Stitch! The Movie (2003)

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Released 4-Nov-2003

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Family Main Menu Audio & Animation
Menu Audio
Game-Experiment Finder
Quiz-Dr. Hamsterviel's Trivia Challenge For Trivial Earthlings
Gallery-Experiment Gallery
Music Video-"Aloha, E Komo Mai"
Rating Rated G
Year Of Production 2003
Running Time 57:55
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Language Select Then Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Tony Craig
Bob Gannaway
Studio
Distributor
Disney
Walt Disney Studios Home Ent.
Starring Daveigh Chase
Chris Sanders
Tia Carrere
David Ogden Stiers
Kevin McDonald
Ving Rhames
Dee Bradley Baker
Kevin Michael Richardson
Jeff Bennett
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI $36.95 Music Michael Tavera


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
Portuguese Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.66:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.66:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
English for the Hearing Impaired
Spanish
Portuguese
Portuguese Titling
Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes, keep watching the end credits...

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    If you have been sitting there thinking: "My life would be perfect if only I could see a bit more of Lilo and Stitch" ever since you watched the end-credits of Lilo and Stitch, then I have good news for you: here is a bit more of Lilo and Stitch.

    To be honest, this is not another movie (even though it is presented as such). It is really nothing more than a double-length pilot episode of Lilo and Stitch, the TV series. I saw one episode of this series recently, and it's not bad. This "movie" sets up the basis of the TV series — that explains why it ends the way it does, and why it is so short for a movie.

    The basics of this movie are fairly simple. Remember that Stitch was "Experiment 626"? Well, before him came "Experiment 625", "Experiment 624", ... So what happened to all those other experiments? It turns out that Jumba (the mad scientist) smuggled them all (in dehydrated form, in what looks a lot like a gumball machine) to Earth when he was sent in pursuit of Stitch, and he still has them. Gantu (the large policeman chap) is hired by a mysterious person (who is supposed to look like a hamster, but looks more like a rabbit with a long tail to me) to confront Jumba and get the other experiments back. Gantu does his usual ham-fisted job of things, but manages to catch Jumba. Lilo decides that they should rescue Jumba, even though he was previously an enemy (he is now o'hana — family).

    This movie has a moral, about accepting difference, and about family, but it's not an indigestible one.

    It's nice to see that they got all the voice talents back for this effort, with every character having the same voice except, I think, Myrtle (the unpleasant little girl with glasses — she only gets a couple of lines), and David (Nani's sort-of-boyfriend — he doesn't get many lines, either). We still have the same voices for Lilo (Daveigh Chase), Stitch (Chris Sanders), Nani (Tia Carrere), Jumba (David Ogden Stiers), Pleakley (Kevin McDonald), Gantu (Kevin Michael Richardson), and even Cobra Bubbles (Ving Rhames — my favourite character). The only new character in this film has a lousy accent, but he sounds like the French taunter in Monty Python and the Holy Grail, which is strangely appropriate (you'll see).

    This is rather fun, but it does leaves things open-ended so the TV series can run. Don't blame me if you find yourself with a terrible thirst for the TV series after watching this... (and no, I don't know if the series is coming / has come to Australia).

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Transfer Quality

Video

    This film is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.66:1, and 16x9 enhanced. That means that there are thin black bars on either side of the image, but these are invisible on most televisions due to over-scan — it will look like 1.78:1. As far as I can ascertain, 1.66:1 is the original aspect ratio, just as it was for the original movie.

    The image is just like Lilo and Stitch — animated characters are sharp and clear, while backgrounds are deliberately a touch soft. There's no visible film grain. There is no visible low level noise.

    Colour is nicely rendered, with colours chosen from a reasonable palette — I'm fairly sure that we're seeing exactly what the animators intended.

    There are no noticeable film artefacts.

    There is nothing significant in the way of aliasing or moiré. There are no obvious MPEG errors, either.

    There are subtitles in English, Spanish, and Portuguese, plus subtitles in English for the Hearing Impaired. I watched these last, and they are easy to read, almost exactly word-for-word, and well-timed. They just don't seem to include much in the way of audio cues.

    The disc is single-sided and dual layered. I was quite surprised — I would not have expected a disc containing movie this short, and not a lot in the way of extras, to get two layers. The movie is entirely on the first layer, so there's no obvious layer change. The only thing I've found on the second layer is the music video and the experiment gallery.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    The soundtrack is provided in three languages, but I only listened to the English. It's a Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack at 448kbps, but you'll be wondering why they bothered most of the time — this is purely frontal sound almost all of the time. All three front speakers do get used — there's some nice spread to the front sound image.

    The dialogue is quite clear, but there are several lines in alien language (or alien languages — I'm not sure if there is more than one in use) — generally you can tell what is being said by context. The sync between mouth movements and dialogue is very good (not surprising, given the Disney penchant to animating the mouth after the dialogue has been recorded).

    The music, credited to Michael Tavera, is good stuff. There are a couple of songs that have been written in blatant imitation of Elvis Presley's style — maybe they couldn't afford to use real Elvis Presley music in this film (they did in the original)? Still, it's a good imitation.

    The surrounds get used very occasionally for a directional sound cue — if you don't have surrounds you won't miss anything significant. The subwoofer is never noticeable, but does get a little bit to do.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

    There are some reasonable extras.

Menu

    The main menu is animated with music — Stitch keeps wandering through.

Game — Experiment Finder

    This is a simple game where the player must move the cursor around to find one of the experiments that's hiding in a picture. There are only four choices on each picture, and you can make as many wrong choices as you want, so there's not a lot of challenge here. When you find four experiments, you then have to choose which of four photos would be the place that best suits each of the experiments. Not a lot of replay value in this game, but it may amuse a child for a little while.

Game — Dr Hamsterviel's Trivia Challenge for Trivial Earthlings

    Another simple game. Dr Hamsterviel (who continues to sound like Monty Python's French taunter to me) asks a question and you must choose the face of the person that fits the question from a choice of four. Most of the questions are quite simple, and the responses to correct answers get fairly repetitive. There are eight questions in a set; there seems to be some minor replay value in that you don't always get the same eight questions, but I think even a young child will tire of this rapidly.

Gallery — Experiments

    This gallery shows quite a number of experiments, and has a brief description of each. The descriptions are read in a voice that sounds like a deliberate imitation of David Attenborough, which seems somewhat appropriate for what is kind of a natural history exhibit. (SPOILER ALERT: highlight with mouse to read) Some of the descriptions explain what happens when Lilo and Stitch find these experiments, so it looks like it is drawing upon events that take place in the TV series.

Music Video — Aloha, E Komo Mai by Jump 5 (2:34)

    A music video of the big song from the film, accompanied by lots of footage from the film, and nothing else. We don't get to see Jump 5 performing the song.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    This movie was released directly to video, and came out in August 2003 in the US, so we are getting it fairly soon afterwards. As far as I can tell, what we are getting is exactly the same as the Region 1 release, except that ours is in PAL, and they get a dts soundtrack as well as the Dolby Digital — hard to see why, because dts is not called for on a soundtrack like this one. There is one other slight difference: the R1 disc has French instead of Portuguese (I guess that's for Canada instead of Brazil). If you have an unquenchable desire for NTSC, French, or dts, you'll have to buy the R1 disc. Otherwise, I'd recommend getting the R4.

Summary

    If you liked Lilo and Stitch, and would like to see some more of the main characters, then this is a good disc for you to get. Do keep in mind that it is the introduction to the TV series, so it doesn't tie things up in a nice neat ending — it quite deliberately leaves things open. If you haven't seen Lilo and Stitch, then get that first, because this carries on exactly where that left off.

    The video is very good indeed — pretty much as good as the original film.

    The audio is good — not as enveloping as the original film, but featuring almost all of the original voice cast. They went a bit cheaper on the music though, using an imitation of Elvis instead of the real thing.

    The extras are OK, but there's no real replay value in them. This is one area where this disc really isn't up to the quality of the original.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Tony Rogers (bio-degrading: making a fool of oneself in a bio...)
Monday, November 17, 2003
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-S733A, using Component output
DisplaySony VPH-G70 CRT Projector, QuadScan Elite scaler (Tripler), ScreenTechnics 110. Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationDenon AVC-A1SE
SpeakersFront Left, Centre, Right: Krix Euphonix; Rears: Krix KDX-M; Subwoofer: Krix Seismix 5

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