Bringing the cuteness of outer space to the island of Hawaii, Disney’s Lilo and Stitch is a delightful film about the value of family. Its success led to multiple direct-to-video sequels, spin-offs and even a live-action adaptation. The films and their television series focus on the Hawaiian principle of ohana, meaning family is everything.
Daveigh Chase plays Lilo Pelekai, a young Hawaiian girl who adopts an alien experiment named Stitch (voiced by Chris Sanders). The film’s story centers around their relationship and the trials of raising this mischievous yet loveable creature.
The movie was inspired by the Hawaiian culture and traditions, and the filmmakers drew heavily from the local language, customs and history for its dialogue. For example, one of the movie’s most poignant scenes involves Lilo responding to cruel words with a ferocious punch, a lesson in the power of careless words and their stinging consequences.
In addition to the film, the franchise has produced a series of television and video games, and has had several theme park attractions. These include the Enchanted Tiki Room, a theater-in-the-round audio-animatronics show at Disney’s Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World Resort and Stitch Presents Aloha e Komo Mai! at Tokyo Disneyland.
The film and its subsequent spin-offs have also garnered positive critical reviews and commercial success. It has also helped to inspire other animated films and television shows, including the Disney Channel animated series Stitch! and Stitch & Ai. A Chinese-language version of the original film titled Stitch & Ai was produced in 2017 by Anhui Xinhua Media and Panimation Hwakai Media, with crew members from the television series Lilo & Stitch: The Series working on the production. Lilo and Stitch merchandise