Lilo and Stitch (2002)

A lovely film about a lonely Hawaiian girl whose new pet ‘dog’ is actually a genetic experiment – Experiment 626 – and she renames him Stitch. Lilo’s love for this unconventional pet helps him to see that he can truly belong on Earth.

I don’t think I watched this all the way through when it first came out back in 2002. Maybe the premise didn’t interest me very much, or maybe I got bored quickly. I don’t know. The latter option seems a bit unlikely seeing as the film’s running time is around

Recently rewatching this made me fall in love with it and I laughed and cried throughout the film’s entirety. It was a big smack in the feels with the emphasis on family, sisterhood and togetherness. It made me cry because Lilo reminds me of my younger sister who says alienated from those around her. I miss my sister when I am away at uni and it made me want to go home and give her a big hug.

The character of Stitch himself was quite adorable despite the evilness to begin with, and because of the inability to convey human emotions through facial expressions he becomes very physically evident and this works in the favour of the film and the characters themselves.

The story itself deals with a problematic issue (for a film which is supposed to be for children) but the alienation issue and the issues of things being made evil so they can do bad things but become good, is seen in similar films such as The Iron Giant. Visually, this film is very pretty and the songs are memorable.

While I did cry at the ending when Stitch faces the Grand Councilwoman and admits he has found a home for himself, I did laugh a lot throughout the film. The comedic moments in the film are surprisingly erudite and this is welcome, because my initial expectations were or something firmly in the ‘for kids’ category which people older than the age of eight could not enjoy.

The ‘evil’ characters weren’t very well developed as narrative signposts in themselves and the bits of the film set in outer space were a bit boring but when the action moved earth-bound it became far more interesting and memorable.
This film will also likely find its way to my Top 10 Films list.

MY RATING: **** / *****


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