Lilo & Stitch DVD Review

Cover Art and Menus: 6/10
Lilo and Stitch, the 2-Disc Big Wave Edition is presented with a nice cover showing our main heroine Lilo, strumming a ukulele in a hammock with our favorite little alien Stitch.  It is a cute cover, if not a very interesting one.  I think Disney has done better, and for this I am only so-so on the cover art for this release.  I have to say that the cover is a bit grainy in the foreground, which I find a bit perplexing.  I know the art style is a bit different for Lilo and Stitch, but I would expect the cover to be as sharp as the movie itself.

The menu features some of the beautiful backgrounds that were used for the movie.  Lilo and Stitch has a very different feel to it from some of the 2d Disney animated features.  It is as if the backgrounds were all done only in watercolors, and the effect is simply beautiful.  The menu features some Hawaiian music and rolling scenes from them movie, with Lilo and Stitch quickly zooming through the scene on a tricycle, and playing with a stick.  Not bad, and a great way to get a feel for the artwork that makes this movie so unique.

Features: 9/10

  • Deleted Scenes – There are several scenes that are included that did not make it into the movie itself.  Many are storyboard shots, or rough, non-colored outline pieces, and overall they don’t really seem to be missed in the movie.  Neat to see, but not crucial to the story itself.
  • Music Video – There is a cute video of the Kamehameha Children’s Chorus doing the song “Your Ohana.”  It is set to scenes from the movie, and is a nice little jingle, and much better than the other music video presented with this release.
  • Lilo & Stitch Island Adventure Games – There are 3 different games, including a gecko race, and a shell game that are included on the disc.  The games are not horrible, but they are your average DVD fair, and not really too entertaining, even for kids.
  • A Stitch In Time Follow Stitch Through The Disney Years – This was a strange extra, in that Stitch was basically shown inserted into shots of classic Disney films, like he has been around the Disney family for ages.  Neat to see all of the other Disney classics, but overall just kind of a strange inclusion.
  • I Cant Help Falling In Love With You Music Video – I have no idea who the A-teens are, but it is a teenage pop group apparently, with two guys and 2 girls.  (Basically a teenage version of ABBA, but without the 1970’s grooviness.)  The video for the very short song is a mixture of the band doing their thing, and shots from the movie.
  • Disneypedia Hawaii – Also included on the 1993 Lilo and Stitch DVD release, this is just an informational piece about the Hawaiian islands.  You can pick from the group and there is a short mini-documentary about the customs and island tradition given.
  • Much Much More – There were a whole lot of extras included here on the 2-disc set.  There is a hula lesson for those who want to learn the ancient art of dancing, and a behind the scenes feature with Wynonna, singing a cover of “Burning Love”.  The Big Wave Edition also has a very informative commentary, with Chris Sanders, Dean DeBlois, and Clark Spencer.  It is an excellent commentary, and goes into depth about changes that were made to the movie, and the direction they took the film as it evolved.  I have to also talk about the 2-hour (yes you read correctly) documentary that is included on the second disc.  It was basically a complete making of piece, and blew me away.  It included interviews with Chris Sanders, and just about everyone who was involved with the movie.  It was truly an amazing journey, and it covered everything from the first trip to Hawai’i to get ideas for the movie, to the screening process, and everything in between.  This was by far the best making of that I have seen.  Throughout the extras is it extremely apparent that the guys working on this little movie really put their heart into it, and it shows.

The Movie: 7/10
Lilo and Stitch is a movie set in the beautiful Hawaiian islands.  Lilo is an absolutely adorable little girl who is perpetually late and perpetually feisty.  She knows what is expected of her, but she just can’t seem to get things to go her way, and so she is seen very much as an outcast.  She has lost both of her parents, and her sister Nani is in charge of Lilo, which is apparently more than anyone should be saddled with as Lilo just seems to kick up trouble wherever she goes.Lilo just wants to fit in, and this is a trying time, when it looks as if Nani might end up losing custody of poor Lilo if the little family can’t come together and prove to the state that Nani is properly looking after the little girl.Add to this the arrival of Stitch, or as he is also known, experiment 626.  Stitch is an experiment gone awry; the result of a mad scientist’s evil experiment.  Stitch escapes captivity before he is set to be put down by the Galactic Government, who realizes the danger that the little monster represents.  Stitch is, after all, a miniature wrecking ball, and everything he touches seems to explode.After escaping from the Galactic Government, Stitch crash lands in Hawaii, and is taken to an animal shelter, where the little alien is adopted by Lilo, who thinks that Stitch is just some sort of misfit dog.  Little does she know that Stitch is a weapons specialist and as much of an outcast as she is.  Soon the two troublemakers end up bonding to learn the real lesson of the movie, which is that Ohana, which is Hawaiian for family, means everything.Stitch is of course being pursued by the evil scientist who is sent to capture the little monster, and Lilo is fighting her own battle against the state which is trying to place her in foster care.

The two misfits end up becoming close friends, and end up working together in this heartwarming little animated movie.Lilo and Stitch is a great little Disney movie.  The characters are simply fun to watch, and the story, albeit a strange mix of aliens and Hawaii, ends up to be a very fun little journey with an excellent message about love and the importance of family.  It is a beautiful movie as well, with some excellent scenery and amazing 2D graphics.  I don’t think that Lilo and Stitch is a Disney classic, but it sure is a great example of how much effort and thought Disney put into their movies.  It may not be the best that they have put out, but it is far from their worst, and anything with Hawaii in it works for me.

Audio & Video: 6/10
So perhaps I am starting to become a video snob since I got my Blu-ray player, but I really did think that there were a few issues with the transfer of Lilo and Stitch on standard DVD.  For the 2-Disc Big Wave Edition Disney apparently did nothing substantial in terms of updating the 1993 DVD.  The art style is a bit muted and sometimes soft (grainy) basically just because of the art direction that they took the movie, but this transfer also seemed a bit grainy in parts and not as crisp as I would have liked.  for the most part, it looked great, but I just felt like it was not as good as it could have been in certain scenes.  The standard DVD is presented in 1.66:1 widescreen, and it looks pretty good overall.

The audio is again wonderful.  Disney just nails is on about every single release that they put out.  Presented in 5.1 Surround Sound, the ambient noise is excellently done throughout, and all speakers get used.  The dialogue is crisp and clean, and the music is perfectly balanced throughout.  Just an amazing audio mix overall.

Value: 8/10
I will give Lilo and Stitch a high score, because the movie itself, while not a traditional classic, is still a great animated film, in the same realm as Mulan or the Little Mermaid in my opinion.  I love the tropical feel of the movie, and the crazy little alien is just plain fun.  It is a great story about how family is very important, but it also has a neat space alien vibe.  The 2-Disc Big Wave Edition has tons of extras, and it is just an amazing collection of goodies that will keep you satisfied.  Overall Lilo and Stitch is just a good fun little Disney film that the whole family can watch over and over again.

Overall Score /10