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June 21, 2002

Lilo and Stitch, Part Deux

Now that the movie has opened, and the original thread has gotten crowded, perhaps this is a time to open up a second Lilo and Stitch thread.

Here's one review.

As of this writing, Roger Ebert has given the film a glowing review, which bodes pretty well for its reception by the public. Also, I am unable to link up to Rotten Tomatoes at press time - between this and Minority Report, I'm betting that's a lot of happy moviegoers trekking over to the Internet to check it out.

I'm betting that the only people who are not going to like this movie are those Disney-hating anime snobs over at Honolulu Weekly - hey, I'm just saying.

(As for me? Haven't gone yet, but I'm already looking over the upcoming weekend. And it still cracks me up whenever I walk into a Disney Store and I see signs touting their "Ohana" section.)

Posted by Stella at June 21, 2002 04:22 PM


Posted by meri on June 21, 2002 5:36 PM:

Oh, oops. I posted in the old thread. :)

I went and saw it this afternoon, and I've gotta say, I loved it. I thought that the animation was well-done, and that the story was wonderful. I have decided that I want to be Lilo when I grow up! I laughed out loud often, and was bouncing in my seat quite a bit. (Have I mentioned I'm actually 9 years old?) Even the fact that I was in a theater full of keikis didn't distract me from the screen.

I loved it. I can definitely see myself seeing this on the big screen again. And my birthday is coming up, which will be a perfect opportunity to ask for Lilo and Stitch stuffed dolls. :)

(Just remember. I'm 9. It really explains a lot.)

Posted by Sun on June 21, 2002 6:26 PM:

Just came back from seeing the movie and it was "good". Of course, it made me miss home. I believe my movie seeing partner liked it a lot more than I did. He even said he never laughed so hard at an animated feature. I'm glad they didn't stereotype Hawaiian culture and made it more real, esp. for us Kama'aina. Although, I thought it was a bit long for kids and humor to quick for them to understand. I dunno, kids nowadays though, they're totally different. If I had watched that movie in my Waipahu Elementary days, I know I wouldn't have gotten a lot of the humor.

Posted by Ryan on June 21, 2002 9:29 PM:

No worries, Meri. That old thread was a good one... and is one of the hottest spots on HawaiiStories thanks to Google.

And Stella? I'm a "RottenTomatoes" fan myself. And "Lilo & Stitch" ain't doing bad. Not bad at all, in fact. Rating a Fresh: 83% rating so far, with 71 critics chiming in, higher than "The Bourne Identity" and "Ice Age" and "Star Wars Episode II" (though I guess that's not a surprise).

Ebert gave it three-and-a-half stars. (Weirdly enough, he leads off with a check of the Tomato meter!) He says: "Truly inspired," "a jewel," "funny, sassy, startling, original..."

Go Lilo!

Warning to Googlers: Some spoilers in this thread!

Would you believe Jen and I saw it today too?

Yes, we, now of two kids, somehow found a way. Katie went to school, Zac was mostly passed out, so we just took off on a whim and caught it at a kid-filled (and thus noisy anyway) showing at Kahala.

Jen gives it an "A." I think I do too. Frankly, just seeing something Hawaiian on the big screen like that — and the animation, the watercolors, was gorgeous; true, classic Disney — made my heart stir. And when I saw the effort put into being genuine (even though the tribute to 50's camp and The King was clear), I liked it even more. They ate shave ice. Nani dressed like a local. At least the truck drivers spoke decent pidgin. Little details won me over. The flowers. The "State of Hawaii" seal on the animal shelter certificate. The civil defense sirens in the background.

Nani makes reference to "your fakey luau restaurant," in a way disarming local critics by making clear Disney knows there's a line between Hollywood Hawaii and real Hawaii. Locals make reference to "tourist season," and Nani's life certainly shows trying to make a living here isn't exactly a walk on the beach.

And the main story was pretty good. Typical Disney, yet in so many ways not. Yes, the "broken family" element is literally spelled out. The lesson about `ohana is rubbed in your face. Yet the basic spirit of the film was so unlike "Dumbo" and other Disney staples that it didn't make me cringe too badly.

Jen summed it up at one point as "weird."

Definitely some shameless grabs at the heartstrings ("The Little Duckling"), but what can I say, I'm a sap. I admit — even I teared up a couple of times, cheese notwithstanding.

(My biggest gripe is over how Stitch's ability to talk was handled. I'd have preferred he remain nonverbal all the way through.)

I agree that this isn't exactly great for a young child (under six), at least if you're expecting "The Lion King." It's got 'toon violence on par with Warner Brothers oldies, and it really is surprising — for me, though, in a good way. Sure, Lilo whups some haole ass, but she has to comes to terms with it and apologizes. Stitch certainly tears things up, too, even gnawing on someone's head. But it's not gratuitous. In fact, like Sun's beau, I found myself laughing pretty hard at some of the slapstick. The 'PG' rating is deserved, but shouldn't be a deterrent.

I definitely want to see it again. But I think this outing was a fluke. Video it is, then!

Posted by meri on June 23, 2002 8:36 AM:

Ok, I've had a little more time to digest it and to write something more than "oooh!" :) I've added my review to my web site. (Sorry for the external link, but it's kind of long, so I figured I'd spare all of you. :) )

Posted by Stella on June 23, 2002 4:19 PM:

From E! Online: "Minority," "Lilo" in Photo Finish

(I say they should just call it a tie. Good movies, both of them.)

Also, check out the discussion of visual puns in the first Lilo thread.

Posted by Aaron on June 24, 2002 12:27 AM:

Just got back from two movies:

Minority Report: Kick-ass. I guess I kinda took Spielberg for granted the past decade or so. I forgot that the man can seriously direct an action sequence. (Has it been that long since the last Indiana Jones movie?) And that greenhouse scene was extremely well-written.

Lilo & Stitch: Cute! I was gonna give away the McDonald's toy, but now I might add it to the collection of desk toys.

Something disturbed me at the theater for the latter film though. Sitting behind me were two girls talking as the credits went up.

"I love 'Can't Help Falling In Love With You.' How could they mess it up like that?"

"Who sang the original again?"


At that point, liver spots burst out on the backs of my hands.

Posted by Vivi on June 24, 2002 6:52 AM:

Okay, my review is up.

I don't know if this is a credit to Disney, but after watching the movie, I was compelled to go to the beach, so we hele-ed on over from Ward theaters to Magic Island.

Strange, yeah?

Posted by Lani on June 24, 2002 7:30 AM:

As a Hawaii ex-pat and HUGE Disneyland fanatic, I was so anxious to see this movie I had ants in my pants! I totally loved this movie... the opening credit sequence in Hawaii (with the hula studio) had me in tears and it was that way for many parts of the movie.

Ryan, you said "My biggest gripe is over how Stitch's ability to talk was handled. I'd have preferred he remain nonverbal all the way through.)" -- What was wrong with Stitch's ability to talk? Stitch was genetically engineered to be exceptionally smart. He didn't LEARN to talk. Remember the scene at the pound? The clerk said "DOGS CANNOT TALK" and Stitch learned that, and that is why he didn't talk through most of the movie. It was not his inability to speak, but his desire to pretend to be a dog. Hope that clears it up for you.

Posted by Ryan on June 24, 2002 9:48 AM:

Gee, thanks Lani. But I understood that.

My feeling, though, is that Stitch's character was pretty compelling without speaking (and, in fact, was originally conceived by his creators to be one of the first main Disney characters who didn't talk at all).

As he became more articulate later in the film, it struck me as more gratuitous cheese than anything ("It's small, and broken... but I found it all by myself!").

If he had only said, "Hi!" and "I'm lost," that would've been great.

Again, though, it was my main gripe with an otherwise wonderful film. I saw it again yesterday with my daughter, and was just as awed.

Posted by Stella on June 24, 2002 10:10 AM:

Aaron: LOL. (Ah, the things I want to do while lining up for movies: "Hey, kids! The Titanic does sink, you know! People are going to die!")

Vivi and Meri: Great reviews, and even better than what I've read in the mainstream. (As an example: Roger Ebert, I love you, but you've gotten too cranky lately - lighten up!) Also, props to Steve from the previous thread who let us in on a sneak peek.

I have a feeling that the reason why both Lilo and Minority Report ended up in a box-office photo finish is because a lot of folks, like Aaron, decided to see both of them on the same weekend. I'm thinking about parents who took their kids to see the cartoon first and then watched the sci-fi. Or watched the sci-fi first and then took the kids to the cartoon. Or, heck, took the kids to both and watched them yell "Again!" both times. No wonder.

(Something that I feel my brother should've done, since he took his little boy on a double feature of Lilo and Scooby Doo. Then again, he did have a three-year old with him...)

Since my VCR finally broke last night (waaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!), I'm going to have to catch up on my movie-viewing eventually - so I'm going to see if I can sneak out of work and catch a matinee of either or both.

Posted by Stella on June 26, 2002 10:58 PM:

Well, I had to take a break from the ongoing political arguments I got myself into earlier, so I took off and went to see Lilo and Stitch tonight with my friend Meg at Ward Stadium 16.

My verdict? Cutest. Thing. EVER. And I love it so much that not only will I be getting my Stitch toy, but I'll also plan on watching this again.

That's all I say for now, in lieu of a formal review. But know this:

1) That stupidhead Owen Glieberman from Entertainment Weekly can BITE MY ASS;

2) The artwork for the animation, and especially the watercolors, reminded me more of Paul Gauguin and Pegge Hopper than anything remotely Disney-esque (more information can be gleaned from this lovely book, Lilo & Stitch: Collected Stories From The Film's Creators, which I leafed through at Borders after we came back from Ward) ;

3) I cried at all the right parts and had to laugh even more at all the "local-kine" references;

4) Surfah-kine guy David (Jason Scott Lee) is more of a "moke" than a Disney romantic interest; and

5) Oh, yeah, did I already mention it? Cutest. Thing. EVER. Sniff.

Posted by NemesisVex on July 2, 2002 8:53 PM:

I watched it last weekend. If memory serves me correctly, both the Austin American-Statesperson and the Austin Chronicle ran reviews which wanted more Stitch, less sub-plot.

I walked out of the movie more engaged in the subplot than in Stitch's antics. Quite frankly, Stitch was just one or two pranks away from being really irritating.

I too thought it was nice hearing even a slight hint of pidgin.

One thing was missing though -- if it really was Kauai, where were the chickens? I thought those creative Disney animators would have found a way to include all the feral chickens running around the island.

Posted by Lisa on July 3, 2002 9:56 PM:

LOL.. Vex, I just saw it and had the same thought- whea all da kine chickens??

Stella- I'm with you. Sniff, sniff.

I'm also curious to see what effect the movie might have on tourism.

Posted by meri on July 6, 2002 6:39 AM:

I gave in and saw it again last weekend, and I have to say... I am still in love with Lilo & Stitch. :) I have been nudging (pushing, shoving) all of my friends to go see it, and am eyeing the talking Stitch toy with very big eyes. I have the soundtrack, and am much more interested in the little bits of dialogue before the Elvis songs than the Elvis songs themselves! (Not to mention the wonderful works by the Kamehameha Choir!)

*sigh* Not out on DVD until Christmas time! Aieee!

Posted by Ryan on July 15, 2002 12:27 PM:

Late update: Kamehameha Schools recently put out the lyrics to the Hawaiian Roller Coaster Ride song, which I've added to my page.

I'm not quite sure about some of that Hawaiian, but... it's still a fun song!

Posted by dani girl on December 26, 2002 3:13 PM:

I lived in hawaii, and now i livein New Jersey, me and my family saw the movie in the summer, i just got the DVD for christmas. We were the only ones in the movie theatre laughing, and crying because we were homesick.. It was a great movie. Its nice to see and be reminded where you came from.

Posted by Denise on January 30, 2003 6:22 AM:

I finally saw Lilo and Stitch on video (not ready for DVD) this Tuesday at the same time W. was giving the State of the union speech.

I also used to live on Oahu.

The movie came out while I was still living there, but I was getting prepared to come and live on the mainland.

I just LOVE this film and anyone critical of it just dont have a heart like the stupid head from E weekly and that Haole(seems like) from Georgia and her stupid head reference to Ritalin. I saw it on the rotten tomatoes review.

All transplanted kamaaina need to emphasis more to mainlanders Ohana means family... and all it entails.


Posted by me on April 29, 2003 4:23 PM:

I am a lilo and stitch freak!
Scrump rox!

Posted by Nicholas Miller on September 18, 2003 5:36 PM:

I loved both movies(im nine!)I thought lilo was cute on both of the movies and cant wait for the siries(Im DYING)
I even act like stitch(crawl on hands,feet!)and I want to be him for holoween!

Posted by Nicholas Miller on September 18, 2003 5:38 PM:

oops I forgot something,
Ohana mens family,family means nobody gets left behind...or forgoten!Everyone is my ohana because I care about everyone!

Posted by Matt on May 21, 2004 10:23 PM:

Okay, I've seen and own both movies out so far. Have nearly every episode on tape, have a Lilo and Stitch tote bag that i made myself, and have even gotten to the point where I have He Mele No Lilo memorized even though I knew very little hawaiian before i saw the movies. The only thing is, I CANT FIND THE LYRICS FOR ALOHA, E COMO MAI (which plays during the credits of Stitch: The Movie) ANYWHERE! Someone... anyone... e-mail me if you know where to find them. I've been searching for ages and havent found it yet. If anyone can tell me where I can find them I'd be very greatful.... Takka! (That's thanks for those of you who dont know Stitch's language like I do)

Posted by Ryan on May 23, 2004 12:03 AM:

Matt, although it's linked elsewhere on this site (Lilo & Stitch was a very popular topic around the time of the movie's release), you can find the lyrics to the two main songs here: "Hawaiian Roller Coaster Ride," and "He Mele No Lilo."

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