy the Deluxe Edition.

This movie can be a great addition to any DVD collection. But just be careful of what you're buying!

In the end, due to the video transfer confusion and the removal of the isolated music score, it's best to stay away from the Deluxe Edition and buy the Collector's Edition.

Review content copyright © 2002 Eric Profancik; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2016 HipClick Designs LLC

Scales of Justice
Judgment: 90

Perp Profile
Studio: Sony
Video Formats:
* Full Frame

Audio Formats:
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround (English)

* English

Running Time: 84 Minutes
Release Year: 1999
MPAA Rating: Rated PG

Distinguishing Marks
* Stuart's Central Park Adventure Game
* Audio Commentary with Director and Animation Supervisor
* Audio Commentary with Visual Effects Supervisor
* Visual Effects Featurettes
* Read-Along with Stuart
* Artists' Screen Tests
* Deleted Scenes with Director's Commentary
* Visual Effects Gag Reel
* Production Gag Reel
* Boat Race Early Concept Reel
* Music Videos
* Stuart Little 2 Teaser Trailer
* On-the-Set with Stuart Little 2
* A Little Look at Stuart Little 2
* Scrapbook
* Talent Files
* TheCATrical Trailers

* IMDb

* Official Site