UltimateDisney.com | DVD and Blu-ray Reviews | DVDizzy.com: DVD & Blu-ray Release Schedule | Disney Animated Classics Page | Search This Site

Click to buy the Lilo & Stitch: 2-Disc Big Wave Edition DVD.

On March 24, 2009, Disney finally released the long-awaited special edition DVD of Lilo & Stitch. Dubbed a 2-Disc Big Wave Edition, the new set holds nearly everything from the original version and adds an audio commentary, a 2-hour documentary, more deleted scenes including the infamous plane hijacking, a number of behind-the-scenes featurettes, and some games. The original disc has now been discontinued, with the superior new version matching its list price.
Click here to buy the Lilo & Stitch: 2-Disc Big Wave Edition DVD from Amazon.com, click here to read our complete review of it, or read on for a full critique of Lilo's original disc.

Lilo & Stitch's original DVD cover art
Movie - 2002, PG, 85 minutes, Disney; IMDb entry
Genre - Drama
Cast - Voices of Davleigh Chase, Tia Carrere, Ving Rhames, David Ogden Stiers, Kevin McDonald, Jason Scott Lee, Chris Sanders
Director - Chris Sanders
DVD - 1.66:1 anamorphic widescreen, Dolby Digital 5.1 (English, French, Spanish), subtitles - English, French, Spanish; single-sided, dual-layered disc; $29.99 SRP, Released 12/3/02

Review by Kelvin Cedeno

Movie - Lilo and Stitch is one of the most unique and sassy films to come from Walt Disney Feature Animation. The film has unique (and bizarre) characters with an equally bizarre plot, yet for some odd reason it works so well. It feels unique yet familiar at the same time. We start with a mad scientist alien named Jumba. Jumba has created a creature whose ultimate purpose is to destroy everything it touches. The federation decides to drop it on a far away asteroid, but the experiment escapes and crash lands on Hawaii.

The council sends Jumba as well as another alien named Pleakley (whose only knowledge of earth stems from view master 3-D reels) to capture the creature.
An outsider little girl named Lilo lives with her sister Nani on the island. The two are constantly fighting, and a social worker named Cobra Bubbles is determined to take Lilo away if things don't improve. When allowing Lilo to choose a pet for company, Lilo finds the creature (whom she names Stitch) at the shelter and adopts him. Stitch causes havoc which in turn makes Nani look like an irresponsible parent guardian for Lilo. Will LIlo be taken away? Will Stitch get captured? It may all sound predictable, but the film is anything but. Lilo and Stitch is one of the brightest nuggets to come from Disney, and should be required viewing for all.

Video Lilo and Stitch is presented on DVD in an aspect ratio of 1:66.1 enhanced for 16x9 televisions. This THX-certified transfer is absolutely perfect. Bright colors, no bleeding, detailed sharpness, no print flaws-it's all here. This film looks just as excellent as Disney's computer based 2-d films such as Atlantis: The Lost Empire (Lilo was painted traditionally and transfered from a print as opposed to being taken directly from computers).

Audio- Lilo and Stitch's audio is just as magnificent as the video. Being a new film, dialogue is, of course, crisp and clear. Surround effects in this film are many, from Elvis music to laser guns, from ocean waves to explosions, this film has it all, and with amazing quality. Thanksfully, score doesn't overpower the dialogue, which has become a bad trend amongst filmmakers recently.

Extras - Usually with a new release, Disney would release a 1 and 2-disc version of the film. Sadly, it appears Disney has abandoned this idea due to the fact that most consumers purchase a new title for the film, not for extras.
Get 4 Disney Movies for $1.99 Each, Free Shipping!
Because of this, Lilo and Stitch comes in a 1-disc edition only. Will a 2-disc edition be released in the future? Possibly, once the general public has bought the 1-discs for the film itself. Apparently all the extras (including audio commentary) for the 2-disc are already completed and awaiting their usage. For now, we'll have to setlle with this edition.

First up is a feature called "DisneyPedia: Hawaii." A similar feature popped up on the Atlantis DVD, which (naturally) covered the legend of Atlantis. For Lilo, we get a similar feature for Hawaii. The original voices for Lilo and Nani reprise their roles here to shed some information on the various traditions, terms, and geographical areas that are found on the islands. It's an interesting little feature which can be accessed either by accessing each island individually, or playing them all back to back.

Next we have a set top game entitled "Build An Alien Experiment" narrated by David Odgen Stiers as Jumba. This game is very reminiscent of the set top game featured on The Emperor's New Groove DVD in which you answer trivia games and select random patterns to win. After answering 3 questions and using the right combination of ingredients, you create a new experiment. The most you can create are three, and they all bear a resemblance to our beloved Stitch. It's a simple game with no reward, but considering it wasn't as unnverving as the game found on the Beauty and the Beast DVD, the lack of reward didn't seem like a rip off.

"A Stitch In Time" is a featurette covering Stitch's endless goal to be in a Disney animated film. Narrated out of character by David Odgen Stiers, we see stills of Stitch invading the movie sets of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Pinocchio, Peter Pan, Lady and the Tramp, Sleeping Beauty, 101 Dalmatians, The Jungle Book, Pocahontas, and Mulan. It's a cute little feature, though not as funny as the teaser trailers that will be mentioned later.

Two brief music videos show up. "Burning Love" by Wynona mixes clips of her singing with interviews of her discussing what the song means to her. Like with the "My Funny Friend and Me" video from The Emperor's New Groove, the fact that the interviews block out much of the song comes across as annoying and pointless to even have. "I Can't Help Falling in Love" by the A*Teens is possibly the shortest music video ever released by Disney-it only lasts a minute. Perhaps that's a good thing considering it's typical teeny bopper fare of a classic Elvis song. Does anyone know why Disney seems to have abandoned the idea of using celebrities for their pop songs and now uses relatively unknowns? Perhaps it's because unknowns don't ask for as much pay...

A few short featurettes appear on this DVD as well. "Animating the Hula" discusses how the animators studied live action footage of hula dancers and brought them accurately to animation. "How-To-Hula Lesson" contains an interview with the man in charge of the hula dancing used for the film. He discusses the true meaning of it and shows the 4 basic hula moves as well as their various combinations. "The Young Voices of Hawaii" mixes interviews with footage of the Hawaiian children's choir recording their vocals for the film. The last short featurette is a look at the film's design called "The Look of Lilo and Stitch." It discusses how Chris Sanders' rounded animation style influenced the film and how all the animators needed to match it.

By far the best feature on the entire DVD is "On Location With the Directors" which is a 20-minute behind the scenes featurette.
This isn't your typical "making of", though. You won't find a narrator, talking heads, film clips, or anything promotional whatsoever. In the vein of the documentaries found on the Star Wars DVD's, this is taken from footage shot on the set and edited together to provide a candid look behind the scenes. The featurette shows the actors doing their voice overs, the directors looking at rough animation, hula sessions, and other aspects of production. It's a unclear who shot all the candid footage, but it doesn't really matter, anyway. This is an incredibly interesting featurette which I hope paves the way for more Disney featurettes of this kind as opposed to the usual "making of" fluff.

Next up are three deleted scenes, two of which are extended versions of existing ones. "Stitch's Trial" is an alternate version of the one found in the film. Here we do not see Jumba and are led to believe Stitch was captured for destroying the city as opposed to simply being a dangerous creation.
"Gantu's Challenge" basically shows why Gantu is so eager to capture Stitch later on in the film. Here we see him dismissed in front of the entire galactic council as irresponsible and not qualified for the job. "Bedtime Story" is an alternate version of the scene in Lilo's bedroom after she and Nani fight. In it, Lilo tells Nani a story about a lonely bear which symbolizes herself. It's a touching scene, but wasn't used because test audiences didn't know at this point that they were sisters, so the dialouge was dropped and replaced with lines that showed they were siblings. All three scenes contain introductions by directors Chris Sanders and Dean DeBlois.

Finally, we find 4 teaser trailers for the film. In each one, Stitch terrorizes a particular Disney film in an attempt to be in a Disney movie. The ones shown are The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, and the Lion King. Aladdin proved to be the most hysterical, but all four are clever and fun with Disney poking fun at themselves. Oddly, the official theatrical trailer fails to show up here.

Although Lilo and Stitch has a nice little grouping of extras, it's a far cry from what could've been. The directors were working on a 2-disc long before they were notified that there wouldn't be one. Features such as an audio commentary by the directors, an extended version of the "On Location With the Directors" featurette, and more footage from the trip to Hawaii were just a fraction of the supplements created for the 2-disc DVD. The fact that the footage is already completed makes the lack of a 2-disc even more of a slap in the face from Disney. (Gladly, the 2-disc set well deserved by this unique film was finally released in the United States in March 2009.)

Closing Thoughts - Lilo and Stitch was a box office hit in the summer of 2002, and rightfully so. This film proves that the Walt Disney Company is capable of doing films that break their standard formula yet still be appealing to general audiences. The DVD features top notch video and audio, though supplements are somewhat scarce. Despite that, this DVD is still highly recommended for everyone.

Click here to purchase this DVD

Click to buy the Lilo & Stitch: 2-Disc Big Wave Edition DVD.

On March 24, 2009, Disney finally released the long-awaited special edition DVD of Lilo & Stitch. Dubbed a 2-Disc Big Wave Edition, the new set holds nearly everything from the original version and adds an audio commentary, a 2-hour documentary, more deleted scenes including the infamous plane hijacking, a number of behind-the-scenes featurettes, and some games. The original disc has now been discontinued, with the superior new version matching its list price.
Click here to buy the Lilo & Stitch: 2-Disc Big Wave Edition DVD from Amazon.com, or here to read our complete review of it.

The Ultimate Guide to Disney DVD Home
Complete Animated Classics
List

Related Reviews:
Lilo & Stitch (2-Disc Big Wave Edition) Brother Bear The Emperor's New Groove (New Groove Edition) Mulan (Special Edition)
Bolt (Deluxe Edition) Oliver & Company (20th Anniversary Edition) Pinocchio (Platinum Edition)
Escape to Witch Mountain (Walt Disney Family Classics) Pocahontas (10th Anniversary Edition) Elvis: That's The Way It Is

UltimateDisney.com | DVD and Blu-ray Reviews | DVDizzy.com: DVD & Blu-ray Release Schedule | Disney Animated Classics Page | Search This Site

Search This Site:

Reviewed May 26, 2003.