Lilo & Stitch

Lilo & Stitch


Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

There is a subversive element to this Disney cartoon, providing unexpected fizzability. Surely, Walt's House Of Happiness doesn't allow "the flawed product of a deranged mind" to take the starring role in one of its flagship animated features? Meet alien monster Stitch, created in a space lab to "destroy everything he touches." Don't tell Saddam. He'll clone the creature.

Lilo is a problem child, living with her sister Nani - a Sandra Bullock drawnalike - in Haiwaii. Their parents are dead and Social Services have sent a scary looking black guy to check out conditions at home. If things aren't up to standard, Lilo must be taken into care. Nani and her surfer boyfriend attempt to stop the naughty girl from trashing the joint.

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Meanwhile, Stitch is being thrown out of heaven, or wherever it is in the galaxy he was created, because of unacceptable nastiness. Like a deadly virus, he lands on Earth and instead of decimating half the world in a week, he is befriended by that other lonely outcast, Lilo - the Ugly Duckling meets the Devil's Mistake.

Lilo has a thing about Elvis and it's only a matter of time before Stitch discovers that he's nothing but a hound dog. Suddenly the gospel according to St Walt becomes apparent: "Family means no one gets left behind." Stitch has no concept of family. "You were built to destroy," he is told. "You could never belong." Lilo doesn't want to be the bad girl. "People treat me different," she says, defensively. They become a team and learn that there's more to the kingdom of Mammon than trophy toys. They have each other now.

The script is sharp and witty, but, like the big waves, comes and goes. Lilo and Stitch try their hardest to remain leaders of the rebel pack, but that old white magic called love keeps slipping through for a cuddle. Stitch has a mouth like a meat grinder and Lilo hasn't reached the age when looks matter more than milkshakes. The message is loud and clear: if you treat a monster like a friend, it doesn't eat you.

Reviewed on: 03 Oct 2002
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Mini-monster from outer space makes friends with misfit girl in Haiwaii.
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Read more Lilo & Stitch reviews:

Stephen Carty ***

Director: Dean Deblois, Chris Sanders

Writer: Chris Sanders, Dean Deblois

Starring: Daveigh Chase, Chris Sanders, Tia Carrere, Jason Scott Lee, David Ogden Stiers, Ving Rhames, Kevin McDonald

Year: 2002

Runtime: 85 minutes

BBFC: U - Universal

Country: US


EIFF 2015

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