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Stitch! The Movie
2003 - G - Mins.
Director: Tony Craig, Robert Gannaway
Written By: Robert Gannaway, Jess Winfield
Starring: The Voices of: Daveigh Chase, Kevin McDonald, and Ving Rhames
Review by: John Ulmer
Watching "Lilo and Stitch" was like watching water boil: It was a long, tedious bore that finally started to heat up, only to evaporate. Watching Disney's latest straight-to-video cash-in sequel, "Stitch! The Movie," is even worse--its atrocities defy words. Okay, okay, it's not all that bad considering. I'm exaggerating. But I had a strong dislike for the first film, and "Stitch" is only more painful an experience.

Our little Hawaiian pal, Lilo the little girl, is back, along with her older sister and new best friend, Stitch, who also happens to be a morphable alien who disguises himself as a dog to detract attention from the fact that he has razor sharp claws and teeth, a Hunchback of Notre Dame stance with a crooked arched back, and terrifying body and facial features.

Lilo and Stitch also have two pals seen in the last film, one of whom has the distinct sound of a Russian fellow. The overweight Russian-voiced creature is responsible for Stitch; he was a mad scientist who created some 600 ill-fated experiments. Stitch was number 626, forty digits away from a very evil string of numbers. Does this number bear some subtle hint towards Stitch's evil side? Perhaps Experiment 666 will be delved into in the next installment, "Disney's Lilo and Stitch III: Apocalypse Now."

The Russian alien is kidnapped from Lilo's home and held captive by another fearful creature, who is in search of the other experiments, all of which are dehydrated and being stored in Lilo's Hawaiin beachside resort, something hardly affordable for a low-salary working-class young adult such as Lilo's sister. But oh, well, it's a cartoon. Keep telling that to yourself as this film takes totally idiotic steps in idiotic directions. (Perhaps the kidnapper would have been so smart as to have checked the suspiciously-placed chest the Russian fellow was sitting on when he kidnapped him? He would have found what he was looking for without dragging him across half the outer reaches of the galaxy. With a sharp wit like that, it's any wonder the kidnapper alien knows how to fly a complex lightspeed ship through space.)

New creatures are unleashed in "Stitch! The Movie," such as an electrical beast predating Stitch, but who bears an uncanny resemblance to his distant relative. But they're not any fun, and certainly not anything we haven't seen before. "Stitch" takes more than a few creative liberties--the entire premise is that of "E.T." (particularly the first film); Stitch rolls himself into a ball and travels across land (done by the similar-looking nibblers in "Critters"); and the dehydrated experiments are restored by adding water--something seen in "Gremlins." Of course, this is an animated film, so we are supposed to forgive Disney for totally cashing in on a money-making franchise, ripping off other films and their ideas, and so on and so forth.

What we viewers put up with!

To be honest, I come from a prejudiced standpoint--I didn't like the first film at all, as I have clearly stated above. With that in mind, fans of the first film will love "Stitch! The Movie," primarily because it stays very true to the original, both in story and animation -- the latter of which is usually ruined in straight-to-video sequels. In the end, that's the really sad thing about "Stitch!"--whereas most worthwhile straight-to-video Disney sequels lack everything that made the first a good film, including decent animation, "Stitch!" actually feels like a theatrical sequel. Too bad an opportunity such as this had to be wasted on such a bad movie.
Movie Guru Rating
Bland, boring, inept. Forgettable. Bland, boring, inept. Forgettable.
  1.5 out of 5 stars

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