Review: Lilo & Stitch (2002)

Lilo & Stitch (2002)

Directed by: Dean DeBlois, Chris Sanders | 85 minutes | drama, comedy, animation, family, science fiction | Original voice cast: Daveigh Chase, Chris Sanders, Tia Carrere, David Ogden Stiers, Kevin McDonald, Ving Rhames, Zoe Caldwell, Jason Scott Lee, Kevin Michael Richardson, Susan Hegarty, Amy Hill

With ‘Lilo & Stitch’ Disney returns to its roots, the angular shapes of the previous films ‘Pocahontas’ and ‘Hercules’ were exchanged for the beautiful curves that better suit these animations. Hawaii has been chosen for the location this time, a perfect choice, because it offers the possibility to use lots of cheerful colors with a lot of music (never knew Elvis Presley and Hawaii could form such a unit!) and fun sea and beach scenes.

For the first time, Disney has tapped into the genre of science fiction, so the film offers endearing and bizarre characters. The orphan Lilo, who is brought up with great difficulty by her sister Nani, is lonely and is not accepted by her classmates. Cobra Bubbles of the Child Protective Services is on her sister’s heels, because it is suspected that Lilo is better off in an orphanage. When Nani decides that Lilo needs a boyfriend from the shelter, things go wrong. Lilo chooses a strange blue dog, which turns out not to be a dog, but a space creature from a distant planet. Stitch is programmed to destroy anything that comes near him, so Lilo and Nani must do everything they can to protect their home and themselves. When Stitch is also chased by two aliens (Agent Pleakley and Dr. Jumba Jookiba, the inventor of Stitch), things get very exciting.

The film is very suitable for young and old, the children will enjoy the story, the tension and the funny antics that Lilo and Stitch perform. They will easily identify with the main characters. The story will also appeal to adults, because there is nice humor in it. Funny detail is, for example, that Cobra Bubbles (voiced by Ving Rhames) bears a strong resemblance to gangster Marsellus Wallace from ‘Pulp Fiction’ (also played by Ving Rhames). Fortunately, the film never gets too sentimental, even though the motto is ‘ohana’ (the Hawaiian word for family, and Lilo translates this as ‘no one is left alone’. No, we see Stitch strolling through San Francisco like a Godzilla and giving away an Elvis imitation in a white suit, that makes up for a lot! The use of color gives the film a retro look and that is reinforced by the music. Extremely suitable for people with children, with nostalgia for Hawaii, Elvis fans and Disney fans, but certainly not recommended for anyone who does not fall into the aforementioned categories.

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