Lilo & Stitch (11/24/12)

Lilo & StitchMovie Two Hundred Seventy

In Lilo & Stitch, a lonely Hawaiian girl finds a friend after an alien fugitive crash-lands nearby.

Dr. Jumba Jookiba is under galactic trial for illegal experimentation and his experiment #626 is used as evidence of this, a creature of his own design. Jookiba is to be transported to prison and 626 is to be sent to an abandoned asteroid, but 626 takes escapes from the ship and ends up landing on Earth, in the Hawaiian Islands. 626 gets hit by a truck and is taken to an animal hospital, thinking it’s a weird breed of dog. A young girl named Lilo, who is being taken care of by her older sister, adopts 626 and names him “Stitch”. As the galactic council searches for 626, Lilo and Stitch bond and they learn the true meaning of ‘ohana (family).

When my wife (then girlfriend) and I traveled to Disney World about 6 years ago, Lilo & Stitch merchandise was freaking everywhere and we felt kind of out of the loop since we hadn’t seen it. Flash forward to present day and we decided we needed to finally see Lilo & Stitch before heading to Disney World again. Neither of us were very impressed by the film, and Stitch had a lessened presence, but at least we understood it.

Oddly enough, Lilo & Stitch is the film that brought back the use of watercolor painted backgrounds in Disney features, a practice mostly given up around the 1940s. The animation style is also unique to Disney films and even the character design is atypical. I found the entire art style pretty fantastic and when the story started to bore me I found myself staring at all the backgrounds. It is easily the strongest single aspect of Lilo & Stitch in my mind.

One thing that has always bugged me about central characters that are horrible people but we are supposed to cheer them on, even if they aren’t improving themselves or anyone around them. For most of the film, Lilo is an annoying kid. Yeah, she’s had some hard times…but she punches a classmate in the face for no real reason. Cute behavior to teach kids, Disney. The dysfunctional family life (sister raising kid, social worker trying to take the kid away) also seems really deep for a movie with such juvenile jokes. It would be hard to recommend Lilo & Stitch to really young kids, but most of the stuff would go right over their heads and they would be in it for Stitch acting silly anyway.

As an adult, I found very little to like about Lilo & Stitch outside the production values of it. The story didn’t grab me, nor did the characters. It wasn’t a movie I hated watching but seeing it once was probably enough for me. However, Lilo & Stitch is certainly a unique Disney animated film, for better or worse.

I give it 3 Elvis Presley plays a large role for some reason out of 5.


Rotten Tomatoes


24 responses to “Lilo & Stitch (11/24/12)

  1. Are you sure you are going to reach your goal of 300 movies in 2012? This is movie 270 and there is only two more weeks to go, which means you are going to have to watch 30 movies in 14 days.

    • give it a shot. i’m sure you can find 90 minutes. i love it and watch it very happily every time my kids wants to see it. what causes most people – maybe – to turn away from it is that the girl is a pudgy kid and not a perfect little girl that we’re accustomed to seeing in disney films.

  2. I suppose I’ll be the first to say that I enjoyed the movie, and the TV series that followed. Although I have to say that the teaser trailers with Stitch interrupting classic Disney trailers were better than the actual film.

  3. I have to totally disagree with you (and apparently all the other commenters) here, because I loved the film. Something about the broken and dysfunctional family and Stitch’s quest for identity and somewhere he belongs really worked for me. I’m not a huge fan of Elvis, but it thought it worked well here.

    And it’s also a bit different, because this is the first time that the main character in a Disney film was the whacky alien creature, a character that normally gets the supporting comic relief role opposite a human princess.

  4. lilo n stitch is soooo underrated. it’s a great film, fabulous, witty dialogue, great sarcasm, and an underlying warmth of family connection. so many little nuances that killed me. like in the beginning when stitch is in front of a committee to determine his fate, and he says something gross that we can’t understand, but the other creatures can. and a robot pukes, and you see gears and sprockets hurled out of its face.

    also, when there are creatures on the bridge of the ship containing stitch, and he breaks free, if you look carefully at the creatures on the bridge, there’s an alien version of pooh, piglet, and tigger.

    i’m sure i’ll think of more later, and i’ll come back with it then. the music while lilo and the other kids are dancing – just wonderful.

  5. Not the best representation of my hometown. LOL It’s cute. A perfect movie for a little kid, but this cartoon is not for the adults. Although Ohana does mean family in Hawaiian and we never leave a family member behind. That’s true.

  6. Pingback: My November Movies Round-Up | Andy Watches Movies

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