Lilo & Stitch Blu-ray Review
Like all true Disney classics, Lilo and Stitch, gets it right on so many levels allowing children of all ages to enjoy the film
Wild, anarchic and desperately alone. A statement that describes both title characters of Lilo and Stitch, Disney’s 41st animated title and an original idea conceived as a small scale high return feature – and it's exactly that.After a number of high profile but commercial failures, the new head of Disney animation decided to scale back its features in line with its history, specifically Dumbo, which was a tiny film (by comparison to its peers) but was hugely successful and undoubtedly a classic. So taking a small idea, (in essence the same story as Dumbo) of an isolated alien cast out and finding friendship and family with an equally troubled and outcast child on Earth, Lilo and Stitch went through a number of design and story changes until the Hawaiian/Elvis, evade and capture, story that we know and love today was born.Like all true Disney classics, Lilo and Stitch, gets it right on so many levels allowing children of all ages to enjoy the film; it contains classic slapstick humour, a sophisticated wit, a very emotional core and family values that everyone can relate to; characters (both alien and human) are written with empathetic values and are given just enough story to be believable while still keeping a strong story flow and drive.
The film’s success is simply due to the emotional investment we have in the wild characters.
The disc presents a widescreen 1.85:1 1080p transfer using the AVG MPEG4 codec and is Region free.
Detail level is very good, outlines are excellent and characters show well defined features. Backgrounds are well maintained and show some lovely touches (check Nani’s kitchen) which have excellent definition with the artistry giving a grand scope when required.
Colours are richly rewarding, strong and bold, with all the primaries coming off with aplomb; reds are vibrant, greens are lush and blues suitably cool and inviting. There is no wash or bleed and gradation is excellent. Backgrounds too are well captured and give either scale or intimacy as the story dictates.
Colours are richly rewarding, strong and bold, with all the primaries coming off with aplomb.
Brightness and contrast are set to give well defined blacks, this adds to the sense of punch to the picture, and give it real life. Blacks themselves are defined by the artistry and as such are extremely well done.
Digitally there are no compression problems or edge enhancement issues, there's some occasional and slight banding as well as some light aliasing which were quickly forgotten about in this clean, bright and detailed picture that looks far better than I ever remember it looking before.
Out of this world Sound
My track of choice is the English dts-HD MA 5.1 surround, which, quite literally, is a blast! Right form the off the track offers a terrific surround experience with effects, score and dialogue placing you right in the centre of the action. Separation is wide across the fronts and the surrounds are used throughout to add ambience and effects mirroring the onscreen antics – this is especially true whenever Stitch is on screen creating his own brand of mayhem – and it is during these portions that the surround experience is at its best. However, quieter moments are no slouch either, listen as Stitch confesses to being alone while hiding in the woods, how the score, and ambient effects conspire to ‘shrink’ the room down to enhance his isolation.
Separation is wide across the fronts and the surrounds are used throughout to add ambience.
The mix, therefore, is extremely well realised being at once wild and around the room, the climactic chase is a good example, and restrained and intimate, when Bubbles is taking Lilo, for example. Dialogue is clear and precise, sounds very natural, and is dominated by the frontal array, but also given directionality when called for. The score is wide and generous, the various Elvis tracks filling the room, with the ‘Burning Love’ cover being of particular delight. Bass is well realised and used to give weight to the track and the sub is kept very happy by the sheer number of LF effects, from explosions to spaceships – it never plumbs the deepest regions, but is enough to keep the neighbours awake. In all a terrific track.
All the extras are ported from earlier DVD versions and are presented in SD.
Inter-‘Stitch’-ials – The theatrical teaser trailers shown to promote the film; Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, The Little Mermaid and The Lion King.
The Look of Lilo and Stitch – Short introduction to the animation style and character design.
Music – Hidden within this title are a number of short features that are ‘music’ related; “Burning Love” – behind the scenes with Wyonna, Young voices of Hawaii, “Your ‘Ohana” and “I can’t help falling in love with you” music videos.
A Stitch in Time – Animation of how Stitch came to be in the movies and his previous bit parts.
Animating the Hula – Ummm, animating the Hula, plus a free trip to Hawaii to capture the authenticity.
Deleted Scenes and Early Versions – What is now called pre-vis and unfinished ideas (animated or still drawings) some of which have introductions explaining their excision.
For what was conceived to be a small feature, Lilo and Stitch far outgrew its initial ideas. The story, fanciful as it is with exotic aliens and different worlds, is actually pure Disney, and it is executed in unadulterated Disney fashion. At its heart, Lilo is a troubled young girl struggling with her life after the untimely death of her parents and living with her older sister, the pair are often at odds and this brings them to the attention of the social services. Crash landing (literally) into their complicated lives is another, misunderstood and alone trouble maker, experiment 626, or Stitch as he becomes known, who was created to devastate and, upon his landing into Lilo’s life, starts to do just that. However Lilo’s undying love for companionship and her caring nature sparks something inside Stitch that even his creator did not know existed – a longing for family. And in amidst all the chaos and mayhem that bookends the film, there is a wonderful heart-warming story that is a winner every time, summed up perfectly by this line “You're vile; you're foul; you're flawed!” – “Also cute and fluffy!”
Amidst all the chaos and mayhem that bookends the film, there is a wonderful heart-warming story.
As a Blu-ray set Disney have released a somewhat disappointing package, in that there is no real effort been put into the release, compared to the ‘Platinum Editions’ that earlier classics have received. The picture is very clean, bright and detailed, the sound is quite excellent in its envelopment, but the entire thing is slightly let down by the ordinary extras that have all been seen before. Having said that, Lilo and Stitch is a terrific film and one that will probably outshine this lacklustre release. One point to note, this is the uncut print of the film, which is great. Recommended.
Suggested retail price when reviewed: £24.99
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