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STUDIO: Buena Vista
MSRP: $29.99
RATED:
PG
RUNNING TIME: 72 Minutes
SPECIAL FEATURES:
• Bonus Animated Short: "The Origin Of Stitch"
• "Hawaiian Rollercoaster Ride" music video by Jump 5
• Two Set-Top Games

The very idea of Disney’s direct-to-DVD movies scare me. I’m all for sequels. I’m already invested in the characters, so let me see more of them. But, for some reason, when Disney announces a direct-to-DVD sequel my stomach turns and my palms get sweaty. Why can’t they just leave well enough alone?

killstitch
"I’ve
killed a hell of a lot of people to get to this point, but I have only
one more. The last one. The one I’m driving to right now. The only one
left. And when I arrive at my destination, I am gonna kill Stitch."

Sometimes (as the case with Beauty and Beast: The Enchanted Christmas) my fears are well founded. But, most of the time (like the two Aladdin sequels), Disney spits out features that are enjoyable. Never as magical as the original (except in the case of Toy Story 2 – but that’s Pixar), but still worthwhile.

Where does Lilo & Stitch 2: Stitch Has a Glitch fit into this? Is it an abomination or a pleasant add-on to the original?

The Flick

something
Disney feared this when they hired Gene Simmons as voice talent.


For those concerned with the Stitch timeline, Lilo & Stitch 2 (and, I know you are out there) takes place after the original movie but before the first direct-to-DVD sequel – The Stitch Movie. I like that they went back to make a direct sequel to the original. I understand that Stitch is the more marketable character (and will sell more plush dolls, theme park tickets, etc.) but dropping poor Lilo from the title seemed harsh. Even for Disney.

Lilo & Stitch 2 opens with Stitch being a lot calmer than most of the first movie. He isn’t destroying anything and Lilo chronicles his “goodness” via a drawing that she colors (which is on the DVD’s cover too). Soon, however, Stitch starts acting up again. It is no fault of his own; something has gone wrong (a glitch – if you want to succumb to Disney’s rhyming title).

hairpie
Taking a maturing Lilo’s advice, Stitch tries hair pie.

Most of the movie, the human characters do not realize that anything is wrong with Stitch. They all just think he is a real asshole. Honest. Stitch will destroy something and Lilo or her sister will get all mad about it. They get mad and yell at Stitch. They never ask if something is wrong – they just assume he’s a cosmic dick.

Nice family.

something
"Fools! They doubted me! They said it couldn’t be done! But I will show them all! With this Barbie, this alien, and this ukelale, I command you…RISE ZOMBIE BARBIE!"

However, Stitch’s creator knows what is wrong and he begins to create a machine that will supply Stitch what he needs to calm down. Basically he’s building an interplanetary drugstore to get Stitch some Ritalin.

The thing that works best in the movie is the different plotlines. There are three separate plotlines at work (the Stitch glitch and the professor, Lilo performing in a Hula contest and David courting Nani). There isn’t a time when a character is randomly inserted when the animators have no real purpose for them (which happens in other Disney sequels).

vampire
Lilo, Stitch, learn that the smell of napalm in the morning does not, in fact, smell like victory.

This intertwining of plot lines helps keep the movie moving along at a nice pace. There isn’t any down time for the audience (child or adult) to become restless or bored.

The movie is also a scant 68 minutes, which also helps with the pace. It is a good length, however. I’d probably bitch if more movies were so short, but it fits here. I think, had they tried to cram in another 10 minutes, the movie would have started dragging in the third act.

That’s one of the pieces of magic with Stitch (and I include the first movie in this idea – to some degree). Stitch is one of those characters that seeing too much of would annoy the hell out of me. I like him a lot – in small doses. If they were to expand the movie – and thus more Stitch – I think I’d start hating him real quick.

animators
"Psst…hey Bob…wouldn’t it be funny if we swapped all the TV animation w/ stock 50s horror movies?"

"That’d be great! But won’t we get in trouble?"

"Naaaah, we’ll replace it all before the movie goes to print."

Recently, I was in Downtown Disney in Orlando and I noticed some over-saturating of Stitch. Stitch was EVERYWHERE. They were obviously promoting the impending DVD release as well as the revamped ride Stitch’s Great Escape at the Magic Kingdom (replacing the, much better, Alien Encounter).

I started feeling a lot of Stitch backlash. I’m not sure why – most of the time I love it when Disney markets (and cross-markets) their characters and movies well (I’m a marketing junkie). Stitch, however, can overstay his welcome when pushed down your throat.

The film’s multiple plotlines and length help divert the impending overdose of Stitch. That’s fantastic. It is the key to this movie being enjoyable. I was worried they’d say “Hey, the Stitch character is funny – let’s put him in every scene.”

I don’t know if the writers keyed in to this feeling as well, but the result was favorable either way. It helped elevate the film to the category of “Enjoyable direct-to-DVD movies from Disney.” The result could have been far worse. Anyone ever catch Cinderella 2?

7 out of 10

elvis
After discovering where the light switch was on her new lamp, Lilo refused to touch another lamp for the rest of her days.

The Look

This movie has a look very similar to the original. With Disney no longer churning out original feature-length animated films, the direct-to-DVD medium might be the only way to showcase the talents of those artists still working for the Rat.

I half expected this film to look like an episode of a Disney cartoon series. The look on those shows is usually OK for the characters with very flat backgrounds. There are times when it looks like some shortcuts were used in some of the animation style. For the most part, however, it appears that the animators were given the resources to make this movie feel as close to the original as possible.

7.5 out of 10

somethignhere
Professor Plum learns the hazards of lighting one’s farts at a nuclear test site.

The Noise

The sound is great. Technically, Disney has been churning out some quality DVDs recently and this is no exception. The film is presented in Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS 5.1 so the sound quality will give you no problems and probably exceed your expectations. All the sounds (music, effects, dialogue, etc.) come through perfectly.

This is especially good, because the voice talent does a fantastic job in this movie too. Tia Carrere is very good as Nani. Part of the plot is that Nani is always tired and overworked. Carrere inflects that in her work, but doesn’t overdue it. Also in tip top form is Dakota Fanning who takes on the role of Lilo. Thankfully this was animated and we don’t have to look into her eerily powerful eyes.

7 out of 10

The Goodies

There are only four extras on this disc. They are all pretty basic – but good fodder for a disc like this.

- “The Origin of Stitch” – This short cartoon has Stitch stumbling upon a computer that shows him how he was created from various animals and beasts. The box calls this a “bonus video” not an exclusive video – so I’m sure this is non-original content.

- Jump 5 Video – I want to jump off of something very tall after watching that. I don’t know who Jump 5 is and I hope I never hear about them again. That was the most annoying Pop Fest I’ve ever heard (including anything by Hanson).

- Two Set Top Games – There are two games included as well. These are pretty mindless set top games that will probably keep a 10 year old captivated for a few minutes.

4.5 out of 10

mike
A Monsters, Inc. reject tries to impress Lilo’s hiring manager.

The Artwork

The artwork definitely gives you the impression that Stitch is a more marketable character than Lilo. I don’t think Disney Marketing likes Lilo much. The 1st direct-to-DVD film is titled Stitch: The Movie and in this sequel she’s placed in the background. Not far into the background, but enough to get the point across – she’s second fiddle.

6.72 out of 10


Overall: 6.54 out of 10