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Lilo and Stitch: 4/10

I don’t really like the company of Disney, but sometimes they make movies that surprise me with their quality (
Monsters, Inc., The Lion King). Their animated films can be quite good. Note the word “can”.

Lilo, voiced by Daveigh Chase (The Ring), is a five-year-old Hawaiian girl who is being raised by her older sister Nani, voiced by Tia Carrere. Lilo and Nani’s parents died.

Meanwhile, in space, project 626 (voice of Chris Sanders) was made to be a vicious killing machine thing. When it escapes, it falls to Earth, while two bumbling aliens try to get it. 626 is found by Lilo and is named Stitch (hence the name Lilo and Stitch). The movie is about their so-called “adventures”.

First off, Lilo and Stitch tries to hard. It tries too hard to be funny, to appeal to all age brackets, and to bring back the appeal of the early 90s, when such movies like Beauty and the Beast and The Lion King were deemed best of the best. Sure I laughed a few times, but not enough. Its rather gross humor at times (Stitch licking the inside of his nose, getting apparatus from the nose and eating it) didn’t appeal to me at all. Adults would find that revolting, though kids would crack up. Why did they use lavish watercolors instead of CGI? Maybe so they can go up to Dreamworks and say “WE don’t need computers to make a movie!” Lilo and Stitch would have worked better as a computer generated movie for some reason. It just seemed out of place to use blue-collar work.

Ving Rhames comes in (!) as a social worker named Cobra Bubbles (generating one of the few laughs I protruded) and wants to take Lilo away from Nani. Gasp! O no! We really know them so well to care!

And that is where my second point comes in. It seems to abandon many plot elements along the way. Lilo runs into a hula dance lesson, but is never seen dancing again. Why aren’t we told more about the parents (or would that be too harsh for the young ones who really pay attention to every word said)? David (Jason Scott Lee), a young man, seems to come and go and is introduced without any knowledge. Why is he here and why aren’t we told about him at all?

Also, they tried to “dumb it down” a little. Why should we hate a man doing his job (Mr. Bubbles)? We obviously see that Nani is not being a very good parent, so why should we care that they are going to be separated? It’s for the best. Too much slapstick even for me. Wow-kids fall. Hahaha. What was the purpose of putting songs from Elvis in? Could it be that it’s a musical but those smart folks at Disney couldn’t think of any songs to put in? Well, duh!

You may think I totally hate it now, but it is watchable and, as I said before, a little funny. Its whole space theme, I just didn’t think should have been put in there. It seemed to not fit along with the remote Hawaiian island theme (but fish-out-of-water, I guess). Lilo and Stitch is harmless kid’s fare, but avoid if possible if you have half a usable mind.

Rated PG for mild sci-fi action.

Review Date: December 24, 2002 1