Having just finished negatively reviewing the 3-Disc set of The Emperor’s New Groove and it’s direct-to-video sequel Kronk’s New Groove, I now find myself having to figure out how to express the same frustrations with the 3-Disc set of Lilo and Stitch and it’s direct-to-video sequel Lilo & Stitch 2: Stitch Has a Glitch. I have the exact same concerns with this set as I did the other, namely the pairing of an amazing film with a lackluster direct-to-video sequel, and a complete lack of extras.
It really is a shame that these are the releases of these great films that kid’s are getting these days. Yes, the picture quality is stellar, but the pairing of the two films negates the quality of the originals and will always force that association with children who view the films for the first time through these sets.
I highly doubt that anybody would be reading this who isn’t familiar with Lilo & Stitch, so let me just say that the watercolor backdrops look beautiful on Blu-Ray, and the story is as emotional and compelling as ever. I remember being shocked the first time I saw the film at not only how gorgeous the film looked, but the emotional maturity behind the story itself. There are some pretty heavy elements mixed in with the hilarious humor Stitch brings to the film. Overall, it’s a superb example of “Disney storytelling” and one of my favorites of their modern collection.
As for the sequel, it’s really not as bad as Kronk’s New Groove, but it’s not exactly great, either. This isn’t actually the direct sequel to Lilo and Stitch, but rather a follow-up to a Lilo & Stitch television show that was based on another direct-to-video sequel that came out in 2003. This film was released to video in 2005, and tells a pretty decent story about Stitch reverting to his destructive tendencies and his desire to overcome his original programming. There’s at least an attempt to tell an emotionally resonant story, and I believe kids will find something to enjoy in this film.
Again though, there are no extras at all in this set. With a banner across the top of the box that reads “3-Disc Special Edition,” I would expect there to be something “special” beyond just the two films. Unfortunately, that isn’t what we get, and just like the Emperor and Kronk, Stitch is relegated to a disappointing release that doesn’t do justice to his terrific film.