Thursday, October 06, 2005

A Stitch in time

Lest anyone get the silly idea that the only movies reviewed here (if that's what's happening) are artistically respectable ones, I should reveal that one recent viewing was of Stitch: The Movie, a straight-to-video number not to be confused with the forthcoming Lilo & Stitch 2, also s-t-v, I believe, which depicts events occurring after the first L&S, obviously, but before this earlier film. Not content simply to extend the franchise to video sequels, S:TM stoops to setting up the premise to the Lilo & Stitch TV show. (I know this, alas, because I have actually seen an episode of said TV show, which was, not surprisingly, not worth the time.) I liked the original movie a lot – Stitch (a.k.a. Experiment 626) is the most entertaining Disney character since, well, I don't really know Disney that well so never mind. Anyway, he's great. (I love it when he tries to speak English – and when he doesn't even try.)

The premise of this one, if you care, is that a previously unknown Evil Genius (Dr. Hämsterviel, who seems to be channeling John Cleese's abusive French knight from Monty Python and the Holy Grail, which makes sense given the latter's taunt that "your mother was a hamster, and your father smelt of elderberries," or was it the other way around) is determined to capture all 626 experiments for himself, and sends the put-upon Captain Gantu to Hawaii to track them down, with predictable and not particularly well-drawn results. Although Stitch's antics never really take off this time, there are a few laughs to be found among the film's 64 minutes: the clueless but game Pleakley (voiced by Kevin McDonald of Kids in the Hall fame) attempts to locate the kidnapped Jumba by whipping out a galactic phone directory and calling each planet, in alphabetical order ("Planet Aaaaaaa? Is Jumba there?" "Do you know what time it is??" "Sorry!" ... "Planet Aaaaaab? Is Jumba there?"), and it's still funny to hear the galactics regularly refer to our planet as "Eeyarth." Anyway, the other 625 (actually, 623) experiments get loose, and in the TV show each episode is concerned with recapturing a particular one of them, with even more predictable and even less well-drawn results. I'll probably watch L&S 2 too (sigh).

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