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Lilo and Stitch (Disney) 2002

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Lilo and Stitch (Disney) 2002

  • Lilo & Stitch Disney's latest hit comes home on a solid little DVD (review)
    By Jeremy Conrad
    (, December 3, 2002)
    Released this past summer, Disney's Lilo & Stitch was an instant hit, and even gave the big Spielberg/Cruise event Minority Report a run for its money. Even in the light of Spider-Man and Star Wars, the little animated film was one of the better successes of the summer, and it was a fun little movie. Just in times for the holidays, Disney unleashed their summer hit on a little DVD that just happens to have some worthwhile extras, despite it not being one of their big two-disc special editions.

    The Movie
    Lilo & Stitch opens with an outer space trial of an alien scientist who created a very deadly little alien killing machine named "Experiment 626". The little blue creature is put into custody, but eventually escapes and crash-lands on Earth, where he's adopted by a young girl (Lilo) who is being raised by her older sister. Thinking the alien is a dog, Lilo names him Stitch and their adventure in Hawaii begins.

    This movie strays a bit from the cut and dry Disney formula and infuses itself with some very clever and demented humor, which is quite a refreshing change and is probably one of the reasons it did so well in theaters. Its tone is more "Looney Tunes" than "Disney". There are even small little moments where the humor reminds one a little bit of the great comic strip "Calvin and Hobbes", especially in the behavior of Lilo and the dementedness of Stitch.

    The animation is even fresh for a Disney film, with a return to a very traditional hand-drawn look with very little use of CGI. Character designs consist of very round and warm shapes along with beautiful watercolor backgrounds for the Hawaiian locations that the story takes place in.

    Continuing Disney's move away from animated musicals, Lilo & Stitch doesn't really feature any original songs. Popular film composer Alan Silvestri whipped up a Hawaiian score for the film, but the real music in the movie comes from the use of Elvis songs. This was a great choice for this fun little movie; after all it does take place in Hawaii.

    As great as the animation and music in the movie is, the real star is Stitch. This little blue demented soul is one of the most fun characters out of the Disney studios in years. Take a bit of Animal from The Muppets, mixed with a cuddly little koala, paint it blue, and you've got Stitch. The twitchiness and dark humor wound up in this small package adds such a funny little spark to the movie. There's a small moment in the beginning of the movie involving Stitch and a frog that I never thought I'd see in a Disney movie. Things only get funnier from there on out.

    Filled with quirky humor, beautiful animation, and Elvis music, Lilo & Stitch was a nice change of pace from Disney, and hopefully the studio will realize that this sort of animated movie is what works with audiences these days. Don't miss it.
    9 out of 10

    The Video
    Presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.66:1 (the movie was matted to 1.85:1 for its theatrical release), you couldn't as for a better-looking version of this lush animated film. The wide array of colors in the film look fantastic in this anamorphic transfer with its reds, greens, blues, and pinks looking even more vibrant than they did in most theatrical prints.

    Adding to the transfer's excellence, there are no compression problems. There's no edge enhancement, and the overall picture is perfectly sharp. This is easily one of the best-looking animated films on DVD, outside of some of the Pixar discs of course.
    10 out of 10

    The Audio
    Almost as impressive as the transfer, the Dolby Digital 5.1 mix is quite fun. Throughout the adventure, there are numerous little discrete effects such as objects or voices coming from one of the surround channels. These little effects create an enveloping and three-dimensional feeling the mix.

    Also fun is the strong low-end in the mix, such as a nice little "thwomp" effect that was put in for the sound of laser blasts. Later in the film as the action heats up, there are even a few explosions that give your sub quite a nice little kick. There's really no place in the soundtrack where the audio disappoints. Alan Silvestri's score is even amplified by the strong Dolby track.
    9 out of 10

    The Extras
    While obviously not as in-depth as a two-disc special edition, this DVD actually as a decent little selection of special features. "The Look of Lilo & Stitch" is a four-minute featurette that talks about the warm and rounded look of the character design and the movie itself and why such a choice was made in the film. "Animating the Hula" is exactly what it sounds like. This featurette runs for about three-minutes and shows the animators working on the hula sequences in the movie. The best of the featurettes is a video diary of sorts titled "On Location with the Directors". This featurette includes behind-the-scenes footage of the film's creation all the way up to the wrap party.

    There are three deleted scenes on the disc, but this section is not really complete. The scenes included are of an alternate version of two shots in the opening of the movie as well as an alternate version of the bedtime story. However, the original ending to the movie is not included on this disc, despite previous promises that it would appear.

    The original ending of the film involved Stitch and crew hijacking an airliner to use in the chase at the end of the movie. That scene was cut and changed to the existing sequence (for obvious reasons), but the original version should've been included on this disc.

    More general featurettes include a 1:30 interview with country star Wynonna where she talks about recording an Elvis song for the soundtrack, a bit on the children's choir that was used in the movie, a short featurette on the hula dance, an educational video feature on the Hawaiian islands, a "Create Your Own Alien Experiment Game", and a A*Teens music video.

    A funny little featurette included on the disc follows Stitch through the years of Disney animated films, and includes shots of the little guy inserted into such classics such as Snow White and 101 Dalmations. Finally, the four "Inter-Stitch-al" teaser trailers are included where Stitch interrupts Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, and The Lion King.
    6 out of 10


    The Movie
    A fun, fresh, and different style of animated movie than the normal Disney fare. Stitch is such a fun character!

    The Video
    Perfect colors and sharpness with no compression problems at all. It's one fine looking movie.

    The Audio
    Great surround effects and bass!

    A couple of deleted scenes and some general featurettes for the kiddies.

    Overall Score (not an average)

  • DVD week: Hunka, hunka burning love for 'Lilo & Stitch' (review)
    By Robert J. Hawkins
    (San Diego Union-Tribune, December 2, 2002)
    Let's get it straight: "Lilo & Stitch" is no "Blue Crush." But, come to think of it, "Blue Crush" is no "Blue Hawaii." Which gets us to Elvis, who plays a prominent role in Disney's animated feature "Lilo & Stitch" - musically that is. (For the record, Elvis doesn't come up at all in the MTV-friendly grrrl-surfer flick "Blue Crush.") Little Lilo is one blue Hawaiian. An orphan who lives with her big sister (OK, now it is sounding like "Blue Crush."), Lilo is having trouble fitting in with her classmates and, well, society in general. She's hurting, angry and afraid. And crazy about the songs of Elvis Into her life lands the ultimate pet, Stitch, a genetically engineered warrior from distant planet. Stitch, also known as Experiment 626, looks like a very ugly and blue dog. Think of Kurt Russell's genetic warrior Sergeant Todd in the sci-fi thriller "Soldier" (1998). Lilo and Stitch are a couple of lost and drifting souls - natural companions in their alienation. ... Actually "Lilo & Stitch" is a throwback in another way: It is the first feature in over six decades to make extensive use of the watercolor backgrounds popularized in the previously mentioned movies.

    The colors are Hawaii-bright; all of the characters are softly rounded; and the music is cheerfully upbeat. This movie could be about the Apocalypse and you'd come away with aching grin muscles The voice artists are first-rate too. TV actress Daveigh Case gives Lilo a perfect 10 on the adorability scale. Hawaii native Tia Carrere artfully voices Lilo's big sister/guardian Nani. Ving Rhames lends weight to the dark-suited social worker Cobra Bubbles (kind of an extra from "Men in Black"). David Ogden Stiers voices the mad alien scientist Jumba (who creates Stitch) with an accent that sounds oddly out of any Cold War Balkan satellite nation that ends in "-ania." Stitch comes by his growling Gollum-of-a-voice honestly: Chris Sanders also wrote and directed the story.

    The DVD's extras are a mixture of good, better and indifferent. There are several deleted scenes, which are more interesting as an animation tutorial, as they are screened in various stages of development - from rough pencil sketches to finished cells. There's a simple "alien experiment" game that's really just a trivia quiz. Chris Sanders gives an interesting discourse in his very specific ideas behind the look and feel of the movie. Another feature - 20 minutes long - goes"on location" for the making of the animated feature.

    Musically there is video of Wynonna recording "Burning Love" and another of the charming Kamehameha School Children's Chorus which provides key native music for the movie. There's also a music video featuring one of Disney's cookie cutter kid groups, A-Teens. Least successful are the most ambitious programs: "DisneyPedia: Hawaii" and "A Stitch in Time." The first purports to explore each of the six main islands of Hawaii but the canned content is only occasionally specific to an island. The second is a pseudo-documentary in which Stitch shows up Zelig-like in many of the great Disne animated features. The idea is sublime; the execution is sub-par.

    But fear not, the story follows the tried-and-true Disney formula and everybody - pretty much everybody - lives happily ever after, including the kids and families that watch the movie.

  • 'Lilo & Stitch' on must-buy DVD list (review)
    By Wayne Harada
    (Honolulu Advertiser, December 2, 2002)
    "Lilo & Stitch," out on DVD tomorrow, is likely to be this Christmas' must-have family movie. You know the tale: A somewhat nasty alien meets a friendship-seeking Hawaiian girl, and heartwarming havoc results. The animated movie, set in Hawai'i, introduces the concept of 'ohana, where no one is leftbehind, to a global audience. The extras make this one a treasure trove of continuing adventure. Deleted scenes are restored, extending the adventures of Stitch. Behind-the-scenes elements are revealing and resourceful reminders of the complexity of animation. Chris Sanders, a co-director, demonstrates the "round" style of the characters that prevail in the movie's over-all look. A 20-minute documentary sheds additional light on the process of launching this buoyant comic adventure. ... A section dubbed "InterSTITCHals" is an overview of the long road filmmakers took to get the movie to the big screen. In the process, Stitch steals his way into other Disney turf such as "101 Dalmatians," "Lady and theTramp," and "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs." Those wonderful trailers in which Stitch bullies his way into tales such as "Beauty and the Beast," "Aladdin," "The Little Mermaid" and "The Lion King" are part of the package.

    Wynonna, who sang "Burning Love," the Elvis Presley hit, talks about her contribution in a behind-the-scenes snippet. A music video of the A-Teens batting out their charming "I Can't Help Falling in Love With You" also is included. It will appeal most to who don't remember Elvis' original version.

  • ADVISORY / Celebrating Disney's "Lilo & Stitch,'' Flying Elvi' Drop out of the Sky Delivering the 1st Copies of "Lilo & Stitch'' DVD to Retail on Tuesday, December 3rd!
    Source: Buena Vista Home Entertainment
    (Yahoo! Finance / BUSINESS WIRE, November 28, 2002)
    To celebrate the Disney DVD and video release of Disney's"Lilo & Stitch." Ten Flying Elvi' skydive into a Hawaiian Luau filled with flamethrowers, Hawaiian hula dancers, drummers and chanters. After landing, the Flying Elvi' will treat guests to a LIVE Elvis review featuring songs from the "Lilo & Stitch" soundtrack. Kids of all ages will be able to enjoy an activity center including watercolor animation lessons from the actual Lilo animator, Andreas Deja, and much, much more! WHEN: Tuesday, December 3rd 7:00 AM PST - Crew call time. WHERE: Westerfield Shoppingtown/Topanga Plaza, 6600 Topanga Canyon Blvd., Canoga Park, CA 91303.

  • "Red Dragon" chews up UK box office competition
    (Yahoo! News / Reuters, October 15, 2002)
    Serial killer Hannibal Lecter left the competition quivering in his wake at the weekend as he claimed top spot at the UK box office. "Red Dragon," which sees Anthony Hopkins play Lecter for a third time, took 3.1 million pounds in its opening three days, Screen International said on Tuesday. The thriller -- the prequel to 1991 smash "Silence of the Lambs" -- charts the initial capture of suave killer Lecter, known as "The Cannibal" for his penchant for eating his victims. On a lighter note, children's cartoon "Lilo & Stitch" was second on the weekend chart. The animated adventure about Elvis Presley fan Lilo's adventures with blue alien Stitch, whom she mistakes for a puppy, earned 1.8 million pounds.

  • Disney's Lilo & Stitch Tops UK Box Office
    (Yahoo! News / Reuters, October 3, 2002)
    A genetic mutation from outer space and a Hawaiian orphan were the biggest draw in British cinemas last weekend, as Disney's Lilo & Stitch topped the box office in its debut, Screen International said Tuesday. The children's cartoon about Elvis Presley fan Lilo's adventures with blue alien Stitch, whom she mistakes for a puppy, earned just over 1.5 million pounds.

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