Lilo & Stitch: A Live-Blog
Lilo and Stitch is maybe my favorite Disney movie. And that’s counting Classic and New Disney, Disney/Pixar, Star Wars, Marvel, you name it. Maybe. Wall-e was pretty fantastic too.
So it’s really incredible how little I’ve thought about it in the past ten years. About four times, I’d say. Until about a month ago when it started popping up everywhere. I felt as if the Universe was telling me that it was time I gave it a good ol’ re-watch.
And I’ve been meaning to do another movie live-blog so…
I forgo how they alien abduct the Disney logo at the very start. AwesLiome
Opening on Galactic Court. I love the whole space opera society they created just for the opening of this movie. It’s fully fleshed out. It’s as elaborate a sci-fi universe as Rick and Morty (which is a large part and, I think under-valued, part of why R & M is popular).
Jumba has kind eyes. He’s an interesting character. Kind of cutsie, but at the same time … manic-evil?
Hey, why isn’t Manic-Evil one of the D&D alignments? I mean, I know it isn’t, but it should be, right?
Okay. Stitch is locked up now. Spitting to get lose. But he just kind of broke out with sheer strength. Why spit. Just to be a jerk to the hammer-head attendant, I guess. I mean, he’s supposed to be a jerk at the start so…
Each officer’s chair is designed to fit their particular species. I wonder about the logistics involved in designing a ship for an inclusive inter-galactic space force such as this one. So many shapes and sizes to accommodate. Seems like jobs are assigned to particular species. Maybe they hire to the size of the chair? Or is it space-racism? Spacism?
(I wasn’t sure if I’d have enough to say about this, because I know the film so well, but I just had to pause it to catch up on typing. It has a fast-paced opening though. We’ll see how it goes once he crashes into Lilo and Nani’s lives. (And all our hearts.))
I love the H-Drive shock wave. It’s such a cool effect. But again, one wonders about the logistics. If a standard police cruiser can cause such havoc with its transportation system, and they travel as a fleet, they must have to spread out MUCH more than we see on the screen. Of course, I’ve always read that actual space fleets would be ridiculously far apart. Like millions of kms. That the ships in Star Trek can actually see each other in phaser/disrupter battles is a little absurd.
(But I digress.)
(Had to pause again, BTW. Okay, I’m going to go make some popcorn and a drink. Okay, I’m back; sorry for the wait.)
I love that Earth is located in Area-51. I’m not sure if I noticed that before. Probably. It’s not subtle.
Pleakley shows up with his passion for mosquitoes. I think Pleakley is the weakest part of the movie. Even though Kevin McDonald is a Canadian treasure. Asking if Stitch has a “Neighbor with beard” is a hilarious line though. And really, he’s not that bad. It’s a high bar. The movie is pretty solid all around.
“So … tell me my little one-eyed one, on what poor, pitiful, defenseless planet has my monstrosity been UNLEEEASHED?”
Fade to Hawaiian singing, tropical fish, hula-dancing and title credits. So, so, so, so so so SO SOO strong an opening!!!!!
Also, I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone talk about how amazing the music in this movie is. But it really, REALLY is.
I love the way people move too. It feels so … what? Real? Honest. Yeah, the animation of movements feel’s really honest. That might be a part of why the characters feel like real people. (Not to discount the real-world struggles they face through much of the runtime.)
“Pudge is a fish?”
It would actually perfectly acceptable to give pudge tuna instead of peanut butter. Fish eat other fish all the time. Lilo’s should be old enough to know this.
“Pudge controls the weather.”
Lilo’s hammer punches the other girl. She fights like Captain Kirk.
The dance instructor’s eyes are so expressive.
Who are these girls? We’re seeing a subplot that never really gets resolved with them. Not a big deal, it’s a super small sub plot. But still…
Is the background art water colour?
Okay, Nani’s threatening Lilo through the doggie-door.
“I’m going to bake you into a pie and feed you to him and when he asks what’s your secret, I’m going to say … love.”
Why is Cobra Bubbles so hostile? This is their FIRST meeting with him. He MUST realize he’s making Nani nervous and that will only draw out the worst her. Though she DID in fact leave the stove on while she was out. That’s dangerous.
“I get disciplined five times a day with bricks in a pillow case.”
Lilo is so weird. She’s easily one of the most interesting characters in all of Disney.
She screams the INSTANT Bubbles leaves. How did he not hear that?
Nani’s now trying to tell her how serious their situation is and she’s just screaming “NO!” (Did I mention how honest the characters feel before?) Then she just falls face-first onto the floor! Where does she get “sell me and buy a rabbit instead”? How is it already so hilarious and heartbreaking at the same time?!
It’s amazing how quickly we went from space opera to domestic crises. “I like you better as a sister than a mom. And you like me better as a sister than a rabbit, right?” (Shut up! SHUT UP! I am NOT crying! YOU SHUT THE HELL UP!)
Re-enter Stitch. I love the silhouette with teeth when he first appears out of the crash. Also his hiss when it starts to rain. And the squeaky-toy noises when he’s getting run over.
Oh, no! Scared puppies!
“Something sturdy.” “Like a lobster!”
Wow. How did Jumba find him so fast?
Nani says, “pick SOMEONE out.” (Not “something.”) Right from the start. That’s pretty great.
Do Stitch’s arms still exist when he sucks them in? I mean, are they just under his skin? Are there still claws?
When he starts to say “Hello,” and the woman says “Dogs don’t talk” and he glares at her. Oh, man. I’m dying.
Wow. Jumba was THIS close to killing Lilo. This movie could have been much darker.
Heh. Nani hates Stitch so much.
Lilo sees her “friends”. They’re so slow on their kid bikes she runs right past them. HAHA. Stitch steals the main girl’s bike, and I think that’s the mean-girl subplot pretty much done now? Like ten seconds later on could have resolved the arc. That’s all I’m saying.
First Elvis montage. I love how Stitch throws the postcards at the puppy. I love how much Lilo enjoys riding in the coin-operated rocket.
Enter David and his fire-eating. When I was in my early twenties I was in love with a friend of mine who had a kid, and I super-identified with David in this movie. Who could even say why?
(I know. I’m super lame. I KNOW! SHUT UP!!!)
“Stitch is troubled. He needs deserts.” – “Deserts!” – “David, I got a new dog!” – “You sure it’s a dog?”
They lure Stitch away with a-clearly-alien drumstick. Where did they get that? Do they have a freezer full of food on their ship? Did they cook it in a space-oven?
Bringing Stitch home for the first time. Why does he put his feet in his mouth and roll around the house? This movie’s amazing.
“OHANA means family. FAMILY means nobody gets left behind. Or forgotten.”
It’s actually a little weird that Lilo already has a Stitch-sized bed with a coffee-filled water bottle under the pillow in her room. Why?
Why does Stitch go limp when Lilo puts a lei around his neck?
After creating a San Francisco out of toys, Stitch has the foresight to pull the shade off the lamp so he’ll cast a huge, scary shadow across the “buildings”. Never noticed that before. Also Lilo immediately recognizes it as San Francisco. How old is she, I wonder. Like … eight? (Old enough to know that fish eat other fish anyway.)
Okay Pleakley is putting on his woman’s wig because he likes it. Now he and Jumba are fighting over it. It’s all played off as a joke. Is Lilo and Stitch a little trans-phobic?? We all get better with time, I guess.
Time for Pleakley to be disillusioned about mosquitoes. This is what I’m talking about; it’s a pretty hacky joke. He’s definitely the weakest part of the movie.
Stitch looking through Lilo’s books. She’s got some weird books.
That’s not how The Ugly Duckling story goes.
It’s morning now, and I just have one question, why does Stitch’s claw play records? How does that work? Like, he was designed like that? That’s a built-in feature? Jumba, what where you thinking there, exactly? This is weird and people should be more bothered by it. (Okay, like five questions.)
Cobra Bubbles is back.
“New job. Model citizen.”
I recently put out a Twitter poll asking who was the film’s protagonist, Lilo, Stitch or Nani. It was a pretty interesting split. I think, it’s actually all three. None of their stories really eclipses any of the others and each has an narrative-defining arc.
Where did Lilo get the huge speaker she plugs in when Stitch is doing his Elvis song on the beach? Also, his guitar isn’t plugged into anything, so why does she have it? Pretty much every job Nani fails to get it’s because of they’re being Elvis. Is Elvis the movie’s antagonist?
Okay, the surfing scene. Another example of 1) how great the music is, and 2) How FREAKING AMAZING the character movement animation is. Holy nuts it’s just so…
Aww. Stitch makes a sandcastle on himself to replicate what Nani and David are doing with Lilo. It’s like Wall-e wanting to hold hands. I’M NOT CRYING, YOU DICK!
Re: Character Animation: It’s the weight shifting. You can actually feel their movements in it.
Jumba appears out of a wave like a ghost-shark.
Okay, Bubbles shows up and says he’s going to take Lilo. Yup. Three protagonists. Each in a different narrative. None of them really sees what’s going on for any of the others. Well, Stitch does, but he has to pretend he can’t communicate, so his is as isolated as Nani’s and Lilo’s.
David puts all their problems on Stitch. Fuck you David. Did I say I once identified with this guy? Seriously, fuck you David!
Nani singing to Lilo in a hammock.
(THOSE AREN’T TEARS ON MY FACE!! YOU’RE THE ONE THAT’S CRYING!)
(I’LL THANK YOU TO SHUT THE FUCK UP!!!)
[Readers in the know will recognize the Natalie Walker allusion I’m so clumsily swatting at here. My apologies to Ms. Walker.]
It’s actually incredible how well they brought all three story arcs to the same crisis (losing your family) at the same point in the story, in completely different ways. Find better writing than that, I goddamn dare you!
“I’m lost. I’m lost.”
Pleakley screaming about sea-creatures now. Continues to be the weakest link of this film.
(Pausing to get another drink. Okay, I’m back.)
Jumba and Pleakley just got fired, dropping us into Act 3. (This movie follows the Two-Plots narrative structure by the way) (Most of them do.)
Grand Councilwoman calls Pleakely “Blinkly”. Is she being bigoted? More evidence that the galactic government is rife with systemic racism?
Nani getting ready to say goodbye to Lilo.
David finds Nani a job and asks for a date. I guess she owes him now? Like he actually says she can pay him back by dating him. Is this movie actually problematic, or am I just overly sensitized to that kind of thing these days?
Lilo doesn’t really react to Jumba’s sudden appearance. Like, not even a little. She’s pretty cool about it all.
Interesting how well Jumba keeps up with Stitch in a fight. Also, it’s established he’s a genus. Is his species some kind of galactic ubermensch?
“I like fluffy!” Stitch is beginning to appreciate his cuteness. But Jumba is really the most objectively cute character in this film. After Lilo.
When did Stitch ever hear the terms “punch-buggy” and “hatch-back”?
“Oh good, my dog found the chainsaw.”
Stitch and Jumba playing hot-potato is a wonderful moment.
Cobra Bubbles puts Lilo in his car. She’s tiny in it and it’s so disproportionately big. This is no accident, I think. Beautiful visual storytelling.
Lilo runs away, finds Stitch and blames him. Sees him for what he is for the first time. Captured by Captain Gantu. (Why do so many of the aliens look like sea creatures.) Stitch escapes.
Nani yells at Stitch to talk. “I know you can!” – “Okay, okay…” – “AAAAHHH!!” and whacks him with a stick! One of my favorite moments.
Nani yelling at Jumba is so beautifully emotional.
“Ohana means family. Family means nobody gets left behind. Or forgotten.”
(Just … shut up.)
Stitch gets Jumba to switch sides with a single word. “Ih” Amazing. “He’s VERY persuasive.”
I want to write a future post about bizarrely complex characters. Mary Poppins is one. (Don’t get me started.) Jumba might be another.
Why is Jumba’s ship so much bigger than Gantu’s?
Okay, say this movie ended differently. Say they fail to rescue Lilo. What does her life end up looking like? Would she be like Peter Quill from Guardians of the Galaxay? Or Hayley’s husband, Jeff in American Dad?”
The tourist lost his mint-chocolate-chip ice-cream for the third time.
I’m getting off-track a bit here. Areal dogfight time. Stich scratching his way in to the glass tube containing Lilo. Falls off. Lands. Saves frog from energy beam fire. (Same frog as when he first landed? I think it is.) Now he’s driving a semi-truck. (How’s he pressing the pedals?) Into the lava pit. He does some serious math to get his trajectory right in exploding the truck to shoot himself back onto Gantu’s ship.
Stitch vs. Gantu in a fist fight. No contest. Would Jumba beat Gantu too?
Stitch destroys Gantu’s ships, rescues Lilo … and Gantu.
“David! Can we get a ride to shore?” “Sure, but I have to make two trips.” Okay, David. You’re all right.
Grand Councilwoman is (essentially) negotiating with Stich and Lilo. I like how the Galactic society is ultimately a fair, just, and kind society. (But still kinda racist, let’s not forget.)
When Grand Councilwoman recognizes Bubbles, I wish she said his name. Would have been better.
Closing credits. Elvis song. Cover? Who sings this? Just googled it. Wynonna. Interesting.
Clips of photos of further adventures.
What a great movie.