by Jake Sproul
Rating: (out of )
I am more than happy to see that Disney has returned to its hand drawn roots. I am disappointed to see that while Lilo & Stitch is a fun romp, it is little more than that. Films like The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast from what is called Disney’s “Golden Era” are true Disney classics, while Lilo & Stitch fits perfectly along side recent forgettable Disney films such as The Emperor’s New Groove and Atlantis: The Lost Empire.
On a far away planet, mad scientist Dr. Jumba Jookiba has crated a monster! Project 6-2-6, as it is called, is a creature who’s only instinct is to destroy everything it touches. The monster becomes an extra-terrestrial fugitive, and ends up on Earth. More specificlly, the island of Hawaii. Project 6-2-6 is adopted by a sweet Hawaiian native named Lilo who names her new “pet” Stitch. Let the adventures, or should I say misadventures, begin.
This is one of Disney’s most visually stunning films...ever. Much thanks goes to the Hawaiian setting, which let the animators use bold, vibrant colors. Including bright yellows, greens, and purples. The animation succeeds with flying colors (pun intended). But I am saddened to see that such hard work was put into a Disney movie that really should have been a straight to video release.
The script of Lilo & Stitch is absurd. As it turns out, Earth is the breeding place for mosquitoes (haha), an endangered species on their planet, (or something to that effect.) Stitch’s arrival is cause for concern. So, Stitch’s creator, Dr. Jumba is sent to retrieve him. Now what really got me angry, was while they were following Stitch, when Stitch would start to destroy things, they would visually warn him, and he would stop. Why? They are supposed to capture him, not toy with him. I apologize for my rant, but that really got to me.
The script doesn’t fail simply because of the previously mentioned contrariety, but because of many various reasons. Such as: Stitch is supposed to have a few punch lines in the film. But because of his Pokemon-like speaking skills, you have no idea what he is saying. It is good to have a sympathetic character that we are drawn to, but Lilo is taking that a bit too far. She appears like she is devastating close to an emotional breakdown of biblical proportions. There are way too many characters and plot lines, especially for a Disney film. Don't let me forget about the ending! The ending is so bad and anticlimactic, it made me want to retch all over the theatre! It was much too long and drawn out, and painfully anticlimactic.
Last year, the Academy Awards added a new category to its roster. Best Animated Feature. Last year, it went to a very deserving Shrek (which was actually worthy of a Best Picture nod if you ask me.) If Lilo & Stitch claims the prize this year, (which it likely will), Oscar will yet again prove to me what a cruel bitch he can be.
© 2002 Jake Sproul