Single Mom Movie Review
LB loves Lilo & Stitch. Its by far her favorite movie. We have progressed from favorites such as The Wizard of Oz, to Mary Poppins and now its “Watch Lilo Stitch?” almost everyday.
When you first see Lilo swimming after “Pudge” the fish, my daughter jumps up and down as if she’s seen Santa and the Easter Bunny dancing in sweet harmony. “ITS LILO!” she screams. Its the same reaction EVERY TIME we watch it.
The first time my mother watched Lilo & Stitch with us, she was horrified and disgusted. In the first 15 minutes of the movie, Stitch hawks a lugie on another alien and is subsequently shot at by plasma cannons. There is also (according to my mom) inappropriate behavior by both Lilo and Nani. Lilo bites and punches her classmates and Nani kicks the bumper of a car yelling “Stupid Head!” to the driver.
Unfortunately for my mother, she never got to see the end of the movie, because I stormed off saying she obviously thought I was being a bad mom by exposing my daughter to such offensive behaviors, so I might as well get the hell out of her house. Yeah. I made my menopausal mother cry that day.
But what she missed is how close to home this movie is to me and LB. My friend Jiji thinks Lilo and Stitch is probably the most realistic depiction of the American family ever represented in a Disney movie. It also doesn’t follow the little white anorexic Disney characters trend either.
When you are a single mom, your eyes are suddenly opened to all the single mom characters that you’ve overlooked in movies. Like Toy Story.You don’t see the dad once in the movie, nor is he even mentioned. I could definitely chalk that up to her being a single mom. In other Disney movies, you see tons of other single parent roles: Ariel’s a total daddy’s girl, obviously. Belle lives with her partner-less papa, and the only reference to Princess Jasmine’s mom is the Sultan grumbling “her mother wasn’t nearly as picky!”
In Lilo & Stitch, the family is a little different. The single mom role is forced onto Lilo’s older sister, Nani. I don’t know if LB understands if Nani is Lilo’s sister and not her mom, but either way, the single mom role is still very obvious. There’s no real father figure in the movie, only the friend/love interest, David.
As far as Stitch goes, LB and I don’t have a dog, cat or any type of animal. I have managed to keep one plant alive since LB was in utero, and just purchased another (its really not doing too well). However, between JL’s dachshund, Jiji’s pitbull, Grandma’s blue heeler, and Curmudge’s two furry monsters, she is exposed to canine friendship on a weekly basis. She also has her own Stitch doll.
LB’s only comment on the movie is “She’s sad” during specific scenes: The one where Lilo’s friends run away from her, the one where Stitch goes berserk on the beach, and Lilo says “We’re having a bad day.”, and the one where Nani breaks down crying after Lilo is taken away. Other than that, my child stays fixed to the screen, wordless for the duration of the movie.
For some reason she hasn’t started asking me to get her a dog yet. Maybe its because Stitch really isn’t a dog. In the movie the tiny alien walks on two legs, eats at the dinner table, drinks out of a bottle, makes sounds like Aunt Jiji, and basically acts like a badly behaved human. In the end, he becomes a member of the dysfunctional unit.
“This is my family. Its litte and broken, but still good.”
“O-hana means family”
Those words really ring true for me. I don’t know if they mean anything to my daughter, but she definitely gets a lot ‘huggier” when we put the movie on. She also says “I lub boo” a lot more.
Plus “Ohana” is pretty close to he pronunciation of my actual name, just add a “Y” to the front of it.
LB’s favorite movies have always been based on the amount of music/singing that was in thm (hence the addiction to musicals and the evil Care Bears). Lilo & Stitch has a fine arrangement of Elvis music, but really no elaborate song and dance sequences. There has to be another reason she responds to it so much, and I could be giving the single momness theme a little too much credit. But compared to The Wizard of Oz or Mary Poppins, Lilo & Stitch is the closest cartoon representation of our family.
Sadly, we don’t live in Hawaii and LB suddenly wants to go swimming all the time. She’s also asking for peanut butter sandwiches at al hours of the day and night. I think she’s stashing them somewhere. Lets just hope she doesn’t try to take one into the pool this Friday to feed “Pudge” the fish.
What’s your kid’s favorite movie/tv show/book right now? For you kidless folk, what movie meant a lot to you as a child?