Monday, June 13, 2011

Sisters and Brothers

"Ohana means family. Family means nobody gets left behind or forgotten."

If that quote is unrecognizable, I'm watching Disney's "Lilo & Stitch" for like the millionth time.

There's a lot of reasons I love this movie (even though it bothers me that Jumba keeps going off-model, especially in the last 1/3). I love the humor, the animation style, there are no *Disney songs*, no evil villain, it takes place in Hawaii, the fact that it's Chris Sander's brain-child (and he does the voice of Stitch!)... but my favorite parts of the movie are the interactions between the sisters Nani and Lilo.

In the movie, you meet Lilo (the younger sister) first. She's adorably strange, yet there are dark threads that you can see under her freakouts, like when she professes that Pudge the fish controls the weather. Something about this little girl is off. There is a hunger in her, a need for control, understanding and stability. When you meet Nani, she is desperately searching for Lilo because the social worker is on the way to their house.

Let's just skip over the social worker, whose visit does not go well...

As soon as the door closes, Nani runs after Lilo, who is shrieking her head off. After Nani catches her, there's this great scene between them. Nani grabs her arm and asks if she understands, if Lilo wants to be taken away, and Lilo keeps yelling, 'No!' and it's not entirely clear what she's responding to. There is an obvious difference in the way they view the reality of their situation and Nani clearly protects Lilo, not only by fighting to keep them together, but by occasionally lying to her... like when Nani loses her job because of Stitch.

Even while they're screaming at each other, you can see the close ties between them. I love the timing of the scene where they are both smothering their screams in separate pillows, in separate rooms, but in the exact same way. There is desperation and love. There is a theme of loss in this movie, of being lost.

Later in the movie, the social worker says this:

"I know you're trying, Nani, but you need to think about what's best for Lilo. Even if it means removing you from the picture."

It's the opposite idea from *ohana*. At what point do you give up on the idea of family?

Until I watched this movie again, I didn't realize what a big influence this was on Project #2. The themes are very similar: the importance of family, loss and the question of when to give up. When to stop fighting to stay together. My favorite parts of Project #2 are the interactions between the two brothers, especially when Simon is trying to protect Hector... even when his methods are not entirely logical or ethical.

"This is my family... It's little and broken, but still good. Still good."

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Type me out a line of Shakespeare or a line of nonsense. Dumb-blonde-jokes & Irish jokes will make me laugh myself silly :)