Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Lilo & Stich 2: Stich Has A Glitch

As promised, I am here to review the second movie in the Stitch series.  Although there may be some confusion since technically The Stitch movie was made second, this movie actually falls second in terms of story timeline, so I consider it the second movie in the series.  This movie has been the reigning favorite with my son.  I personally like the first one and The Stitch Movie the best, but this one seems to always get Liam's vote. Luckily they have great repeat watch value as a parent and especially for a toddler which is priceless as any parent well knows. 

We are once again brought into the tropical Hawaiian world of Lilo and her pay Stitch in this movie!  Elvis music reigns supreme but in a good way.  Most notably in this sequel, Stitch no longer tries to hide who.what he is, and he is a much more talkative character in this movie.  Stitch is learning how to fit into a human society and learn how to raise his "goodness level".  We get to see our main character Lilo a young girl aspiring to be a hula dancer and her alien friend Stitch who everyone calls a dog for lack of anything better to call him.  Lilo lives with her older sister Nani (their parents were deceased before the start of the original movie).  The character David is trying to further a relationship with Nani throughout the movie.  Lilo's main focus is to come up with the best Hulu dance ever for a competition so that she can win as her mother did before her.  Stitch is to be her partner in the dance when all of a sudden he starts "glitching."  During his "glitch" moments he is quite destructive and actually semi dangerous to those around him but the normal Stitch which is now good does not know what happens during these times or how to stop it.  His creator Jumba and pal Pleakley are on a mission to try to fix Stitch (they decided to stay on Earth after the end of the first movie).   Social worker Cobra Bubbles was absent from his role in this film.

Lilo & Stitch 2 was released in 2005 (the original was released in 2002).  The add-on "Stitch Has a Glitch" was never associated with the original film in any titling but became commonly associated with the movie and was later added on to the title and in advertising.  This is the only film in the entire franchise where you will hear Lilo with a different voice (Dakota Fanning) due to the scheduling conflicts with the Lilo & Stitch tv show that was also airing at the same time as recording for this show.  Chris Sanders (writer/director) of the first film still did voicing but did not participate in any of the production of this film that was a straight to DVD release after an original theatrical release plan.  It received mixed reviews, with most of the negative responses saying that the story was not as engaging as the original and that the humor had gone from intellectual witty to a much more dumbed down younger sort of humor.  To me there was a bit more of dark undertone to a lot of the humor in the original that I admittedly loved.  But this movie showed a lot more lessons in friendship and love. 

Voice acting remained the same with Dakota Fanning, in place of Daveigh Chase (Donnie Darko), although I must admit that having seen all of the films multiple times now, that it is not a noticeable change by any means.

Lilo is voiced by Dakota Fanning (Man on Fire, Twilight Saga, Push, War of the Worlds, Hounddog)
Stitch is voiced by Chris Sanders who also wrote the screenplay
Nani is voiced by Tia Carrere (Wayne's World)
David (Nani's love interest) is voiced by Jason Scott Lee (Bruce Lee's Dragon)
Jumba (Stitch's creator) is voiced by David Ogden Stiers (Cogsworth, MASH)

I give this film 4/5 stars.  Although it is not as great as the original film in my opinion, it still has a lot of great values.  I love that the animation is different that you would usually see, especially for a Disney film.  The characters in their personalities, especially Lilo are very real in the way that she feels about people and school and going through sorrow and anger in a way that is not often faced in young children, especially in cartoon movies.  You can see her growth through her friendship with Stitch.  This movie also will always stand out to me because Liam was able to empathetically connect with this movie in a way that I have never seen him do so with other movies.  Towards the end of the movie Stitch is in a possible dead state and my three year old son actually felt the sadness and the loss and had tears welled up into his eyes.  The love of Lilo is what ultimately feeds Stitches life-force and the loss is short lived and then you are able to rejoice in the happiness, so that for younger children this is not ending on a sad note.  This movie held overall a lot less violence than the other films, and mostly featured inner turmoil and the fact that teaching lessons such as hurting a friend and scratching them can be very hurtful to another person.  You can tell that overall the audience for the film was intended to be younger.  I definitely recommend this movie and to continue in the story line to get the full effect don't miss out on the original Lilo & Stitch.

Here is the official website: Lilo & Stitch 2: Stitch Has A Glitch

In case you missed my review on the original: Lilo & Stitch you can find it here: Lilo & Stitch

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