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DISNEY

MOVIE INFO

Director:
Tony Craig, Robert Gannaway
Cast:
Zoe Caldwell, Tia Carrere, Daveigh Chase, Ving Rhames, Jason Scott Lee, Kevin McDonald, David Ogden Stiers
Writing Credits:
Jess Winfield

Tagline:
Stitch was experiment 626 ... meet the other 625!

Synopsis:
Get ready for more havoc on the Hawaiian Islands! Reuniting your favorite characters and the original voice talent from Lilo & Stitch - Stitch! The Movie follows the antics of Experiment 626, the lovable, troublemaking little alien who splashed down to earth and touched the lives of Lilo and her extended family.

Stitch, Pleakley and Dr. Jumba are all part of the household now. But what Lilo and Stitch don't know is that Dr. Jumba brought his first 625 experiments to Hawaii. It's up to Lilo and Stitch to save his out-of-this-world "ohana" from the evil Captain Gantu and put each experiment's unique powers to good use.

MPAA:
Rated G

DVD DETAILS
Presentation:
Widescreen 1.66:1/16x9
Audio:
English Dolby Digital 5.1
English DTS 5.1
French Dolby Digital 5.1
Spanish Dolby Surround 2.0
Subtitles:
English
Closed-captioned

Runtime: 60 min.
Price: $29.99
Release Date: 8/26/2003

Bonus:
• Trivia Challenge
• Experiment Finder
• Experiment Gallery
• Music Video
• Sneak Peeks


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RELATED REVIEWS


Stitch! The Movie (2003)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (August 29, 2003)

Another day, another Disney direct-to-video (DTV) sequel. Today we encounter an outgrowth of 2002’s hit Lilo & Stitch. In Stitch! The Movie, we start with a prologue in which we re-encounter Captain Gantu (Kevin Michael Richardson), the huge alien who pursued Stitch (Christopher Michael Sanders) in the original. He gets a job to head to Earth and find some mysterious object of value.

We then head to Hawaii to re-encounter our friends from the first flick. Stitch still lives with little Lilo (Daveigh Chase) and her sister Nani (Tia Carrere). In addition, two of the aliens from Lilo - mad scientist Dr. Jumba Jookiba (David Ogden Stiers) and Agent Pleakley (Kevin McDonald) – now reside with them. Nani’s sort of boyfriend David (Dee Bradley Baker) remains along for the ride.

Stitch still finds it hard to fit in with the locals. Despite the love of Lilo and the others, he feels lonely and without any real family. That might change soon, as we discover that Jumba possesses a ball that contains all 625 experiments that preceded Stitch. That’s why Gantu’s headed to Earth: Jumba’s former partner Dr. Hamsterviel (Jeff Bennett) wants to retrieve these critters.

Essentially the rest of the movie follows the battles between the various parties. Hamsterviel and his minions go to nefarious ends to get experiments one through 625. Stitch and Lilo try to fight them, and inevitably a couple of his siblings get unleashed. Secret agent Bubbles (Ving Rhames) even returns briefly to help stop Hamsterviel.

This DVD includes a promo for an upcoming TV series based on Lilo & Stitch. Not surprisingly, this flick basically acts as a method to set up that show. The series clearly will involve experiments one through 625, so Stitch attempts to create the scenario for it.

That seems like a fairly tacky premise for a $30 DVD; one could view Stitch as little more than a preview to entice us to watch a TV show. However, this fact doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s a bad flick. After all, 2000’s Buzz Lightyear of Star Command: The Adventure Begins also existed as little more than a teaser for a TV series, and it offered one of the better Disney DTV efforts.

Stitch doesn’t seem quite that amusing, and it also doesn’t approach the fun and charm of Lilo & Stitch. However, it presents a reasonably entertaining piece that appears much superior to the usual DTV dreck.

Admittedly, it shouldn’t work, and when we break down the pieces, it seems like a weak flick. The story appears awfully disjointed, as the movie jumps from one scenario to the next without a lot of cohesion. The film’s overriding theme – that of Stitch’s quest for family – comes across as feeble and forced. Oddly, the movie even makes Lilo an outcast among her friends again, despite the fact that this situation seemed resolved at the end of the original movie. It feels as though the filmmakers needed some sort of moral so they leaned back on the old “family” topic that worked the first time. It seems pointless and doesn’t aid the movie; Stitch would have been superior if they’d just made it into a fun romp and left out the sentimental stuff.

Despite all those flaws, I must admit I kind of enjoyed Stitch. A lot of my pleasure stemmed from low expectations. I’ve seen lots of Disney DTV flicks, and the vast majority are really quite bad. For every decent one, we’ll get three or four total duds. The simple fact that Stitch maintains any level of humor and entertainment makes it superior to most of these movies.

It also helps that almost all of the original voice actors return. The sole absentee comes from the David character, as Jason Scott Lee fails to reprise his work. I felt surprised that no other dropouts occurred, especially in the case of Rhames; Bubbles plays a very small role here, so I was shocked that he took the time to reappear.

But it’s good that he and the others did, for they help make Stitch feel like a higher quality production. As usual, the animation falls short of the levels expected from theatrical releases, but the work also seems stronger than for most DTV productions. Some of them look awfully clunky, and Stitch usually came across as reasonably smooth.

At the end of the day, I can’t claim that Stitch! The Movie offers anything remarkable or special. However, it doesn’t embarrass itself, which is more than I can say for most of Disney’s direct to video sequels. The film presents a reasonably entertaining and amusing piece that fans of the original should enjoy.

End credits footnote: Stick with the movie past their ending and you’ll get a little treat.


The DVD Grades: Picture B/ Audio B/ Bonus D

Stitch! The Movie appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.66:1 on this single-sided, double-layered DVD; the image has been enhanced for 16X9 televisions. The flick presented a good picture but not one that stood out as one of Disney’s best.

Sharpness mostly appeared positive. Some shots looked slightly soft, but those didn’t occur with great frequency, and they appeared to result from the inexpensive animation; cheap cartoons often look less defined than better-made material. The majority of the film seemed acceptably detailed and distinct. I noticed no problems connected to jagged edges or moiré effects, but a smidgen of edge enhancement popped up at times. As for source flaws, the movie seemed clean and without any examples of defects.

The world of Stitch seemed fairly bright and vivid, and the DVD usually replicated those tones well. Some of the colors were less vibrant than I expected, however, and they occasionally were a little muddy, especially when we saw colored lighting. Otherwise, the hues looked reasonably concise and lively. Black levels were pretty deep and tight, while shadows seemed appropriately dense. Nothing about Stitch was exceptional visually, but the movie looked fine as a whole.

Stitch presented Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS 5.1 soundtracks. The pair sounded virtually identical. If any differences occurred, I couldn’t discern them.

The two mixes both seemed good but unexceptional. The soundfields offered a reasonable amount of activity. The forward spectrum dominated and presented good stereo music plus useful movement across those speakers. A lot of this tended toward general environmental audio, but the mix came to life pretty well when appropriate. Elements moved smoothly across the channels and created a nice feeling of place. The surrounds kicked in when necessary, mostly during the occasional action sequences. They didn’t add a tremendous amount of life to the proceedings, but they provided some good material.

Audio quality appeared fine. Speech was natural and distinct, and I noticed no issues connected to intelligibility or edginess. Music sounded lively and bright, and the score demonstrated reasonable dynamics. Effects seemed clean and accurate, and they packed a moderate punch when necessary. Bass response didn’t come across as exceptional, but the low-end was fairly tight and deep. The audio of Stitch didn’t impress me, but it did the job.

Stitch includes only a few extras. Experiment Finder gives us another in the seemingly unending line of games found on Disney DVDs. As with many of these, it’s little more than a random search contest. You locate the critters and then plop them in appropriate locales. The in-character narration from David Ogden Stiers makes this a little more fun, but it’s pretty tedious nonetheless, and it lacks a concrete reward for successful completion.

Dr. Hamsterviel’s Trivia Challenge for Trivial Earthlings presents two options: “Genius Level” for questions about the movie, and “Super-Genius Level” for queries about the TV show. The former requires that you paid attention during the flick, but it shouldn’t be too hard if you did. The latter is tougher because the series hasn’t aired yet. If you want to play it, I guess you should come back to it once the show’s been on for a while. I didn’t finish the latter – I didn’t have the patience to guess and guess until I won – but I can state that the former offers no prize if you finish it.

In the Experiment Gallery, we get pictures and notes about 21 of the different creatures. It’s a moderately interesting selection. Next we find a music video for “Aloha, E Komo Mai” by Jump 5. Nothing more than a montage of movie clips accompanied by the tune, this is a pretty lame video.

As the DVD starts, we encounter a mix of ads. We find trailers for Bionicle: Mask of Light, The Lion King, Brother Bear, Sleeping Beauty, the TV series Lilo & Stitch, and Finding Nemo. These also appear in the disc’s Sneak Peeks domain along with a promo for Lilo and Stitch’s Island of Adventures DVD game.

Stitch! The Movie doesn’t seem as entertaining as its theatrical predecessor, and it also doesn’t match up with Disney’s other theatrical releases. However, it works much better than the average direct-to-video flick, and it provides a reasonable amount of fun. The DVD presents fairly good picture and sound but skimps on useful extras. With a list price of almost $30, this seems like a pricey piece, but fans of Lilo & Stitch will at least want to rent it.

Viewer Film Ratings: 4.3207 Stars Number of Votes: 53
395:
34:
5 3:
12:
51:
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