In a place far, far away, illegal genetic experiment #626 is detected: Ruthless scientist Dr. Jumba Jookiba has created a strong, intelligent, nearly indestructible and aggressive being with only one known weakness: The high density of his body makes it impossible for the experiment to swim in water. The scientist is sentenced to jail by the Grand Council of the Galactic Federation. The experiment is supposed to be transported to a prison asteroid, yet manages to escape Captain Gantu, who was supposed to deliver him there. With a stolen police cruiser (the red one), the destructive being races towards a little and already doomed planet: Earth. Stranded on Hawaii, experiment #626 can't actually do much harm: water all around, no big cities and two well-equipped representatives of the Galactic Federation already following close behind to catch him again. But Dr. Jookiba and the Earth expert Pleakley never could have guessed that earth girl Lilo adopts the experiment as dog, gives him ... Written by
Julian Reischl <email@example.com>
Many of the aliens are inspired by Disney characters, including Piglet and Tigger. See more »
Throughout the final parts of the film, Jumba's head keeps switching from big to medium size to big again. See more »
Read the charges.
Doctor Jumba Jookiba, you stand before this council accused of illegal genetic experimentation!
How do you plead?
Not guilty! My experiments are only theoretical, and completely within legal boundaries.
We believe you actually... created something.
Created something? Hah! But that would be irresponsible and unethical. I would never, ever...
[Stitch is revealed]
...make... more than one.
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One of the photos of Nani, Lilo, Stitch, et al. displayed at the end has them posing at the gate of Graceland, continuing the story of Lilo and Stitch's love of the music and style of Elvis Presley. See more »
A very un-Disney-like Disney animation. And not in a bad way.
"Lilo & Stitch" is unusual for a Disney animated movie in that it actually seems to take place in the real world (not to mention the present day), despite the latter half of the title being a genetic creation from another galaxy. Devoid of almost everything that people come to expect when the name "Walt Disney Pictures" appears on screen - which is not to say we're in "Golgo 13" territory here - this, as did "The Emperor's New Groove," suggests that though the box office takings may go down, the House of Mouse may yet pull another "Beauty and the Beast" on us one day.
The movie's a breath of fresh air not only in its setting - it's set on the Hawaiian island of Kauai - but also in its characters; Lilo is a little girl being brought up by her big sister Nani following their parents' death (offscreen), and the movie's not afraid to indicate that it's tough for both of them. They, along with their social worker Cobra Bubbles and friend David, constitute a rare sighting of proper human beings in Disney cartoons (see also, surprisingly, Lucky Piquel from "Bonkers"), the reward writer-directors Chris Sanders and Dean DeBlois get for putting the emphasis on the emotions rather than on the chase element of the plot (Stitch/Experiment 626 was created by a scientist in violation of the laws of his planet; when Stitch escaped, his creator and an "E-arth" expert were sent to bring him back) or on the potential for slapstick - though it's there and it's certainly used, the focus is purely on heart.
The realness of the movie means that "Lilo & Stitch" often feels like a live action movie that just happens to be drawn (at one point Stitch sees a 1950s SF movie on TV, and the movie in question is shown as a genuine film clip). Usually that's a bad thing if the 'toon in question strives to be realistic, but in this case there are so many elements that don't come naturally - seen any koala/dog hybrid-Elvis Presley wannabes on the beach lately? - that it still works. If there's a downside, it's that the scenes of the alien pursuers are for the most part almost a distraction... but even then the human element ups the involvement, with the added bonus of there being no real "bad guys" per se (yes, I said bonus - it's nice to see a Disney movie where there isn't a traditional black-hatted villain, just people doing their jobs).
And if all else fails, take into consideration the fact that it's also often genuinely funny; the fact that it never condescends to its audience; the fact that you actually have real Hawaiians (the voices of Tia Carrere and Jason Scott Lee) as key Hawaiian characters; and the fact that the songs used here actually have a purpose (to add dimension to our heroes - Lilo is a major fan of Elvis and tries to reach Stitch through the King), something many live-action movies often forget. "Lilo & Stitch" would be something worth seeing even if it wasn't a Disney film; seeing that it is... moving forward was always one of Walt's credos. It's encouraging to see that they're actually capable of following his ethos without the help of Pixar.
One major flaw though: in spite of the presence of Elvis, Wynonna and Alan Silvestri, the British release version has well-known song-murderer Gareth Gates slaughtering "Suspicious Minds" over the end credits. Thank heaven someone invented the "mute" button.
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