To put it simply, I watched a crap-load of Disney movies this weekend! I'm definitely going to have to split it up, it's just too much to cover in one post and I think Friday needs its own because of the subject. There is one other Disney character that can hold his own against Donald in my book and that character is Stitch. I absolutely ADORE him almost as much as the duck-man, so much so that his stuff takes up quite a large corner of my duck room and, if I had a real house, I'd probably have a Stitch room too.
I'm also one of the few people on earth that love Stitch's Great Escape at the Magic Kingdom in Disney World (the secret is to know when the chili dog burp is coming and hold your breath, that is usually everyone's biggest complaint about it) although the story continuity is off to Stitch fans and it confuses some people, especially little kids. There is a four foot audioanimatronic Stitch standing in front of you, I don't notice the storyline much because I'm geeking out at Stitch! To top it all off, you get to walk out through a gift shop that is very Stitch-merchandise heavy. Granted, they rarely ever have new merchandise (I have got pretty much all of it I wanted throughout the years), but luckily, the Asian market loves Stitch too, so you can always find great new Stitch stuff on eBay.
First up was, of course, the movie that started it all, Lilo & Stitch. I could literally talk about this movie all day. It makes you laugh, it makes you cry, it even makes me think a bit more positively on my family (and that's a BIG feat). I can relate a lot to Lilo because she acts out a lot like I did as a kid and to Stitch as well because I do have a lot of inner demons that I constantly have to control for the sake of others.
Although there is a lot of computer colorization in the movie (my pet peeve), the backgrounds have a soft watercolor look to them and there is a sense of depth you don't typically see in computer animation. There is also a sense of whimsy in the characters too, especially in their facial expressions.
There were some great trailers for the original movie featuring Stitch interrupting some classic movie moments. Luckily, there are a few people out there who love them as much as I do because they have compiled them all into one clip to save me the trouble of posting tons of clips! This is the best one I found:
This scene makes me cry every single time I watch it. I don't know if it's the tone of Stitch's voice or the fact that he's speaking from a place of utter defeat, but it hits me right in the gut:
I've also threatened for years that I'm gonna stitch the Stitch movie poster, it's hilarious! I love how the other Disney characters either have a look of sheer terror or absolute disgust on their faces...priceless! Plus, I'm that "one" in every family, so I can relate.
Here's where things get a bit confusing...technically, Stitch The Movie is next, but Lilo & Stitch and Lilo & Stitch 2: Stitch Has A Glitch are now bundled together, so for convenience sake, I watched 2 second. There is also a bit of story issue between all four movies that makes 2 a logical second viewing choice, but I'll get to that later.
Lilo & Stitch 2: Stitch Has A Glitch is just as good as the original, a Disney sequel rarity. Again, it has as much heart as the original and the story is still strong enough to divert my attention away from the animation (although it's still got that soft watercolor effect that actually works for me).
Now for the sticky mess that is Disney sequels...the actual second movie is Stitch the Movie. It sets up the TV series (which I also loved). Stitch is experiment 626 and this movie deals with the other 625 experiments and Dr. Hamsterviel's evil plot to capture and clone them. Each experiment has a different "super power" (for lack of a better term) making each capture tricky but Lilo & Stitch manage it and the TV show picks up with each episode involving the capture and "relocation" of one of the experiments, or cousins.
Stitch the Movie also introduces my favorite cousin, experiment 625, or Reuben, the sandwich-loving, lazy bum that's more of a hindrance to Dr. Hamsterviel and Captain Gantu than a help. He has some incredibly funny lines and, considering he's Stitch's closest cousin, couldn't be more different.
When Stitch 2 came out, it confused a lot of people because it completely ignored Stitch the Movie as was more of a true sequel to the first. It was an affront to those who loved the TV show too since it used the same storyline as Stitch the Movie. I also love Dr. Hamsterviel as a villain, he's my number three against Maleficent and Hades, so I guess that say's a lot. I just don't understand how a company known for their attention to detail can't remember that they have already done a sequel and it followed "xyz" pattern so, if they make another one, it must also be synchronous. Almost every single sequel I have watched so far has either been an abomination to the first or completely ignored the second (and I had numerous problems with that during the rest of the weekend as you will see tomorrow). I get that different people make the sequels, sometimes even in different countries, but would it kill them to watch the prequel they are following up? UGH! It literally drives me insane! And in a case like Stitch, where you have the same actors all across the board (well, except for Lilo), you'd think they'd stand up and say, "hey, my character went this direction last time, did you forget?".
They tried to fix it with Leroy & Stitch, movie 4, by attempting to meld the two sequels together and continuing on with the cousins after they have all been captured on the TV show. Leroy is experiment 627, cloned by Dr. Hamsterviel in multitude, and he's more powerful than Stitch, so it takes all of the cousins to defeat them. Again, this movie is as strong as the other three, but considering it technically follows Stitch 2, it can get a bit confusing. And, because you learned a lot of the other cousin's abilities from the TV Show, unless you've seen it, you don't get attached to them in the movie because you don't know who they are or why they are there. It's also why I choose to watch 2 after 1 and then Stitch the Movie and Leroy and Stitch because you don't loose too much continuity that way. As good as Leroy & Stitch is, it's definitely a movie for the true Stitch fan, no matter which order you watch it in.
For those that didn't watch the show, you get to meet Angel, the only girl experiment and Stitch's girlfriend. It's why you sometimes see a pink Stitch in the stores...that's Angel.
Leroy & Stitch is also a lot more computer animated and, although the watercolor backgrounds are still there, they are a bit harsher and bright and have lost a lot of their softness. The story is strong enough that I don't notice it too much (but I do notice it).
I don't own the TV show, basically because The Disney Channel rarely puts their series on DVD. I've NEVER understood that! They sometimes put out compilations of the best episodes of some of their series, but never the whole thing. I would have a much larger Disney library if they did! I have such fond memories of the TV show and, now that it's not on anymore, I'm SOL, so to speak. They once did a High School Musical parody music video that was hilarious:
Anyone that has seen HSM might notice that they are spot on with the dance moves...I just LOVE it!
Pleakey is played by Kevin McDonald (another Kids In The Hall alum) and my favorite episode of all was the one where his family comes to visit because his family members were all voiced by almost all the other KITH's including Dave "Flik" Foley. You talk about a fan-girl geek out moment! Unfortunately, I wasn't able to find that episode (or even a clip of it). It centers around Pleakley trying to please his mother by making her think he's engaged to Nani, but when his whole family shows up for the "wedding", he's put in a sticky situation. He eventually stands up to his mother in the middle of the ceremony and explains to her that he doesn't need a wife because he has a happy life just as he is.
Parents everywhere went in an uproar when that episode came out because they were freaking out at the very thought that Pleakley might be gay. It's just sad that people are so focused on such things...Pleakley is just Pleakley, it's not like he changed overnight, he was always that way. His first name is Wendy, he wears women's clothing and to say he's effeminate is an understatement...he's also a one-eyed alien and a cartoon character! Why is his sexual orientation even an issue? We all grew up with Bert and Ernie and we haven't been scarred for life. I thought the episode was really sweet and hit home that we don't all fit into the mold our parents want us to, but it doesn't make us less special. I know that I would have felt much better as an Asper-kid if I would have known that I didn't need to try so damn hard to be "normal" and that's the lesson I got from that episode. Hopefully, others took away what they needed from it. But I digress, again. There is no arguing with some people, especially those with closed minds.
Leroy & Stitch had a bonus episode of the TV series on the disc as well (if only it had them all), so that affects my counts thus:
Live Action: 17
Full-Length Animation: 55
Animated Shorts: 221
Live Action Shorts: 5
Mixed-Medium Shorts: 1
Animated Series: 14
Mixed-Medium Series: 2