May 31, 2006

CC Prefers 'Evil Genius'


Summer means no good TV so Cinecultist has been dipping into our DVD collection for entertainment. Last weekend we swooned over Paul Bettany and his champion tennis playing again in Wimbledon and tonight we fall all over again for Lilo and Stitch. This adorable animated feature from 2002 about a little orphan Hawaiian girl and her weird pet is such a classic. We remember seeing it in our local theater the summer we lived out in Brooklyn and it put such a grin on our face.

A horrible destructive alien experiment, #626 escapes from the Intergalactic Federation's troops and makes off (in the red cruiser, no less) for Earth, set on a rampage of some cities. However, he lands in Hawaii, is mistaken for a dog, is adopted by Lilo and her older sister Nani, becomes familiar with the works of Elvis Presley and must learn the importance of family before his alien captors catch up with him.

Maybe one of the reasons why CC loves this movie so much -- besides the inherent cuteness of a mean, blue, koala-looking thing like Stitch -- is how much it's indebted to post-modern reference. With allusions to Japanese cinema, particularly anime, disaster flicks, Roswell and Elvis's surf movies swirling about, it's a cornucopia of pop culture trivia. But all of this winking to a segment of the audience that may be aware of the cultural context does not take precedence over the kid's movie unfolding on screen. It's a wise animated movie that can tread that knowing yet wide-eyed, heartfelt line. The Incredibles and Iron Giant are two others that succeed in this arena as well and we're waiting with curious anticipation for Pixar's Cars out later this summer.

Next up on CC's summer trip through our DVD library: will it be skating rom com The Cutting Edge or the classic Gene Kelly musical about moviemaking Singin' In the Rain?

Posted by karen at May 31, 2006 9:52 PM