I saw this movie with camp when I was eight. It was one of Disney’s few successful features in the early 2000’s. It had a few sequels and even a TV series on Disney Channel.
The story centers around an alien and a little girl from Hawaii desperate for a friend. Stitch is blasted off a planet. At that point, he is dangerous and his identity is Experiment 626. The POV switches to Lilo, a small girl late for her luau class after feeding Pudge the fish his peanut-butter sandwich. Lilo and the other girls break out into a fight and then she runs away unsupervised. Her older sister, Nani, gets in trouble with CPS as a consequence for the escape. After an argument between the two, Nani forgives Lilo. The two go to adopt a dog. Lilo chooses Stitch, thinking he is a dog. Their time begins from there.
Now here are the strengths of this film.
1: The plot
In some ways, it reminds me a lot of “Beauty and the Beast”. The structure of scenes, the characterizations and actions of both Stitch and Lilo, and how they go from an unhealthy to heartwarming bond. Does that ring a bell? I can’t imagine this was intentional, but it was well-executed.
2: The Elvis music
Not often do you hear pop music in a Disney movie. Although “Lilo & Stitch” is sometimes treated like classics such as “The Little Mermaid” or “Pinocchio”, it sometimes is not. None of the characters sing. But the scenes where Stitch plays the guitar dressed as Elvis and where “Hound Dog” and “Burning Love” play are great.
3: The way this film was promoted (lol)
As a way to promote the movie, Stitch barged into classics, such as “The Little Mermaid”, “Beauty and the Beast”, “Aladdin” and “The Lion King”. I love this line from the others, “Get your own movie” (Belle really is a funny girl). I will admit, however, that the picture quality wasn’t the strongest.
Which brings me to moments that could’ve been improved or explained better…
1: How does Stitch learn to speak?
The alien somehow goes from monstrous feral beast to knowing how to use developed speech like a human. Yet, it is never explained why or how (correct me if it gets revealed in the series or one of the sequels). I was surprised to hear that there is talk on making a live-action “Lilo and Stitch” remake. I don’t know if this mystery will be resolved, though, depending on how many people are bugged by this. But it’d be nice if this question gets answered.
2: Why was Cobra Bubbles there at Lilo’s birthday in that brief scene?
I get he was an important character, but doesn’t anyone find it a bit strange to invite someone from CPS to celebrate a child’s birthday? I wouldn’t do that.
That’s really it. I would rate “Lilo & Stitch” 5 out of 5 stars.