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Get out your handkerchiefs!
on July 28, 2005
I got to see Lilo & Stitch 2: Stich Has a Glitch, on Sunday, July 17, during the last day of San Diego Comic Con International. The presentation was part of Comic Con's "Kids' Day" program, an acknowledgment that some of the biggest comics fans are indeed actually little bitty kids. The audience for the film (which was projected onto a screen from a DVD) consisted of my husband and myself, plus a room full of families with little kids. The room was filled to capacity, and people had started lining up at least half an hour before showtime.
I'm pleased to report that, for me at least, Glitch is a welcome return to the spirit of the original movie. The animation, even projected on a large screen, is fabulous. I was especially impressed by the use of shadows. But, it is also very fluid, and the character designs, though noticably different from the original film (somehow, everybody comes out looking "rounder"), are true to Chris Saunders' unique drawing style.
This film also captures the emotional pitch of the original movie, while in some ways, deepening the characters. One main plot thread involves Lilo attempting to win the annual hula competition. For the first time, the movie explicitly mentions her mother. Lilo is initially depressed, because she doesn't have a mom to help her make her costume for the contest. Moses perks up her interest by showing Lilo an old scrapbook, with pictures of her mom, winning the hula contest! A very cute touch: mom is a ringer for little Lilo.
Lilo is also searching for inspiration for her hula dance, which must, of course, convey the spirit of aloha. The King himself provides a welcome hint.
Stitch's story is a little darker in tone. It begins with a bad dream about coming back to wreck havoc on the Island, including threatening his friend Lilo. Something is making Stitch lapse back into his old, naughty ways. Jumba, in making his diagnosis, reveals at last the story of hiscreation of Stitch, and how something that went wrong may spell doom for our little alien friend.
This sets up the main conflict with Lilo: is a victory in the hula competition, her attempt to get closer to the memory of her mother, more important than her continued friendship with Stitch, who suddenly seems intent on wrecking everything? I won't tell you how it comes out, but remember to bring plenty of Kleenex--near the end, many young'uns in the audience were openly bawling, as was a certain adult.
Oh, and try not to sip your coke while Lilo is thinking up ideas for her hula dance, as you'll probably snork it up your nose!!