Lilo & Stitch appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.66:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. This became a consistently appealing presentation.
Sharpness always excelled, as the film displayed terrific delineation. At no point did I witness any signs of softness or fuzziness in this tight image. Shimmering and jaggies remained absent, and the image lacked edge haloes or signs of noise reduction. Print flaws also failed to appear.
The tropical Hawaiian setting of Stitch meant that it boasted a wonderfully vivid and varied palette, and the disc presented those hues well. The colors consistently looked dazzling. From the lush landscapes to the vibrant fish to the bold tones of the aliens, the hues always came across as lively and tight. Black levels also seemed terrifically deep and solid, while shadow detail was appropriately dense but never seemed overly murky.
Lilo & Stitch also provided a pretty strong DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack. Much of the movie favored the front channels, but the mix opened up well when appropriate. It started strong in that domain due to the outer space escapades, and it also concluded with a lot of exciting sonic activity. In between, things seemed more subdued, but the soundfield matched the film nicely.
Music always demonstrated positive stereo imaging, and the effects created a realistic and involving sense of atmosphere. When the action heated up, the surrounds added a fine layer of material that contributed some lively and engaging audio. For example, when 626 escaped the prison vessel through the ventilation grid, he skittered about convincing, and all the shots that featured space flight appeared solid.
Audio quality seemed very positive. Dialogue always came across as natural and warm, and I detected no concerns related to edginess or intelligibility. Music appeared bright and dynamic, with concise highs and rich lows. Effects also were tight and realistic. Those elements betrayed no distortion, as they consistently appeared clean and accurate.
The effects provided some strong bass response as well. From laser fire to explosions to Captain Gantu’s pounding steps, the low-end sounded deep and rich without any boominess or other issues. Because much of the movie lacked a very ambitious soundfield, I nearly gave Lilo & Stitch a “B+” for audio, but the terrific climactic sequence demonstrated enough activity to bump it up to an “A-“.
How did this Blu-ray compare to the 2009 SE DVD? Audio showed a bit more pep and range, while the image was tighter and more vivid. It lost the edge enhancement that marred the prior DVD and offered a strong step up in quality.
In terms of extras, the Blu-ray itself offers absolutely nothing but the set does include a bonus DVD - which throws in its own supplements. The DVD literally replicates Disc One of the 2009 2-DVD set, so it comes with a mix of materials.
We start with an audio commentary from producer Clark Spencer and writers/directors Chris Sanders and Dean DeBlois. All three sit together for this running, screen-specific look at story and characters, rewrites and changes from the original script, cast and performances, Hawaiian elements, the movie’s visual style and use of watercolors, and music.
Apparently recorded back around the time of the film’s 2002 release, the filmmakers provide a terrific look at the flick. I especially like the notes about story elements; the commentary starts with a discussion of radical changes made to the opening, and it continues to dig into many fascinating similar issues as the flick progresses. The filmmakers throw out many other cool notes and turn this into a terrific little chat.
By the way, if you don’t normally stick around through the end of audio commentaries, you should make an exception here. We get some surprisingly snarky and sarcastic thoughts about one of the film’s musical contributors during the end credits. I love it!
Next comes a music video. We find “Your Ohana” performed by the Kamehameha Schools Children’s Chorus, and we watch movie clips as they perform. It’s as forgettable and blah as that description sounds.
Another component arrives via the Lilo & Stitch Island of Adventures Games. This breaks down into three mini-games, some meant to be played with friends. This is actually a sampler from a DVD available separately. None of the games are especially memorable.
DisneyPedia entry that tells us about “Hawaii – the Islands of Aloha”. Narrated by Tia Carrere and Daveigh Chase in character, these lead us through six islands individually or together via the “Play All” option. (Cutely, if you wait too long to select something, Chase starts to complain.)
Taken through the “Play All” method, these segments last a total of eight minutes and 34 seconds; additional narration shows up in the menu screen as well. These clips cover topics like volcanoes, surfing, luaus, ukuleles, leis, and other issues that connect strongly to Hawaii. They also offer a short vocabulary lesson in many native terms. Obviously oriented toward the kiddies, these pieces offer a moderately entertaining little romp through the islands.
Next we get the Create Your Own Alien Experiment Game. Narrated in character by David Ogden Stiers, this combines trivia questions and guessing contests to get you to make three different alien critters. The problems seem fairly easy, and the color sequencing activity is very forgiving. “Experiment” doesn’t go much of anywhere – it offers no reward for successful completion – but it offers a painless experience.
A novel extra, A Stitch in Time: Follow Stitch Through the Disney Years lasts three and a half minutes as it presents the notion of Stitch as a struggling actor. Narrated out of character by David Ogden Stiers, it shows stills from many Disney classics like Pinocchio and 101 Dalmatians. Not as much fun as the ads I’ll soon discuss, “Time” still presents a moderately cute extra.
The Hula Lesson provides what its title implies. We get a three-minute, 35-second presentation from Mark Keali’I Ho’omalu, hula consultant and Hawaiian music composer. We learn a little about the hula and then get led through some basic steps. Brief and insubstantial, “Lesson” does at least offer a decent little overview of the dance form.
”Burning Love” – Behind the Scenes with Wynonna looks at that song’s recording. We watch her sing and hear from Wynonna as well as writer/director Chris Sanders during this 90-second clip. It seems very flimsy and pointless, especially since it doesn’t even bother to toss in a full performance of the tune.
After this we find a music video for “Can’t Help Falling In Love” by A-Teens. Like most other clips of this ilk, “Falling” mixes movie clips with very cutesy lip-synch images of the performers. Clocking in at a mere 60 seconds, this video seems lame.
For a little more behind the scenes material, check out Animating the Hula, a three-minute and four-second featurette. This discusses the challenges of bringing that dance to the cartoon screen. It shows behind the scenes dance footage and animation shots, movie bits, and interviews with Sanders and De Blois and producer Spencer. It doesn’t present a wealth of information, but it mentions some of the methods used to translate the dance, and it also includes a nice split-screen comparison that lets us watch real hula alongside the animated version.
Another very fun extra, the theatrical teaser trailers section includes four ads. Each of these places Stitch within the milieu of a different Disney classic: Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, The Little Mermaid, and The Lion King. All of them seem ingenious and amusing.
The Blu-ray disc opens with ads for The Little Mermaid, Monsters University, Iron Man and Hulk: Heroes United and SuperBuddies. Sneak Peeks throws in promos for Radio Disney, Disney Infinity, and The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh.
While not the best of Disney’s animated films, Lilo & Stitch nonetheless provides an entertaining and unusual piece of work. It doesn’t totally reinvent the Disney wheel, but it stands as something different for them, and it generally achieves its goals as it offers a compelling experience. The Blu-ray delivers excellent picture and audio but omits many of the bonus materials from the 2009 DVD. That’s a disappointment, but the presentation of the movie itself makes this a good upgrade.
Note that Lilo and Stitch can be purchased only as part of a two-movie collection. The Blu-ray also comes with the 2006 direct-to-video sequel Lilo and Stitch 2: Stitch Has a Glitch as well as DVD copies of both films.
To rate this film visit the original review of LILO & STITCH