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Kevin Krock, editor
DVD Reviews
Lilo & Stitch
(2002) | Approx. 85 Minutes | Rated PG | Reviewed by Kevin Krock
Cover Art
Click to Buy
Ratings Summary
(Scored out of a maximum of five)
Audio Video
Goodies Interface
Value

The Disc

Based on the box office response for this movie, I am fairly certain most of you have seen Lilo & Stitch already. If you somehow missed it, though, this unique story featuring wonderful Hawaiian music (along with a heavy dose of Elvis), lush watercolor backgrounds, and great character animation is a fun, colorful, and surprisingly touching adventure that is well worth checking out. For more detailed information about the movie, take a look at our review from the premiere.

Promotional photo  Disney
Promotional photo Disney

The first time I watched this movie in the theaters, it was on a stunning digital projection system, and subsequent viewings were on frustratingly worn film projection systems. The pristine digital projection truly highlighted this movie’s bright, saturated colors and subtle watercolor gradients without the annoying scratches, jitter, film splices and so on normally associated with theatrical film presentations.

Fortunately, the video transfer on the DVD does a great job at presenting a stunning digital picture similar to the one I first saw at Disney’s El Capitan Theater. The THX certified, anamorphic widescreen video transfer appears to have been taken directly from the original digital animation files, so you get all the color and detail without any annoying film defects.

Additionally, the transfer appears to have been done at a fairly high bit rate, so I did not notice any digital compression artifacts in the feature. However, some of the bonus material appears to have been compressed at lower bit rates, and some of the pencil animation suffers from pixelation and anti-aliasing. A good example of digital compression artifacts can be seen in the "Stitch’s Trial" deleted scene. It is a little bit distracting, but it does not grossly detract from the bonus material.

As for the audio, there is not a lot to say except that the movie sounds great. The music is wonderful and sounds great in Dolby Digital 5.1, and the movie is filled with unobtrusive surround effects that help justify all those speakers strewn around your room. Combined with the spotless video transfer, this disc really makes this movie shine. Also helping to set the mood and show off the movie is the nicely designed user interface. The menus feature animated transitions as well as animated screens with musical audio touches, and they nicely round out the DVD experience.

Supporting this great movie on this disc is a relatively nice selection of bonus material. While the collector’s edition DVD is still just a rumor, this "standard" edition packs enough goodies to make this disc a much better value than the VHS edition. With about 40 minutes of additional video features, you get everything from the four fun teaser trailers, featuring Stitch interrupting some of Disney’s biggest animated films, a nice history of the Hawaiian Islands, to a 19-minute featurette that lightly touches on several production aspects. There are also a few short featurettes that seem like they were taken from a wider selection of featurettes, which strongly supports the rumor of a comprehensive collector’s edition on the horizon.

Promotional photo  Disney
Promotional photo Disney

Collector’s will find several major shortcomings, like the lack of a commentary track, still art galleries, character and story development featurettes, and so on, but as I mentioned, hopefully Disney will announce a collector’s edition for the first quarter of 2003. There is just so much neat stuff about this movie that it just screams for a special edition.

In the end, if you are a Disney movie collector or film fan that loves tons of bonus material, like myself, you may want to hold off buying Lilo & Stitch on DVD until after Christmas, as the announcement of the supposedly impending collector’s edition may not come until mid-December or early next year. On the other hand, casual viewers and children that are only interested in the movie will be more than pleased with this disc. The video and audio transfers are wonderful, and the smattering of bonus material is both entertaining and informative. For everyone but the collectors, this disc definitely belongs on your holiday wish list.


Stay tuned tomorrow for a look at the three new Wave 2 Walt Disney Treasures DVDs!

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

DVD FEATURES

Goodies:

  • Deleted Scenes: Stitch’s Trial, Gantu Challenges, Bedtime Story
  • "Burning Love": Behind the scenes with Wynonna (1.5 min)
  • A*Teens Music video
  • "A Stitch in Time" featurette showing Stitch in an array of Disney classic still pictures
  • DisneyPedia: Hawaii (8.5 min of video)
  • "Building an Alien Experiment" set-top game
  • Teaser Trailers: Beauty & The Beast, Aladdin, The Little Mermaid, The Lion King
  • "On Location with the Directors" featurette (19 min)
  • "Animating the Hula" featurette (3 min)
  • "The Look of Lilo & Stitch" featurette (4 min)
  • Young Voices of Hawaii featurette (2.5 min)
  • Hula Lesson featurette (3 min)

Technical Specifications:

  • Region 1 encoded
  • Single-sided, dual-layer
  • THX Certified with optimizer
  • English, French and Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Closed captions
  • Anamorphic widescreen, 1.66:1

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