HTF REVIEW: "Lilo & Stitch" (HIGHLY RECOMMENDED) (with screenshots)

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Ronald Epstein, Nov 26, 2002.

  1. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator

    Jul 3, 1997
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    Real Name:
    Ronald Epstein

    Lilo & Stitch

    Studio: Walt Disney
    Year: 2002
    Rated: PG
    Film Length: 85 minutes
    Aspect Ratio: 16X9 Enhanced Widescreen (1.66:1)
    Subtitles: English and Spanish

    There's one in every family
    Walt Disney is a studio that has consistently
    reinvented themselves with every new animated
    release over the past two decades. With its
    latest animated feature, Lilo & Stitch, it
    would seem odd that the studio would take a
    departure from its recent trend towards CGI
    animation in favor of a hand-drawn cartoon. You
    need only to watch the results to appreciate how
    charming and heartwarming this film is. It may
    actually touch your heart.
    Our story begins on the Planet Turo where we
    meet "Experiment 626," a vicious genetic creature
    designed by Jumba, a deranged scientist. The
    creature's purpose is to destroy everything in sight.
    Deemed far too dangerous, the creature is exiled to
    a distant planet. During the transport, the creature
    escapes in a space pod and lands on the Hawaiian
    island of Kauai. In order to blend into the
    surroundings, the creature poses as a lost dog.
    He is found and adopted by a Lilo, an orphaned and
    troubled little girl who names her new pet "Stitch."
    Together, Lilo and Stitch learn the true meaning of
    "Ohana" (which means "family"), sharing some
    memorable times together while keeping one step
    ahead of Jumba and a social worker bent on taking
    Lilo away.
    How is the transfer?
    You guys are in for a real treat here. For the
    past few months I have been salivating over transfers
    of Monsters Inc., and Attack Of The Clones.
    Nothing equals a direct-digital transfer.....or at
    least I thought so until I saw Lilo & Stitch.
    Hands down, this is the most amazing hand
    animated transfer I have seen. In fact, I personally
    guarantee that everyone who buys this DVD is going
    to be equally as impressed. The WOW factor is very
    high here -- especially when you find yourself
    looking at the most amazing assortment of eye-popping
    tropical colors ever to be brought together in one
    film. This transfer is so vividly colorful and well
    detailed that you quickly forget you are watching
    film or video. There is so much texture within
    this transfer thanks to its deep black levels. The
    clarity is so immense that you can't help but to get
    lost in it for its entire 85 minute run. Pop in
    this DVD and be prepared to be impressed!
    The Dolby Digital 5.1 surround is equally as
    impressive as its transfer. You know you are in for
    a hell of a ride when the opening Disney logo is
    accompanied by thunderous LFE rumble. In fact, this
    mix is so bass-heavy that I would advise viewers to
    be careful of their subwoofer levels. The beginning
    of the film contains some highly impressive "electrical
    surge thumps" that sent deep reverbs across the floor.
    There's an impressive amount of effects activity in
    this mix, all masterfully directed to individual
    channels. A space chase in the beginning of the
    film will rival any STAR WARS type chase you have
    ever heard. The sounds of Spaceships, with deep
    LFE rumble, soar across the entire listening area
    with roaring gunfire that emanates from every
    direction. Alan Silvestri's score is well
    distributed across every channel, with a wonderful
    chorus of singers bringing up the rears. In the
    quiter moments of the film, you'll no doubt appreciate
    the sounds of crashing waves while you watch the
    tropical paradise before you.
    Special Features
    DisneyPedia: Hawaii - The islands of Aloha
    lets children and adults learn more about the
    islands that make up Hawaii. By clicking on any
    one of the five islands, you get a first-hand look
    at the landscape, foods, animal and sea life, as
    well as volcanic activity.
    A Stitch in time: Follow Stitch through the
    Disney Years is a cute little featurette that
    explains how our little blue friend has managed to
    unexpectedly appear in nearly a dozen Disney features
    over the years prior to his rise to stardom. I think
    kids will get a big kick out of seeing scenes from
    their favorite Disney films in a way they never
    have before.
    (length: approx. 3 minutes)
    Truth be it -- if I didn't become a DVD reviewer,
    my next choice would have been to be a Hula consultant.
    We actually meet such a person in Hula Lesson,
    a featurette that looks at the art of a dance that
    has been handed down from generation to generation.
    Watch and learn some of the very basic steps that
    make up this body swaying art.
    (length: approx. 3 minutes)
    Young voices of Hawaii is a look at the 40
    kids (ages 9-13) who made up the choir of singers
    who brought such powerful musical intensity to the
    film's soundtrack. You won't be able to resist a
    smile as you watch these young singers sing beautiful
    Hawaiian music. My feet were tapping along the
    entire time!
    (length: approx. 3.5 minutes)
    Burning Love - behind the scenes with Wynonna
    is a little scary -- and don't say I didn't warn
    you first. This Hunka-Hunka leather-clad singer
    reffered to as the female "Elvis" belts out the
    film's title song.
    The Look of Lilo & Stitch introduces us to
    animator Chris Taylor's style of animation and the
    challenges to those within the art department who
    had to duplicate that style. The end result is
    quite impressive as it sort of backs away from the
    more traditional animation style that the studio
    has been known for.
    (length: approx. 4 minutes)
    Animating the Hula is a look at how the
    animators were respectful to the dance art by
    attempting to present the Hula dancing as
    authentically as possible. This meant taking a
    lot of live film of actual dancing and then
    replicating it as accurately as possible through
    hand drawing. Split windows of the live hula
    dancing and final animated feature will show
    you how well the animators did.
    (length: approx. 3 minutes)
    On Location With The Directors is a very
    interesting piece for the fact that it brings out
    the laughter and creativity amongst the animators
    within the Disney animation department. Instead of
    giving us one of those boring "fluff" pieces where
    everyone congratulates each other, this featurette
    consists of a single camera that captures candid
    moments from the film's entire production. We
    watch storyboard pitches, various voice sessions
    with David Ogden Stiers and Zoe Caldwell, and
    various stages of animation leading up to the final
    product. The interaction between everyone is
    totally upbeat, and the candidness of this entire
    featurette makes it well worth a watch.
    (length: approx. 19 minutes)
    Three deleted scenes are very interesting to
    watch for the fact that they are crude pencil
    animations combined with completed color animation.
    It's the kind of wondrous "work-in-progress" stuff
    that animation fans just eat up. There's Stitch's
    , a slightly different opening of the film
    with the absence of Jumba. There's Gantu
    , an extended sequence following the
    escape of Experiment 626, and the original Bedtime
    that had to be changed because it created
    a little confusion amongst test audiences.
    Each of these deleted sequences feature an
    introduction by director Dean Deblois, who helps
    you better understand what you are about to watch.
    Now THESE are fun! Do yourself a favor and
    watch every single one of the teaser trailers
    presented on this DVD. They feature Stitch invading
    four different Walt Disney classic features. Real
    funny stuff here!
    Create Your own alien experiment game gives
    your kids a list of questions based on the film that
    they must properly answer in order to build their
    own genetic creature. Answering the questions is
    the easy part -- putting the elements together in the
    right order is a bit trickier.
    DVD-ROM content seems to be limited to
    Disney weblinks that you access via the Internet.
    Final Thoughts
    Refreshingly different -- refreshingly entertaining!
    Anyone who has not seen Lilo & Stitch is in
    for a treat. Anyone who has not yet seen Lilo &
    Stitch on DVD is in for the Home Theater
    experience of a lifetime!
    Release Date: December 3, 2002
  2. Chuck Mayer

    Chuck Mayer Lead Actor

    Aug 6, 2001
    Likes Received:
    Northern Virginia
    Real Name:
    Chuck Mayer
    This managed to be the first Disney animated film I hadn't seen in a theater in over ten years. Busy schedule, but it's nt a mistake I'll make again. I eagerly look forward to seeing this film for the very first time!

    Thanks for the enthusiastic review, Ron!

    Take care,
  3. Aaryn Chan

    Aaryn Chan Supporting Actor

    Jul 5, 2002
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    I must agree with Ron about the sound. The bass is very very cool for an animated movie. When the disney logo appeared, I didn't know where that BOUM came from. Totally amazed.
  4. Chuck L

    Chuck L Screenwriter

    Feb 12, 2001
    Likes Received:
    Thank you Ron for the review!

    Here is to opening that someone breaks street date on it, or I will have to wait till Tuesday for me Pre-Order to come in at the Cult-, I mean, Disney Store.

    Can't wait to have this edition as well as the Special Edition of this fine film.

    My Top Fave Disney Films:
    1) Lady and The Tramp
    2) Lilo and Stitch
    3) Beauty and the Beast (Stitch easily debunked this for me...)
  5. george king

    george king Supporting Actor

    May 29, 1999
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    I am looking forward to seeing the movie tonight when I get it, and guess who broke the street date - Disney. I preordered it, with the lithographs, pins, etc because it is my daughter's favorite movie. Last Wed. I received a e-mail from Disney that the order had shipped, and last Thurs. my CC was billed.

    So I will post my thoughts tomorrow if I get it today.

    Ron, if it is not acceptable to mention who broke the date in this particular instance (since it is a Disney film, and Disney shipped it early), please feel free to delete this post.
  6. Artur Meinild

    Artur Meinild Screenwriter

    Aug 10, 2000
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  7. Brian L

    Brian L Cinematographer

    Jul 8, 1998
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  8. Craig S

    Craig S Producer

    Mar 4, 2000
    Likes Received:
    League City, Texas
    Real Name:
    Craig Seanor
    Does anybody know for sure if a 2-disc SE of L&S is forthcoming? DVDFile's review says yes, but I haven't heard of an official announcement.
    Oops, never mind - just saw this thread was opened on this topic:
  9. Kajs

    Kajs Second Unit

    Jun 22, 2001
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  10. AndrewA

    AndrewA Stunt Coordinator

    May 2, 2000
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    Some reviews say it is some say it doesn't...
    No matter, I loved this in the theaters and I'm excited about getting it next week. I know the Ultimate Edition's in the works, I'll just have to double dip, I've done it for lesser liked titles. [​IMG]
    Thanks for the review Ron.
  11. John_F

    John_F Stunt Coordinator

    Apr 21, 1999
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    Anyone have any comments about the aspect ratio? IMDB says it was 1.85. Maybe the special edition will be 1.85?

    John Flegert
  12. Jeff Bamberger

    Jeff Bamberger Second Unit

    Sep 15, 1999
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    What, only 8 screen caps Ron?
    Seriously....thanks for another great review!
  13. Jedrek

    Jedrek Stunt Coordinator

    Oct 21, 2002
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    Another cool review Ron - how you finished this so quickly after BTTF I can't conprehend. Great work - I'm not entirely sure I'll be buying this one, but I'll deffinately go over my friends house and check it out. [​IMG]
  14. RyanChristoffel

    Oct 21, 2002
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    I was going to wait for the Special Edition set but after reading your review I changed my mind. Great work, Ron! I cannot wait to add this to my dvd library!
  15. JosephMoore

    JosephMoore Stunt Coordinator

    Oct 10, 2002
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    I can't say with absolute certainty that this is a direct to digital transfer, but I would be *greatly* surprised if it was not.

    For a long-time, all of Disney's "traditionally" animated films have been scanned, inked and colored, composited and "shot" in a computer system (created by Pixar) called CAPS. ("Clean-up" is now the last step done on paper.) If memory serves, the last film to not use CAPS was "The Little Mermaid."

    It would probably be more work to telecine a celluloid print than to just render a digital master.
  16. Kenneth Cummings

    Kenneth Cummings Supporting Actor

    Aug 7, 2001
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    While there is word of a sepcial edition, I going to have to get it eariler. Still unsure if I going to get it for Christmas for myself or buy on the date and send Austin to the present box. And I love those Interstitch trailers too.
  17. LukeB

    LukeB Cinematographer

    Apr 26, 2000
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  18. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator

    Jul 3, 1997
    Likes Received:
    Real Name:
    Ronald Epstein
    By the way, if you have not noticed, the resolution
    of the screen caps have been reduced.

    The actual DVD looks far better - trust me!

    Eventually, all the screen caps will have reduced
    resolution and will be presented for illustrative
    purposes only.

    See my ANNOUNCEMENT at the top of the SOFTWARE FORUM
  19. george king

    george king Supporting Actor

    May 29, 1999
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    well, it did not come today, and if WAS sent last Wed. it should have been here by now. Someone must have made a mistake when they sent the e-mail.

    Everyone was disappointed. Oh well, there are plenty of other movies to watch.
  20. Tom Oh

    Tom Oh Second Unit

    Jul 11, 1999
    Likes Received:
    I planned on passing on this one. Again, Ron has convinced me to buy. These import DVDs in HK are getting expensive.

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