Besides writing and directing both films, Chris Sanders provides the voice for Stitch in Lilo & Stitch and for Belt in The Croods.
As Disney methodically transfers its film library to Blu-Ray, it was only a matter of time until an animated classic from 2002 would finally be released in high definition. If you're like me, you probably remember Lilo & Stitch's genius marketing campaign as much as the film itself. Trailers for the movie saw Stitch interrupting famous scenes in Beauty & The Beast, The Lion King, & Aladdin. The whimsical humor of the series charmed audiences both young and old.
Lilo & Stich begins in space where evil genius Dr. Jumba is currently on trial by the Galactic Federation for his experiments involving genetics. At the center of the trial is Experiment 626 - a small creature that lives for destruction. Jumba is thrown in prison and his creature is to be exhiled to a deserted planet. The cunning creature manages to escape, steal a ship, and crashland in Hawaii on Earth. While on the run from the pursuing Federation, Experiment 626 meets the fragmented family that will change his life. Lilo & Stitch 2: Stich Has a Glitch catches up with the gang in Hawaii following the events of the first film. The voice cast includes Tia Carrere (Wayne's World), Ving Rhames (Pulp Fiction), and Jason Scott Lee (Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story).
Viewers will immediately notice just how gorgeous both of these films look on Blu-Ray. The color scheme, a meld between the sci-fi world of Stitch and the Hawaiian landscape, is stunning. Most of the praise can be attributed to the watercolor painted backgrounds used in Lilo & Stich, a style that Disney had abandoned decades earlier. The soundtrack of the film provides a backdrop to the story itself with an emphasis on Elvis tunes like "Suspicious Minds" and "Heartbreak Hotel." Aside from Elvis, "Hawaiian Roller Coaster Ride" by the Kamehameha Schools Children's Chorus is a beloved song in the vast catalogue of Disney music.
Lilo & Stitch wasn't the first time that writers/directors Chris Sanders and Dean DeBlois had collaborated. The team worked together writing Mulan and would later team again after leaving Disney for How to Train Your Dragon. Able to capture the imagination of young and old, the writing on the film is a highlight that harkens back to Disney's golden era.
As much as I want to praise the film, it is my duty to warn you about this collection. The package contains three discs: a blu-ray containing both films and two individual DVD discs - each containing one of the films. Disney commits a sin in the eyes of cinephiles by actually stacking the DVD discs directly on top of one another. Speaking of sins, there are no special features to be found anywhere in this collection. NONE - not even one measly trailer. For that very reason, fans of the franchise might want to stick with previous DVD releases of Lilo & Stitch. The film is an underrated classic, but the lack of bonus features ultimately makes this Blu-Ray a disappointment.