The Disney remake machine continues to spin, but now comes word that Lilo and Stitch is destined for the “live-action” treatment with a new version to stream on Disney+.
This news comes a long time after the first announcement of remake of the film in 2018. Since then, we haven’t heard much, but reports emerged yesterday that the project is moving forward with Disney+, with the original voice of Stitch, Chris Sanders returning to reprise his role. The producers are Dan Lin and Jonathan Eirich, who worked on Aladdin, which a script by Mike Van Waes.
Lilo and Stitch was not a big hit when it came out in theaters in June of 2002. It opened just behind Minority Report at the box office, but the weird little film about a misfit alien that crash lands in Hawaii took a while to find a place in Disney canon, but eventually it became something of a cult classic, beloved by millennials who grew up with the weirdly perfect blend of space adventure and aloha.
This new remake, according to DisneyInsider, will follow the same plot and use a mix of CGI and live-action, much like Disney+’s recent Lady and the Tramp. I have to say, I’m pretty excited about it.
Lilo and Stitch is a sweet, fun movie but, much like many Disney films, I don’t think it would be hurt by expanding the story or showing a different perspective. This is also a property with two women of color as lead characters—which is great. I really hope they find some great Hawaiian actresses to play Lilo and Nani.
And I’m also curious to see how the aliens look in a “live-action” version. Disney has a, well … iffy track record here. While I didn’t mind the look of Will Smith as the Genie in Aladdin, I felt like the effect in Beauty and the Beast and The Lion King were too realistic and ultimately kind of boring. What I really want is a film that captures the fun and creativity and energy of the original while adding something new.
But then again, there’s a character that is, essentially, King Shark and it would be really hard to make that look boring.
All in all, I think there’s real potential here and it will be fun to see what a new version of this beloved movie looks like.
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