Link to Previous Part: The Disneyathon: Direct to Blog Sequel: Part 11 – Sequels, TV Pilots and More Midquels
Link to Tarzan (1999) Review: The Disneyathon Part 14: The End of The Disney Renaissance
Link to Tarzan & Jane (2002) Review: Disneyathon: Direct to Blog Sequel: Part 10 – More Unnecessary Sequels
Tarzan II is next up on the agenda and the good news is this sequel is not made up of TV episodes, however, it is another midquel. At least they’re upfront about it as it’s even on the cover that we’re going to be following a young kid Tarzan and oh joy don’t we love following kids in this Direct to Blog series.
Just before that whole Son of Man sequence in the first movie, Tarzan was feeling out of place, in his monkey family because he’s not exactly a gorilla. A conflict I felt was resolved within a minute in the original movie, but we need some sort of conflict in our totally necessary Tarzan movie so this will have to do. The plot gets going when little Tarzan falls to his death, you won’t believe it he survives, but the apes on the other hand were very convinced. Tarzan overhears some of them saying he’s a weirdo and are glad that he’s gone quite literally after he just died in front of them. Tarzan runs away and ends that whole torturous first half hour. Thankfully it actually gets better when Tarzan meets up with this old man gorilla, who he forms an unlikely bond with. The gorilla even helps Tarzan with his gorilla identity crisis. This stuff is kind of cute and it’s not in your face like most of this movie is. I’m just grateful that this movie wasn’t about Tarzan trying to please that big massive head gorilla again, because I would’ve frowned so hard.
Like Tarzan and Jane, the film is at its best when Tarzan is literally interacting with anyone who wasn’t in the first movie. This includes the gorilla that looks more like a cross between an old man and a gorilla. Those two macho gorillas were pretty fun too and their evil Mumma gorilla played by Estelle Harris who I only like because it’s Estelle Harris and she is playing a villain. (Now I’m wishing she got to play more bad guys because this is some good stuff.) The animation is pretty good as it almost convinces you it’s on par with the original. This Tarzan movie is a good character story mainly and everything else is just kind of forgettable like the new Phil Collins songs they added.
Not much else to say about this one as I feel very lukewarm about it. I liked certain parts of this movie, kiddy Tarzan wasn’t the worst thing ever, how surprising. I admire this movie for having some nice quiet moments, although those were often interrupted by something annoying and they often resembled Turk. To give these unnecessary Tarzan movies some credit they were never agonising to sit through and Tarzan II might be the best midquel we have seen so far. I’m clutching at straws, I think I need to move on.
Link to Lilo and Stich (2002) Review: The Disneyathon Part 16: The Fall of 2D Animation
Link to Stitch! The Movie (2003) Review: The Disneyathon: Direct to Blog Sequel: Part 11 – Sequels, TV Pilots and More Midquels
We’re in the final 10 now, and this next one is a doosie! Lilo and Stitch 2: Stitch has a Glitch is the second sequel to Lilo and Stitch, but it’s a sequel to the original movie and has absolutely nothing to do with the TV movie. This was confusing as a young kid, but to keep things simple in this review I won’t bring up the TV show for the rest of this post.
Lilo’s dance class is having a hula dance contest, which was a competition Lilo’s mum competed in when she was her age, so Lilo is quite eager to win this. The only problem is Stitch starts to randomly glitch out (I know, I’m so damn clever) and turn back into the small little ravenous monster we saw in the first movie. Though Jumba knows what’s up and explains to Pleakley that because of something that happened when Stitch was born, now Stitch is suddenly dying. So this is going to turn into one of those tear-out-your-heart type of movies.
I can’t lie, I really liked this one. It’s just very simple and effective at what it is. This might be the best outing for Lilo and Stitch as for most of the movie they’re just playing, exploring the beautiful Hawaiian island, or jamming to some Elvis tunes. This is most impressive considering they recast Lilo for this movie and their dynamic is still flawless. Since this movie is more focused on the human relationships, Nani gets more to do, which is always a plus. She’s a single mum, who is also housing three alien immigrants and is the only one that works, which is a job at a surf shack. She also makes all the meals so of course that family fun night sequence is hilarious. This sucks for David as he spends the whole movie trying to ask Nani out, but she mostly ignores him, mostly because of Pleakley’s awful dating advice. This subplot feels very out of place, but I didn’t care as David and Pleakley are a very entertaining pairing. The funniest scene in this movie features their plan succeeding to woo Nani only to backfire because Pleakley got so wrapped up in the role of the new girlfriend for David to make Nani jealous. Stitch and Lilo’s story is the emotional core of the film. We have Stitch feeling afraid he’ll hurt Lilo due to his uncontrollable outbursts, as they interfere with Lilo’s goal of winning the contest as she puts a lot of pressure on herself to win this for her mother in fear of letting her down. What I found most surprising is this movie actually allows for Lilo or Stitch to have some quiet moments to reflect, most of which is communicated across with no dialogue. We’ve gotta talk about that ending, the punches it pulls to get to this point are cheap, but damnit I can’t deny that it was effective. Easily the best final act of any of these movies, because this is the only one to make the tears come up to the eyes.
Lilo and Stitch 2 I do recall liking a lot as a kid, and it certainly holds up. It’s simple and very touching, which is the best way to describe this movie. Not as flawless as the original, but certainly a great follow-up and actually captures what made that movie work. It’s also a great standalone story that is a well-told character piece, with some great laughs and tears. It’s also just over an hour and that time flies by, so, in the end, an easy recommendation.
Link to The Emperor’s New Groove (2000) Review: The Disneyathon Part 15: Post Disney Renaissance
Alright from here on out on our Direct to DVD Disney timeline I have never seen any of these upcoming movies. The Lion King 1 1/2 and Lilo and Stitch 2 is where my knowledge of these films ends, as this was likely because I was outgrowing these movies as I wasn’t a toddler anymore. Though another reason could be the downfall of Disney’s own theatrical 2D animated movies must have convinced me that 3D animation was the way to go now. It’s 2005 so Chicken Little was my favourite animated movie ever at the time.
Anyway, let’s talk about Kronk’s New Groove, which as the title suggests puts Kronk at the centre stage relegating Kuzco to making some pretty hit-or-miss four-wall breaks. Not that it’s a deal breaker or anything as Kronk was the show-stealing character of the Emperor’s New Groove and I could definitely get behind a whole movie of him and Yzma getting up to some crazy trouble. Though I forget this is a direct-to-DVD sequel where creativity goes to die, which has left a sour taste in my mouth as this post was looking pretty good until now.
Kronk is living life up as the town’s lovable chef, but Kronk soon doubts things when his father is coming to town. Kronk’s dad expects his son to be married and have an awesome house, which Kronk doesn’t have as he’s too busy being the centre of the party. Kronk has only ever wanted his father’s approval as he spends most of this movie telling the moody waitress all the times, he came close to having an awesome house and the perfect wife before they were taken away. (Thanks for boiling my blood for me, movie.) Wouldn’t you believe it, these stories take about 20 minutes each to tell along with being super predictable and have been done to death. (I’m currently up the wall.) To be fair none of these stories are unwatchable and they’re pretty enjoyable in the moment. It definitely helps that Kronk is still the lovable slow-witted oaf that he is and Patrick Warburton is back and is giving it his all. They don’t give him much to do and Kronk isn’t as funny as he was when he was a side character, but he still works for this film. The show stealer for this movie would be Yzma, who I was surprised to see have such a small role in this. Yzma only appears in one of the shorts. This is the reason it’s the best of the two as Yzma and Kronk are so fun together, as it was one of the highlights of the original movie, so what’s the deal with this sequel and not taking advantage of that. At least Eartha Kitt gets to sing in this, which she didn’t in the original and it was quite a banger too.
I was mainly annoyed with Kronk’s New Groove with just how much of a waste of potential it is. It really doesn’t try to convince you that The Emperor’s New Groove is a better movie than this, they mainly do this by reusing the classic jokes from that movie or by ripping something else via boring pop culture references. I do get it as it’s pretty damn impossible to top the comedy in The Emperor’s New Groove as it’s likely Disney’s funniest movie as the jokes and the delivery hit every single time. Though the amount of times Kronk said ‘Riiightttt’ in this movie or even the gags with Yzma and Kronk are completely ripped from the original movie. It just felt very uninspired and lazy, which is pretty much the best way to describe this movie besides calling it flat-out lame.
This might take the cake for the most disappointing movie in this series and Kronk you deserved a better movie.
Link to Next Part: Coming Soon