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2005-06 Animated Film Preview
Leroy & Stitch Cars Kronk's New Groove

LEROY & STITCH

Read UD's Lilo Leroy & Stitch DVD Review

With the news of this recent release, which came on June 27, 2006, one begins to feel a roadmap is needed to stay on top of the Lilo & Stitch film series. It all began in June 2002, when Lilo & Stitch was released to theaters following a longterm and clever marketing campaign. The film grossed $145 million domestically, and nearly that much outside of North America too. While not on par with Disney's tremendously successful '90s musicals, the film was clearly a hit.

Making sure to capitalize on their hottest original animated property of the decade, Disney soon followed suit with an animated series set after the events of the movie, cleverly titled "Lilo & Stitch: The Series", for ABC Saturday mornings and Disney Channel around the week. Right before the series made its fall 2003 television debut, though, there was Stitch! The Movie, a direct-to-video feature-length launch to "The Series" released in August of 2003.

In August 2005, a "proper" direct-to-video sequel entitled Lilo & Stitch 2: Stitch Has a Glitch came to DVD. Naturally, this also is set after the events of Lilo & Stitch...but before "Lilo & Stitch: The Series." Leroy & Stitch, coming next spring, will be the feature-length conclusion to the television series.

To sum up, Leroy & Stitch will become the fifth Stitch DVD Disney has released in Region 1. That number does not include the long-delayed 2-disc Lilo & Stitch special edition that has already made its way to several parts of the world (and was last heard to be due in the US July 2006), but it does include Lilo & Stitch's Island of Adventures, a standalone set-top/boardgame released to DVD in November of 2003.

In its opposition towards "mild sci-fi action", the MPAA has helped figuring out the Stitch chronology; both the original movie and its 2005 "official" sequel were rated "PG." Leroy & Stitch will carry a G rating, like Stitch! The Movie which launched the television series Leroy ends; these three entities follow the two films. And Island of Adventures is still just a game, therefore lacking a firm need to fit in with the rest.

Got all that? Good. After Lilo and Stitch say their goodbyes and part ways, Leroy & Stitch reunites them. The "Leroy" in question is a diabolical new experiment which demands everyone's immediate attention. The captures below come from a one-minute preview on the Stitch Has a Glitch DVD.

"Leroy & Stitch" DVD cover art Buy Leroy & Stitch on DVD from:
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Read UD's Leroy & Stitch DVD Review
Release Date: June 27, 2006
Contains "Big Red Battleship Flight Simulator" Game and "Link", a never-before-seen episode of "Lilo & Stitch: The Series"


Left: Stitch is saddened at the prospect of leaving. Right: The colorful council convenes.


Left: High-five! Right: Three of those quirky experiments from that show.


Left: A demonic bunny with what appears to be Leroy. Right: Lilo dispatches an important message, "Ohana, ohana, ohana!"

"Leroy & Stitch" DVD cover art Preorder Leroy & Stitch on DVD from:
Amazon.com ($26.99)
DVD Empire ($17.99)
BestBuy.com ($17.99)
Buy.com ($20.13)
eBay

Stitch-Related DVD
Lilo & Stitch 2: Stitch Has a Glitch DVD - "official" sequel, contains Leroy preview

CARS

Pixar Animation Studios' Cars is the seventh film to come from the California-based CGI house. It follows a line of critically-acclaimed and warmly-received pictures, from Toy Story and A Bug's Life through Finding Nemo and The Incredibles, all distributed by Walt Disney Pictures. Originally slated to open in theaters this November, Cars was delayed to assume the scheduling of Nemo (Pixar's highest-grossing work to date), opening in the earlier part of summer (June 9th, 2006) and coming to DVD with plenty of time for the holidays. Cars is the last production under the current agreement between Disney and Pixar, fulfilling a five-picture contract signed in response to Toy Story's vast success. Though quarterly earnings conference calls from both Pixar and Disney have confirmed that discussions have been proceeding in a positive direction, no new deal has yet to be inked and Pixar intends to announce their future distributor (whether Disney or another studio) as well as their post-Cars projects by the end of 2005.

Cars tells the story of Lightning McQueen (voiced by funnyman Owen Wilson), a hot-shot young race car on the path to becoming a Piston Cup champion. His big plans are detoured when he gets impounded in the slow desert town of Radiator Springs. There, itching to escape to the race track, he encounters a variety of small-townsfolk (all four-wheelers, as well) who change his conception of what it means to be a champion. Among the vehicles Lightning meets: a rusty tow truck named Mater (voiced by Larry the Cable Guy), a sleek blue 2002 Porsche named Sally (voiced by Bonnie Hunt), and a 1951 Hudson Hornet (Oscar-winning actor and race car afficianado Paul Newman).

The first Cars teaser debuted in theaters before The Incredibles and was also included on the 2004 blockbuster's top-selling DVD. This brief promo was met with some skepticism even by diehard Pixar fans. A new preview hosted by director John Lasseter appears on the Toy Story: 10th Anniversary Edition DVD, released on September 6th. While it's not a typical trailer, many should find the clips and narration of this 2-minute spot more encouraging.

Read UD's review of Cars

Click to view UD's report from the "Cars" World Premiere in Charlotte
Read UD's report from the Cars World Premiere with pictures and video

Cars Movie Tie-In Merchandise
Order "The Art of Cars" from Amazon.com Order "Cars: The Essential Guide" from Amazon.com Order the "Cars" Soundtrack from Amazon.com Order the Fast Talking' McQueen toy from Amazon.com Other Cars Tie-ins:
Power Wheels Lightning McQueen car
Lightning McQueen's Fast Tracks CD
Cars: Radiator Springs Adventures CD-ROM
Shake 'n Go Mater toy
Radio-Controlled Super Tow Mater
Cars "Dirt" Racetrack Set
The Art of Cars
160 pages, hardcover
Chronicle Books
Cars: The Essential Guide
48 pages, hardcover
DK Books
Cars: Soundtrack
score by Randy Newman;
songs by Rascal Flatts,
John Mayer, Sheryl Crow,
Chuck Berry, Brad Paisley,
The Chords and James Taylor
Fast Talkin' McQueen
large-scale talking car toy
15 stunts/tricks and >30 phrases
14" x 7.7" x 7.5"
More Cars Books:
Cars: The Junior Novelization
Cars: Ultimate Sticker Book
Learn to Draw Cars
Cars: Read-Aloud Storybook
Cars: Little Golden Book
Cars: Join the Pit Crew

KRONK'S NEW GROOVE

Kronk's New Groove is a direct-to-video follow-up to Disney's 2000 animated movie, The Emperor's New Groove. It aspires to a similar structure, but whereas that picture told Kuzco's story, this one follows Kronk, the immensely likable dim-witted henchman from the first film. In this sequel, Kronk strives to earn the approval of his tough-to-please father (voiced by "Frasier"'s John Mahoney). This comedic tale centers on Kronk's adventures at Camp Chipamunka, where he leads a pack of eager youths and takes a liking to his competing counselor (voiced with British accent by comedienne Tracey Ullman).

The typical concerns fans express about direct-to-video sequels tainting the original film's legacy most do not apply here, since only five years have passed since Emperor's was in theaters and both that film and this follow-up take themselves much less seriously than the typical Disney cartoon.

While the Disney Channel will launch a new animated series called "The Emperor's New School" in January, Kronk's does not seem to be 70-minute commercial for it. Three of the first film's main characters (Yzma plus the apparent leads of "School" Kuzco and Pacha) have limited roles here, with Kronk and his fellow campers assuming the majority of screen time.

All of the original film's voice talent is back, including Patrick Warburton in the title role, David Spade, John Goodman, Eartha Kitt, and in perhaps his final performance, John Fielder (the recently-deceased long-time Disney actor best known for voicing Piglet). Kronk's New Groove was released to DVD on December 13th.

Preorder Kronk's New Groove on DVD from Amazon.com






Buy Kronk's New Groove on DVD from Amazon.com

Read our Kronk's New Groove DVD Review
Read our The Emperor's New Groove: New Groove Edition DVD Review

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More on Cars and other Disney films coming to Theaters
Upcoming Disney DVD Schedule
Complete Guide to Direct-to-Video Movies
Guide to Pixar Films and Other Disney-Distributed Animation
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Created August 22, 2005 / last updated June 28, 2006. All images copyright Disney. This page copyright UltimateDisney.com.