The Film (4.5/5)
By the time 2002's Lilo and Stitch came out I had long stopped paying attention to Disney Animation. I had seen a few of their late 90's efforts through the eyes of my kid sister, and then aside from the Emperor's New Groove I didn't pay much attention to their early 2000's work. Which in retrospect was another uneven period in Disney Animation history. You had a number of very good films like Atlantis: The Lost Empire and Emperor's New Groove and some stinkers like Chicken Little and Meet the Robinsons, but in the midst of this there was only one film that would be considered a masterpiece on par with the greats of Disney Animation. That film was the studio's 2002 efforts Lilo and Stitch.
As I said this film, much like other children's animated films of the same period had passed me by. I was past the age where they were of interest to myself, and was in college and working so I wasn't home when my sister may have viewed them. I then started dating my girlfriend (now wife) who had a 2 year old daughter, Willow, who seemingly had Lilo & Stitch on all the time. If the film was not playing the DVD menu was. It got to the point where I probably know the sound of the menu better than any other DVD release.
The film was an excellent little film from the Mouse House. It took the elements I loved from the last Disney film I enjoyed the Emperor's New Groove, and had sharpened them to create something truly masterful. The animation is both deceptively simple, yet bright, colorful, and inviting. The character designs are unique, and tend to separate themselves from typical animated characters even those typically seen in Disney Films. It has a wonderful sense of humor that works for children and adults alike, and it does something quite unique in the narrative sense in that it tells a very simple family story on a cosmic scale.
The film tells the story of Lilo, a recently orphaned little Hawaiian girl whose parents died in a car wreck. She now lives in the care of her completely overwhelmed older sister. Though she is quite an imaginative child Lilo finds herself an outcast from her peer group, and usually in a bit of trouble. In order to help her combat her loneliness, and maybe keep her out of trouble her sister Nani takes her to adopt a pet. She chooses Stitch, who does not turn out to be a dog but a Six Armed Renegade alien who has been banished to Earth for his intergalactic misdeeds. Together the two misfits will become friends and work together against the evil scientist who are trying to kidnap Stitch and bring him back home.
Having spent a lot of time with the Lilo & Stich DVD I can attest that this DVD which has been presented in a 1:68:1 1080p AVC encoded transfer is a massive upgrade from the prior editions of the film. The colors are much brighter, contrast is excellent and detail is vastly improved from prior editions. The only issues I can really find is some very minor banding, and that is not extremely distracting from the transfer as a whole.
The film is presented a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track in English. The audio track sounds excellent with dialogue coming through nice, loud, and clear. The music and sound effects coming through nicely as well. I did not detect any instances of pops, cracks, or hissing on the track.
Lilo and Stitch contains the sequel Lilo and Stich 2: Stich Has a Glitch as it's primary extra feature. All other supplements can be found on the DVD's of their respective films.
Of all the Disney films released in the early 2000's Lilo and Stich is probably the one true masterpiece of the lot. The A/V restoration on the Blu looks fantastic, and it includes as an extra feature the films DTV sequel. RECOMMENDED.