for mild sci-fi action.
David Ogden Stiers
I went to the theater to see Minority Report, but due to an error both online and in the newspaper, it wasn't playing in the theater I went to. So I decided instead to stick around and see Lilo & Stitch. Considering I hadn't planned on seeing it, and the previews didn't appeal to me very much, I still found the movie to be very entertaining.
Stitch is an alien from a far away world, created in a lab and created just to destroy everything in his path. When his creation is discovered, he is to be banished, but instead escapes and lands in Hawaii. He is befriended by Lilo, a little girl being raised by her older sister Nani after their parents died. Lilo doesn't have any friends, and social services is threatening to take her away from her sister. She's very destructive, much like Stitch, so they understand each other. But as Stitch is being chased down by the aliens who let him go, he starts to learn about the importance of family and learns to stop destroying everything he sees.
When I first saw the previews for Lilo & Stitch, I didn't think much of them. I am usually a pretty big Disney fan, but their last few hand drawn animated films haven't done much for me. They were entertaining, but they weren't special like The Little Mermaid or Beauty and the Beast. As far as the animation is concerned, Lilo & Stitch didn't impress me. All the backgrounds looked like there were done in pastels and looked very odd when people moved in front of them. The characters were done very simply and with the advent of computer animation, the characters looked old fashioned.
What made the movie click was the story. Somewhat different and a little more mature than past Disney films. Lilo is a very sad and upset girl who lashes out at people ever since her parents died. When she jumped on her friend and started hitting her, I don't recall ever thinking before 'whoa, that seems a bit much for a Disney film'. But it was also less 'fantasy' than past Disney films have been. Sure the idea that an alien would come from another planet is out there, but the family dynamic was more realistic. Social services coming to take Lilo away if her sister doesn't get things in order. Lashing out at other people because of her sorrow over losing her parents. Befriending a creature that no one else would because she understands his pain. I found the story to be very sweet and funny at the same time, which made the 85 minutes just fly by. And really, how can you go wrong with a soundtrack full of Elvis songs?
THE BOTTOM LINE
Overall I enjoyed Lilo & Stitch. Visually it wasn't anything special, and at times didn't look good to me at all. But the winning story and Elvis music made up for the shortcomings and made for a fun movie.
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