A Hawaiian girl adopts an unusual pet who is actually a notorious extra-terrestrial fugitive. (IMDb)
The highlight here is the blossoming bond between precious lil troublemaker Lilo and her spirit animal Stitch, with their quirky and sometimes destructive antics masking a simple search for belonging. The sister relationship and weighty broken-family motif are full of genuine feeling too though, and together with the refreshing island setting these dynamics make for a grounded and charming character-focused film. The wild space action bookends then, while entertaining, feel a bit out of place.
7.5/10 (Really Good)
Like its titular bear, it’s full of fluff and charm, from the fun characters (absent-minded and chatty Owl is a–wait for it–hoot) to the endearing animation and storytelling that often mix together in creative ways (see the 4th-wall breaking narrator and page references). The miniature tales are cute and funny and of little substance. That said, the touching final chapter, taken in the context of the film’s intentional framing of the stories as fictional, offers something interesting to ponder.
The story of a young deer growing up in the forest after his mother is shot by hunters. (IMDb)
A beautiful looking movie with adorable animation, refreshingly sparse but ever-so-cute dialogue, and a few hauntingly dark sequences thrown in that offer a startling and affecting contrast to the innocence that pervades the rest of the story. Putting the aforementioned scenes aside, the film isn’t exactly edge-of-your-seat drama, action, or comedy, but it is charming in its simplicity and remarkable in how it pulls you in and melts the heart despite a lack of the aforementioned elements.