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The Earth is the aim of a small ferocious creature that has been designed by a mad scientist on a faraway planet. Escaping from captivity was easy for the ugly thing, but now the scientist and half the planet’s star fleet is chasing the little guy to bring it back. But on Hawaii, where it lands on his escape flight, there is little Lilo with her sister, and they happen to look for a pet anyway on their mission to show what a well-functioning family they are. Stitch – as Lilo calls the little monster – wreaks havoc, of course, but also learns to control its inner demons, so to speak.

There are some absolutely hilarious ideas in this: my favourite one is the fact that the Earth – useless as it is – is only protected from destruction by the fact that is has been established as a breeding station for the endangered Mosquitoes… and when the alien scientists visit, they go at great lengths not to interact with the local population of strange animals, such as humans (as they are the most important element in the Mosquito food chain and you don’t want to mess that up).
All the creatures are hilarious, the humour is rough, there is the physical fun of a Tom & Jerry cartoon, and the dress-up humour of a Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau film. The setting on Hawaii is new and at least to the like of me exotic (it’s a strange idea that people actually live their living normal lives… how can you not fall into a permanent state of holiday mood? Or maybe you just have to embrace the holiday mood…). But first and foremost, the characters are all that: characters. The sisters love and hate each other as sisters do, the old sister is overwhelmed with her task as sister-mother, at the same time on the quest for boys and jobs. The special agent ex-CIA ex-Area-51 who is assessing whether Lilo should come into foster care is a rough piece of wood with a warm heart, the scientists from outer space are dumb madmen of Stooge quality.
Rarely have I seen a film that was so surreal in setting and yet so real in storytelling and emotions. The heart-breaking and heart-warming ending proves that it does not matter whether you are a monster from outer space – if you can fight the inner monster, all be well … 😉

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