"Elvis" clip from Disney's "Lilo & Stitch"
Disney's "Lilo & Stitch" was quite a surprise in the summer of 2002.
Stitch was a brand-new character from the studio who wasn't based on a
known fairy tale. He was also a terror, and his human companion, Lilo,
wasn't the most behaved kid in Disney cinema history.
"Lilo & Stitch: 2-Disc Big Wave Edition" is now available on DVD.
The film is a charming surprise in that it broke Disney's own "rules."
It took some modern day elements of single parenting (this by Lilo's
sister, Nani, played by Tia Carrere), and child social workers, then
combined those elements with a space alien with a loose screw. There was
the issue of Lilo (Daveigh Chase) having a tough relationship with Nani
and not fitting in at her dance school. Then Stitch (Chris Sanders) is
having conflicting issues of his own by whether he should be an
obnoxious alien, or a calm part of his new family. That's a lot to
digest! Yet it works very well.
The original movie spawned a few direct-to-DVD movies, an attraction at
Walt Disney World, and a thin but cute Disney Channel series. How does
the original hold up after all these years of spin-offs? Very well,
actually. I'd seen it numerous times as my daughter popped the DVD into
the player. It's never been a family movie where I winced at having just
to hear it in the background. The movie has a lot of sweetness to it,
though it becomes overkill after awhile hearing "ohana" over and over
again. Nevertheless, Lilo has a lot of spunk and Stitch is her perfect
The animation is one of the film's strongpoints. The painterly
backgrounds are a refreshing change from the three-dimensional computer
animation that had become vogue early in the decade. The characters have
a unique look to them with rounded features and elliptical eye features.
Disney exploited Stitch's charm. He was on television, in ads for other
Disney products, and was featured in the theme parks. The word "ohana"
was spread around like Spam. The original film was very well made, but I
don't think that Stitch himself was as lovable as other classic Disney
characters. He was funny because of his mischievious ways, and he
redeems himself in the end. But I'm not sure if he was worthy of being
placed, and sometime overtaking, other Disney characters. Snow White has
her singing and good looks. Pinocchio has his bravery and loyalty. Peter
Pan has his childhood charm and ability to fly to Neverland. Stitch has
his boogers and destructive powers. I suppose that's part of one his
many alien/dog charms.
Special thanks to Click Communications
Photos: © BVHE. All