"Lilo & Stitch 2: Stitch Has a Glitch"
by Kevin Carr
|| MOVIE: ***1/2 (out of 5 stars)
DVD EXPERIENCE: ** (out of 5 stars)
Chris Sanders as STITCH
Dakota Fanning as LILO
Tia Carrere as NANI
David Ogden Stiers as JUMBA
Kevin McDonald as PLEAKLEY
Kunewa Mook as KUMU
Jason Scott Lee as DAVID
Directed by: Tony Leondis and Michael LeBash
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When it comes to “Lilo & Stitch,” I have to admit that I’m a bit biased. I really think the characters are cute. It’s one of the most clever, original and warm Disney films in the past decade. I loved the original movie, including its style and animation.
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Even the television show is fun to watch. Normally, these Disney-films-turned-television-shows are an excuse for substandard animation and weak stories. And while the “Lilo & Stitch” television show isn’t as slick as the feature, it’s still a great little show.
For some reason, the newest film “Lilo & Stitch 2: Stitch Has a Glitch” has been labeled “2.” For those who keep up on these things (read as: reviewers and parents of young children), there already was a sequel called “The Stitch Movie.” It was basically the set-up for the animated series a few years ago. So, this really should be #3, but who’s counting?
In this film, Stitch is starting to act funky around Lilo and her family. At first, Lilo insists that his goodness level is still high. However, when Stitch wigs out and starts causing problems, he’s sure his badness level is rising. With the help of Jumba, they discover that his molecules are losing energy because he was never fully charged in the first place. (I know this is kinda weak, but work with me here. It’s a kid’s show.)
While Lilo is struggling to live up to her mother’s skill at the hula, Stitch is slowly going nuts. Jumba is frantically trying to find a way to recharge the little guy while Pleakley is desperately trying to help David land a relationship with Nani.
The story is somewhat crumbly, but the real charm of “Lilo & Stitch” are the characters and their interactions. By being set in Hawaii, there’s plenty of great scenery and chances for Lilo to spout off about Elvis. The best parts of this film are when Lilo and Stitch interact.
For the voice of Lilo in this film, Disney snagged young phenom actress Dakota Fanning. While I’m a huge fan of this little girl, she is a bit wasted in this role. I don’t see much of a difference between this Lilo and the Lilo in past shows. She does a great job with the role, however, and offers the same energy and fun I’ve grown accustomed to with Lilo.
The DVD comes with a few bonus features, although I would have liked to see more. There’s a short cartoon called “The Origin of Stitch” which isn’t all that inspired and features a newly redesigned Stitch. He’s a little skinnier and not as spunky as we’ve seen before.
There’s also a music video for the main theme song “Hawaiian Rollercoaster Ride” by Jump5, one of the Radio Disney bands. There are two games on the disc. “Jumba’s Experiment Profiler” offers a multiple choice game as it cycles through Stitch’s 625 cousins. There’s also a “Where’s Pleakley?” game, similar to the “Where’s Waldo” books, only you need to find Pleakley in a crowd. I couldn’t get this one to work right with my remote control, and it seems to be a better bet to use a computer mouse.
It’s nice to see one of the Disney animated franchises keep its spirit throughout sequels and television shows. There’s no crazed hamster in this episode, but not to worry. He’s scheduled to be there for the next “Lilo & Stitch” sequel: “Leroy & Stitch,” due out next year.
Specifications: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound. DTS 5.1 Digital Surround Sound. Family-friendly widescreen (1.78:1) - Enhanced for 16x9 televisions. French and Spanish language tracks. English language subtitles for the hearing impaired.