on April 14, 2003
Disney's "Lilo & Stitch" was directed by Chris Sanders & Dean DeBlois. It is about a little Hawaiian girl named Lilo and her sister, Nani, and how a destructive alien named Stitch brings them together. That's enough summary. You want plot, read the other reviews.
There are good things in this movie. Some parts are purely delightful. Stitch and Lilo can both be cute at times, and it was nice to hear some traditional Elvis. Cobra Bubbles, the social worker, is a funny guy. And some of the parts are funny, too. That's about it.
I'm an animation major, so I realize that I'm very critical when it comes to Disney. But truthfully, I was SHOCKED when I found out that people actually like this movie. For one thing, it's badly written. It needs a decent script. It's boring. The plot is choppy. Everything is twisted (not gracefully) to be about families, and worst of all, the characters are incredibly cruel to each other (for laughs, I felt) and never really turn around until the last two minutes. I thought these were flaws that were so blatant everyone would notice them. The little movie critic that lives in my head was screaming bloody murder.
Just a few things to warn parents about--Lilo is a brat, Nani is abusive, and Stitch just is there to tear things down. I'm surprised that this movie wasn't rated PG-13...I believe it was going to be, but then they took out the part with Pudgy (Lilo's pet fish) getting pecked to death by seagulls. Yeah, and you thought this was a kids' movie. One of the most disturbing parts is when Stitch & Lilo shove a little girl off her tricycle and take off with it, leaving the little girl sobbing in the dirt. If you think that's funny, you have some serious mental problems.
There's a lot of screaming, it's not very funny, and to me, very unconvincing. The moral this one left me with was, hey, it's okay to treat others like ....because Ohana means family. I won't buy that. I'd strongly suggest parents read some proffessional reviews on this movie, there's a reason this movie hasn't made much money in comparison to the Disneys of the past. "Hunchback" and even "Pocahantas" grossed over $100 million more than this one. I hope that says something. Methinks parents HAVE been doing their jobs and reading the reviews on this one. (In gentle reprimand to someone below who called parents "stupid").
As for me- if I ever work for the Disney animation studio, I'll do everything in my power to make clever, sweet, funny movies like "Aladdin" and "Monster's Inc." and keep painfully hideous movies like "Lilo & Stitch" from ever gracing the storyboards of Burbank. What the HECK were they thinking?
on February 10, 2003
Ok, I gave this movie 1 star only because there was no option for 0 stars.
At the beginning of this movie, after all the alien mumbo-jumbo, the movie starts with a beautiful scene of Lilo swimming in the ocean and then moves to an exquisite hula dancing scene. Right then, I knew this was going to be one of my favorite movies. But very suddenly that delusion was knocked out of me as Lilo beat up and bit another child. The movie continues with unbelievable violence between Lilo and her sister. There was a scene with Lilo, who locked herself in the house so her sister could not get in, laying on the floor listening to Elvis records saying she wanted to die.
I've worked with a lot with children and I know for a fact children will act out what they see in a movie or video. In a lot of ways, what they see on a screen teaches them how to work out conflicts in their own lives. What on earth does this teach them about how to act? Biting and beating kids up because they reject you? Gee, I can't wait for the sequel when Lilo goes to school and blows all her classmates to pieces ala Columbine. And how many kids are now going to lay on the floor spouting to leave them alone, they want to die, just to get attention? And no parent or adult sibling guardian has any right to beat a child into submission and make degrading comments ("I'd rather have a bunny") no matter what frustration they are feeling. And then supposedly a nasty little alien comes down from the sky and makes this situation all better? Somebody needs some therapy!!! Oh, yeah, then there's this big assassin-like social worker who tries to take the child away. Oh, but after aliens blow up the house and kidnap the girl, everything ends in your typical Disney happy ending. Were the filmmakers on drugs???
This just further proves Michael Eisner is the worst thing to happen to Disney. Thank God Jeffrey Katzenberg still makes great animated movies like SPIRIT: STALLION OF THE CIMMARON -- not my absolute favorite, but at least it had a good story that won't warp the minds of our little ones.
My experience of Hawaii is that children are highly prized, even having their own holiday, and that the village truly does raise each child there. I remember there always being lots of grandparents, aunties and uncles, cousins, etc., to make children feel loved and to teach them honor. Everyone in the community is Ohana, family.
Growing up in Hawaii, there was always so much magic, especially with all the legends and ghost stories. And each culture that comes together to make up Hawaii, is so vibrant and interesting. But these filmmakers chose to forgo all the beauty and magic of Hawaii and its history and culture, and had to juice up the movie with space aliens???
This film will not be in my collection.
on February 2, 2003
I am surprised that Disney would put together an animated feature with so much negativity! I am equally surprised that so many reviews for this movie are POSITIVE!! Isn't anyone watching this movie with the eyes of a four-year-old? Here is what a four-year-old sees:
1. Stitch - An EXTREMELY DESTRUCTIVE alien creature, adopted and loved by a little girl. I have watched my 3 1/2 year old daughter construct and proceed to destroy set-ups of her toys in the same Godzilla-like fashion Stitch displays in the movie. Somehow it's OK for Stitch to destroy everything in his path, and he does finally learn not to do that, but that lesson is lost on a small child.
2. Lilo - A BRAT of a child! She nails the front door shut with about a hundred nails with her sister/guardian trapped outside. What parent would want their child to get this idea and possibly act it out? Not me! There are countless other bratty, stubborn exchanges between Lilo and her sister that my daughter just loves to copy. What sort of behaviors do we want Disney to teach and/or reinforce? Not these!!
3. Lilo's sister - How about this poor excuse of a guardian? Why do we want to depict this type of "family" that has no structure in a movie directed at young children? Have we really gotten to the point as a society that we believe this type of family is acceptable?
I consider myself to be pretty open and like to expose my children to many types of music, movies, books and all sorts of activities from which they can be entertained and learn something in the process. This is the first Disney movie that I've ever taken away from my children because I am tired of my daughter playing out the types of behaviors displayed in this movie, and I don't want my son to begin to learn these behaviors as well. I hope this isn't a direction that Disney plans to continue in.
If you have preschoolers, I'd recommend you skip buying this movie. I'm not sure at what age a child would understand not to copy the behaviors I've only sampled in this review, so take it under advisement if your children are a little older. Children are VERY impressed by the things they watch on TV, regardless of whether you watch with them or not, or try to explain that it's only a movie-not the way you behave in real life.
BOOO! HISSSSS! Disney, what are you doing???
on January 26, 2003
Poor old Walt must be spinning in his grave at this one. This is hands-down the WORST "children's" movie that Disney has ever served up. I made the mistake of seeing this in the theatre because my family and I usually enjoy Disney films. In the first few minutes of this film, Lilo is called "wierd" by a classmate, so she attacks the other child and BITES her. Along with that lovely behavior example, Lilo and her sister live under the threat that a social worker is going to take Lilo away because her sister doesn't "measure up" as a guardian. Keep in mind that the girls' parents were killed in a car accident(Why is that necessary in a kids' movie?). My kids (3 & 6) were so disturbed by that story element that they had nightmares about losing us in a car accident and them being "taken away." In this day and age, children need to be allowed to be innocent as long as possible. Disney used to champion this idea--NOT ANYMORE. Do your kids a favor--keep them away from this movie. It is NOT family entertainment!!
on January 11, 2003
Although I am old enough for not going ga-ga over animated movies, I still enjoy them, I liked Ice Age a lot, Shrek was wonderful, Monsters,Inc was also of my liking, but this lame pice of garbage was terrible. First of all, I think the film was a terrible example for children, why, oh let me think, the two main characters were a pair of good for nothing creatures, Lilo was a spoiled brat who did anything she wanted and here shield was that her parents were dead, come on, so if a kids parents die that means the kid is free to do as she wants and get what she wants, she was a destructive and stupid girl that thought she was so cool just for liking Elvis, so,not that I hate Elvis, he Is the King of Country, which I enjoy, but that was a very lame addition to this already wreck of a film. And the second character, Stitch was a destructive and vicious animal that looked like he had some sort of disease, I still think he should be put down by a vet or something. This characters are "wonderful" role-models for children right. In a time when children are growing more and more dumb and spoiled, do we really need to encourage it even more. I think Disney has lost all of its once wonderful quality, Disney was so desperate of getting people to like this movie so they put in the trailer all of the GOOD movies of the past like The Lion King(the best animated of all time) and Beauty and the Beast(the second) and made it look like if Lilo & Stitch was a spoof, thats why I went to see it, then I saw it, and I went out feeling angry because I spend almost two hours of my life seeing this "movie". Everything in it was awful, the story, the characters, the lame and stupid lines and etc. This "film" made it look to kids that the best and only way to be was to be like Lilo & Stitch, my little cousin tried to adopt the style of living of thoose two stupid characters, Disney must remember that children get very infuenced by tv and films and if they imitate the behaviour they see, I have seen it happen many times, and do you parents think is correct to condone indicipline, destructiveness and all of the things that were gloryfied in Lilo & Stitch, you may find it amussing, but kids will make it their way of life. If this film wins best animated movie in the Oscars I will really be upset and don't see more of the awards because any person or group of people that condone honour this film don't know anything about movies, I do, I have studied filmaking, and have watched many films, I'm no master, but I know a little, and that is enough to see that this is junk, worst than junk but I cant curse here, so please, See Spirit:Stallion of the Cimarron rather than this, because I think that Lilo & Stitch shows most of the many things that are wrong with the world and encourages these mischiefs.
on January 7, 2003
Shame on you, Disney, for lowering your standards. I expect better! Shame on me for assuming I could count on Disney films to present wholesome qualities to my two small children.
Disney presents a storyline far from wholesome in this film. Lilo attacks another little girl, hitting and biting her. She does apologize to the girl later and the girl refuses to accept her apology. She doesn't mind the adults looking after her, and behaves like a BRAT. Her older sister, and "example" runs in front of a car which honks at her. She, in turn, kicks the car and yells at the driver to "watch where he's going." Now there's anger management. Lilo and her sister, Nani, stick their tongues out at each other, yell and scream at each other, and resolve problems by screaming into pillows. Then, there is Stitch...out of control and destructive.
I spent the first half of this movie saying to my very impressionable 3-year old, "Now that wasn't very nice. That wasn't very nice either. We don't talk that way to each other." At that point, the movie was turned off.
This movie was a Christmas present. It has been put away and I don't know that I will allow it to resurface for a very long time, if ever. And next time Disney comes out with a movie, I will preview it for subject quantity.
on December 26, 2002
Lilo and Stitch is not the clever and entertaining feature that I had expected. I had read some of the other reviews and thought that it might be another multi-age-level "classic" like some other recent personal and family favorites: Emperor's New Groove, Monster's Inc, Toy Story, or maybe even along the lines of Shrek. I was wrong.
We are introduced to Stitch, an alien genetic experiment gone wrong that crashes to earth and is placed at the local dog shelter. Lilo is a young girl first introduced as a child that cannot get along with any friends, lives without parents, is left home alone, and cared for only by her older sister Nani. The story is further complicated when we are introduced to Nani who is threatened (once again) by the social worker who is going to remove Lilo from the house if things don't improve. The two stories collide when Nani's solution to Lilo's behavioral problem is to adopt a pet where, of course, Lilo picks Stitch. Finally, throw in some alien authorities chasing after Stitch and a young boy interested in dating Nani.
The story involves our cacophony of characters chasing one-another to the unbearable end when everything works out so that everyone can live happily ever after in the typical Disney way. The story is original by its convoluted nature and the moral to the story is essentially that when it comes to being a family, anything goes. Not in our household, I don't think that Lilo and Stitch will be in the DVD player again, nor will there be any requests from our 5 year old. I found the story and characters to be a bit disturbing and set a poor example. If we decide to watch a bad movie, we will stick with the other recent Disney examples that maybe are not so "original" such as Pocahontas and Mulan.
on October 18, 2002
Oh wow. Where to start? It's like Wack-A-Mole at Chucky Cheese. So many moles, so few mallets. This movie is singularly the most cruel movie I've seen in the past dozen years. It's Animal Farm with a bad Hawaiian soundtrack and no sense of humor. It's so bad, I have to talk in broken sentences, like a punch-drunk boxer who lost the last round on a technicality. Wait - I am getting a sense of how the story-board at Disney went!! Happy-go-lucky, destructive beastie does not fit in to society. Moons government authority figure. Audience giggles, nods in understanding that he must be banished. Can't be productive member of higher society. Only an evil scientist likes it. Stitch is only redeemed when he learns to appreciate family, and get along with everybody else. Children taught valuable lesson about what happens when authority figures go unheeded. Estrangement, banishment, righteous indignation - Bad musical interludes will be your fate if you do not find your right place in Society. See, everybody really wants to "be like folks", right? We all wanna be the SAME, don't we? We wanna FIT IN and FIND OUR PLACE in the world. Oh sure, Stitch can be crazy and wacky and creatively independant (for the first half of his life), but when it gets right down to it, he's a sorry, needy squid like the rest of the modern world. Stitch is on his knees begging for Family before the One-Hour mark in the movie, spittling the movie's theme line just in CASE you missed the point when it was said for the previous 87 times. Ohana means Family. Of course, it's not really about family - it's about conformity (maybe that's what family is about these days, too - who knows?). It's about finding a group and blending in. Disney tells us about freedom - the freedom to be like everyone else or be excoriated. Excuse me, but I'd rather cozy up to "Dude Where's My Car" while being pelted with rocks than ever have to subject myself to this trite, insidious piece of propaganda again. If I wanted trashy propaganda, I'd watch Triumph of the Will - at least then the fascists would be easily spotted. Today, they apparently sometimes have mouse ears and cute fuzzy voices.
on February 28, 2003
I was so excited when I purchased this video for my two year old son. Just got done watching it with him and now I may invest in a shrink wrap machine, repackage this train wreck of a movie, and take it back to the store. The previews for the movie made it look like it was a funny movie. Stich appeared to be a very likeable and humorous character on the previews, but when you watch the movie you wish that he was put to sleep at the dog pound. It's a sad story about a girl that lost her folks and has no friends and is about to be taken away by DCFS. Sounds like a good feel good movie? Sure there is a moral to the story and of things all work out but I really was hoping Stitch would have drowned or something. I am upset that I have this movie in my house and that my son will be watching it again.
The only reason I gave this movie 1 star was that there is not a 0 star option and I enjoyed the Elvis music. That's it.
Stick with the Lion King or Toy Story.
on January 5, 2003
I saw the advertisments and thought this would be cute and funny. Big mistake. Disney is counting on their name on this one. There is way too much violence and anger in this movie. Lilo does not attempt to make friends with anyone in this movie, except the alien. She even hits and bites another small child she is angry at. She is being raised by her sister and they are watched by a social worker who threatens to take Lilo away from her because she is not taken care of. How do you explain such problems to a small child. Children like to mimic and act out things they see on TV, so I would not want my child screaming at me in defiance everytime I made a request of him or locking me out of the house. Please rent this first and screen it for yourself before letting any child watch it.