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Directed by Scott Mosier
Yarrow Cheney
Produced by Chris Meledandri
Janet Healy
Written by David Reynolds
Based on Stellaluna
by Janell Cannon
Starring Miley Cyrus
Christine Baranski
Queen Latifah
Narrated by Pamela Reed
Music by Harry Gregson-Williams
Edited by Steven Liu
Universal Pictures
Distributed by Universal Pictures
Release date December 8, 2023
Running time 87 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $75 million
Box office $393 million

Stellaluna is a 2023 American computer-animated family film produced by Illumination and directed by Scott Mosier and Yarrow Cheney from a screenplay by David Reynolds. Based on the 1993 book of the same name by Janell Cannon, Stellaluna stars Miley Cyrus, Christine Baranski, and Queen Latifah, with narration by Pamela Reed. It tells the story of the titular fruit bat who ends up in a nest and befriends three baby birds and their mother and learns to behave like a bird after being separated from her mother in an attack by an owl.

Stellaluna was released theatrically in the United States on December 8, 2023 by Universal Pictures to positive reviews for its animation, Cyrus' performance, and faithfulness to the source material, and earned $393 million worldwide on a $75 million budget. The film received a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature.


The film begins with a friendly spotted eagle-owl named Eddie Van Eager who tells an incredible story that takes place in a warm and sultry forest far, far, away, where a mother fruit bat had a new baby, Stellaluna. One night, a large eagle-owl attacks the bats, knocking Stellaluna out of her mother's embrace, and she falls into the forest below, before finally ending up in a sparrow's nest filled with three baby birds named Pip, Flitter, and Flap. The mother bird will let Stellaluna be part of the family only if she eats bugs, does not hang by her feet, and sleeps at night.

When the babies grow, they learn to fly. Later on, when Stellaluna, Pip, Flitter, and Flap are out playing, it gets dark and the birds go without her because they will not be able to see in the dark. Stellaluna keeps flying, but when her wings hurt, she stops to rest. When she does, she hangs by her thumbs, fearing she will break her promise with Mother Bird. Soon another bat comes to tell her why she is hanging by her thumbs. As she tells the other bats her story, Mother Bat reunites with her, and Stellaluna finally understands why she is so different. The owl attacks again, but, with courage, Stellaluna manages to drive the owl away.

Excited about learning how to be a bat, Stellaluna decides to find Pip, Flitter, and Flap in order to share her new experiences. After being unable to find them in a cave, Stellaluna sinks into despair, but Mother Bat sings a song that proves that bats don't give up, restoring her daugther's confidence. A grizzly bear chases them, but Pip, Flitter, Flap, and Mother Bird help Stellaluna and Mother Bat defeat the bear. They agree to join Stellaluna and the bats at night, but find that they are unsuited to flying at night and nearly crash. The owl attacks them for the final time. Stellaluna rescues Pip, Flitter, and Flap and defeats the owl once and for all. The bats and birds safely reach Mother Bird's nest, and they decide that while they may be different, they are still friends and family as the film ends.


  • Miley Cyrus as Stellaluna, a young fruit bat who was adopted by birds.
  • Christine Baranski as Mother Bird, a sparrow and the mother of Pip, Flitter, and Flap.
  • Julia Roberts as Estrella a fruit bat and the mother of Stellaluna.
  • Idris Elba as The Great White Owl, is a White Owl who swoop down into Fruit Bat
  • Pirece Gagnon as Pip
  • Brooklynn Prince as Flitter
  • Abby Ryder Fortson as Flap
  • J Lee as a Askari he is a Spider and he is a superhero so different.

Box office

Stellaluna was released on December 8, 2023, and grossed $195 million in its opening weekend. It grossed $193 million in the United States and Canada, and $200 million in other territories, for a worldwide total of $393 million by the end of the theatrical run on March 7, 2024. Produced on a $75 million budget, it was a box office success.

Critical response

Stellaluna has a 90% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 135 reviews. The consensus reads, "Led by a winning performance by Miley Cyrus, Stellaluna raises Illumination's proof of a heartwarming take on the Janell Cannon book about the lovable titular bat". Metacritic signed the film to a score of 75 out of 100 based on 30 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews". Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film a grade of "A" on an A+ to F scale.