Lilo & Stitch / Star Wars Episode II

The kids and I saw Lilo & Stitch this week. I was expecting an overdone Disney thing, particularly after seeing the “there’s one in every family” ads where Disney attached the little blue monster to most of the other animated characters in the canon — which made it look like the little guy needed help from everyone else’s reputation.

I was pleasantly surprised, though. It’s charming and sweet-but-not-syrupy, the characters feel like real people, and there’s lots of funny little details to notice. I really liked it.

Now I think back on those ads and wonder if Stitch is pulling the creds of the other Disney characters up, instead of the other way around.

On Father’s Day, we all went to see Star Wars Episode II in DLP digital projection. DLP totally rocks. The image frame stayed perfectly still through the whole movie, even on long scenic shots, where distant detail stayed perfectly still, instead of bouncing around a little. Those sorts of shots were the only place I noticed pixelation in the fine detail, but it wasn’t distracting. And the digital sound was crystal clear — so much so that when they used a tiny bit of silence right before an explosion effect to make the explosion sound bigger, I thought there should be a little more hiss or something.

And I thought the movie itself was transcendent. There was so much action, and so much detail, and so many amazingly cool and wonderful scenes, that I got fatigued from it all, and wished it could have been split into two movies.

Not that the movie is perfect — the dialogue, for instance, is really uninspired and simplistic. But on the whole, the movie seemed groundbreaking in the amount of fantasy, story, production and detail in a way that won’t be acknowledged or realized by others for years — similar to the original Star Wars and the way it opened new vistas for filmmakers.

So, I think the way Lucas has developed digital animation has let him transcend traditional moviemaking. It’s still up to the moviemakers, though, to use this power for evil or good, though.

See what Roger Ebert says about Star Wars Episode II on film and Star Wars Episode II projected digitally. I wouldn’t much disagree with what he says, except that I’ve got more faith in digital technology than he does.