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Disney's Lilo & Stitch, everything is blown up, more fun, also more real
February 12, 2014 8:34 PM   Subscribe

Lilo & Stitch is an odd movie to come from Disney for a number of reasons: a rare work based on an original story, set in a realistic version of the "island paradise" of Hawaii, focusing on strong female characters who have a realistic/varied bodyshapes. For more insight into the making of the "affordable" Disney film, here's Lilo & Stitch revisited, Part I, interviewing the creators Chris Sanders and Dean DeBlois, and Part II, featuring master animator Andreas Deja. For a taste of the animation, here are four teaser clips of Stitch invading other Disney films, the official full version of the Lion King interrupted trailer, and making of Lilo & Stitch short docu-clip.
posted by filthy light thief (90 comments total) 101 users marked this as a favorite

 
I think this is the only 2D animated Disney movie I've watched more than once, and enjoyed each time. So. Good.
posted by BungaDunga at 8:39 PM on February 12 [6 favorites]


Oh, heavens yes! This movie is the best.
posted by misfish at 8:40 PM on February 12 [1 favorite]


OHANA MEANS FAMILY

FAMILY MEANS NOBODY GETS LEFT BEHIND

OR FORGOTTEN

*bursts into tears*
posted by Sokka shot first at 8:40 PM on February 12 [93 favorites]


Is little, and broken but still good. Yeah. Still good.
posted by novelgazer at 8:58 PM on February 12 [53 favorites]


Salty water comes out of my eyes when I watch that movie.
posted by Area Man at 8:59 PM on February 12 [1 favorite]


GOREGOUS HANDPAINTED WATERCOLOR BACKGROUNDS

SCI-FI PLOT

REALISTIC YOUNGER CHILD BEHAVIOR

"Your stupid fakey tourist luau!"

OH GOD I love this movie.
posted by The Whelk at 8:59 PM on February 12 [27 favorites]


Also, one of the few children's movies, or Disney movies period ( not just the animated ones, hello Touchstone), where Money Is A Thing That Exists and it's ( or it's lack ) pretty crucial to the plot.
posted by The Whelk at 9:05 PM on February 12 [6 favorites]


Really regret that Chris Sanders didn't get to make American Dog.
posted by novelgazer at 9:08 PM on February 12


Lilo and Stitch and Galaxy Quest prove that being corny and sincere, embracing the weird, and being genuinely funny can overcome your expectations of Disney and/or Tim Allen.

Also: Pudge controls the weather.

Also also: dear God, every human in this movie has gorgeous, muscular, bell bottom jeans for legs. Just brilliant.
posted by maudlin at 9:16 PM on February 12 [14 favorites]


Ahem. Now that that's out of my system.

I rewatch Lilo and Stitch every couple of years, and every time I watch it, it seems more and more special and unreal—how did this get made? Why is it so good? Top to bottom, it's just an exceptional, astonishing storytelling achievement. Amazing art. Amazing script. Amazing characters. Deeply affecting and fucking hilarious.

And given that hand-drawn feature animation is not something we do in America these days, I can say without hyperbole or overstatement: They don't make 'em like this anymore.
posted by Sokka shot first at 9:16 PM on February 12 [11 favorites]


Fantastic post. I love this movie to tiny bits, even though it's secretly kind of dark and a little hard to watch in spots. I mean, how many other Disney film has a non-traditional family on the verge of being broken up by child protective services? None. That's how many. And the overall theme of families coming in different forms was pretty damned progressive for the House of Mouse. It's most definitely one of my favorite Disney flicks, without question.
posted by shiu mai baby at 9:19 PM on February 12 [5 favorites]


Ooh! and the music! God, those two children's choir Hawaiian songs are freaking gorgeous!
posted by shiu mai baby at 9:20 PM on February 12


This is your badness level. It's unusually high for someone your size. We have to fix that.

This movie is so good. The only problem is that it's so good and it's been TWELVE YEARS and there isn't another awesome low-budget handdrawn film featuring badass ladies and aliens yet. [I am not...not talking about the TV show.]
posted by jetlagaddict at 9:24 PM on February 12 [10 favorites]


I was just thinking about this movie last night! Lilo and Stitch is wonderful. They went on and made some "sequels" and a TV series successor that are somewhat less wonderful, but fortunately the movie stands alone.

One of the last pieces the Self-Made Critic made for Brunching Shuttlecocks was his review of Lilo and Stitch.
posted by JHarris at 9:25 PM on February 12 [2 favorites]


The "Hawaiian Roller Coaster Ride" song. I always want to cry when I see Stitch covering himself in sand and making his own little flag out of a leaf.
posted by skycrashesdown at 9:29 PM on February 12 [4 favorites]


My consolation phrase whenever it's too hot or cold outside? "Pudge controls the weather."
posted by fishmasta at 9:33 PM on February 12 [1 favorite]


My daughter watches both the first and the second once a week lately. It's on Netflix so she uses the Roku in my room to watch. The part about: OHANA MEANS FAMILY - FAMILY MEANS NOBODY GETS LEFT BEHIND - OR FORGOTTEN. Makes me well up with happiness, so much that I can't contain it sometimes.
posted by no1nose at 9:35 PM on February 12 [2 favorites]


I also think Lilo & Stitch did a wonderful job of portraying a loving-yet-complicated relationship between sisters

"Gravity is increasing on my body!"
"NO IT'S NOT! STOP BEING WEIRD"
posted by Pizzarina Sbarro at 9:38 PM on February 12 [20 favorites]


There's a strong Calvin-and-Hobbes sense from Lilo and Stitch, although it's difficult to say which is which.
posted by JHarris at 9:49 PM on February 12 [4 favorites]


Lilo and Stitch is the best, and I cannot believe it ever got made! It's also basically about the only media around ever for Pacific Islander girls that actually ... well, portrays someone like them. Everytime I ever went to the video rental spots in Samoa and American Samoa, it was always checked out! The opening song also gets used all the time for childrens' dances at sivas/hivas/hulas etc, but it never wears out its welcome.

And the watercolor backgrounds are wonderful. Great visual style, this film. And Stitch is hilarious, but Lilo is just awesome. And really, one can't say enough good about L&S.

How on earth did it ever slip by the Disney corporate overlords? Thank goodness it did.
posted by barnacles at 9:52 PM on February 12 [6 favorites]


I think the fact my brother-in-law doesn't like Lilo and Stitch is at the root of all of our relationship problems. My husband, on the other hand, saw it at the cinemas with his best friend (early twenties dudely looking dudes) and we all bonded over it. And our daughter adores it as well.
posted by geek anachronism at 9:59 PM on February 12


I'll have to watch it again.
The one time I did, all I could think was
"This is telling girls to stay in relationships with people [Stitches] that abuse them".
posted by blueberry at 10:00 PM on February 12 [1 favorite]


Aww, I just watched this last night and got sniffly, and the dog went into Full Boxer Comforting Mode. Now I'd like to watch Iron Giant again, too. And all the Toy Story movies.

I'm trying to recall kids' films that were so poignant and dear from my own childhood, but it's all kind of obscured by the trauma of Watership Down.
posted by Lou Stuells at 10:01 PM on February 12 [1 favorite]


One of the things that really got me about the film is just how far they go with the danger of the family being broken up. It really surprised me that Disney went that far, but I thought it was important that the movie went there. So many kids who watch Disney movies come from family situations that range from tenuous to downright torn apart. This was one little way to tell those kids, "look, life might be kinda rough right now, but it's not your fault. Just be true to yourself and the ones you love, and you might just get through this." The kid's outbursts were something raw as well. Maybe they need to revisit those parts of the movie for the future, because kids need to know that not everyone is leading perfect lives, even in a cartoon.
posted by azpenguin at 10:03 PM on February 12 [4 favorites]


blueberry: "I'll have to watch it again.
The one time I did, all I could think was
"This is telling girls to stay in relationships with people [Stitches] that abuse them".
"

You gotta remember that Lilo is having her own abusive meltdowns ("ew, she bit me") so she's seeing what everyone else misses in Stitch - he's as traumatised as her, and it's love that saves them both.

Putting adult reasoning into a relationship that is, effectively, a child-child one in it's early stages, doesn't do the story any justice and ignores the medium that it's being told in.
posted by geek anachronism at 10:10 PM on February 12 [13 favorites]


The link on 'here are four tearser clips of Stitch invading other Disney films' goes to the Dean DeBlois Wikipedia page. I'm pretty sure it was supposed to go to here or here instead.
posted by Quilford at 10:15 PM on February 12


DESSERT!
posted by Confess, Fletch at 10:16 PM on February 12


there isn't another awesome low-budget handdrawn film featuring badass ladies and aliens yet.

Bear in mind it was only "low-budget" by Disney standards, and not even really that.

Lilo and Stitch cost 80 million dollars to make. Feature animation is just unbelievably expensive.
posted by Sokka shot first at 10:18 PM on February 12


Oh, what great links, thank you so much! This is right up there with The Point for me in terms of animated movies. I watch it regularly. Recently my BFF was in town and we were watching a movie, and I mentioned reading something or other that talked about Lilo & Stitch being one of the greatest movies ever and my friend laughed derisively. I narrowed my eyes at him and said, "You haven't seen it, have you?" to which he admitted that no, he hadn't. So next time he's in town, he's gonna get sat down and made to watch it. I KNOW how he'll react, too.

There's a reason I use "My friends need to be punished" on my LJ.
posted by emcat8 at 10:19 PM on February 12


The only Disney movie that includes the line "The social worker's here." Lilo is a little bit spectrumy. People speak real Hawai`ian English: "What we went hit?" "Mahalo plenty." It is so ... real, considering it has a six-limbed alien costar.

The best of the non-Pixar bunch, by a country mile, and arguably better than the Pixar movies. It has a very, very special place in my heart.

Is little. And broken. But good. Yeah. Still good.

I do actually cry every time.
posted by PsychoTherapist at 10:19 PM on February 12 [12 favorites]


Also: "Your badness level is unusually high for someone your size" gets said at least once a month around here. Sometimes more than once a day.
posted by PsychoTherapist at 10:21 PM on February 12 [4 favorites]


How on earth did it ever slip by the Disney corporate overlords? Thank goodness it did.

Don't forget: Disney laid off that entire animation team right after that movie.
posted by nushustu at 10:22 PM on February 12 [4 favorites]


My Aloha Stitch doll remains one of my favorite toys -- and I bought it when I was 30. And the original battery still works! Scares the crap out of the cats, though.

It's crazy how even used ones on eBay are going for more than twice the original retail price... but then again, it's an amazing toy.

Sing me a song.

Aloha oy. Aloha oy.
posted by linux at 10:24 PM on February 12 [1 favorite]


I adore this movie beyond the telling of it. Every bit of it.
posted by MissySedai at 10:25 PM on February 12


Speaking of different animation teams, who wants to see how Japan treats Lilo & Stitch?

Cause oooh boy.

When you think about it, it makes sense, cause these characters do seem very Japanese Animes
posted by WeX Majors at 10:26 PM on February 12 [1 favorite]


Japan has a really, really different sense of that movie/franchise. It's really less Lilo & Stitch and more so Stitch and Also Some Girl.
posted by DoctorFedora at 10:28 PM on February 12 [5 favorites]


I'm rewatching it because of this post. Just teared up at the scene where he reads and says "lost" and then cocks his ear to listen for anyone who wants to find him. SO good.
posted by c'mon sea legs at 11:00 PM on February 12 [4 favorites]


Lilo and Stitch is one of my favorite films ever.

I also like how the primary human characters are native Hawaiians, with the white people in the background.

And yes. Pudge controls the weather.
posted by spinifex23 at 11:10 PM on February 12


I've just put it in again too. (Great timing for this post, BTW, since it's currently on Netflix Instant!)
posted by JHarris at 11:14 PM on February 12 [2 favorites]


The one time I did, all I could think was
"This is telling girls to stay in relationships with people [Stitches] that abuse them".


Really? I could see that from beauty and the beast maybe but not this. If anything I thought the film functioned as an allegory for relationships with special needs family members, esp autism or hyperactivity/add which were both on the news a lot at the time.

It was a funny time for Disney that threw up some fascinating anomalies. Emperor's New groove, one of my favorite flicks came out in the same era.
posted by smoke at 11:15 PM on February 12 [6 favorites]


"I PREFER EVIL GENIUS!"
posted by JHarris at 11:25 PM on February 12 [1 favorite]


*screams into pillow*

(but in a good way)
posted by junques at 11:44 PM on February 12 [1 favorite]


"This is Scrump!" (other little girls recoil in horror from homemade doll)

"Her head is too big, so I pretend a bug laid eggs her ear! And she's upset, because she only has a few more days to...." (looks up, girls have fled)
posted by JHarris at 11:46 PM on February 12 [6 favorites]


My last visits to Walt Disney World predate this film by about a year, and so I always wondered just how heavy-handedly did they try to synergise this film with their Polynesian hotel.
posted by radwolf76 at 11:56 PM on February 12


Agreeing with smoke: I read Stitch as traumatized from parental neglect, effectively - his "parent" having failed to encourage his non-destructive side. Lilo and Nani, meanwhile, are traumatized by the deaths of their parents - which Nani is largely refusing to acknowledge because she feels she has to be strong for Lilo, and Lilo is too young to articulate clearly, but is clearly displacing onto Elvis and Stitch, in different ways (Elvis as an ideal adult figure and a a sort of para-father to complement Nani's new role as para-mother, Stitch as a recipient of care and 'parenting', mimicking Nani's transformation to primary caregiver). Jumba has a moral and ethical journey to make to become a value-contributing member of the non-traditional family unit at the end of the movie.

Huh. When you actually type that out, it does sort of highlight what a rara avis Lilo & Stitch is, as a Disney movie.
posted by running order squabble fest at 1:30 AM on February 13 [13 favorites]


Still watching it, in stop-and-go fashion, something to do while installing an OS. Jumba's character is great, yeah, and he does evolve a bit during the movie. I wonder what his voice actor, David Ogden Steirs (yes, Charles from M*A*S*H!) is doing now?
posted by JHarris at 2:25 AM on February 13


Oh, not to overwhelm the thread, but --

The links inform us that in the first version of the screenplay, the craft that Jumba and Plinkly use to catch up with Gantu, who has Lilo, was actually a commandeered passenger jet, and the chase scene between the two craft went between the tall buildings of a city, which of course had to be changed when 9/11 happened. Still though, I think that version would solve what I think is the only real flaw with the film, which is that its realistic grounding (which it was very good at for a movie containing aliens) tends to go out the window once the spaceships start flying around; having one of the ships be an Earth jet would have remedied that, I think.
posted by JHarris at 2:44 AM on February 13


I wonder what his voice actor, David Ogden Steirs (yes, Charles from M*A*S*H!) is doing now?

Voiceover work, primarily, by the looks of it - most recently with a recurring role as authority figure Mr Maellard in Regular Show.

(It's super weird to think how young he was in M*A*S*H; when I was watching reruns as a child, he seemed much older than his tentmates. Which of course makes perfect sense: he just had more older-guy signifiers to a young viewer - male pattern baldness, straight-man demeanor, brahmin accent.)
posted by running order squabble fest at 2:44 AM on February 13 [1 favorite]


Thanks, running order squabble fest! Regular Show, huh! Who'da thought?

Just finished movie. I love the afterstory, which shows us quite plainly David, Cobra, Jumba and Plinkly settling in as Nani, Lilo and Stitch's extended family. It's not only hilarious,but very cozy and reassuring, especially after the troubles Nani and Lilo have gone through almost having their tiny unit shattered repeatedly throughout the movie.

The Self-Made Critic mentioned in his review that he was actually looking forward to the direct-to-DVD sequels, presumably on the strength of that afterstory. I watched the DVD-only "Lilo & Stitch 2," which is also on Netflix, back when it first came out, and I was rather less impressed. Then there was Stitch: The Series, which I've seen nothing of. Has anyone here seen it? It's probably best to take the ending to the movie and assume "and they lived happily ever after."
posted by JHarris at 3:04 AM on February 13 [3 favorites]


It was a funny time for Disney that threw up some fascinating anomalies. Emperor's New groove, one of my favorite flicks came out in the same era.

I always thought it was sad that two of the best Disney cartoons of the modern era were basically thrown into the ocean to fend for themselves by Disney. Emperor's New Groove was barely marketed. Even now, if you go to the parks, you can't find any merch for it.

Lilo and Stitch is everywhere, though. The Mission to Mars now features Stitch, there is a little bit of it at the Polynesian (character breakfasts and signage, mostly).

They had these two gems of hand-drawn animation, with original plots, and they were wonderful and weird, and then they went and made fucking Treasure Planet, and it bombed, and they decided to give up on hand-drawn animation forever, at least until the Second Coming of John Lasseter. Such a shame.
posted by Elementary Penguin at 3:47 AM on February 13 [5 favorites]


Also,

"Your name is Cobra Bubbles? Did you ever kill anyone?"
"We're getting off the subject."
posted by Elementary Penguin at 4:15 AM on February 13 [6 favorites]


Stitch is a real asshole in the original pitch. Like sociopath level of badness.

Also, in the town of Hanapepe on Kauai, the unnamed setting of the movie, a little ways down from a neat bookstore is a painting of Lilo on the side of a building. Next to it is a kind of terrible rendering of The Thorn Birds poster. And not even the original Thorn Birds! It's the shitty sequel! Photo
posted by book 'em dano at 4:41 AM on February 13 [3 favorites]


I LOVE THIS MOVIE SO MUCH!!! And I cry every single time I watch it. Always at the "little and broken, but still good" part (I teared up just typing that) and several times at other parts too.

Parts of "Lilo and Stitch" are very, very sad (when Nani knows she's probably going to lose custody of Lilo and sings to her, and when Lilo says she remembers everyone who goes away) (ACTUALLY CRYING NOW) but it's also SO FREAKIN' FUNNY. The part where they go to the animal shelter and the lady tells them it will be $2 and Nani hands the money to the animal shelter lady, Lilo insists on paying, then asks to borrow money, so Nani has to take the money from the lady, give it to Lilo who gives it back to Nani who gives it to the lady. HA. I crack up every time.

Everything about it is just so great.
posted by Aquifer at 5:30 AM on February 13 [9 favorites]


The heartstring-tugging quote seemed like it was hastily corrected in committee

Writer 1: "This'll get 'em weeping! 'Ohana means family, family means no one gets left behind'"

Writer 2: "Ummm, the parents both die before the movie. That's pretty much left behind. "

Writer 1: "OR FORGOTTEN. Happy now?"

Writer 3: "Dead people can remember?"

Writer 1 & 2: "Shut the fuck up!"
posted by dr_dank at 5:45 AM on February 13 [2 favorites]


I think my favorite part of this movie is how realistically Lilo is a little kid going through trauma they can't deal with or articulate and, as someone who was frequently put in charge of thier much younger brother as a teenager some of those interactions are hilariously true to life.
posted by The Whelk at 6:07 AM on February 13 [4 favorites]


It's amazing how a Disney movie about aliens wreaking havoc in Hawai'i has some of the most realism in a Disney film (especially family dynamics in a family of orphans! which Disney had a lot of tries at).
posted by Elementary Penguin at 6:28 AM on February 13 [2 favorites]


"Thus far you have been adrift in the sheltered harbor of my patience."

How has no-one mentioned the awesomeness that is Cobra Bubbles?

I'd like to point out that this is also the only Disney movie that's featured the line "Oh good, my dog found the chainsaw."
posted by MrVisible at 6:47 AM on February 13 [20 favorites]


The heartstring-tugging quote seemed like it was hastily corrected in committee 

I think that's intentional. They've had to amend their definition of family to create a new normal after the loss of their parents.
posted by novelgazer at 6:59 AM on February 13 [8 favorites]


I want some breakaway team at Disney to make a film about a kid having to go between to completely different houses every week. Somehow show that he's lucky to have both parents. Show that he's lucky that even through divorce both sides want to be involved. Show that he's not abused by either step parent, or the numerous step-siblings. But that 'lack of parent(s)' isn't the only weird starting point from which to tell a story.

I want it to be filled with humor, and be superbly unique and approachable styled art.

I'll buy tickets, for at least my family. All of them.
posted by DigDoug at 6:59 AM on February 13 [8 favorites]


oh yeah, and no goddamn songs! (Unless they're elvis. That's okay)
posted by DigDoug at 7:02 AM on February 13


Um, I'm definitely on team Cobra Bubbles. I love him and the head alien commiserating about bureaucracy at the end.
posted by Elementary Penguin at 7:13 AM on February 13


I've never seen this, but based on the strength of this thread I just added it to my library queue.
posted by pxe2000 at 7:18 AM on February 13 [5 favorites]


My son loves this movie too. We've seen the sequels (not bad, not great) and some of the series (sitcom-y but still, could be worse). It's sad that Disney doesn't do more like this and less White Princess in Peril stories.

(He also loves Emperor's New Groove, and its sequels).
posted by emjaybee at 7:43 AM on February 13 [1 favorite]


I had never seen it before but, hey, I'm snowed in, so why not?

My boyfriend came downstairs just as I got to "Is little and broken, but still good" and I launched myself at him sobbing incoherently about having feelings about little blue aliens.
posted by coppermoss at 7:44 AM on February 13 [14 favorites]


How did this get made?

That was the question I recently asked myself when I started watching the movie (I didn't get to watch the whole thing - our own little Stitch decided that there weren't enough trucks in it, so off it went).

JHarris: There's a strong Calvin-and-Hobbes sense from Lilo and Stitch, although it's difficult to say which is which.

I think that's part of the charm of the characters - they're not 100% any one character type.

nushustu: Don't forget: Disney laid off that entire animation team right after that movie.

I did not know that. Here's a brief bit on that, and the WSJ "affordable" movie link mentions that Disney was able to save money by ratcheting back salaries as some competing upstart animation studios closed shop. In my uninformed view, they're still making good money ("An animator making more than $550,000 in 1999 might now be making $225,000, for example; the clean-up artist who peaked at $250,000 has been ratcheted down to about $140,000"), but from the Mouse Planet link, it appears that Disney is amongst those companies who pays more attention to the bottom line than retaining capable staff.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:53 AM on February 13 [3 favorites]


I want some breakaway team at Disney to make a film about a kid having to go between to completely different houses every week. Somehow show that he's lucky to have both parents. Show that he's lucky that even through divorce both sides want to be involved. Show that he's not abused by either step parent, or the numerous step-siblings. But that 'lack of parent(s)' isn't the only weird starting point from which to tell a story.

Only if the movie also shows the sucky side of that situation. I was so happy to become an adult and stop having to move every week.
posted by Area Man at 7:54 AM on February 13 [1 favorite]


There's so much to love about this film, and much of it has been said. I just want tip point out that it was also among all the other things, a homage to the classic age of science fiction. The spaceships look like they could have been lifted off the cover of Amazing Stories, and the plot itself is in the genre of "shaggy alien" stories. I can see Ben Bova and Gordon Dickson, after finishing "Gremlins Go Home", pitching to John Campbell "Yeah it's a story about a kid who finds a dog, only get this, it's really an escaped alien super weapon..."

If course while begging a homage, Lilo and Stitch transcends the genre; it has far more great and understanding of human nature and relationships than a classic SF story would ever have. It's why I consider it over if the best SF movies ever made.
posted by happyroach at 8:45 AM on February 13 [2 favorites]


Pudge controls the weather; Lilo's parents died from a weather-related car accident. This is why it's so important that she doesn't feed him tuna. (An abomination!)

I love this movie. (I enjoy The Emperor's New Groove, but it has nothing on Lilo & Stitch.)
posted by jeather at 8:59 AM on February 13 [4 favorites]


Oh, this movie. Saw it for the first time a couple of weeks ago (many, many thanks to elizardbits, who talked it up on her blog), and the relationship between the sisters made me cry. Lilo wishes on (what she thinks is) a star for a friend who won't run away; in the very next scene, Nani's brought her to the animal shelter to adopt a dog. The exchange at the desk (here, at 2:24), as Aquifer details above, is pitch-perfect.

Later, Lilo asks if she's the reason Nani just got axed from the luau restaurant job (and she is):

Lilo: Did you lose your job because of Stitch and me?
Nani: Nah. The manager's a vampire. He wanted me to join his legion of the undead.
Lilo: I knew it!

We're given the one shot of Nani's own bedroom, which is littered with surfing trophies, for a sense of what she's given up in the wake of their parents' deaths (beyond just turning David down for a date), for a string of crummy jobs to keep Lilo with her. Gah! And the voice talent: Zoe Caldwell, regal and crisp; David Ogden Stiers, inexplicably giving the alien mad scientist a Russian accent; a dotty Kevin McDonald, from Kids in the Hall; Tia Carrere giving Nani real humor and pathos (when she thinks she's lost her little sister, she just wails and it's heartrending) and Ving Rhames, as the deadpan, mysterious social worker.

This movie is so great and so weird, I did wonder how it ever got made - thanks for the links!
posted by Iris Gambol at 9:01 AM on February 13 [7 favorites]


My husband and I frequently use "ICH" to end arguments over who has to do what.

Me: Do the dishes.
Husband: YOU do the dishes.
Me: ICH.
Husband: ... You're very persuasive.
*husband does dishes*
posted by L'Estrange Fruit at 9:12 AM on February 13 [9 favorites]


Lilo and Stitch is everywhere, though. The Mission to Mars now features Stitch, there is a little bit of it at the Polynesian (character breakfasts and signage, mostly).

I haven't been there since sometime in the mid-2000s, but when we went, Stitch had also taken over the announcements on the monorail. "Welcome to STITCH KINGDOM!" Then as the doors opened and the voice says "watch your head getting out," there was a noise followed by Stitch yelling "OW! I hit my head!" This cracked me up every time we rode the thing around for three days.

Oh, and I bought a pair of these Tiki cockatail glasses there, and interestingly, some Googling suggests the design pre-dates Lilo & Stitch, however the face on the glass sure resembles Stitch.
posted by dnash at 10:03 AM on February 13 [1 favorite]


Oh god, is on Netflix now?

I have gushed about this movie to SO (including anecdotes about how the opening theme reminds me of sociopathic space vampires (I had it on repeat while I was reading Blindsight)) and we are totally watching this tonight and damn all the feels.
posted by mikurski at 11:30 AM on February 13


One of the best films, animated or not, made in the 21st Century. The world is a better place because this movie exists.
posted by Atreides at 12:04 PM on February 13


I think 'Emperor's New Groove' and 'Lilo and Stitch' should only be seen as a double feature.

a) ENG gives you light relief after the heart squishing sob fest that is L&S.
b) Both movies showcases the best that Disney has ever been.

The corporate monster that is Disney never again came up with anything comparable.

Which is a shame.
posted by fordiebianco at 12:05 PM on February 13 [3 favorites]


JHarris: ""This is Scrump!" (other little girls recoil in horror from homemade doll)"

THEY JUST DON'T KNOW ANY BETTER
posted by scrump at 12:17 PM on February 13 [12 favorites]


"does this look infected to you?"
posted by jrishel at 1:31 PM on February 13 [3 favorites]


The singer who performed two of the songs along with the Kamehameha Schools Children's Chorus (including the opening theme) is Mark Keali'i Ho'omalu, a kumu hula (hula teacher) who runs the Academy of Hawaiian Arts in Oakland, one of few halau (school) outside of Hawaii that get invited to the prestigious Merrie Monarch festival regularly. Here is his men's team from last year and his women's team from 2012.
posted by osk at 3:05 PM on February 13 [7 favorites]


Round headed green one-eyed alien/monster thing who is kind of goofy, blue/purple end of spectrum colored monster who should be threatening to children but isn't so much, little girl who should be terrified of the monster but isn't, multi-eyed alien thing who is sort of in charge of some division or company

Monster meets girl, becomes her friend, green one-eye wants to break them up, there is pursuit or threat by the multi-eye alien thing, ultimately a lesson about love and friendship and bonding is learned which changes everyone.

I swear, both Monsters Inc and Lilo & Stitch somehow came from the same pitch session.

I'm not saying this is a BAD thing... but the odd similarities between the movies (which came out very close together) struck me ages ago.
posted by hippybear at 6:09 PM on February 13


For some reason when this came out the trailers struck me wrong, and I never saw it. On the strength of this thread watched it last night - so much fabulousness! Thanks, everyone!
posted by korej at 3:03 PM on February 14 [2 favorites]


Elementary Penguin: "They had these two gems of hand-drawn animation, with original plots, and they were wonderful and weird, and then they went and made fucking Treasure Planet, and it bombed, and they decided to give up on hand-drawn animation forever, at least until the Second Coming of John Lasseter. Such a shame."

You take that back! I love Treasure Planet if only for Captain Amelia and the Johnny Rzeznik song.

I do currently have a mix cd of Disney songs and for whatever reason I got the Lilo and Stitch intro song in front of Hakuna Matata and the difference is excruciating - one has native languages, the choir, al of that, and the other has fart jokes. It made me realise just how rare and lovely Lilo and Stitch is.

Even though it prompted my then 2 year old to want to light sticks on fire and twirl them about...
posted by geek anachronism at 8:41 PM on February 14


Just watched and wow do the unconscious biases of American society come out in it: "Hi we're from the government and we're here to help break up your family".
posted by MartinWisse at 1:33 PM on February 15


Last weekend, my wife and I watched Space Jam after it had come out that I had never seen it. This weekend, we watched this for the same reason.

This was a much better movie.
posted by DoctorFedora at 3:20 PM on February 15 [1 favorite]


"Hi we're from the government and we're here to help break up your family"

I feel like I should defend Cobra Bubbles here. At the start of the movie, Lilo and Nani's family really is in trouble, and Nani does lose her job shortly into it. We have the position of privileged observer, and can see that they love each other despite the problems, but their little unit is in real trouble there; Nani's house is a wreck, and Lilo is like a female Hawaiian Calvin in her boundless energy and appetite for trouble. We're not told how long it's been since their parents died, but it couldn't have been that long, probably less than a year. As jeather notes above, and I hadn't realized until she said it:

Pudge controls the weather; Lilo's parents died from a weather-related car accident. This is why it's so important that she doesn't feed him tuna.

I hadn't caught that seemingly throwaway joke as a symptom of Lilo's suffering, of her desire to find some way to project her will upon an uncaring world, basically by trying to appease it, by being nice to it. Lilo puts up a brave face, but she must really be hurting.

Bubbles really does seem like he has Lilo's best interests at heart. It is possible to watch the movie and think maybe it would be for the better. Of course such thoughts will be fleeting because it's a Disney movie, and we know Nani tries very hard, and in Disneyland that's enough. But looked at from outside, Lilo really looks like she's in trouble.

(A little more problematic, I think, is the movie's unquestioning acceptance of the Men-In-Black stereotype, the whole "don't question the spooks because they know better than us" thing, which in the age of Snowden seems a little questionable. But that's not really the point of the movie, and anyway it adds a weird and hilarious edge to Cobra Bubbles' character, so I can forgive it.)
posted by JHarris at 12:56 AM on February 16 [4 favorites]


I feel like I should defend Cobra Bubbles here. At the start of the movie, Lilo and Nani's family really is in trouble, and Nani does lose her job shortly into it.

And at no time does Bubbles, or anybody else in a position of authority, offer Lilo and Nani any help coping with the death of their parents or keeping their family going. Instead they have to prove themselves to him, standing there silently watching and judging. It's only at the end of the movie, once they've proven their worth by taming the weapon of mass destruction, that they get rewarded by being allowed to stay together.

Worse, throughout the movie Lilo and especially Nani are judged for things beyond their control, as powerful alien interests show up and wreck their lives.

Nani and Lilo are allowed to fail, are failed by the state and society, then punished for it.

(Also also, what annoyed me was how much Nani was a passive subject, rather than allowed an active role in saving Lilo, but than again it's a Disney movie in the end.)
posted by MartinWisse at 9:12 AM on February 16


That's a really interesting point-counterpoint on Cobra Bubbles, he said, using a sentence he never expected to use. I've been rewatching L&S after this thread, and it strikes me that CB is sort of bad at his job: he clearly used to be a pretty hardcore kind of an operative, and his approach to social work is heavy on intimidation and low on offering actual assistance.

(And I guess part of this might also be that support systems don't exist for poor Hawai'ians - Nani doesn't seem to have access to grief counselling, a more supportive approach to child services or, un fact, anything else. She's having to deal with bereavement, a new role as quasi-parent to Lilo and the end of tourist season, which takes with it a large number of the kind of casual jobs she is relying on.)

In narrative terms, he's also a ticking clock, of course - he is adding urgency to a situation where, otherwise, Stitch and the aliens could evade each other forever....
posted by running order squabble fest at 10:48 AM on February 16 [2 favorites]


And at no time does Bubbles, or anybody else in a position of authority, offer Lilo and Nani any help coping with the death of their parents or keeping their family going.

Cobra Bubbles isn't the first social worker to work with Nani and Lilo. Nani actually says, when C.B. sees what Lilo has wrought (which involves nailing the front door of their house shut) "the other social workers thought she was a scream," implying bad experiences. Lilo says to him "You don't look like a social worker," causing Mr. Bubbles (Paranoia reference!) to tell her "I'm a special classification." And he tells Nani "I'm the one they call when things go wrong." So we might can assume that they already know what resources to which they can resort.

(Yeah, I might be looking too hard at this. But it's fun!)
posted by JHarris at 1:07 PM on February 16 [2 favorites]


I watched this today and it made me (and mefi's own fighty klangklangston) both cry. It was really good. Thank you all for the rec!
posted by holyrood at 8:18 PM on February 17 [3 favorites]


This just turned up on Cracked: the voice actor for Lilo was also... Samara.
posted by L'Estrange Fruit at 7:09 AM on February 21 [1 favorite]


And Rhonda Volmer, the disturbed Fundamentalist Mormon child bride in Big Love, apparently. Huh.

(I think because voice actresses don't necessarily get typecast on appearance so much, they get a degree of versatility that many screen actresses don't. So, Tara Strong can play Harley Quinn, Twilight Sparkle and Lollipop Chainsaw without any cognitive dissonance.

That said, "Lollipop Chainsaw" would be a really good name for a Season 1 My Little Pony, on reflection.)
posted by running order squabble fest at 12:25 PM on February 21


Last day of the thread.

It's worth noting that Chris Sanders and Brian DeBlois, writers and directors of Lilo and Stitch, jumped ship to Dreamworks. The two of them are responsible for the How To Train Your Dragon series (it looks like DeBlois is central to that now, with Sanders having moved on), and Sanders also wrote The Croods.
posted by JHarris at 1:28 PM on March 12 [2 favorites]


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