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Toon Talk: Lilo & Stitch 2
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by Kirby Holt (archives)
August 30, 2005
Kirby reviews Disney's latest direc-to-video sequel Lilo & Stitch 2.
Toon Talk
Disney Film & Video Reviews by Kirby C. Holt

(c) Disney

Lilo & Stitch 2
Disney DVD

Psycho Beach Party

In my review of the original theatrical release of 2002’s Lilo & Stitch, I predicted that Stitch, the blue-furred break-out star of the film, would become “the Mickey Mouse, or at least the Winnie the Pooh, of the new millennium.? Some doubted this at the time, but the subsequent three years have proven my point. With three (and counting) DVD titles, a television series, a theme park attraction (“Stitch’s Great Escape? at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom, the quickest ride debut of a new character in recent memory) and a slew of merchandise, from toys to pins to clothing, it is obvious that the little alien is the perfect match for today’s ironic pop cultured masses. He’s even entered into urban legend recently when a panicked Ebayer attempted to sell off a supposedly “possessed? Stitch doll to the highest bidder.

The latest entry in Stitch’s “global domination? is the video premiere sequel, Lilo & Stitch 2 (subtitled Stitch Has a Glitch on the box and in marketing materials but not on the film itself). And although the new film did not involve the talents of co-creators Dean DeBlois and Chris Sanders (who does return as the voice of Stitch), it still manages to capture some of the original’s charms and heart, certainly more so then 2003’s Stitch! The Movie DVD, which was really only the set-up for the TV show that followed.

(c) Disney

2 is actually set before the events of Stitch! and the series, picking up soon after the end of the first movie. Stitch and his fellow aliens Jumba (voiced by David Ogden Stiers) and Pleakley (Kevin McDonald) are settling into Earth life, though not as quickly as Nani (Tia Carrere) would like. On the other hand, her romance with David (Jason Scott Lee) isn’t progressing as quickly as he would like.

Meanwhile, Lilo (now voiced by War of the Worlds scene-stealer Dakota Fanning, replacing fellow MTV Movie Award-winner Daveigh Chase) is faced with a challenge of her own when her kindly dance teacher Kumu (Kunewa Mook) announces a May Day hula contest, the same one Lilo’s late mother won years before. Lilo is determined to live up to her mom’s legacy and make her proud of her by winning the contest; and if that means defeating her old nemesis Myrtle Edmunds (Liliana Mumy), then all the better.

She enlists the aid of her best pal Stitch in coming up with the perfect hula, even going so far as retracing the steps on the island of her beloved idol, Elvis Presley, for inspiration (three lower tier Elvis songs are also heard on the soundtrack). But complications arise when Stitch starts malfunctioning, launching into uncontrollable fits of destruction (maybe they should get him some Ritalin).

It’s up to Jumba to fix him, but Stitch, afraid that he might harm his new-found ’Ohana, runs away in Captain Gantu’s old spaceship, leading the others to race against time to find and save him in a heart-breaking emotional climax reminiscent of that epochal “Earth kid and alien? flick, E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial.

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