Lilo & Stitch
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|Lilo & Stitch|
|Story by||Chris Sanders|
|Produced by||Clark Spencer|
|Edited by||Darren T. Holmes|
|Music by||Alan Silvestri|
|Distributed by||Buena Vista Pictures Distribution, Inc.|
|Box office||$273.1 million|
Lilo & Stitch is a 2002 American animated science fiction comedy-drama film produced by Walt Disney Feature Animation and released by Walt Disney Pictures. The 42nd Disney animated feature film, it was written and directed by Chris Sanders and Dean DeBlois in their directorial debuts. It features Daveigh Chase and Sanders as the voices of the title characters, and also features the voices of Tia Carrere, David Ogden Stiers, Kevin McDonald, Ving Rhames, Jason Scott Lee, and Kevin Michael Richardson. It was also the second of three Disney animated feature films (the first being Mulan, and followed by Brother Bear) that were produced primarily at the Florida animation studio in Disney's Hollywood Studios (then named "Disney-MGM Studios" during its production) at Walt Disney World near Orlando, Florida. It was officially released on June 21, 2002, to positive reviews and was nominated for Best Animated Feature at the 75th Academy Awards.
The film's story revolves around two eccentric and mischievous individuals: a six (later seven)-year-old Hawaiian girl named Lilo Pelekai, who is raised by her older, young adult-aged sister Nani after their parents died in a car accident, and a blue extraterrestrial koala-like creature called Experiment 626, who is adopted by Lilo as her "dog" and renamed "Stitch". Stitch, who is genetically engineered by his mad 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 Stitch to reconsider and later defy his intended destructive purpose in order to keep his family together.
The success of the film spawned a franchise, including three direct-to-video sequels, starting with Stitch! The Movie, and three television series, including the sequel series Lilo & Stitch: The Series and spin-offs Stitch! and Stitch & Ai.
On Kauaʻi, Hawaii, a young woman named Nani Pelekai is a waitress who struggles to take care of her rambunctious younger sister, Lilo, since their parents died. One day, social worker Cobra Bubbles expresses increasing concern about whether or not Nani can take adequate care of Lilo. Since Lilo's hula classmates have ostracized her, Nani decides to let her adopt a dog. At the animal shelter, Lilo immediately takes a keen interest in a small blue sentient alien named Experiment 626, who is impersonating a dog after being taken in at the shelter. Experiment 626 is exceptionally strong and intelligent but also tends to cause chaos. Despite Nani's doubts, Lilo adopts and renames 626 "Stitch" and shows him around the island. That evening, at the restaurant where Nani works, extraterrestrial mad scientist Dr. Jumba Jookiba, who was recently arrested by the Galactic Federation after making Stitch, and his partner, Agent Wendell Pleakley, the Council's Earth 'expert', unsuccessfully attempt to capture Stitch. The ensuing destructive chaos is blamed on Stitch, which results in Nani getting fired. The next day, Cobra Bubbles warns Nani that he will have to place Lilo with a foster family if she doesn't find another job. However, Stitch's antics while evading his two pursuers persistently ruin Nani's chances of finding work.
Nani's friend David Kawena invites her, Lilo, and Stitch to enjoy a day of surfing and beach fun. 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, it means that Lilo will have to be taken away if Nani doesn't find another job. Seeing how much trouble he has caused, a remorseful Stitch runs off into the night. The next morning, the Galactic Federation's leader, the Grand Councilwoman, fires Jumba and Pleakley from their assignment and gives it to the galaxy's oversized militant captain, Captain Gantu (incidentally freeing Jumba to pursue Stitch using less covert methods). Meanwhile, David informs Nani of a job opportunity, which she excitedly rushes off to pursue. Stitch, hiding in the nearby woods, encounters Jumba, who chases him back to Nani's house. A fight ensues, which blows up the house; Cobra arrives to collect Lilo and take her away.
As Nani and Cobra argue, Lilo runs away into the woods and finds Stitch, who (in shame) reveals his alien identity before they are captured by Gantu. Stitch manages to escape from Gantu's ship and is confronted by Nani, who had witnessed Lilo's kidnapping. Before he can explain, Jumba and Pleakley capture Stitch themselves. Nani demands that they help her rescue Lilo, but Jumba and Pleakley insist they only came for Stitch. When Nani breaks down, Stitch reminds her about ʻohana, a term for "family" he learned from Lilo earlier. Stitch convinces Jumba to help rescue Lilo. Jumba, Pleakley, Stitch, and Nani board Jumba's personal spaceship and chase after Gantu, rescuing Lilo. Back on the shore, the Grand Councilwoman arrives on Earth preparing to take Stitch into custody. She retires Gantu for his failure to capture Stitch, and blames Jumba for the mess. Before Stitch goes into the spaceship, he tells the Councilwoman how he found his broken but good family and how much ohana means to them. Lilo then insists that, because she paid for Stitch at the shelter and has a stamped receipt to show for it, Stitch is her pet under local law. Taking him away would be tantamount to stealing. Rather impressed with Stitch's newfound civility and empathy, the Councilwoman reverses the Federation's prior decision and decrees that Stitch will live in a peaceful exile on Earth, entrusted to Lilo and Nani's care. She, then, tells Cobra, revealed to be a former CIA agent that she previously met in 1973 at Roswell, that the family will be under the care of the Galactic Federation. Lilo, Nani, and their newfound friends rebuild their house, and Jumba and Pleakley become members of Nani, Lilo, and Stitch's family, all building a new life together.
- Chris Sanders (credited as "Christopher Michael Sanders") as Stitch/Experiment 626, a blue koala-like illegal genetic experiment with the ability to create untold chaos. Alex Kupershmidt served as the supervising animator for Stitch.
- Daveigh Chase as Lilo Pelekai, an eccentric young Hawaiian girl on the island of Kaua'i who adopts Stitch as her pet dog. Andreas Deja served as the supervising animator for Lilo Pelekai.
- Tia Carrere as Nani Pelekai, Lilo's stressed-out older sister and Lilo's legal guardian after the death of their parents in a car accident. Stephane Sainte-Foi served as the supervising animator for Nani Pelekai.
- David Ogden Stiers as Dr. Jumba Jookiba, a Kweltikwan mad scientist employed by Galaxy Defense Industries who created Stitch. Bolhem Bouchiba served as the supervising animator for Dr. Jumba Jookiba.
- Kevin McDonald as Agt. Wendell Pleakley, a Plorgonarian Galactic Federation agent who acts as the expert of Earth. Ruben A. Aquino served as the supervising animator for Pleakley.
- Ving Rhames as Cobra Bubbles, a former CIA agent once involved in a Roswell UFO incident who is assigned as a social worker for Lilo. Byron Howard served as the supervising animator for Cobra Bubbles.
- Kevin Michael Richardson as Captain Gantu, the respected but arrogant Shaelik second-in-command of the Galactic Federation.
- Zoe Caldwell as the Grand Councilwoman, the Grey leader of the Galactic Federation.
- Jason Scott Lee as David Kawena, Nani's hapless surfer friend. Ruben A. Aquino served as the supervising animator for David.
- Miranda Paige Walls as Mertle Edmonds, Lilo's classmate from their hālau hula who despises and derides her.
- Kunewa Mook as Moses Puloki, Lilo's hula teacher.
- Amy Hill as Mrs. Hasagawa, an elderly woman who runs a fruit stand.
- Susan Hegarty as Rescue Lady, who runs the animal shelter where Lilo adopts Stitch.
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 had to now develop a concept that featured the character in an animated film. The story line required a remote, non-urban location, so the movie was originally intended to take place in Kansas. 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. 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.
Dean DeBlois, who had co-written Mulan (1998) with Chris 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 film's 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 Sanders's 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 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 local of Honolulu, and Jason Scott Lee, who is of Hawaiian descent and 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.: 13
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), 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.
The animation itself was all based on 2D work as the budget lacked funds to incorporate computer generated imagery. The character designs were based around Sanders's personal drawing style, eschewing the traditional Disney house style. Because of the limited budget, details like pockets or designs on clothing were avoided in the animation process, and as they could not afford to do shadows through much of the film, many of the scenes took place in shaded areas, saving the use of shadows for more pivotal scenes.
The film's extraterrestrial elements, such as the spaceships, were designed to resemble marine life, such as whales and crabs. One planned scene in the film involved Stitch hijacking a Boeing 747 airliner and piloting it in a cartoonish manner through a city. However, following the September 11 attacks with only a few weeks left in production, this scene was revamped at a large cost to have Stitch steal Jumba and Pleakley's alien craft instead, revamping the airliner's design to look like an alien spacecraft, though the final design still has engines that resembled the 747's jet engines, according to Sanders.
Even after this adjustment, the team had enough budget for about two additional minutes of animation, which was used to create the epilogue scene of Lilo, Nani, and Stitch becoming a new family.
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.
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. 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, Nani, Jumba and Pleakley hijacking a Boeing 747 jet from Lihue Airport to save Lilo; the scene had the quartet chasing Gantu through downtown Honolulu, scraping against buildings and coming dangerously close to the ground. Following the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center in 2001, this sequence was revised so that they instead flew Jumba's 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, 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 the film directors thought the Intergalactic Council had to blame him for creating Stitch.
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. Box Office Mojo estimates that the film sold over 25 million tickets during its original run.
Lilo & Stitch received largely positive reception. Rotten Tomatoes reported that the film has an 86% "Certified Fresh" approval rating based on 148 reviews, with an average score of 7.27/10. The site's consensus reads, "Edgier than traditional Disney fare, Lilo and Stitch explores issues of family while providing a fun and charming story." The film has also earned a score of 73 on Metacritic, indicating "generally favorable reviews". 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". 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.
Lilo & Stitch was released on VHS and DVD on December 3, 2002. In 2003, a 2-disc DVD version was announced to come out along with Alice in Wonderland (1951) and Pocahontas (1995), which were released in 2004 and 2005. A 2-Disc Special Edition DVD of Lilo & Stitch was released in the UK on August 22, 2005, along with the UK release of Lilo & Stitch 2: Stitch Has a Glitch (2005), but a release in the US was affected by many delays. On March 24, 2009, Disney finally released the special edition DVD, which is called a 2-Disc "Big Wave Edition". This new DVD has everything that the original DVD had and adds an audio commentary, a 2-hour documentary, more deleted scenes, a number of behind-the-scenes featurettes, and some games. On June 11, 2013, Lilo & Stitch was released on Blu-ray alongside Lilo & Stitch 2 in a "2-Movie Collection".
A scene was modified for the UK home video release. In the original, Lilo hid in a clothes dryer, which was changed to a commode with a cabinet and pizza box used as a "door" to avoid influencing children to hide in dryers. The UK edit was later used for the film's Disney+ release.
|Lilo & Stitch: An Original Walt Disney Records Soundtrack|
|Soundtrack album by |
|Released||June 11, 2002|
|Producer||Chris Montan (exec.)|
|Lilo & Stitch music chronology|
|Walt Disney Animation Studios 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 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.
|1.||"Hawaiian Roller Coaster Ride"||Mark Kealiʻi Hoʻomalu, The Kamehameha Schools Children's Chorus||3:28|
|2.||"Stuck on You"||Elvis Presley||2:25|
|3.||"Burning Love"||Wynonna Judd||3:10|
|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.||"He Mele No Lilo"||Mark Kealiʻi Hoʻomalu, The Kamehameha Schools Children's Chorus||2:28|
|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 (score)"||Alan Silvestri||3:56|
|12.||"I'm Lost (score)"||Alan Silvestri||4:43|
|Australian Albums (ARIA)||9|
|Austrian Albums (Ö3 Austria)||44|
|German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)||80|
|US Billboard 200||11|
|US Soundtrack Albums (Billboard)||1|
|US Billboard 200||151|
|US Soundtrack Albums (Billboard)||10|
|US Soundtrack Albums (Billboard)||13|
|United States (RIAA)||Platinum||1,000,000^|
^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.
Sequels, TV shows, and franchise
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.
On October 3, 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 would be produced by Aladdin producers Dan Lin and Jonathan Eirich and written by Mike Van Waes. On February 4, 2020, it was reported that the remake will be released on Disney's streaming service, Disney+, and that Chris Sanders would reprise his role as the voice of Stitch. Filming was reportedly supposed to take place in Hawaii beginning in late 2020. However, on November 13, 2020, it was reported that Jon M. Chu entered talks to direct the film and that it was no longer clear if the film would be released in theaters or on Disney+. In May 2021, it was reported that Chu had left the film due to his involvement with other projects such as the film adaptation of Wicked and the sequel to Crazy Rich Asians.
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. Some characters of the film are playable characters in the game Disney Magic Kingdoms.
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Weeks later, on January 12, Disney announced that it was shutting down its Orlando animation unit, where Lilo & Stitch had been created.
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