the voices of:
Daveigh Chase, Chris Sanders, Tia Carrere, David Ogden
Stiers, Ving Rhames
Chris Sanders, Dean DeBlois
As the movie starts, we witness the mad alien scientist,
Jumba (David Ogden Stiers), going on trial for genetic experimentation.
His creation, Experiment 626, is a six-legged destruction
machine who's impervious to harm, but oddly cute and surly
at the same time. Jumba is imprisoned and 626 gets exiled,
but en route to exile, he breaks free and steals a ship. 626
crash lands on Earth and gets adopted by Lilo, a lonely Hawaiian
girl who lives with her sister, Nani. The two sisters live
a dysfunctional life, their parents having died in a car wreck
and the Child Welfare social worker, a burly man by the name
of Cobra Bubbles, informs Nani that living conditions need
to improve or she'll lose custody of her sister.
Lilo gives 626 the name Stitch and tries as hard as she can
to reform the surly troublemaker, even trying to model him
after Elvis Presley, her ideal of the model citizen. Stitch's
programming makes him want to seek out large cities and cause
havok, but since he finds himself on the Hawaiian island with
no major cities at his disposal, he takes out his destructive
needs on the locals, interfering with Lilo and Nani's life.
All the while, Jumba has been released to recapture the beast,
but he must do it without harming the local wildlife.
The backgrounds are wonderfully illustrated to mimic watercolor
paintings and the overall design of the film has a nice natural
feel to it. Everything is colorful and bright. The character
design is both simple but works wonderfully with the story.
The animation really sells the humanity given to the characters.
Certain scenes are funny in just that the physical reactions
of the characters come across as such a good imitation of
Lilo & Stitch proves that Disney can actually
make a cute film with characters that aren't model citizens.
All the characters have their own little "grayness"
to them - they're neither all bad nor all good. Stitch is
a destructive beast who ends up just wanting a place in the
universe and a family. Lilo is a lonely troublemaker who doesn't
mean to do harm. Nani tries her hardest to take care of Lilo,
but she is a far better sister than a parent.
Outside of the rather convenient ending (everything gets
wrapped up too easily), Lilo & Stitch is a wonderful
film that any parent will be willing to take their child to.
It's both funny and cute, even if a little socially deviant
from time to time. Only a seasoned grump won't walk out of
this film with a smile.