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Lilo & Stitch is a 2002 American animated science fiction adventure comedy-drama film produced by Walt Disney Feature Animation and released by Walt Disney Pictures.[2] Disney's 42nd animated feature film, it was written and directed by Dean DeBlois and Chris Sanders (who is the voice of Stitch), and features the voices of Daveigh Chase, Tia Carrere, David Ogden Stiers, Kevin McDonald, Ving Rhames, Jason Scott Lee, and Kevin Michael Richardson. It was the second of three Disney animated features (the others being Mulan and Brother Bear) produced primarily at the Florida animation studio located at Disney's Hollywood Studios (known as "Disney-MGM Studios" during production) in Walt Disney World near Orlando, Florida.[3] It was released on June 21, 2002, to positive reviews and was nominated for the 2002 Academy Award for Best Animated Feature. That Academy Award was won by Studio Ghibli's 2001 film Spirited Away, which was also distributed in the United States by Walt Disney Pictures, and also starred Chase and Stiers in the English version.

Lilo & Stitch
LiloandStitchmovieposter.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by
Produced byClark Spencer
Screenplay by
  • Chris Sanders
  • Dean DeBlois
Story byChris Sanders
Starring
Music byAlan Silvestri
Edited byDarren T. Holmes
Production
company
Distributed byBuena Vista Pictures
Release date
  • June 21, 2002 (2002-06-21)
Running time
85 minutes[1]
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$80 million[1]
Box office$273.1 million[1]

The film's story revolves around two eccentric and mischievous individuals: a young Hawaiian girl named Lilo Pelekai, who is raised by her older sister Nani after their parents died in a car accident, and a blue extraterrestrial animal-like creature named Experiment 626 that gets adopted by Lilo as her "dog" and is given the name "Stitch". Stitch, who is genetically engineered by his scientist creator to cause chaos and destruction, initially uses Lilo to avoid being captured by an intergalactic federation, but the two individuals develop a close bond through the Hawaiian concept of ʻohana, or extended family. This bond causes him to reconsider, and later defy, his intended destructive purpose in order to keep his family together.

The success of the film eventually started a whole Lilo & Stitch franchise. A direct-to-video sequel called Stitch! The Movie was released on August 26, 2003. This was followed by a television series, Lilo & Stitch: The Series, which ran from September 20, 2003, to July 29, 2006. A second direct-to-video sequel, Lilo & Stitch 2: Stitch Has a Glitch, was released on August 30, 2005. A third sequel, a television film titled Leroy & Stitch was released on June 23, 2006, as the conclusion to the TV series. An anime series that succeeded the original television series called Stitch! ran in Japan from October 8, 2008, to June 19, 2011, with TV specials broadcast in 2012 and 2015. A Chinese animated series succeeding the Stitch! anime, Stitch & Ai, ran from March 27 to April 6, 2017.

Other animation studios produced the sequel films and series: Stitch! The Movie, Lilo & Stitch: The Series, and Leroy & Stitch were all produced by Walt Disney Television Animation; Stitch Has a Glitch was produced by Disneytoon Studios; Stitch! was produced by Madhouse for its first two seasons, and then Shin-Ei Animation for its third season (and two post-series specials); and Stitch & Ai was produced by Anhui Xinhua Media and Panimation Hwakai Media.

PlotEdit

Dr. Jumba Jookiba, an extraterrestrial mad scientist, is arrested and put on trial by the Galactic Federation for illegal genetic experimentation, as evidenced by his creation "Experiment 626", a small blue sentient alien with unparalleled intelligence and strength, but also a propensity to cause chaos. Jumba is imprisoned while the alien is sentenced to exile on a desert asteroid. "626" manages to escape on a red police spaceship, and activates the hyperdrive, causing its guidance systems to malfunction and randomly set a course for Earth. 626 crash-lands on Kauaʻi, Hawaii, only to be knocked unconscious by three passing trucks and taken to an animal shelter. The Grand Councilwoman dispatches Jumba and Agent Pleakley, the Council's Earth expert, to the planet to have 626 captured discreetly, as Earth is the habitat for the supposedly "endangered" mosquito population, and humans are described as being unable to handle an alien encounter formally.

On Kauaʻi, a young woman named Nani Pelekai is having trouble caring for her rambunctious, disobedient, and lonely younger sister, Lilo, following the death of their parents. A social worker named Cobra Bubbles expresses increasing concern whether Nani is able to take adequate care of her sister. Since Lilo has been ostracized by her hula classmates, Nani decides to let her adopt a dog. At the shelter, Lilo immediately takes a keen interest in 626, who is impersonating a dog. In spite of Nani's doubts, Lilo calls 626 "Stitch", and shows him around the island.

That evening, at the restaurant where Nani works, the aliens Jumba and Pleakley try, but fail every time, to capture Stitch. The indescribable chaos is blamed on Stitch, which resulted in Nani getting fired. The next day, Cobra warns her that unless she finds another job, he will have to place Lilo with a foster family. However, Stitch's antics, which occur in the course of his evasion of his two pursuers, persistently ruins Nani's chances of finding work.

Nani's friend David invites her, Lilo, and Stitch to enjoy a day of surfing. While Nani, Lilo, and Stitch ride a huge wave, Jumba makes one final effort to capture Stitch from underwater, causing Stitch to unintentionally pull Lilo underwater. They survive, but Cobra witnesses this event and tells Nani that, although she means well, Lilo has to be taken away unless Nani finds another job. Seeing how much trouble he has caused, Stitch runs off.

The next morning, the Councilwoman fires Jumba and Pleakley from their assignment and gives it to the galaxy's oversized militant captain, Captain Gantu (instead freeing Jumba to pursue Stitch using less covert methods). Meanwhile, David informs Nani of a job opportunity, which she rushes to pursue. Stitch, hiding in the nearby woods, encounters Jumba, who chases him back to Nani's house. A fight ensues which destroys the house; Cobra arrives to collect Lilo and take her away.

As Nani and Cobra argue, Lilo runs away into the jungle and finds Stitch, who reveals his alien identity just before they are captured by Gantu. Stitch manages to escape from Gantu's ship and is confronted by Nani. Before he can explain, Jumba and Pleakley capture Stitch themselves. Nani demands that they help her rescue Lilo, but Jumba insists they only came for Stitch. When Nani breaks down, Stitch reminds her about ʻohana, a term for "family" he learned from Lilo, and convinces Jumba to help rescue Lilo. Jumba, Pleakley, Stitch, and Nani all board Jumba's personal spaceship and chase after Gantu, rescuing Lilo.

Back on the ground, the Grand Councilwoman arrives on Earth preparing to take Stitch into custody and is forced to retire Gantu for putting Lilo in danger, but the girl insists that because Stitch is her pet under local law, he cannot be taken away. The Grand Councilwoman is so impressed with Stitch's newfound civility and empathy that she goes against the prior decision of the Federation and decrees that Stitch will live in exile on Earth. He will be entrusted to the care of Lilo and Nani, and the Councilwoman asks Cobra, who is revealed to be a former CIA agent that she met in 1973, to watch over them.

Nani and her newfound friends rebuild her house, and Jumba and Pleakley become members of Nani, Lilo, and Stitch's family, with whom they build a new life together.

Voice castEdit

ProductionEdit

DevelopmentEdit

 
A 1985 concept sketch of Stitch by the character's creator, Chris Sanders

Production of Lilo & Stitch began with then-Disney CEO Michael Eisner deciding that, in the wake of a number of high-profile and large-budget Disney animated features during the mid-1990s, the studio might try its hand at a smaller and less expensive film.[4] The idea was inspired by the production of Dumbo, an economically-made 1941 Walt Disney film produced in the wake of the more expensive Pinocchio and Fantasia. Chris Sanders, a head storyboard artist at Disney Feature Animation, was approached to pitch an idea. Sanders had created the character of Stitch in 1985 for an unsuccessful children's book pitch, and had to now develop a concept that featured the character in an animated film.[4] The story line required a remote, non-urban location, so the movie was originally intended to take place in Kansas.[5] Sanders's decision to change the film's setting to the Hawaiian island of Kauaʻi was an important choice in defining the plot more clearly. No other animated feature had ever taken place on any of the Hawaiian islands before.[5] In Sanders's words:

Animation has been set so much in ancient, medieval Europe — so many fairy tales find their roots there, that to place it in Hawaiʻi was kind of a big leap. But that choice went to color the entire movie, and rewrite the story for us.

WritingEdit

Dean DeBlois, who had co-written Mulan (1998) with Chris Sanders, was brought on to co-write and co-direct Lilo & Stitch (2002), while Disney executive Clark Spencer was assigned to produce. Unlike several previous and concurrent Disney Feature Animation productions, the film's pre-production team remained relatively small and isolated from upper management until the film went into full production.[6] The character and set designs were based upon Sanders's personal artistic style.[4]

While the animation team visited Kauaʻi to research the locale, their tour guide explained the meaning of ʻohana as it applies to extended families. This concept of ʻohana became an important part of the movie. DeBlois recalls:

No matter where we went, our tour guide seemed to know somebody. He was really the one who explained to us the Hawaiian concept of ʻohana, a sense of family that extends far beyond your immediate relatives. That idea so influenced the story that it became the foundation theme, the thing that causes Stitch to evolve despite what he was created to do, which is destroy.

The island of Kauaʻi had also been featured in such films as Raiders of the Lost Ark, and those from the Jurassic Park trilogy. The Disney animators faced the daunting task of meshing the film's plot, which showed the impoverished and dysfunctional life that many Hawaiians lived during the then-recent economic downturn, with the island's serene beauty. The actors voicing the film's young adults, Nani and David, were Tia Carrere, a native of Honolulu, and Jason Scott Lee, who was raised in Hawaii. The voice actors assisted with rewriting the Hawaiian characters' dialogue in the proper colloquial dialect, and also with the task of adding Hawaiian slang terms.

One innovative and unique aspect of the film is its strong focus on the relationship between two sisters: Lilo and Nani. Making the relationship between sisters into a major plot element is very rare in American animated films.[7]:13

Design and animationEdit

In a deviation from several decades' worth of Disney features, Sanders and DeBlois chose to use watercolor painted backgrounds for Lilo & Stitch, as opposed to the traditional gouache technique.[4] While watercolors had been used for the early Disney animated shorts, as well as the early Disney features Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937), Pinocchio (1940), and Dumbo (1941), the technique had been largely abandoned by the mid-1940s in favor of less complicated media such as gouache. Sanders preferred that watercolors be used for Lilo & Stitch to evoke both the bright look of a storybook and the art direction of Dumbo, requiring the background artists to be trained in working with the medium.[4] The character designs were based around Sanders's personal drawing style, eschewing the traditional Disney house style.[4] The film's extraterrestrial elements, such as the spaceships, were designed to resemble marine life, such as whales and crabs.[8]

MarketingEdit

Teaser trailers for the film parody trailers for other Disney films (three of which Sanders previously worked on) from the Disney Renaissance: Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, The Little Mermaid and The Lion King. These are called "Inter-Stitch-als" and are featured on Disney's official site as well as on the film's respective DVD release. The original actors were brought back to reprise their roles and were shocked when asked to act negatively towards Stitch. The trailers also include the AC/DC song track "Back in Black." In the United Kingdom, Lilo & Stitch trailers and TV ads featured a cover of Elvis' song "Suspicious Minds", performed by Gareth Gates, who became famous on the UK TV program Pop Idol. In the US, "Hound Dog" was used for both theatrical and TV trailers. The marketing campaign presented Stitch as the sort of "Disney Family Black Sheep". As a promotional campaign, comics of Lilo & Stitch were run in Disney Adventures prior to the film's release. The comics detailed events leading up to the film for both title characters, including the creation and escape of Stitch. These events were later contradicted by the sequel Lilo & Stitch 2: Stitch Has a Glitch rendering the comics non-canonical, but is notable to the series as introducing Experiment 625, Reuben, who was made a main character in the subsequent movies and TV series. The comic series has been released as a collective volume titled Comic Zone Volume 1: Lilo & Stitch.

Deleted scenesEdit

Several major elements of the film changed during production. Originally, Stitch was the leader of an intergalactic gang, and Jumba was one of his former cronies summoned by the Intergalactic Council to capture Stitch.[4] Test audience response to early versions of the film resulted in the change of Stitch and Jumba's relationship to that of creation and creator, respectively.[4]

The biggest change came to the film's third act, which had Stitch, Nani, Jumba and Pleakley hijacking a Boeing 747 jet from Lihue Airport and flying it through downtown Honolulu to save Lilo. Following the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center, this sequence was revised so that Stitch instead flew a spaceship through the mountains of Kauaʻi. This revision was done primarily by replacing the CGI model of the 747 with that of Jumba's spaceship, with only a few shots in the sequence fully re-animated.[4]

Another scene that was deleted was one of Lilo's attempts to make Stitch into a model citizen by notifying tourists on the beach about the tsunami warning sirens, which she knows are being tested that day. The original version of Jumba attacking Stitch in Lilo's home was found to be too violent by test audiences, and was revised to make it more comedic. There was also a scene in which Lilo introduces Stitch to Pudge the fish, which ultimately leads to the fish's death. Lilo then takes Pudge's body to the same graveyard where her parents were buried, and thus Stitch learns the consequences of his actions and gains a better understanding of mortality.

A scene was removed where Nani brings Lilo pizza and then Lilo tells herself a bedtime story about a friendly and stinky bear named Toaster. It was replaced with the scene where Lilo and Nani talk about being family because test audiences had mistaken Nani for Lilo's mother. The trial scene originally had Stitch as the defendant, and Jumba is not present. This was changed because of the film directors thought the Intergalactic Council had to blame him for creating Stitch.

ReleaseEdit

Box officeEdit

Lilo & Stitch opened in second place with $35.3 million in its first weekend, less than $500,000 behind the film Minority Report. In its second week it fell to third, again behind the Steven Spielberg film coming in second. The film earned $145.8 million in the United States and Canada, and $127.3 million internationally, totaling $273.1 million globally.[1] Box Office Mojo estimates that the film sold over 25 million tickets during its original run.[1]

Critical receptionEdit

Lilo & Stitch received largely positive reception. Rotten Tomatoes reported that the film has an 86% "Certified Fresh" approval rating based on 145 reviews, with an average score of 7.3/10. The site's consensus reads, "Edgier than traditional Disney fare, Lilo and Stitch explores issues of family while providing a fun and charming story."[9] The film has also earned a score of 73 on Metacritic.[10] Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times gave the film 3.5 stars out of 4 and wrote "It's one of the most charming feature-length cartoons of recent years—funny, sassy, startling, original and with six songs by Elvis".[11] The film's success spawned a Lilo & Stitch franchise, with three sequel films and three television series.

Peter M. Nichols states that through the character of Nani and her struggles, the film appeals to older children better than such attempts by the studio to do so as The Emperor's New Groove, Atlantis: The Lost Empire, and Treasure Planet.[12]

Home mediaEdit

Lilo & Stitch was released on VHS and DVD on December 3, 2002.[13] In 2009, a special 2-disc DVD "Big Wave Edition" was released featuring a making-of documentary, more deleted scenes including the original climax with the plane hijacking, a number of behind-the-scenes featurettes, and some games.[14] The film was released on Blu-ray on June 11, 2013 in a 2-Movie Collection with its sequel Lilo & Stitch 2: Stitch Has a Glitch.[15]

SoundtrackEdit

Lilo & Stitch: An Original Walt Disney Records Soundtrack
Soundtrack album by
Various artists
ReleasedJune 11, 2002
Recorded2001-2002
GenreRock, country rock, pop
Length34:47
LabelWalt Disney
ProducerChris Montan (executive)
Lilo & Stitch music chronology
Lilo & Stitch: An Original Walt Disney Records Soundtrack
(2002)
Lilo & Stitch 2: Island Favorites
(2005)
Walt Disney Animation Studios chronology
Atlantis: The Lost Empire
(2001)
Lilo & Stitch: An Original Walt Disney Records Soundtrack
(2002)
Treasure Planet
(2002)
Singles from Lilo & Stitch
  1. "Can't Help Falling in Love"
    Released: October 29, 2002
Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic     [16]

Lilo & Stitch: An Original Walt Disney Records Soundtrack is the soundtrack to Disney's 2002 animated feature Lilo & Stitch. It contains two original songs from the film written by Mark Kealiʻi Hoʻomalu and Alan Silvestri (the film's composer), and performed by Kealiʻi Hoʻomalu and the Kamehameha Schools children's chorus. It also contains five songs by American singer Elvis Presley, and three of his songs re-recorded by American singer Wynonna ("Burning Love"), British singer Gareth Gates ("Suspicious Minds", UK release) and Swedish group A-Teens ("Can't Help Falling in Love"). It was released by Walt Disney Records on June 11, 2002 on Audio CD and Compact Cassette. On June 23, 2003, the soundtrack album was certified Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America for sales of 1 million units.[17]

Track listingEdit

No.TitlePerformerLength
1."Hawaiian Roller Coaster Ride"Mark Kealiʻi Hoʻomalu, The Kamehameha Schools Children's Chorus3:28
2."Stuck on You"Elvis Presley2:25
3."Burning Love"Wynonna3:10
4."Suspicious Minds"Elvis Presley3:23
5."Heartbreak Hotel"Elvis Presley2:13
6."(You're the) Devil in Disguise"Elvis Presley2:30
7."He Mele No Lilo"Mark Kealiʻi Hoʻomalu, The Kamehameha Schools Children's Chorus2:28
8."Hound Dog"Elvis Presley2:27
9."Can't Help Falling in Love"A-Teens3:07
10."Stitch to the Rescue (score)"Alan Silvestri5:57
11."You Can Never Belong (score)"Alan Silvestri3:56
12."I'm Lost (score)"Alan Silvestri4:43

ChartsEdit

Chart (2002) Peak
position
US Billboard 200 11
US Billboard Top Soundtracks 1

CertificationsEdit

Region Certification Certified units/sales
United States (RIAA)[17] Platinum 1,000,000^

SequelsEdit

On August 26, 2003, Disney released a direct-to-video sequel, Stitch! The Movie, which served as the pilot to a television series titled Lilo & Stitch: The Series. This series ran for 65 episodes between September 20, 2003 and July 29, 2006. The series carried on where the film left off and charted Lilo and Stitch's efforts to capture and rehabilitate Jumba's remaining experiments. The series, as well as the original parts of the franchise that focused on Lilo Pelekai and were set in Hawaii, ended with the television film Leroy & Stitch, which aired on June 23, 2006.

On August 30, 2005, Lilo & Stitch 2: Stitch Has a Glitch, another direct-to-video sequel to the film, was released. In this film (set between Lilo & Stitch and Stitch! The Movie), Stitch has a glitch because his molecules were never fully charged (this is contrary to an alternate opening, "Stitch's trial", which was seen on the DVD release of Lilo & Stitch). Lilo wants to win the May Day hula contest like her mother did in the 1970s, but Stitch continues to have outbursts. Lilo gets increasingly mad at Stitch as his glitch causes more problems for her and ruins her chances of winning the competition. She thinks Stitch is not cooperating properly, until she finds out that Stitch is dying. The Lilo & Stitch 2: Stitch Has a Glitch DVD also contained a short film, The Origin of Stitch, that served as a bridge between Stitch Has a Glitch and Stitch! The Movie.

In March 2008, Disney announced an anime based on the Lilo & Stitch franchise aimed at the Japanese market titled Stitch!. The anime, which ran as a series from October 2008 to March 2011, features a Japanese girl named Yuna Kamihara in place of Lilo, and is set on a fictional island in Okinawa Prefecture instead of Hawaii. This series was produced by Madhouse for its first two seasons, and Shin-Ei Animation for its third season and two post-series specials in 2012 and 2015.

In March 2017, a third animated television series based on the franchise titled Stitch & Ai debuted in China. Like with the Stitch! anime, it features a local girl named Wang Ai Ling instead of Lilo, and is set in the Huangshan mountains. Unlike Stitch!, however, this series was originally produced in English in co-operation with American animators (including those who worked on Lilo & Stitch: The Series) and then dubbed into its local language. Stitch & Ai is produced by Anhui Xinhua Media and Panimation Hwakai Media.

Live-action adaptationEdit

In October 2018, The Hollywood Reporter announced that Walt Disney Pictures is developing a live-action remake of Lilo & Stitch. It was also announced that the film will be produced by Aladdin producers Dan Lin and Jonathan Eirich and written by Mike Van Waes.[18]

Video gamesEdit

There were three official games released in 2002 to coincide with the film: Disney's Lilo & Stitch: Trouble in Paradise for PlayStation and Microsoft Windows, Disney's Lilo & Stitch for Game Boy Advance, and Disney's Stitch: Experiment 626 for PlayStation 2. Stitch is also a summonable character in Kingdom Hearts II and III, and appears along with his homeworld in Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep for the PlayStation Portable. Lilo and Stitch both appear in the Nintendo 3DS game Disney Magical World and its sequel. Stitch is also a playable character in the Disney Infinity series in the second game, Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes, and the series' third and final game, Disney Infinity 3.0. He was also a meet and greet character in Kinect: Disneyland Adventures.

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d e "Lilo & Stitch". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved January 5, 2012.
  2. ^ "Amazon.com: Lilo and Stitch".
  3. ^ Stewart, James B. (2005). DisneyWar. Simon and Schuster. pp. 472–473. ISBN 9780743283908. Weeks later, on January 12, Disney announced that it was shutting down its Orlando animation unit, where Lilo & Stitch had been created.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i The Story Room: The Making of 'Lilo & Stitch' (DVD). Burbank, CA: Walt Disney Home Entertainment. 2005.
  5. ^ a b Davis, Pat (April–May 2002). "Disney Goes Hawaiian". Hana Hou!. 5 (2).
  6. ^ Moore, Roger (2009-04-01). "Lilo & Stitch, Disney Feature Animation Florida's finest hour--remembered (originally published as "For Disney's Orlando animators, it's show time!" on 2002-06-16)". Orlando Sentinel. Orlando, Florida: Tribune Media. Archived from the original on 2012-10-24.
  7. ^ Solomon, Charles (2013). The Art of Frozen. San Francisco: Chronicle Books. ISBN 978-1-4521-1716-4.
  8. ^ Gilland, Joseph (2009). Elemental Magic: The Art of Special Effects Animation. Focal Press (Elsevier, Inc.). p. 256. ISBN 978-0-240-81163-5.
  9. ^ "Lilo & Stitch (2002)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved July 12, 2009.
  10. ^ "Lilo & Stitch". Metacritic. Retrieved January 7, 2012.
  11. ^ http://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/lilo-and-stitch-2002
  12. ^ Nichols, Peter M. (2003). The New York Times Essential Library: Children's Movies. New York: Henry Holt and Company. pp. 152–154. ISBN 0-8050-7198-9.
  13. ^ Godfrey, Leigh (December 3, 2002). "Lilo, Walt And Mickey Join My Neighbor Totoro On DVD". Animation World Network. Retrieved May 2, 2015.
  14. ^ Cedeno, Kelvin (May 26, 2003). "Lilo & Stitch DVD Review". UltimateDisney.com. Retrieved May 2, 2015.
  15. ^ "The Emperor's New Groove, Lilo & Stich, [sic] Atlantis 2-Movie Collections in June (Pre-orders Up)". Blu-ray.com. March 23, 2013. Retrieved May 2, 2015.
  16. ^ Lilo & Stitch at AllMusic
  17. ^ a b "American album certifications – Soundtrack – Lilo and Stitch". Recording Industry Association of America. June 23, 2003. Retrieved January 28, 2012. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH. 
  18. ^ Kit, Borys (October 3, 2018). "'Lilo & Stitch' Live-Action Remake in the Works at Disney (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved October 3, 2018.

External linksEdit