Lilo & Stitch
|Lilo & Stitch|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Chris Sanders
|Produced by||Clark Spencer|
|Written by||Chris Sanders
David Ogden Stiers
Jason Scott Lee
|Music by||Alan Silvestri|
|Editing by||Darren T. Holmes|
|Studio||Walt Disney Pictures
Walt Disney Feature Animation
|Distributed by||Buena Vista Pictures|
|Running time||85 minutes|
Lilo & Stitch is a 2002 American traditionally-animated science fiction comedy-drama film produced by Walt Disney Feature Animation and released by Walt Disney Pictures on June 21, 2002. The 42nd animated feature in the Walt Disney Animated Classics series, it was written and directed by Chris Sanders and Dean DeBlois, and features the voices of Sanders, Daveigh Chase, Tia Carrere, David Ogden Stiers, Kevin McDonald, Ving Rhames, Jason Scott Lee, and Kevin Michael Richardson. Lilo & Stitch was the second of three Disney animated features produced primarily at the Florida animation studio located at Walt Disney World's Hollywood Studios in Orlando, Florida. The film received positive reviews and was nominated for the 2002 Academy Award for Best Animated Feature, which ultimately went to Hayao Miyazaki's film, Spirited Away, which also starred Daveigh Chase and David Ogden Stiers.
The 2002 film eventually started a franchise: a direct-to-video sequel, 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 direct-to-video sequel, Leroy & Stitch, was released on June 27, 2006 as the conclusion to the TV series. Unlike Lilo & Stitch, its sequel features and series were produced by Walt Disney Television Animation.
Dr. Jumba Jookiba is put on trial by the Galactic Federation for "illegal genetic experimentation"—the evidence of this is Experiment 626: an aggressive creature that is nearly indestructible and learns quickly. Jumba is imprisoned while Experiment 626 is to be exiled on a desert asteroid. During transport on Captain Gantu's ship, 626 manages to break out of his cell and cut off the ship's power grid. 626 hijacks a police cruiser unit upon his escape, but finds himself outnumbered and outgunned. Surrounded, 626 activates the hyperdrive and breaks through their defense, setting coordinates at random, landing him on the planet Earth. The Grand Councilwoman orders Jumba to work with Agent Pleakley to recover 626 discreetly. 626 survives his escape attempt to Earth, landing on the Hawaiian island of Kauaʻi, but is knocked unconscious by a passing truck, and is taken to an animal shelter because he is believed by the truck drivers to be a breed of dog.
After the recent death of their parents in a car accident, 19-year-old Nani Pelekai is looking after her younger, more rambunctious sister, Lilo. They are visited by Cobra Bubbles, a social worker, who is concerned that Nani refuses to take adequate care of Lilo (he tells Nani that she has three days to change his mind, lest he remove Lilo from her care forever). He considers putting Lilo into foster care, but Nani does not approve, as Lilo and she are the only remaining members of her family; Lilo does not help as she does not understand what may happen. After hearing Lilo in her room pray to be given a friend (Lilo has no real friends because every girl in her class makes fun of her), Nani agrees to allow Lilo to adopt a dog. At the shelter, Lilo immediately takes a keen interest in Experiment 626, despite serious misgivings that Nani and the shelter worker have about him being a dog. Lilo names 626 "Stitch" and shows him around Hawaii; Stitch quickly discovers escape is impossible due to the island being surrounded by water (his body is too dense for swimming) and that there are no large cities, which Jumba had previously said he would seek out to cause chaos, and suffers a nervous breakdown.
As Nani attempts to find a good job, after being fired because of Lilo and Stitch, she is forced to bring them with her. Lilo uses the time to try to curb Stitch's aggressiveness by encouraging him to behave like Elvis Presley, whom she calls a model citizen as well as reading the book The Ugly Duckling to him. Stitch's antics, although at times foiling Jumba and Pleakley's attempts to capture him, also ruin Nani's chances of getting a job. David, a friend of Nani's, sees her at the beach, where she was trying to get a job as a lifeguard. David suggests they go surfing to improve her mood. While Nani, Lilo, and Stitch ride on a huge wave, Jumba makes one more effort to capture Stitch from underwater; as a result, it appears as if Stitch attempted to drown Lilo. Although everyone gets safely to shore, Cobra saw the whole thing and tells Nani he will come by in the morning to take Lilo away from her and leaves feeling sorry for her. After Stitch sees how much trouble he has caused, he leaves, taking The Ugly Duckling book with him in hopes of finding his "family".
The next morning, as Nani waits for Cobra to arrive, David tells Nani of a job offer that she must respond to. Nani tells Lilo to stay at home while she goes to secure the job. Stitch, hiding in the nearby woods, encounters Jumba, who reveals that Stitch can never have a family or "belong" because he was just built to destroy. Stitch races to Lilo's house, followed by Jumba firing at Stitch with his gun. The two fight, with Lilo immediately phoning Cobra for help. The house is ultimately destroyed by the end of the fight, with Nani and Cobra arriving shortly after. As Nani and Cobra argue over Lilo's well-being, Lilo slips away to hide in the forest and finds Stitch, who reveals his true alien identity form to her. While she says how he ruined everything, they are both captured by Captain Gantu, who had been sent to capture Stitch after Jumba and Pleakley failed to do so, and he makes to leave Earth. Nani is shocked to see Gantu putting Lilo and Stitch in a container pod and taking off in the ship. Stitch escapes from the container before the ship takes off, leaving Lilo behind. Nani then realizes that Stitch is not what she thought he was, and demands he had better speak, just as Lilo always said he did.
While once again trying to capture Stitch, both Jumba and Pleakley are revealed to Nani, and tell her that they do know Lilo, and they can both get her back, encouraged by Stitch reassuring Nani with the definition of "Ohana". Stitch, with help from Jumba's ship and by launching a gas tanker truck out of a volcano, is able to free Lilo and stop Gantu. After they land, they find that the Grand Councilwoman has arrived nearby, in order to capture Stitch personally. When she sees Stitch has developed a sense of respect and compassion, she realizes he has become a civilized creature and no longer an abomination. Using Lilo's certificate of Stitch's ownership, which proves that taking Stitch would mean stealing him from Lilo, the Councilwoman asserts that Stitch, now a part of Nani and Lilo's family, will live his exile on Earth with the humans as his warders. As her guards take Gantu away, she does not let Pleakley or Jumba return on her ship, and orders Cobra, a former CIA agent who previously met the Councilwoman at Roswell, to keep an eye on the new family. Stitch, Jumba, and Pleakley become integrated into Lilo's family, and the house is rebuilt with the help of the three, Nani, Lilo, David, and Cobra.
- Chris Sanders as Stitch
- Daveigh Chase as Lilo
- Tia Carrere as Nani
- David Ogden Stiers as Dr. Jumba Jookiba
- Kevin McDonald as Agent Pleakley
- Ving Rhames as Cobra Bubbles
- Kevin Michael Richardson as Captain Gantu
- Zoe Caldwell as Grand Councilwoman
- Jason Scott Lee as David
- Miranda Paige Walls as Mertle Edmonds
- Kunewa Mook as Moses Puloki
- Amy Hill as Mrs. Hasagawa
- Frank Welker as Pudge
- Susan Hegarty as Rescue Lady
- Frank Welker as Frog and Duck (uncredited)
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. 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 developed a treatment for an animated feature featuring the character. The story line required a remote, non-urban location, so the movie was originally intended to take place in Kansas. Sanders' 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. In Sanders' 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.||”|
Dean DeBlois, who had co-written Mulan (1998) with Sanders, was brought on to co-write and co-direct Lilo & Stitch, while Disney executive Clark Spencer was assigned to produce. Unlike several previous and concurrent Disney Feature Animation productions, the Lilo & Stitch pre-production team remained relatively small and isolated from upper management until the film went into full production. The character and set designs were based upon Chris Sanders' personal artistic style.
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 previously 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, Tia Carrere, a native of Honolulu, and Jason Scott Lee, who was raised in Hawaii, assisted with rewriting the Hawaiian characters' dialogue in the proper colloquial dialect and adding Hawaiian slang.
Design and animation
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. 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) and Dumbo (1941), the techique 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 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. The character designs were based around Sanders' personal drawing style, eschewing the traditional Disney house style. The film's extraterrestrial elements, such as the spaceships, were designed to resemble marine life, such as whales and crabs.
Teaser trailers for this film parody trailers for other Disney films (two of these were animated by Sanders) from recent years: Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid, Aladdin 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."
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.
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 sent after Stitch by the Intergalactic Council to capture him. 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.
The biggest change came to the film's third act, which had Stitch flying a Boeing 747 jet through downtown Honolulu to save Lilo. Following the September 11, 2001 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.
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.
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.
The film opening at #2 with $35,260,212 in its first weekend, less than $500,000 behind the film Minority Report. In its second week it fell to #3, again behind the Steven Spielberg film at #2. The film raked in $145,794,338 in the United States and Canada, and $127,349,813 internationally, finishing with $273,144,151 in the world.
Lilo & Stitch received highly positive reviews from critics and audiences alike. The film's success at the box office and on home video formats led to a Lilo & Stitch franchise, with three direct-to-video sequels and a television series spanning two seasons. The film has received 145 critical reviews on the site Rotten Tomatoes, 124 Fresh and 21 Rotten, giving it a positive total rating of 86%. The film has also earned a score of 73 on Metacritic. 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".
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.
The film was released on VHS and DVD on February 4, 2003. In 2003, a 2-disc DVD version was announced alongside special edition DVDs of Alice in Wonderland and Pocahontas, which were released in 2004 and 2005 respectively. A 2-disc special edition DVD of Lilo & Stitch was released in the UK on August 22, 2005, alongside the UK release of Lilo & Stitch 2: Stitch Has a Glitch, but a release in the US suffered from continuous delays.
On March 24, 2009, Disney re-released the DVD, which they dubbed a 2-Disc Big Wave Edition. This set includes most of the bonus features from the original DVD and adds an audio commentary, a two-hour making-of documentary, more deleted scenes including the original climax with the plane hijacking, a number of behind-the-scenes featurettes, and some games.
|Lilo & Stitch|
|Soundtrack album by Various artists|
|Released||June 11, 2002|
|Genre||Rock, country rock, pop|
|Producer||Chris Montan (executive)|
|Lilo & Stitch music chronology|
|Singles from Lilo & Stitch|
Lilo & Stitch: An Original Walt Disney Records Soundtrack is the soundtrack to Disney's 2002, animated feature Lilo & Stitch. It contains original two songs from the film written by Mark Kealiʻi Hoʻomalu and Alan Silvestri (the film composer), and performed by Kealiʻi Hoʻomalu and the Kamehameha Schools children's chorus. Also contains five songs by American singer Elvis Presley, and two of his songs re-recorded by American singer Wynonna ("Burning Love"), British singer Gareth Gates (UK version) 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.
|1.||"He Mele No Lilo"||Mark Kealiʻi Hoʻomalu, The Kamehameha Schools Children's Chorus||2:28|
|2.||"Stuck on You"||Elvis Presley||2:25|
|4.||"Suspicious Minds"||Elvis Presley||3:23|
|5.||"Heartbreak Hotel"||Elvis Presley||2:13|
|6.||"(You're the) Devil in Disguise"||Elvis Presley||2:30|
|7.||"Hawaiian Roller Coaster Ride"||Mark Kealiʻi Hoʻomalu, The Kamehameha Schools Children's Chorus||3:28|
|8.||"Hound Dog"||Elvis Presley||2:27|
|9.||"Can't Help Falling in Love"||A*Teens||3:07|
|10.||"Stitch to the Rescue (score)"||Alan Silvestri||5:57|
|11.||"You Can Never Belong"||Alan Silvestri||3:56|
|12.||"I'm Lost (score)"||Alan Silvestri||4:43|
|US Billboard 200||11|
|US Billboard Top Soundtracks||1|
On August 26, 2003, Disney released a direct-to-video sequel, Stitch! The Movie, which served as the pilot to a TV 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's efforts to capture and re-home Jumba's remaining experiments. This series almost ended with TV movie Leroy & Stitch, which was released on June 27, 2006.
On August 30, 2005, Lilo & Stitch 2: Stitch Has a Glitch, the "official" direct-to-video sequel to the film, was released. In this film (set between the first and second films), 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 Mom 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.
In March 2008, Disney announced a reimagined version of Lilo & Stitch, titled Stitch!, aimed at the Japanese market. The show, which began in October 2008, features a Japanese girl named Yuna (formerly referred to as Hanako) in place of Lilo, and is set on a fictional island in Okinawa Prefecture instead of Hawaii. The series is produced by the Japanese animation house Madhouse LTD.
There were two official games released to coincide with the film, Disney's Lilo & Stitch for the PlayStation and Disney's Stitch: Experiment 626 for the PlayStation 2. Stitch is also a summonable character in Kingdom Hearts II, and appears along with his homeworld in Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep for the PlayStation Portable.
- How to Train Your Dragon, a 2010 DreamWorks Animation film also written and directed by Chris Sanders and Dean DeBlois
- "Lilo & Stitch". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2012-01-05.
- The Story Room: The Making of 'Lilo & Stitch' (DVD). Burbank, CA: Walt Disney Home Entertainment. 2005.
- Davis, Pat (April–May 2002). "Disney Goes Hawaiian". Hana Hou! 5 (2).
- 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 Company).
- Gilland, Joseph (2009). Elemental Magic: The Art of Special Effects Animation. Focal Press (Elsevier, Inc.). p. 256. ISBN 978-0-240-81163-5.
- "Lilo & Stitch (2002)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved July 12, 2009.
- "Lilo & Stitch". Metacritic. Retrieved January 7, 2012.
- 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.
- Lilo & Stitch DVD Review
- Lilo & Stitch at AllMusic
|Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: Lilo & Stitch|
- Official website
- About Stitch at Disney
- About Lilo at Disney
- Lilo & Stitch at AllMovie
- Lilo & Stitch at the Big Cartoon DataBase
- Lilo & Stitch at the Internet Movie Database
- Lilo & Stitch at Box Office Mojo
- Lilo & Stitch at Rotten Tomatoes