An alien experiment that has been given a lifetime banishment ends up in Hawaii as the family “dog” for a pair of sisters who are trying to make it following the deaths of their parents in “Lilo and Stitch.” Along the way, Stitch causes a lot of unnecessary burden on Lilo and Nani, but when it matters, Stitch steps up to save Lilo and Nani steps up to save Stitch as he learns the valuable lesson, “Ohana means family. Family mean nobody gets left behind or forgotten.”
This is one of the more popular films from Disney’s Experimental Age of Animation. The era that followed the Renaissance and led into the Revival saw a lot of the Walt Disney Animation Studios films falter while Pixar seemed to be the dominant animation studio at the box office. It’s sometimes referred to as Disney’s Dark Age of Animation or the Second Dark Age of Animation depending on who identifies the eras of animation, but there are some bright spots. This is one that spawned sequel films, series and attractions at Disney parks. When people look back at this age of animation for Disney, “Lilo and Stitch” is a film that many point to as one of the better ones.
The film is set in the Polynesian Islands of Hawaii and tells the theme of a pair of sisters. It’s like the animators combined the ideas for “Moana” and “Frozen” 10 to 15 years before those films were released. While I don’t like this film quite like I like “Moana,” I certainly prefer it to “Frozen.” The sister theme stands out more in this film and, in my opinion, is told better in this film. Quite frankly, while Stitch and the hunt for him provides comic relief, it’s really an unnecessary part of the film. Stitch could’ve been an actual dog who caused issues and the point of the story would’ve been delivered just as well, maybe better without the alien side plot.
While I’m critical of the alien side plot, I still really enjoy this film. It’s not perfect. It’s got many flaws, but it’s got some great fun. Elvis is a legend and I’m all for films introducing his music to a new generation. Plus, “Hawaiian Roller Coaster Ride” is an excellent song that deserves its spot on the “Now That’s What I Call Disney” CD (or Spotify playlist since we’re in a digital music age). This was a solid outing that I wouldn’t mind revisiting again soon.