For the next entry in this month’s Genre Grandeur – Aliens, here’s a review from Kim of Tranquil Dreams of her favorite film from the genre, Lilo and Stitch (2002). If you don’t already follow her site, I strongly suggest that you do, she has some great stuff including travel loges, recipes and movie reviews.
It’s still not too late to get in on the fun of this months Genre, just send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with your review by the 25th and I’ll post it.
Take it away Kim……..
Before I start my review, I’d like to say that aside from those Alien movies and whatnot, I’m not much of a connoisseur of alien movies. I’m a newbie especially in that area. Even though I am a huge fan of Alien movies and I could have gone with those, my mind went to this Disney animation: Lilo & Stitch.
Director: Dean Deblois and Chris Sanders
Cast: Daveigh Chase, Chris Sanders, Tia Carrere, David Ogden Stiers, Kevin McDonald, Ving Rhames
On a Hawaiian island, Lilo picks up an alien pretending to be a dog as her pet. She names him Stitch. He becomes a disaster that ruins everything. Except, he is alone and being chased down by a scientist who created him to bring him back to outer space. While he lives with Lilo and her sister, Nani, Stitch may have a destructive code programmed in him but he starts seeing the importance of belonging and family.
Lilo & Stitch is not your traditional Disney animation. It doesn’t have a princess and a prince and not even about falling in love. Its about family, belonging and finding where you fit in, no matter who and how you are. At the same time, its also about keeping family together and making sure everyone is taken care of and accounted for. There’s something so charming and lovable about this flick that I can never resist it. Sure, Stitch looked all crazy in the beginning when he was aggressive, mean and a mega trouble maker. And you might even question how Lilo is so clueless. Any person, even little girls would know that Stitch is not a dog and by all means, nowhere near looking like any animal. But then, what do I know, I’m learning the world is full of weird looking creatures. Still, she accepted him as different as he may be. Thats what makes Lilo such a lovable character. Plus, you have to admit she’s a peculiar one also and she wants people to accept her for who she is as well. In that sense, Lilo & Stitch really are great together, especially in their little Elvis snippets.
As the story goes on, the biggest change is in Stitch/Experiment 626. Yet again, its a character that doesn’t really say much but carries this as we see how he changes. He is an alien and also an experiment by Jumba. Stitch tries to blend in and be a part of this new world that he knows nothing about and when he can’t fulfill the purpose Jumba gives him.
“626 was designed to be a monster, but now he has nothing to destroy. You see, I never gave him a greater purpose. What must it be like to have nothing, not even memories to look back on in the middle of the night?”-Jumba, Lilo & Stitch (source: IMDB)
Stitch grows up in a way. He finds a greater purpose to his life and a place to belong and he creates memories. When he relates himself to the story of The Ugly Duckling, it just breaks my heart a little. There’s a naivety in him and the discovery of lots of new things just transforms Stitch into the adorable alien that makes him unforgettable as a character.
As always, Disney animation has a main theme but the supporting characters all play a part to either make it easygoing and fun. There are the villains that try to hinder whatever is going on. In this case, Jumba and Pleakley are sent to capture Stitch but ends up being somewhat idiots that just create lots of funny moments. They actually make a pretty hilarious duo together. In a way, they match to the theme of being different because they are also peculiar in their own way: the crazy scientist and the not so knowledgeable and somewhat gullible “know-all” of Earth. But then, there’s also the social services guy who believes taking away Lilo from her sister is better for her and the whole keeping appearances up makes for some laugh out loud moments also.
Lilo & Stitch is a cute alien Disney animation that delivers a story about family, belonging and being different. It always makes me laugh a lot and then feel a little sad for Stitch but touched when everything comes around. Its full of Elvis music to make it all even more awesome (and I just love some upbeat music). Above everything, Stitch is an unforgettable alien character.
Its really been too long since I’ve watched this one. I had a great time revisiting it. A huge thanks to Rob for putting this up and Cara for choosing aliens as this month’s genre 🙂
Thanks again to Kim for her contribution this month!