Review: “Lilo and Stitch” & “The Emperor’s New Groove” Blu-ray releases take Disney originals (and their sequels) back to basics

in Disney, Entertainment, Merchandise, Movies, Reviews

Among Disney’s many widely-beloved classic films spanning their more than 80 years of feature animation exist a smattering of movies that evoke mixed reactions. Two of these love ’em or hate ’em films are now available on Blu-ray, packaged with their surprisingly entertaining sequels but released with no additional enhancements.

Lilo and Stitch / Lilo and Stitch 2: Stitch Has a Glitch

A simple, heartwarming tale of a young Hawaiian girl named Lilo surviving serious family troubles is turned on its head when invaded by an unusual creature from outer space. Despite the odd premise, “Lilo and Stitch” has become a fan favorite for those who like the antics of its mischievous blue title character. And now in high-definition, the film mostly looks good, with some jagged edges surrounding characters some of the time.

It’s double-packaged with its sequel, which features animation almost as good as the original, a rarity for direct-to-video films. Voice work is solid in the sequel as well, which offers a fun follow-up story.

But those looking for new bonus features won’t find them here. In fact, the Blu-ray disc comes with no extras at all, short of a few trailers for upcoming Disney releases. The included DVD versions of the film are where the bonus features exist, but only those inherited from previous DVD releases.

The Emperor’s New Groove / Kronk’s New Groove

Much of the same can be said about this two-movie release as with the films above, minus the heartwarming bit. “The Emperor’s New Groove” is all about wacky comedy with little to relate to. The characters are zany and meant to be laughed both with and at. And its sequel is particularly unusual, shifting the series’ focus to one of the original film’s secondary characters – fan favorite Kronk, voiced by Patrick Warburton. It’s another mostly successful direct-to-video sequel, unlike so many before it.

But again, new bonus features won’t be found on this release, only leftovers on the DVD discs.

Both films serve as unique parts of the history of Disney animation, introducing uniquely comedic characters each with their equally unique stories. But they’re definitely not for everyone, not quite fitting into the mold of what many view as traditional or classic Disney characters. Stitch is hugely popular, certainly, Kuzco and gang less so, but equally interesting to watch if for no other reason than they stand out.

“Lilo and Stitch” 1 & 2 and “The Emperor’s New Groove” 1 & 2 Blu-ray releases are available now on Amazon and other major retailers.

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