In this uninspired sequel, we find aliens Pleakley and Dr. Jumba (who pursued Stitch in 2002’s Lilo & Stitch) living with Lilo, her sister Nani, and Stitch (aka Experiment 626). What nobody knows is that Dr. Jumba has brought along the 625 other experiments with him, each in a “deactivated,” marble-sized shape. Captain Gantu (the baddie from the first film) is sent back to Earth by rodent-like Dr. Hamsterviel (get it?), who constantly yells in a grating faux-German accent. Gantu’s mission: Bring back the 625 experiments for Hamsterviel’s own evil purposes.
With Stitch! The Movie, gone is the warmth of the original Lilo & Stitch and replaced with animation and dialogue that could’ve come from any B-grade, 2-D Saturday morning cartoon. A few of the bigger scenes show sparks of classic, fluid Disney animation, but they’re not enough to salvage this “movie” (its running time is barely over an hour). This film is a perfect example of the direct-to-DVD titles that have devalued the Disney brand for the past decade – to the point where parents now trust the Pixar brand more than Disney for their family entertainment (and rightfully so).
Unfortunately, the ending of Stitch! The Movie leaves the door wide open for sequels – which Disney has already exploited with the direct-to-DVD titles Lilo & Stitch 2 and Leroy & Stitch. I don’t know if these films continue the story from Stitch! The Movie. Frankly, I don’t care – and neither should you. There are so many better Disney films (not to mention every Pixar film) to share with your kids. See them. Don’t see this.
Rating: 1.5 stars (out of 5).
Will your kids like it?
- My 5-year-old son was entertained by Stitch! The Movie (in fact, he’s viewed it repeatedly, to my chagrin). But he asked a million questions while watching it – which means the plot is either too complex or too muddled for children his age. A sampling of his questions: “What happened?” “Why did he do that?” “Why is he mad?” “What is he doing?” “What are they doing?” “What’s that?” “What did they do?”
- Also, I was surprised at a couple doses of questionable language. Dr. Jumba cheers on Stitch as Stitch chases Captain Gantu in their respective spaceships, telling Stitch to send a phaser “right up his afterburner.” Later, the butt fixation resurfaces as Gantu describes Stitch as a “pain in the rear.” I know, it’s not Scarface, but I didn’t think that kind of dialogue was appropriate for the audience who would see this film.
- There’s also a moment near the end where Stitch faces the possible fate of being sliced in half by a laser beam at the hands of Dr. Hamsterviel. It passes relatively quickly, but still…
Will your FilmMother want to see it?Even if she liked Lilo & Stitch, tell your FilmMother to avoid Stitch! The Movie. (I did a lot of internal groaning and eye-rolling as I sat through it.) Again, choose any Pixar movie or any of the many classic Disney titles instead.
Stitch! The Movie
* Directors: Tony Craig, Roberts Gannaway
* Screenwriters: Roberts Gannaway, Jess Winfield
* Stars (voices): Daveigh Chase, Chris Sanders, Tia Carrere, David Ogden Stiers, Kevin McDonald, Kevin Michael Richardson, Jeff Bennett
* MPAA Rating: G
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