Lilo & Stitch is finally out on Blu-ray and we’ve got a review to help you determine whether it’s worth buying! For those unfamiliar, Lilo & Stitch is the story of a Hawaiian girl named Lilo with family troubles who befriends Stitch, a bizarre yet lovable alien experiment who crashes into earth, and is equally troubled. Both characters are a bit broken and are outcasts, making them a perfect match for one another, despite their ostensible differences. Their story is pretty simple, but both characters have such depth (despite Disney turning Stitch into a one-dimensional marketing creature sense) that it’s actually very compelling. Watching them grow and evolve together is the heart of the film, proving that, regardless of the window-dressing, sometimes simple storytelling is most effective.
Enough people have called Lilo & Stitch underrated that I don’t think it really qualifies as that anymore–it’s just flat-out a good movie that surprised some audiences at its time of release, which was when Disney seemed more concerned about its direct-to-video cash cow than serious animation (and the animation isn’t great in Lilo & Stitch, but it’s not bad, either).
I can’t comment on Lilo & Stitch 2: Stitch Has A Glitch, because I haven’t watched it. My assumption is that it’s about as good as the rest of Disney’s direct-to-video flicks…
Video & Audio:
Video here is solid, with strong colors, contrast, and levels without any artifacting or other problems. No concerns with oversharpening, either. It’s not that old of a movie, so this shouldn’t come as much of a surprise–it’s not like a serious restoration job was necessary here as has been the case with some Diamond Edition titles. The Blu-ray looks significantly better than the previous DVD release. Honestly, I can’t remember the last Disney Blu-ray I’ve seen where the video quality was less than stellar. Disney’s Blu-ray team has been doing a great job as of late.
The sound is also very well done, and for a Disney film, there’s actually a lot going on. From spaceship sounds to ambient noise to singing, everything sounds great and makes full use of the sound system. The 5.1 DTS-HD MA soundtrack really delivers and rounds out the excellent Blu-ray experience.
Unfortunately, the extras are a complete letdown. This shouldn’t be a huge surprise, as this is one of Disney’s “less important” titles, which is evident from the fact that it didn’t receive its own spring or fall release date (it was dropped in bulk with a few other titles on the same day) or any fanfare. As such, there’s nothing new for this release, and all of the extras (including the commentary!) are relegated to the DVD. Maybe time will treat Lilo & Stitch well, and in a decade or so Disney will deem it worthy of the “Diamond Treatment.”
Overall, think of this as a “SuperBit” Blu-ray. The audio and video quality are very solid, so that’s going to be the basis for whether you should purchase the set. This is good, since the main reason to upgrade to Blu-ray copies of most films is for improved audio and video quality, but it’s still lame that there aren’t some new extras to sweeten the deal. If you love Lilo & Stitch and want the best viewing experience possible, upgrade to this. If you’re a casual fan or don’t care all that much about A/V quality, you can probably pass on this set.