Lilo & Stitch
“Ohana means family, and family means nobody gets left behind or forgotten.”
Every so often here at Munch we’ll ask one of our friends to join us in the kitchen and on the couch as we watch another movie. These guest posts will allow us to bring new insight into a particularly bad movie, another voice on the blog, or a talented cook in the kitchen with a flair for something we won’t even touch. This week we have Wendy and her 18-month-old son, Oliver, joining us for Lilo & Stitch.
So the thing you should know about me is that I am pretty much not above using my super cute baby to get people to hang out with me. So, after months of reading, drooling, and even trying some of the goodies Leanna brought in to work, I finally convinced her that we should do a guest post featuring said baby.
We narrowed our movie choices down to a children’s movie because child featured post = child feature film (we went really deep there). In choosing the specific movie, however, I wanted to be intentional with what media Oliver sees as his first films.
From the list that Ben, Andre, and Leanna proposed over a lunchtime meeting of some delicious spring rolls and pho, we whittled it down based on these criteria that I cared about the most:
- Strong female characters and representation: Oliver has plenty of time to watch movies about men and their stories. It’ll be okay to focus on movies about women.
- Plot line not driven by romantic love: “Ohana means family, and family means nobody gets left behind or forgotten.” ‘Nuff said.
- Something I had seen before (preferably): This is key because I didn’t want to miss anything in case Oliver was distracted/-ing in any way.
Earlier this year, the fam bam journeyed to Maui. During our trip, we had some amazing Hawai’ian food. Since Lilo & Stitch is set in Hawai’i, we creatively decided to recreate our favorite dishes from our trip: loco mocos, spam musubis, and cake. Why cake? It was my birthday, and seriously, do you ever need a reason to have cake?
We started our day with loco mocos, which to me really encompass the spirit of Hawai’ian food: American food + rice. What is more American than a hamburger patty, gravy, and a fried egg over a bed of rice? It just screams comfort food to me. Would eat again – A++.
After we had decided on loco mocos, we decided we needed more rice and meat, this time with an ocean twist of seaweed: Spam musubi! Musubi is kind of the perfect food to eat between shooting the curl, surfing up, hanging ten, and listening to some Elvis, and we also upgraded ours with an edamame spread.
To assemble the musubis, we started with short grain rice, letting it soak for 30 minutes to ensure maximum stickiness. We sliced the spam, seasoned and fried it, and put it all together. Confession: we definitely got better at rolling them as we went along.
Oliver wasn’t so sure what to make of the rice, but he started coming around to it more and more with each bite.
Dessert was the clear winner in Oliver’s eyes, but to be fair, we were all in agreement. We baked a butter mochi cake which was as dense and delicious as it sounds. With surprisingly few ingredients and a fairly easy recipe (add a can of this and a box of that essentially), it’s remarkably simple but addicting and delicious nonetheless. We topped ours with a little bit of shredded coconut to bump up the island flair.
We went all out for our Lilo & Stitch themed drink and served a guava, lime, coconut water cocktail in, you probably guessed it, a coconut. Although the kid-friendly version is quite good, we made ours adults-only with a splash of vodka.
- Drink when someone says, “Ohana.”
- Drink if Pleakley mentions mosquitos.
- Drink at the start and end of every Elvis song.
And now Ben will take us through the movie synopsis:
Before we delve into the actual meat of the movie, I think it is important to start with some of the early teasers for this film to set you in the right state of mind..
Picture this: A classic moment from Beauty and the Beast where Belle and the Beast are dancing in the exquisite ballroom, when all of the sudden, the chandelier crashes from the ceiling narrowly missing Belle.
Next up, Ariel is singing on a rock when a large wave rises up behind her, crashes into her, and interrupts her song.
Finally, Aladdin and Jasmine are riding on the magic carpet, taking in all of the beauty of the world around them, but then a spaceship appears next to them and whisks Jasmine off to some unknown location.
These were all actual advertisements for Lilo & Stitch, setting the scene for the destructive and unorthodox nature of Stitch. It was Stitch who added the extra weight to the chandelier, almost killing Belle and the Beast. It was Stitch who comes surfing in on the large wave behind Ariel, acting like nothing happened. And it was Stitch who for some unknown reason impresses Jasmine, whisks her away from the safety of the magic carpet. But in each of these scenes, Stitch is presented as a very different character than those that had come before him, and Stitch is a better character because of it.
Stitch embodies the story of the Ugly Duckling, a creature unable to cope with the world around him and unable to find his true family. It is a story that Stitch is attracted to and finds himself in, in the midst of trying to be captured and returned to the Galactic Federation. Lilo is understanding of this story because she finds similar difficulty in her life in that her family was taken from her at an early age and she is left with her sister to pick up the pieces in a world that is not helping them.
Lilo & Stitch presents a story of destruction and being able to find peace in that and because of it. It is one of the most human stories Disney has ever told. It is by far one of the best animated films Disney has ever created, from the beauty and uniqueness of the character designs, the depth of the plot, and the real world situation the characters deal with, to the ultimate call of “family,” which is such a powerful theme for this film. Family can come in many different shapes and sizes and doesn’t need to be connected by blood relation, and this movie drives that concept home in a heart-warming and meaningful way. The characterization of Stitch and Lilo is equal parts, cute, endearing, and funny, and it is hard not to get a little teary eyed as the film culminates.
Wendy: A++ – Would watch again. Lilo & Stitch was one of the first and one the of the only movies I’ve watched by myself in a theater. I am really pleased it’s held up after all of these years, and I was able to share it with my friends and family. I hope and also dread that Oliver will find a friendship like Lilo and Stitch’s.
Andre: Aww. What a heartwarming movie. Too often I shy away from animated movies because they have a perception of being childish, but movies like Lilo & Stitch remind me that animated movies can be really entertaining and rewarding. I laughed a bunch while watching Lilo & Stitch, and was left with a warm feeling for hours afterwards. I’ve should watch more movies like this.
Leanna: When you wish upon a star, I want to wish on one from the five stars I’m giving this movie. I had not seen it prior to this guest post, and was a little hesitant about watching a Disney movie that wouldn’t be nostalgic for me. Lilo was such a delightful character to watch, and her dry wit and sarcasm was balanced out well with her empathy and acceptance. It definitely made me want to take a trip to Hawaii, see more Disney movies with strong female leads and storylines, and continue drink whatever I can out of coconuts. Good pick, Wendy!
Ben: 90%. It is hard to find a movie with as much spunk in a character as Lilo. Equal parts jaded cynicism and naive youth creates a wonderful and memorable character with lines like “Pudge controls the weather.” Add on top of that a story of family and overcoming adversity and you have a certified winner. Lilo & Stitch is a wonderful movie that I am open to watch whenever someone asks.