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Lilo & Stitch

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Lilo & Stitch
Ohana means family. Family means nobody gets left behind or forgotten.
Genre: Animated
Science fiction
Directed By: Chris Sanders
Dean DeBlois
Written By: Chris Sanders
Dean DeBlois
Starring: Chris Sanders
Daveigh Chase
Tia Carrere
David Ogden Stiers
Kevin McDonald
Ving Rhames
Kevin Michael Richardson
Jason Scott Lee
Zoe Caldwell
Distributed By: Buena Vista Pictures
Release Date: June 21, 2002
Runtime: 85 minutes
Country: United States
Prequel: N/A
Sequel: Stitch! The Movie (release order)
Lilo & Stitch 2: Stitch Has a Glitch (chronological order)

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 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 officially released on June 21, 2002.


A tale of a young girl's close encounter with the galaxy's most wanted extraterrestrial. Lilo is a lonely Hawaiian girl who adopts a small ugly "dog," whom she names Stitch. Stitch would be the perfect pet if he weren't in reality a genetic experiment who has escaped from an alien planet and crash-landed on Earth. Through her love, faith, and unwavering belief in ohana, the Hawaiian concept of family, Lilo helps unlock Stitch's heart and gives him the ability to care for someone else.

Why It Means Family

  1. One of Disney's most beloved films.
  2. Disney makes a point in all their trailers and commercials to show Stitch as the Rodney Dangerfield of animated characters: he doesn't get any respect.
  3. Many likable and unique characters.
  4. One of the most realistic plots in any Disney film ever released.
  5. We see in full detail how the death of Lilo and Nani's parents affected them, since Lilo developed behaviorial problems and Nani is constantly tired of having to raise Lilo and maintain a job. It's also heartbreaking when we learn Lilo feeds a fish named Pudge sandwiches to appease him as she believes he controls the weather. It doesn't sound heartbreaking until you learn that her parents died in a storm.
  6. Great voice acting. Even the film's own creator/writer/director (Chris Sanders) does well for his first lead voice acting role.
  7. Beautiful songs, including "He Mele No Lilo" and "Hawaiian Roller Coaster Ride".
  8. Elvis Presley. No further establishing, just hail to the King, baby.
  9. The final battle was somewhat awesome.
  10. Plenty of funny moments.
  11. The ending where Stitch wishes that he wants a family and he already did.
  12. Great score of Robert Zemeckis's frequent collaborator, Alan Silvestri.
  13. Kauai, Hawaii seems to be a great place, and the film captures its lifestyle perfectly.
  14. Even with his his cuteness, Stitch is extremely funny.
  15. Beautiful watercolor backgrounds, painting Hawaii in a beautiful light.
  16. Realistic and sympathetic portrayals of Native Hawaiians' modern-day lives and struggles to get by.
  17. Nani's boyfriend David Kawena is, while a bit bland, very supportive and understanding of both Pelekai sisters' plights, and does the best he can to support them rather than try to force a romance with Nani when she is not emotionally available.
  18. There are several hilarious lines, such as "If I gave Pudge tuna, I'd be an abomination!" and "Oh, good, my dog found the chainsaw."
  19. It has memorable parody crossover trailers, including Stitch scaring Rafiki and the animals away.
  20. "Ohana means family. Family means nobody gets left behind or forgotten."

Bad Qualities

  1. Mertle Edmonds can be annoying and unlikeable sometimes. Also, Miranda Paige Walls sounded almost bored in the role, which made her decision not to continue pursuing an acting career understandable. (This film and the video game Lilo & Stitch: Trouble in Paradise are the only two major media works Walls ever performed on; Liliana Mumy took over the role of Mertle for the sequel films and Lilo & Stitch: The Series.)
  2. The UK edit (also used on Disney+ worldwide) changed Lilo's hiding spot (in her and Nani's fight) from a dryer to a commode with a pizza box for a door, but to be fair, it would be inappropriate for a younger kid to climb into a tumble dryer, especially for kids movie standards. The TV edit is worse as it just removes the scene altogether, leaving a plot hole for TV viewers.
    • Granted, kids shouldn't be hiding in dryers anyway, but still.
  3. Jumba's noticeable art shifts in several scenes. Granted, this was due to circumstances beyond the production team's control, but it's still distracting.
  4. There is a minor plot hole: if Cobra Bubbles encountered an alien race in the past, even convincing them that mosquitos are an endangered species, how did he not notice that Stitch was an alien right away?
  5. The film was originally scheduled to be released somewhere in 2001 but was pushed to June 2002 since the flight scene had to be changed up because... well... watch this to connect the dots.


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 the family while providing a fun and charming story.". The film has also earned a score of 73 on Metacritic, indicating "generally favorable reviews".


  • Lilo & Stitch is very popular in Japan, Malaysia, and China.




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