Give Stuart Little 2 The Oscars Recognition It Deserves, by Rob Minkoff, Director Of Stuart Little 2
If you are like me – and I’m assuming correctly that many of you are – you too are baffled by the neglect shown by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences towards Stuart Little 2, accolades-wise.
It seems that it could be nothing but intentional that a movie which made $170 million (the budget doesn’t matter) could be so savagely ignored by an institution that claims to honour the finest motion pictures, whether they feature the rescue of an army private, the sinking of an unsinkable ship, or a mouse flying a plane.
17 years ago, Stuart returned to our cinema screens after the fans pleaded – nay, clamoured – for more Little. “Please,” said the fan-mail sent to me, Rob Minkoff, director of Stuart Little 2, “We need to know what’s happened to Stu”.
Sure, he may be Little in name, but in cinematic legacy? Absolutely massive.
And yet, when the Oscars came the following year, not once was Stuart Little 2 mentioned. Now, it’s important to bear in mind that Stuart Little 2, directed by me, Rob Minkoff, was eligible for nomination in numerous categories. That’s right. The movie that has been called “The Godfather of semi-animated mouse-based family movies” was snubbed, big time.
Look, was it unreasonable to ask for a Best Picture nomination? You know what, no. It wasn’t. It wasn’t unreasonable. Every film nominated for Best Picture that year was inferior to Stuart Little 2 in countless ways.
The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers: where was the stunt-work to rival Stuart in his toy plane?
Chicago: where was the delightful score by acclaimed composer Alan Silvestri?
The Pianist: where was the light-hearted yet emotionally and intellectually complex writing by Bruce Joel Rubin? Where was the depth, god-damnit?
And since then, what has gone on to win Best Picture in the 17 years following? Each film more inferior to Stuart Little 2 than the last. Birdman? It’s been done before, except that time it was Mouseman, and it was called Stuart Little 2. Million Dollar Baby? Sure, pal. Try multi-million dollar mouse.
Okay, I’m willing to accept that maybe Best Picture was a bit of a stretch. And let’s be honest, it’s not like this kind of decision is without precedent. Remember back in 1995, when Braveheart won Best Picture, despite the far superior Babe being nominated? Yeah, I see you, Academy. Why are you so reluctant to honour films with talking animals? Do you hate animals, Academy? Cause that’s what it feels like. You’re stuck in the past, Academy. Get with the talking-animal programme.
And what about the acting? How incredibly reductive of the Academy to assume that the Academy Award for Best Actor could only be given for a live-action performance. We got fucking Michael J. Fox for this thing. Michael J. Fox. Have you heard of Back to the Future? Oh yeah, of course you have, you gave it THE OSCAR FOR BEST FUCKING SOUND EDITING.
Or how about Melanie Griffith for Best Actress? Do you know how hard it is to play a fucking canary when you’re a human? And yet you give the Academy Award to Nicole Kidman for playing Virginia Woolf. No prizes for guessing whether Virginia Woolf was a canary (she wasn’t. She wasn’t even a wolf).
Do you realise we got Lipnicki for this shit? Jonathan Lipnicki? If you don’t recognise his name, you might know him better as the best child actor of all time. We thought he was a fucking lock for Best Supporting Actor.
“Look,” I hear you say. “Rob Minkoff, director of Stuart Little 2.” “Yes,” I reply. “My name is Rob Minkoff, and I directed Stuart Little 2, along with movies like The Haunted Mansion (2003), Flypaper (2011), and, of course, Stuart Little (1999), which I doubt the Academy has even heard of.” You smile and nod. “Awards don’t matter, Rob. They’re just a big ol’ Academy circle-jerk. The best films of the year often don’t get any nominations at all.”
And you’re right, I suppose. Stuart Little 3: Call of the Wild didn’t even get a cinematic release.
Written by Rob Minkoff, Director of Stuart Little 2