General News

Premiere offers a 'Little' glitz for a good cause

By:
Mar 19, 2001 | 11:50am EST

"Stuart Little" made its grand debut at the Village Theatre in Westwood on Dec. 5.

Academy Award winner Geena Davis, Jonathan Lipnicki ("Jerry Maguire"), Nathan Lane ("The Birdcage") and others strolled down the red carpet in honor of "Stuart Little" while benefiting the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation.

"It's a terrific event for us," said John Calley, the event chairman for the diabetes foundation. "It helps us in two important ways: One, of course, is the awareness of diabetes and the other is that it's a substantial amount of money being raised for diabetes today."

Director Rob Minkoff ("The Lion King") brings the comedic adventure of a little mouse searching for a real home to the big screen. The film is based on the classic book by E.B. White.

"It's about someone (Stuart Little) who is different and searching for a family," said Lane. "I play Snowbell, like the Swedish prize. Snowbell the cat, who is very threatened by Stuart being adopted, so he plots to get rid of him."

Stuart Little (voiced by "Spin City's" Michael J. Fox) embarks on a grand adventure after being adopted by the Littles, a human family played by Davis, Lipnicki and Hugh Laurie.

"I got involved five years ago," said producer Doug Wick. "Columbia Pictures owned the book. It took a few years to get the script right.

"And then we had to start doing research and development because the technology didn't exist until 10 minutes before we started shooting."

The technical aspects of filming didn't really concern Dustin Hoffman, Meg Tilly, Mimi Rogers, Leah Thompson and other celebrities who just wanted to check out a family classic with their families.

Even former first lady Nancy Reagan, who is also a benefit committee chairwoman for the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation, joined in the "Stuart Little" fun.

"It's great. I went from my last film playing an assassin -- now I'm mother of a mouse," said Davis.

With Leeza Gibbons, Debra Farantino and singer Trisha Yearwood at the premiere, the only question was: "Where's the 'big cheese'"?

At the premiere, the biggest mouse since Mickey and Mighty was nowhere to be spotted.

"Some of the challenge during filming was that he (Stuart Little) wasn't there. It's funny, he never showed up to the set," joked Davis.

"Stuart Little" opens in theaters Dec. 17.

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