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Left to right: Stitch, Nani and Lilo in "Lilo and Stitch" from Walt Disney Pictures.

Left to right: Stitch, Nani and Lilo in “Lilo and Stitch” from Walt Disney Pictures.

By Josh Haley, Chicago Agricultural

Lilo & Stitch is Disney’s 42nd animated feature and while it’s not one of my personal favorites, it’s definitely worth talking about! Similarly to The Emperor’s New Groove, it breaks away from the typical Disney formula in the sense that it’s not a musical, although it does feature traditional Hawaiian songs as well as hits from the late Elvis Presley. It should also be noted that unlike many other Disney films, Lilo & Stitch takes place in a modern time and setting. Many Disney films typically take place in a remote past and/or far distant land, but Lilo & Stitch takes place in present day Hawaii with current technology and trends.

Without revealing much of the story, Lilo (voiced by Daveigh Chase) is a lonely Hawaiian girl who lives with her older sister, Nani, after their parent’s recent death in a car accident. Lilo and Nani don’t always see eye-to-eye, but they’re both pretty much the only family either of them have left. Life isn’t going quite well for either of the sisters at this time, Nani is constantly stressed by a social worker who wants to put Lilo into foster care, and Lilo is picked on by her peers for being a rather peculiar individual.

Lilo, sick of being lonely, wishes to finally have a real friend. Nani, overhearing this, decides to allow Lilo to adopt a dog. At the animal shelter, Lilo immediately takes a liking to a “dog,” Experiment 626, who is actually an evil, highly destructive alien creature who is being pursued by United Galactic Federation. Lilo and her sister are completely oblivious to this fact though. From there, a wild sequence of events occur where both parties will learn about the true meaning of family and friendships.

As previously stated, Lilo & Stitch is not a major favorite of mine when you compare it to other Disney features but I’d still go as far as calling a timeless classic that can be held in the regard as other major hits such as Peter Pan and The Lion King. Overall, Lilo & Stitch is definitely worth a watch and if you have a Netflix subscription, I strongly suggest you give it a viewing while you still can!

Interesting Fact: Chris Sanders, the voice of Stitch, first created the character in 1985 for a planned children’s book that never came to be. Stitch’s original concept design can be seen here:

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