Retro Review: Lilo & Stitch

Written: June 23, 2002

Disney has always had a lot of luck creating the next loveable and cutesy creation for children around the world to fall in love with. This time out they have brought a new spin to it.

Stitch (voiced by Chris Sanders, one of the film’s writer-directors) is also known as Experiment 626. He is an alien life form who was designed as the ultimate weapon. The only problem is that he is only 2 feet tall and a Galactic Federation has targeted him for destruction. Stitch escapes to Earth.

Lilo (voiced by Daveigh Chase) is a little girl who lives on one of the Hawaiian Islands. Lilo’s sister Nani (voiced by Tia Carrere) has been sworn to look after her younger sister after the death of their parents.

Nani is trying to support her little sister with dead-end part-time jobs and avoiding an investigating social worker named Mr. Bubbles (voiced by Ving Rhames).

When the worlds of Lilo and Stitch collide, Lilo sees love within Stitch’s destructive exterior. Stitch learns what it’s like to be human and to be a part of a family. Both characters learn to love each other even when complications arise.

“Lilo & Stitch” is a great step for Disney after the dismal box-office performance of “Atlantis: The Lost Empire” last summer. “Lilo & Stitch” has the heart and tenderness of old Disney pictures as it delivers a good message to children about the power of family.

That is the soul of the film, as the children will once more fall in love with the blue and snarling Stitch but may also learn that valued lesson.

I really liked the relationship between Lilo and her sister. Their relationship reminded me a lot of those “For Better or For Worse” cartoons and comic strips. There was a lot of realism to their relationship. It was easy to see what Stitch admired about their family.

My only problems with the film were the “Buzz Lightyear” and “Looney Tunes” style opening and finale. They were pretty slapstick and standard cartoon fare. I love cartoons but they took away from the emotion of the family-elements.

I liked the center of the film a lot as I am sure families will have to embrace. Take your kids and let them fall in love with the power of Disney all over again.

(4 out of 5)

So Says the Soothsayer.

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