Lilo & Stitch
Movie Review by Dennis D. McDonald
This movie is one of the sweetest movies I’ve seen in years. And I mean that as a sincere compliment.
I’ve always fancied cartoons and animation. Lately I’ve been taken by CGI and computer animation (Monsters, Inc., Final Fantasy, Attack of the Clones, etc.) But Lilo & Stitch is a cute, funny, sweet comedy, heavy on family values, that employs some of the most traditional animation techniques and watercolor backgrounds I’ve seen in years.
The 2003 DVD’s extras about the movies production are refreshingly different. For one thing, the fact that the entire Lilo & Stitch concept draws on Hawaiian concepts, culture, and even musical colors the entire film and its production. For another , the team responsible for the movie’s production appears tight and cohesive. The intelligence, humor, and good sense of the team shows through in the movie and in their discussion of its production.
Maybe one thing I’m sensing here is that there are not literally armies and armies of teams in different cities whose work is being coordinated, as is the case with a STAR WARS or LORD OF THE RINGS movie. Of course, that might just be a convenient fiction; CGI does figure prominently in some of the movie’s sequences, and you know that there are a lot of individual animation segments that need drawing and coloring — no getting away from that.
But the movie just makes you feel good, and you have to laugh at little Lilo’s unconventional behavior, and you can’t help but sympathize with her big sister’s heartfelt efforts to “keep the family together.” The Elvis Presley, Hawaiian, and Silvestri music helps, too.
What this movie makes you realize again is that, when all is said and done, it’s not the technology that makes the movie, it’s the story and the character. That’s always been true. So even though the characters in this movie could have been drawn by the Disney studio in the 1950’s, we care about them, we laugh at them (e.g., how many movies star a massive black “social worker” named “Cobra Bubbles”?), and we chuckle at the final scenes at the gate of Graceland.
Copyright (c) 2003 by Dennis D. McDonald