You can tell a lot about people from their favourite Disney movie (especially if they don’t have one). While I’m a big fan of the Pixar films, and yes–I have a well-known soft-spot for The Emperor’s New Groove…
… and rightly so, the real winner is Lilo & Stitch. The story of an alien genetic experiment codenamed 626, the film follows Stitch as he crashlands in Hawaii, discovers a love of coffee and Elvis and is hunted by the mad scientist who created him, a dotty alien anthropologist and a security guard with no sense of humour. He’s adopted by Lilo–a little girl who mistakes him for a dog–and we have the traditional “two-outcasts-find redemption-in-each-other” story. But with rayguns, and caffeine. Oh, and Ving Rhames as the most badass social worker in history.
This film contains the line: “Oh good, my dog found the chainsaw.” Seriously. What’s not to like?
There’s something incredibly appealing about Stitch–of course there is: it’s a Disney production, after all–but he’s so unabashedly, unashamedly naughty. Not evil, or malevolent (see previous point) but just plain old naughty. As his creator says: his programming if he reaches a large city will lead him to run amok, backing up drains and stealing everyone’s left shoe. That’s my kind of monster. His only weakness is an aversion to water… kind of a problem if you’re on an island.
More than anything, though, the film is gorgeous. It’s full of curves, sweeping lines and bright colours, as well as beautiful watercolour backgrounds. It’s often very funny and manages to be touching and to examine the meaning of family without once becoming saccharine. It’s not a bad piece of sci-fi, either.
If you’re in search of something to shift those January blues, you could do a whole lot worse than look Stitch up. Just don’t give him any coffee…
There is, by the way, a better teaser trailer (but it’s another Youtube embedding fail…) in which Stitch nicks Aladdin’s girl–in midair. Because that’s just how he rolls, and we love him for it.