Lilo & Stitch Review
Disney's output has been very hit and miss recently, in comparison to the sterling nineties' efforts they churned out that included Aladdin, Beauty And The Beast and The Lion King, and now with Lilo & Stitch, the studio shows it's still aiming to recover its past glories.
Lilo & Stitch is produced by the team that crafted away for Disney's Mulan, and is a familiar retread of the alien-befriends-young-child theme. Fortunately, the film is a mostly enjoyable evening or Saturday morning diversion, and it's the type of film that can appeal to both adults and their children. The plot starts off on the planet Tura, where crazy scientist Jumba has broken the genetic experimentation laws by creating a little engineered monster called Stitch. Sentenced to exile on a barren and remote asteroid, Stitch manages to escape and inadvertantly crash-lands his space-craft on Earth. Landing in Hawaii, Stitch is mistaken for a strange puppy by a little orphan girl named Lilo, who cares for him despite being unaware of the fact that he is a wanted alien!
Whilst certainly not on a par with such recent animated classics as Shrek or Ice Age, Lilo & Stitch packs a healthy dose of hip personality around with it, coupled with a strong splattering of pop culture references and Elvis-jokes that will certainly appeal to the older members of the audience. The animation isn't the most inventive of Disney's technological array, and seems to evoke the spirit of Disney from twenty-years ago, in which spectacle was replaced by a mechanical plot. The voices aren't the usual A-list celebrities that Disney usually commands, with the good exception of Ving Rhames, and the musical numbers consist mainly of Elvis covers and Alan Silvestri's routine score.
Granted, Lilo & Stitch does nothing to enhance either the genre of Disney's reputation, but it still manages to successfully appeal to the young market. Because of the wondrous advancements made by films such as Shrek and Toy Story, it's a refreshing notion that animated films don't always feel the need to push the realism boundaries ever forward in their quest to please the audience. At times, the plot does pander too much to a sentimental story route as opposed to a cutting one, but this is normal convention in many a child film.
It's easy to know what to expect when taking your kids to see Lilo & Stitch - it's an easy, enjoyable and very standard animated effort that will please children and provide pleasant charm for their adult guardians. It's not a Disney epic by any means, and they still have many roads to travel before fully restoring their once invincible reputation, but on a general level, Lilo & Stitch does its casual job effectively.