Stitch! The Movie

Director: Robert Gannaway, Tony Craig (II)

Region: 1
Animated, Color, Closed-captioned, Widescreen, Dolby
DVD Features:
Trivia challenge
, Experiment finder game, Experiment gallery, Music video, Widescreen anamorphic format



Has Disney no sense of shame? I'm talking about their endless substandard straight-to-video sequels here. The shelves at your local retailer are groaning beneath the weight of these sell-thru tapes and DVDs aimed squarely at parents who need virtual babysitters for their six-year-olds.

Doesn't tarnishing the memory of beloved Disney flicks with these cheaply made (check the end-title credits on this one for details of the Korean subcontractor responsible for the animation) ?sequels? and Saturday morning cartoons bother Disney?

Sure, I know Disney lost a lot of money with the ill-conceived Treasure Planet last year, but surely it made up for this because of its share in this year's two mega-hit movies (namely Finding Nemo and Pirates of the Caribbean)? Does it have to keep churning out these lacklustre videos?

The answer is apparently, sadly, yes. Now to be fair, Stitch! the Movie isn't strictly a sequel to last year's delightful Lilo & Stitch, one of my favourites despite its many faults (such as its saccharine family values message). Apparently it is an introduction to a new Disney TV cartoon series, and taken on those terms perhaps it isn't too bad.

The plot sets up the premise for the series. Stitch, the koala bear-look-alike alien was experiment 626, meaning that there was another 625 ?illegal genetic experiments?. By the end of this movie, these Gremlins, er sorry, experiments that become activated when they come in contact with water are all set loose upon Hawaii. First Pearl Harbour, and now this . . .

Anyway, this - as you may have figured - sets the scene for many future episodes. Rumour has it that Disney is working on a ?real? sequel for last year's big screen movie, but they might as well not bother if the results are anything like this.

Stitch! the Movie is a bit like soda without any fizz left in it. It is very similar to the original movie (most of the voice talent returns by the way), except the storyline is contrived, the jokes and dialogue flat, and the animation lacklustre.

Everything we have to expect of Disney's straight-to-video sequels in other words . . .

THE DISC: The image transfer is good and so is the sound. The film is in widescreen (which is nice) and not in full screen ? this is rather surprising because it was made for television in the first place.

WORTH IT? Measured in how long Stitch! the Movie will keep your kids entertained, it is a rip-off: it runs for a mere 60 minutes as opposed to the usual 80-90 minutes one would expect of a full-length feature . . .

RECOMMENDATION: Your four-year-old may coerce you into buying it, but don't watch it with him or her . . .



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