Friday, September 10, 2010

Ohana & Change

Disney has struggled in the past two decades. With other studios giving the old animation studio a serious challenge, Disney has tended to blame all the wrong things for their decline. Animation styles and technology are not the reason why Disney has tended to come in second to computer animated and foreign movies. It all has to do with story, or the lack of story. Not everything Disney has done this millennium has been a bust, however. Lilo & Stitch is one of the better films they have made, both artistically and story-wise.

A traditionally crafted piece in a time when computer technology was the fad, it has beautiful watercolor backgrounds and a pleasing, original character design. Where is really succeeds, though, is in the story and characters.

One special thing about Lilo & Stitch is the message that it delivers. Stitch is a genetically engineered monster designed to destroy and bring chaos. The thing that ultimately changes Stitch is the unconditional love and acceptance of a little girl. In the film, the concept of “ohana” is explained. It means family, or in a Christian sense, community. Law enforcement, punishment, and force do nothing to affect the monster. It is the love and expectations of Lilo that cause Stitch to want to be good.

When Christianity and the Bible speak of people being changed, this is what is being said. People are not changed because of a list of rules. Rules only arouse rebellion. God’s acceptance and love made possible through the sacrifice of Christ compel us to want to please Him. We may not be perfect in that effort, but the sincere desire is a much more effective motivation for change.

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