Lilo and Stitch are celebrating their 20th anniversary! Disney’s commitment to this odd couple is ongoing, including have a few pieces of exclusive merchandise (a pin and stuffed doll), and their plan for a live-action remake is late. There’s been no word on when or if it has begun filming. All fans can hope for is a release this year at least if it’s supposed to be for this celebration.
Ever since this film’s release June 16, 2002, I’ve been obsessed with the blue fuzzy alien. The television series was about the duo collecting accidentally released experiments at the height of Pokémon’s popularity. Thus, I can’t say it was an appropriate continuation. I tuned in because Stitch’s silly antics never grew old.
But time would take its toll on this franchise. This extra-terrestrial phoned home. As a result, Disney Japan delivered two original animation videos, Planet of Sand and Perfect Memory to continue the alien’s adventures. More often than not, he found himself back on Earth, setting the course for further adventures on Disney Asia’s network. It’s sad Lilo grew up, but it had to happen.
The releases to the Asian market aren’t in order, and it’s easy to get confused if the two new series (Lilo and Ai, and Stitch! The Series) are supposed to exist in the same universe, or chronology. According to the Wiki, the Chinese production is standalone and I enjoyed this alternate take of the classical formula. My look at this series can be read here.
The Japanese series has a better developed content, and follows after the events of the home video release, Leroy and Stitch.
This program is more mature and shows Yuna (Stitch’s new companion) facing the same hurdles as Lilo did. One good thing about this show is that she’s not always a country bumpkin. This girl becomes has other problems to face. Also, she’ll have to learn how to live in the city with the blue alien in tow. Thankfully, an episode (“Reunion with Lilo”) in Stitch! suggests that the story is ongoing. It resolves any problems the two had. Lilo looks more like Nani and to see them back together brought tears to my eyes.
But we got more stories than that. The manga series, Stitch, and the Samurai, was released last year.
Fans can purchase each individual volume here (along with volumes two and three), or by clicking at each individual image through these Amazon USA links
While fleeing the Galactic Federation, Stitch’s spaceship malfunctions, and he makes an emergency landing not in Hawaii, but in Sengoku-era Japan! Lord Yamato and his clan find Stitch, and his cuteness is no match for the battle-weary samurai who brings the “blue tanuki” home and tries to make a pet.
Jumba and Pleakley aren’t too far behind, since the rodent is their responsibility. With no surprise, they help make Japan technologically advanced, and that’s not good for the rest of the world. It’s best not to spoil the three volume work, but it made for a fun weekend read. Plus, this graphic novel is also a flip-page animation book.
I hope there’ll be more manga featuring Stitch in these standalone works. Although he’s no longer a huge star like he was during his debut, his presence can still be found at Disney’s parks, and elsewhere. But for those who haven’t been keeping track of where he can be found in print, there’s also:
Comic Zone Volume 1: Disney’s Lilo and Stitch
This trade paperback is a compilation of the comics that were printed in Disney Adventure magazine. These shorts are non-canonical.
Stitch Volume One and Two
These stories by Yumi Tsukirino take place in the Japanese series continuity and are side-stories. The content is more for the K9 crowd than long time fans, but for completists, it’s something to have on the shelf just to show how much of a fan one is of the series.
Stitch! Best Friends Forever!
This particular volume has more substance to it when compared to the latter two. To note, the tales presented in this books are standalone works rather than a continuation of the series.
But for completists, viewers shouldn’t forget that these direct to video releases still hasn’t made the transition to Blu-ray just yet, and are available to purchase as DVDs:
Lilo and Stitch Direct to Video Releases (also available to Stream)
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