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Lilo and Stitch(2002)
Lilo is a lonely young Hawaiian girl who adopts a small ugly 'dog', whom she names Stitch. He would be the perfect pet if he wasn't a genetic experiment that escaped from an alien planet and crash-landed on earth. Through her faith and unwavering belief in "ohana", the Hawaiian concept of family, Lilo helps Stitch to unlock his heart. This gives him the one thing he wasn't designed for – the ability to love!
For more about Lilo and Stitch and the Lilo and Stitch Blu-ray release, see Lilo and Stitch Blu-ray Review published by Kenneth Brown on June 2, 2013 where this Blu-ray release scored 4.0 out of 5.
Starring: Daveigh Chase, Chris Sanders, Tia Carrere, David Ogden Stiers, Kevin McDonald, Ving Rhames
Directors: Chris Sanders, Dean DeBlois
» See full cast & crew
Lilo and Stitch Blu-ray Review
"This is my family. I found it, all on my own. Is little, and broken, but still good..."
Reviewed by Kenneth Brown, June 2, 2013
Disney is well aware of the appeal and reach of its catalog, down to the best and worst films in its canon. Titles like Cinderella and Peter Pan arrive separately and to great fanfare, while other titles shuffle onto shelves en masse, sans the red-carpet treatment afforded their Platinum and Diamond Edition brethren. In August 2012, it was The Aristocats, The Rescuers, The Rescuers Down Under, Pocahontas, Pocahontas II: Journey to a New World, The Tigger Movie and Lady and the Tramp II: Scamp's Adventure, all released on the same day. Earlier this year, in March, it was The Hunchback of Notre Dame, The Hunchback of Notre Dame II, Mulan, Mulan II, Brother Bear and Brother Bear 2. And now animation fans can add six more movies to their Blu-ray collection with Atlantis: The Lost Empire, Atlantis 2: Milo's Return, Lilo & Stitch, Lilo & Stitch 2: Stitch Has a Glitch, The Emperor's New Groove and Kronk's New Groove.
But something is amiss this go around. Once again, the original films and their direct-to-video sequels are paired on single BD-50 discs. This time, though, only Atlantis includes special features on the Blu-ray disc itself. Extras for Lilo & Stitch and The Emperor's New Groove (and their sequels) are relegated to the bonus DVD copies in each 2-Movie set. Moreover, video and audio are vastly improved, but the transfers suffer from a number of (admittedly minor) issues. Combined with the displaced extras, it's hard to miss Disney's diminishing standards. Packing a 2-Movie Collection on a single disc is becoming more and more important to the studio; more important than delivering the fullest, most intuitive experience.
And the films? The theatrically released features are as divisive as ever. Some will find them decidedly desperate and unimaginative; a pale imitation of the Disney Renaissance greats. Others, like myself, will find a few flawed but fun, and one -- Lilo & Stitch -- a bonafide classic, seeing the trio as a not-so-distant spiritual extension to those same Renaissance classics. The direct-to-video sequels, though, aren't nearly as polished or entertaining on the whole, making the 2-Movie Collections hit or miss pairings primed to placate longtime fans and underwhelm the unconverted.
Calling Lilo & Stitch, or any movie for that matter, "adorable" might seem like a backhanded compliment. But, for once, it isn't. Adorable is exactly what Disney's 42nd animated feature is, along with charming, infectiously funny and utterly delightful. Grand comic adventure on a deceptively small scale, it's a family drama armed to the teeth with heart and humor, and it's next to impossible to walk away from feisty Lilo's life lessons in a bad mood. It all starts with what would be a tired gimmick at any other animation house -- a young girl befriends a rambunctious alien -- and transforms it into something far more enduring. Lilo (voiced by Daveigh Chase) isn't just a spunky little Hawaiian girl. Her parents recently died in a tragic car accident, leaving her in the care of her older sister, Nani (Tia Carrere). And Stitch (Chris Sanders), the ravenous, six-armed alien experiment gone awry that crashes to Earth, isn't a cute-n-cuddly puppy from outer space. Both children are searching for some sense of stability and normalcy. Both are lost and confused in ways neither one is capable of realizing alone. And their parallel growth isn't contrived; it's fluid and believable, the result of co-writers/co-directors Chris Sanders and Dean DeBlois' grasp of just how to handle the troublemaking duo and their knack for lashing and acting out. Lilo comes off as a real girl, not a character, and Stitch, for all his growling and bristling, is a more convincing ball of fur than many a Disney talking creature.
The animation, meanwhile, is simple but striking, with endearing character designs, energetic movement, bountiful island colors, minimalistic watercolor backgrounds and a careful balance of the mundane and the hyper-real. Stitch is as much a joy to watch as his misadventures are to follow. Lilo is a bundle of visually expressive bad behaviors and good intentions, and all the more lovable for it. Nani hasn't been pressed into the Disney Princess mold; everything from her proportions to her facial features to her athleticism reads authentic beauty rather than delicate flower. The voice actors are a perfect match too, Stitch's wiry, gibberish delivery being one of the only things about the toothy monstrosity with which a handful of stone-hearted viewers will take issue. As for the aforementioned heart and humor, Lilo & Stitch is both moving and hilarious, and you're likely to tear up as readily as you laugh out loud. Then there's the script, the score, the Elvis songs, the memorable supporting players... Lilo & Stitch might just be the best Disney animated film of its decade, up there with Meet the Robinsons. Don't make the mistake of dismissing it before giving it a try. It's a family classic, through and through.
Lilo and Stitch Blu-ray, Video Quality
Aside from some slight banding and aliasing, neither of which is unruly enough to pose much of a problem, Lilo & Stitch's 1080p/AVC-encoded video transfer marks a significant and proficient upgrade from its DVD counterparts. Colors are bright and bold, yet never glaring or overly contrasted. Unlike Atlantis, which has a bit of an artificial digital sheen, the presentation is quite filmic, with pastel hues, disarming primaries and satisfying black levels. Detail is terrific as well, thanks to crisp, pixel-perfect line art (with only a hint of negligible, intermittent ringing), nicely resolved painted backgrounds, and a pristine source. Moreover, artifacting and other anomalies are kept to the barest of minimums, and clarity is rewarding. I remain pleased with it all, despite the minor encoding flaws that managed to sneak through.
Lilo and Stitch Blu-ray, Audio Quality
Disney's DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround track is a troublemaker in its own right, and that's a very, very good thing. Dialogue is clean and clear, without any prioritization mishaps of note. Energy beams, rocket engines, spaceships and otherworldly experiments are granted the full backing of the LFE channel too, with deep, hearty booms and weighty thuds aplenty. The rear speakers follow suit, supporting the action and adventure with playful directional effects, transparent pans and a bustling soundfield that captures the serenity of island life as confidently as it captures the chaotic sonic escapades of a genetic aberration run amok. Perhaps best of all, Alan Silvestri's score and the film's selection of Elvis hits have never sounded better, and complete the experience with style.
Lilo and Stitch Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
The 2-Movie Collection release of Lilo & Stitch / Lilo & Stitch 2: Stitch Has a Glitch is a 3-disc set. However, in what has now become Disney's practice, the feature films are housed on a single BD-50, with two standard DVDs -- one for each movie -- rounding out the set. It's certainly far from perfect; some will find it convenient, others an irritation.
Sadly, every available special feature for Lilo & Stitch is relegated to the DVD copy of the film. There isn't a single extra on the Blu-ray disc. And while that isn't too much of a problem when it comes to the included featurettes, deleted scenes, interactive activities and music videos -- all of which would be presented in SD either way -- it is irritating when it comes to the filmmakers' audio commentary, as you can't listen to the track while watching the Blu-ray version of the film. It's a mixed bag and yet another inconvenience, thus the reduced score.
Lilo and Stitch Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
I'm a more enthusiastic fan of Lilo & Stitch than most, sure, but most everyone will agree it's a cut above, especially when compared to other Disney animated features of its decade. Its Blu-ray debut is a solid one too, even if it's missing the special features available on its previous DVD releases. And with its strong video transfer and excellent DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround track, the film has never looked or sounded better. Forget the barebones disc, this is definitely one to add to your collection.
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