LILO & STITCH
OF: Daveigh Chase, Chris
Sanders, Jason Scott Lee, Tia Carrere, Kevin McDonald, Amy Hill, Ving
Rhames, David Ogden Stiers
2002, 85 Minutes, Directed by: Dean
DeBlois and Chris Sanders
On the planet Turo, mad scientist Jumba Jookiba (voice by David Ogden Stiers)
has created a miniature monster programmed for destruction. When the monster
escapes to Earth, it's adopted as a pet and named "Stitch" by Lilo (Daveigh
Chase), a lonely little Hawaiian girl. Lilo and her older sister Nani (Tia
Carrere) have been struggling to stay together since their parents died. Stitch
and Lilo share some hilarious adventures, evading welfare officer Cobra Bubbles
(Ving Rhames) and galactic police agents. —
small girl befriends an alien from outer space. E.T. - The
Extra Terrestrial? Not quite, the movie is Lilo & Stitch the
latest traditional (as opposed to computer-generated) animated effort by Disney.
When one critic called Spielberg's E.T. (still excellent after all these
years as witnessed by its recent special re-release) the best Disney movie
Disney never made, he may have had a point. Lilo & Stitch is however
very much unlike E.T. or any Disney movie the mouse house has ever made .
First off, the alien in question is a viscous little tyke - the result of a
genetic experiment to create a super powerful creature that is incredibly
destructive. In fact two bumbling aliens are sent to capture him (it? her?). The
girl in question is a bit of a social outcast and has some emotional problems as
one character in Donnie Darko termed it, though
not quite as severe as seen in said movie. While Lilo & Stitch veers
dangerously towards sentiment towards its end, it never succumbs to cheap
sentiment, as Disney pics tend to do.
Much like recent animated efforts such as Shrek, Lilo & Stitch
has lots of humor and sly pop cultural references that will appeal to adults
and will go way over the heads of small children. Unlike more serious Disney
fare (The Hunchback of Notre Dame anyone?) Lilo & Stitch is
very cartoony, in that a lot of the movie centers on sight gags instead of
dramatic narrative. To be honest it is the Disney flick (excepting the Pixar
efforts such as Monsters, Inc.) that I have enjoyed the most since the
fun, much underrated Emperor's New Groove.
Unlike a lot of animated efforts aimed at small children (the dismal
straight-to-video Cinderella II for instance - ugh!) both adults and
small children can enjoy Lilo & Stitch. To be honest I found myself
rewatching some favorite scenes using the chapter selection function on the
DVD immediately after it had finished. Yes, it's that good . . .
However, be warned that my wife thought that some scenes may not be quite
suitable for smaller children, but I disagree: Lilo & Stitch ought to
have your children in stitches (groan), but some parental guidance may be in
order . . .