Disney Classics #42: Lilo and Stitch

I love this movie, and Stitch is easily one of my favourite Disney characters (right up there, with Genie, Baloo, Rapunzel and Flynn Rider), he’s incredibly cute for starters, but he’s also this manic ball of destructive energy.

liloandstitch pos

The plot of this movie is that Stitch is the creation of self-styled evil genius Jumba (David Ogden Stiers) an alien who has broken intergalactic law in creating genetic experiments, the latest being Stitch, who can create untold chaos. Jumba is imprisoned and Stitch is to be exiled to a desolate asteroid, but he escapes and steals a ship. Unable to swim or survive in water due to his destiny the intergalactic council is hopeful as he heads for Earth’s Pacific Ocean, but he winds up landing on Hawaii.

Jumba is released from prison and partnered with Agent Pleakley (Kevin McDonald), an expert on Earth’s nature, with Earth being a protected wildlife area due to the “rare” mosquito. They are charged with apprehending Stitch.

As cover, Stitch disguises himself as a dog and is adopted by Lilo (Daveigh Chase), a rather eccentric young girl. Lilo lives with her older sister Nani (Tia Carrere), who is struggling to look after her wilful younger sibling and hold down a job, and social worker Cobra Bubbles (Ving Rhames) is unimpressed the chaotic home life Lilo has. He tells Nani she needs to improve and find a new job, and that he expects Lilo to train Stitch so that he becomes a model citizen.

All the while Jumba and Pleakley are waiting, with Jumba becoming increasingly surprised that Stitch isn’t merely wreaking havoc and destroying something, and appears to want to be part of the family.

The movie is lots of fun and the strength lies in the wonderful characters they create. Like, I said, Stitch is one of my faves, but he’s surrounded by other great characters. Lilo, is just adorably weird, and her odd observations and habits are a delight, the kind of weird thing a kid would come out with. I also love that when trying to train Stitch her “go to” for a model citizen is the King.

liloandstitch stitch

And there’s also Nani, who is clearly struggling to step into the parenting role with her little sister. Clearly trying her best but out of her depth, while still trying to put on a brave face for Lilo. Their scenes have genuine warmth and the playful, teasing vibe that siblings often share.

Nani’s love interest David (Jason Scott Lee), is also extremely charming, a sweet dude who helps out and has a good rapport with Lilo.

All of the characters are memorable and engaging, and the film’s bright colours and art style add to the sense of fun. Musically it’s fantastic too, a mix of Elvis and Hawaiian infused upbeat tracks.

It’s just one of those movies that just puts a big, dumb smile on my face and makes me feel good, and that’s a great thing. It’s one of my favourite Disney flicks to rewatch.

Disney score: 8/10.

Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.

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