(The Disneycember logo is shown, before showing clips from Lilo and Stitch. Snippets of the film's score by Alan Silvestri play throughout)
Doug (vo): Every once in a while, you come across that movie that's supposed to be one thing, but it does one element so well that it actually almost works against it. Lilo and Stitch is one of those movies.
Doug (vo): The story is very basic. An alien experiment from another galaxy escapes his captivity, makes his way to Earth and befriends a little girl named Lilo. The other aliens try to get him back while they also learn the meaning of family, blah-blah-blah-blah-blah, you can guess it very quickly.
Doug (vo): I remember when I saw the trailers for this movie and I was thinking to myself, "Eh, I sort of already know this story. It's kind of ET-ish meets hiding a pet meets family bonding, eh, I know it, I know it." So I basically avoided it. But much like The Emperor's New Groove, everybody was telling me to see it. So I finally went, rented it, sat down and watched it.
[Many scenes focusing on Lilo and her story are shown]
Doug (vo): And here's what stuck out to me: The stuff with the little girl is unbelievable. This is probably one of the best kid characters of all time. And for Disney to accomplish that, that's really something. Their kid characters have ranged from OK to incredibly annoying and incredibly bland. But this character, she's weird, she's violent, she's bizarre, she's emotional, she's kooky, she's totally out of control. Hey, guess what? Those are kids! It just so happens she's even more stranger than the rest of the crowd, so that makes her even more interesting. God, Disney finally got this right! But it doesn't just stop there. [Imitates a skeptical viewer] Oh, what? Is there an evil mother or an evil step-something or other that doesn't understand her or something? [Speaks normally] No, it's actually a very believable situation. Lilo has to live with her older sister because the parents sadly passed away. But the older sister has trouble looking out for her because she's constantly in-between jobs, has to look after a kid that's already a handful, and on top of that, she's her older sister, not her parent. So this is new territory for both of them, and it's hard for them to both get used to it. There's a man from an agency who's constantly watching them, making sure that Lilo's sister is a good parent. But even then, he's not the bad guy, he's just doing his job. And at times, he sees the tragedy of the situation, too. And that's what this is, a tragedy. It's just a really bad turn of events that creates a really bad situation. It doesn't need a bad guy, it doesn't need a greedy villain. It's just life. It's the first time I thought Disney really got that and they really captured it, and, for me, this is bringing their animated features to a whole new level.
[More clips, now focusing on the film's other half with Stitch and his story, are shown]
Doug (vo): But sadly, the film is not entirely about that. It's also about the alien. And that stuff is just...OK. It's not bad, it's not great, it's just decent. The alien's cute, I guess, they have to sort of train him like a dog and, of course, he learns the meaning of family, just as they learn the meaning of family. I know it, I know it. It gets a few laughs and the friendship between the two of them is relatively strong. It's just...oh, man. I wish the movie was just about the sister and Lilo. And when you constantly have to be pulled back to the sci-fi alien chase, it sort of disappoints you. Well, me, I should say.
Doug (vo): But like I said, it's not bad, it just turns out they did one element way too well. But to be fair, that's better than having the whole film just be mediocre. And much like Tarzan, I shouldn't analyze what I want it to be as much as what it is, and for what it is, it is really good. The animation is great. Like I said, these two characters are great. The aliens, they're okay. I mean, I guess you do sort of grow to like Stitch and some of the side characters get a few giggles. The backgrounds actually return to water-colored backgrounds, that's really rare for Disney, and was sort of a nice comeback. It was also nice that it took place in Hawaii, again, trying to get sort of a different location. So on the whole, it is a good movie. There's just some parts that are so much better than others, and I really would've liked to have seen that explored a little bit more. But it's still a good flick, and the stuff that stands out is really fantastic. The aliens are okay, but the sisters are more than worth the price of admission.
[One of the final scenes of the film, showing Lilo and Stitch dancing at a hula concert, is shown as the song "Burning Love" plays]