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Lilo & Stitch

movie reviewmovie reviewvideo review out of 4 Movie Review: Lilo & Stitch

Starring: Daveigh Chase, Jason Scott Lee
Director: Chris Sanders
Rated: PG
RunTime: 80 Minutes
Release Date: June 2002
Genres: Animation, Kids, Sci-Fi/Fantasy

*Also starring: Tia Carrere, Ving Rhames, David Ogden Stiers, Kevin McDonald, Zoe Caldwell

Review by Susan Granger
2 stars out of 4

Yes, it's yet another Disney movie about a misfit orphan befriending an animal - but, this time, there's a campy twist. Lilo (Daveigh Chase) is a lonely Hawaiian island girl who lives with her older sister Nani (Tia Carrere). They're being closely watched by a menacing social worker, Cobra Bubbles (Ving Rhames), because of Lilo's rebellious behavior and Nani's inability to keep a job. Enter Stitch (Chris Sanders), a demonic extra-terrestrial gremlin who has been jettisoned from the planet Turo for causing chaos at an intergalactic meeting. Designed as a genetic experiment by a mad scientist named Jumba (David Ogden Stiers), he's creature #626, a superhuman little monster with four arms and a dorsal fin. But when Lilo spies him at the animal shelter on Kauai, she thinks he's a strange-looking puppy and insists on adopting him. Certainly his bright blue fur, razor-sharp teeth and pink, bat-like ears make him unusual, rather like Pikachu from "Pokemon." Meanwhile, Jumba and a one-eyed environmentalist (Kevin McDonald) are sent to capture mischievous Stitch - which leads to a merry chase. Writer/co-director Chris Sanders ("Mulan") has obviously been inspired by Steven Spielberg's "E.T." although, in this case, the devilish, destructive alien doesn't want to go home. Quite the opposite, he wants to stay here. To that end, Lilo teaches Stitch about family ("ohana"), friendship, and being an "upstanding citizen," like her idol, Elvis Presley, who contributes five songs to the soundtrack. (Since when was Elvis a role model?) What's a bit disappointing is the hand-drawn animation, resembling the old Looney Tunes cartoons. While it's certainly not as good as the classic Disney films, on the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, "Lilo & Stitch" is a hip, heart-tugging 5, packing a breezy Hawaiian punch.

Copyright 2002 Susan Granger

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