Lilo & Stitch 2: Stitch Has a Glitch review by Mike Long

Today, one must approach animated Disney sequels with the same caution that one would approach a strange dog or a road-side Bar-B-Q stand -- you never know what kind of mess your going to get into. Ever since the release of Return of Jafar (The longest 66-minute movie ever made.) Disney has put out several direct-to-video sequels to their theatrical animated hits and the results have been quite mixed at best. For every good one, there were two or three stinkers. In 2003, Disney released Stitch: The Movie onto an unsuspecting public who thought that it was a true sequel to the film Lilo & Stitch , but instead it was actually the pilot for a new "Stitch" TV show on The Disney Channel. Now, Disney has brought us a true successor to Lilo & Stich with Lilo & Stitch 2: Stitch Has a Glitch.

Lilo & Stitch 2: Stitch Has a Glitch appears to pick up after the TV series (which is quite odd, but it's fine by me). Lilo (voiced by Dakota Fanning) and Stitch (voiced by Chris Sanders) are the best of friends and are enjoying life. They live with Lilo's sister, Nani (voiced by Tia Carrere) and two weird aliens, Pleakley (voiced by Kevin McDonald) and Jumba (voiced by David Ogden Stiers). Lilo is thrilled when she learns that her hula class will be having a competition for a special ceremony on the island. She decides that Stitch will be her dancing partner and she becomes even more excited when she learns that her Mother once won the competition. However, things take a turn for the worse when the now docile Stitch begins to act very strangely and violently. Lilo is upset that he won't be able to dance with her and Stitch is worried that he may be reverting back to his evil ways, no matter how many good deeds that he does. With help from their friends, Lilo and Stitch will find a way to overcome this unusual threat.

Lilo & Stitch 2: Stitch Has a Glitch certainly isn't a perfect movie, but it may be the perfect Disney animated sequel (or at least one of the best), as it does many things right. First, it assumes that you've seen Lilo & Stitch and foregoes any unnecessary back-stories and characters introductions. Secondly, it has a very simple and straightforward plot. We learned in the first film that Lilo loves to hula dance and the central premise of the original was Lilo changing from a monstrous alien to a lovable friend. Bringing back those two ingredients makes Lilo & Stitch 2 easy to follow for younger viewers and easier to swallow for adults.

Lilo & Stitch 2 isn't a carbon copy of the original film, but its third and wisest move is to stick with the strengths of Lilo & Stitch. Most audience members loved the fact that Lilo was a sassy and sort of odd girl while Stitch was a wild and crazy alien and we get plenty of that here. I'm not sure why, but it always makes me laugh when Pleakley dresses like a woman (maybe it has to do with Kevin McDonald's days on Kids in the Hall) and the movie has several hilarious scenes where this happens. But the thing that Lilo & Stitch 2: Stitch Has a Glitch has the most of is heart. Despite the fact that we are watching an animated film about an alien, the friendship between Lilo and Stitch seems very real and the scenes in which is threatened are heart-warming and don't feel overly saccharine. Actually, the finale may be a bit too emotional for children. Lilo & Stitch 2: Stitch Has a Glitch does drag a bit in the middle, but at 68-minutes, it zips by and is a very satisfying sequel to one of Disney's best recent films.

Lilo & Stitch 2: Stitch Has a Glitch flies onto DVD courtesy of Disney DVD. The film has been letterboxed at 1.78:1 and the transfer is enhanced for 16 x 9 TVs. What can I say, this transfer looks fantastic as the image is very sharp and clear, showing no grain or defects from the source material. The animation in this sequel looks very good and the transfer certainly does it justice as the colors are very rich and realistic looking. I did notice some minor haloes at times, but otherwise the picture is superb. Likewise for the audio, which can be enjoyed in either a Dolby Digital 5. 1 track or a DTS 5.1 track. Both provide clear and intelligible dialogue and wonderful music reproduction. Each track offers a very nice assortment of surround sound and subwoofer effects with a steady dynamic range. While both tracks are good, the DTS track had my walls shaking and enjoys a slight edge.

The DVD contains only a few extras. "Origin of Stitch" is a 4 1/2 minute animated short which examines the experiment which created Stitch. There are two set-top games and a music video from Jump 5 for the song "Hawaiian Rollercoaster."

7 out of 10 Jackasses

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