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Kevin Krock, editor
Disney DVD news has been kind of slow lately. This summer has yielded a generally blah crop of DVDs as illustrated by my recent reviews (see sidebar), but I have hope that the rest of the year will provide at least a few DVDs to look forward to.

Promotional art © Disney / Pixar
Promotional art © Disney / Pixar

Coming in the near future, on September 17, is Monsters, Inc., and that promises to be a big hit. Then in early October, we can expect Beauty and the Beast, Disney’s second Platinum Collector’s Edition title, and I know a lot of people are anxiously awaiting that one.

Looking farther down the road, Disney recently announced its initial plans for the box office hit, Lilo & Stitch. Here is the press release:

Disney's Animated Box-Office Sensation Lilo & Stitch Comes to Disney DVD and Video; DVD, Video Offer 25 Chances to Win a Trip to Hawaii

BURBANK, Calif. -- Available for the Holiday Season on December 3; Disney DVD Includes Hilarious "InterSTITCHals," Deleted Scenes, Games, Behind-The-Scenes Features and More

LILO & STITCH, Disney's animated feature masterpiece, is available for the first time ever on Disney DVD and video on December 3 from Walt Disney Home Entertainment. This worldwide box-office sensation is presented on Disney DVD loaded with fun-for-everyone bonus features. Combining out-of-this-world storytelling, stunning Disney animation and irresistible characters, LILO & STITCH features the legendary music of Elvis Presley in a fun-filled, heartwarming comedy about the power of loyalty, friendship and finding your place in the world.


Promotional art © Disney

LILO & STITCH in theaters was the second-highest-grossing traditionally animated film since Disney's "Tarzan"(c) and among traditionally animated films it enjoyed the highest box-office opening week since Disney's "The Lion King." LILO & STITCH will be available in Dolby(R) 5.1 Surround Sound on Disney DVD for $29.99 (S.R.P.) and on VHS for $24.99 (S.R.P.).

Backed by a multi-million dollar marketing campaign, the LILO & STITCH DVD and video will also be supported by a massive Hawaiian giveaway, with the opportunity to win 25 trips to Hawaii. Entry forms are found inside the LILO & STITCH video and DVD product. LILO & STITCH will also feature a $3 coupon good towards purchase of the "Lilo & Stitch" soundtrack CD.

LILO & STITCH on Disney DVD will include loads of bonus features, including:

  • Deleted Scenes: Found only on the DVD, included are scenes planned for the original film which didn't make the final cut, presented in various stages of animation: "Stitch's Trial," "Bedtime Story" and "Gantu Challenges."
  • InterSTITCHals -- The Teaser Trailers: These are the four outrageous teaser trailers seen by audiences when "Lilo & Stitch" ran in theaters. They feature Stitch as he comically elbows his way into parts of Disney's "Beauty & The Beast," "Aladdin," "The Little Mermaid," and "The Lion King."
  • New InterSTITCHals! A Stitch In Time: Follow Stitch Through The Disney Years: Featuring all-new "InterSTITCHals," created exclusively for home entertainment! Believe it or not, Stitch has been trying to break into films for years. In this piece you will see all of the previous movies Stitch tries hilariously to be a part of, as he interrupts such classics as: "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs," "Lady & The Tramp," "101 Dalmatians" and more...
  • "Burning Love" -- Behind The Scenes With Wynonna:
  • Meet country star Wynonna, hear her sing and hear what she has to say about Elvis, his songs, and Lilo.
  • "I Can't Help Falling In Love With You" Music Video Performed By A*Teens

Promotional art © Disney
Promotional art © Disney

  • Create Your Own Alien Experiment Game: Jumba has three new aliens he wants to create, but it seems the Galactic Alliance has destroyed his documents. Can you help? Answer trivia questions and mix the potions in the correct order and you can create your own aliens.
  • DisneyPedia: Hawaii -- The Islands Of Aloha: Explore the fascinating world of the Hawaiian Islands with your hosts Lilo & Nani. Packed with interesting facts, this fun-filled program offers up all six of the Hawaiian Islands. Two viewing options allow you to explore individual topics at your own pace or watch all ten in one continuous program.
  • Hula Lesson: Learn the ancient art of hula for yourself with this featurette. Hosted by Mark Keali'i Ho'omalu, a real life Hula Master.
  • Young Voices Of Hawaii: A look at the Kamehameha School Children's Chorus recording the Hawaiian Roller Coaster Ride & He Mele No Lilo in the film.
  • The Look of "Lilo and Stitch" (the unique rounded look): Chris Sanders, one of the film's directors, had a specific style in mind when he pitched the movie. He likes a rounded look with no hard edges. Throughout the film you'll see everything is rounded.
  • Animating The Hula: A featurette on how the filmmakers researched the hula, including a look at a real Hawaiian hula school & master. A great mix of live action footage, pencil animation & final animation.
  • On Location With The Directors: A 20 minute documentary utilizing footage shot by the producers of the film. This is a fly-on-the-wall look at the filmmakers' experiences.

The sizzling soundtrack for LILO & STITCH includes six great songs by Lilo's favorite performer, Elvis Presley. Also included is the exciting version of Elvis's hit "Burning Love" by Grammy-Award-nominated country singer Wynonna, and the Elvis classic "Can't Help Falling In Love With You" is performed by the popular Swedish vocal group the A*Teens. Acclaimed composer Alan Silvestri adds to the fun with his beautiful original score, a Hawaiian themed work that includes collaborations with renowned hula master/performer Mark Keali'i Ho'omalu and members of the Kamehameha School Children's Chorus.

The animation for LILO & STITCH includes the Disney Studio's first extensive use of watercolor backgrounds in over six decades. A technique used in such classic Disney animated masterpieces as SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS, PINOCCHIO and BAMBI, the animators' rediscovery of this classic technique works perfectly to evoke the lush and beautiful charm of the Hawaiian Islands.

Promotional art © Disney
Promotional art © Disney

In LILO & STITCH, an independent-minded little Hawaiian girl named Lilo (Daveigh Chase, TV's "Fillmore!") plays Elvis Presley records and causes mischief for her older sister and guardian, Nani (Tia Carrere, "Wayne's World," TV's "Relic Hunter"). When the no-nonsense social worker Cobra Bubbles (Ving Rhames, "Mission Impossible") threatens to separate Lilo and Nani, the sisters try to get their act together. Their lives are turned upside down, however, when Stitch arrives in Hawaii. Actually a mischief-making creature who is officially known as "Experiment 626," Stitch has escaped from his creator, the mad alien scientist Jumba (David Ogden Stiers, Disney's "Beauty And The Beast") and is on the run.

When Lilo adopts Stitch in an animal shelter as the family dog, Stitch realizes he may have found the perfect place to hide out. Prone to somewhat anti-social tendencies, Stitch makes a hilarious mess of Lilo and Nani's home life, wreaking havoc and hanging ten while he evades the alien bounty hunters who are bent on recapturing him. Soon, however, Stitch learns that the Hawaiian concept of 'ohana (a family tradition where "no one is left behind") even applies to runaway aliens.

The talented voice cast of LILO & STITCH also includes Jason Scott Lee (Disney's "The Jungle Book") as Nani's boyfriend David, four-time Tony Award winner Zoe Caldwell ("The Purple Rose of Cairo") as the alien Grand Councilwoman, Kevin McDonald (TV's "That '70s Show") as the hapless alien Pleakley and Kevin Michael Richardson (TV's "ER") as the gigantic alien Captain Gantu.

Street Date: December 3

Rated: "PG For Mild Sci-Fi Action." Bonus material unrated and subject to change.

Running Time: Approximately 85 minutes

Sounds pretty good, but I have a couple of comments. First, this appears to be a single-disc release, and there is an unconfirmed rumor that a collector’s edition will be available in January. This would hold true to past Disney DVD releases of theatrical properties, and the faster-to-produce, single-disc version would make Lilo & Stitch available for the Holiday shopping season.

Second, the aspect ratio is apparently still undecided, as it is not mentioned in the press release. Given the amount of bonus material, I would guess that only one aspect ratio will appear on the disc, and I can only hope that it is released in anamorphic widescreen. It would be a crime to crop out all those lovely watercolor backgrounds in the name of being "family friendly." When I hear something more concrete, I’ll pass it on to you.


© Disney
© Disney

One final -- and somewhat sad -- note for those of you that love the Disney Channel’s Vault Disney programming block: By the time you read this, it will be gone. The Disney Channel has decided to eliminate all classic programming and replace it with children’s sitcom shows. Personally, I do not understand this business decision, but evidently some programming guru thought it a great idea to put children’s shows on the air at 3 in the morning.

There has been a ton of discussion about this on our MousePad forum, feel free to join in the discussion. If you want to contact somebody at Disney about this, give the Disney Channel a call at (800) 874-1687 and ask for the Programming Department. It is worth a try.

That is all I have for now, but I will be back soon with more!


You can e-mail Kevin at: dockrock@mouseplanet.com

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