Lilo and Stitch marks the second movie of 2002 to be released by Disney. I had not really heard anything about this movie until watching it just now so there is that.
We open at some kind of Galactic HQ where weird creatures, let’s call them aliens, are accusing a scientist of illegal genetic experiments. Kind of like Orphan Black but way before that show was a thing and also for kids. The good scientist is denying those experiments but it’s too late because he actually has made a creature and they have it as evidence.
That creature looks like a mouse but on PCP with anger management issues. It’s not a pretty sight! Apparently it’s some sort of killing machine and OMG I hate the idea of creating such things. They always prove to turn out wrong and deadly (DUH!) and things go wrong.
Anyway, the council (or whatever they are) are looking for something good in that creature but can’t find anything so it is sentenced to a life in prison. The guns on the transport ship are tied to its genetic code so they will shoot it when it moves. They also leave some dude to watch over this thing as the others go to the control area to fly wherever it is they are meant to fly to.
Obviously the creature spits on the guard so the guns shoot him and it can escape. The thing hijacks a small space craft and is headed for Earth! Apparently it’s genetic code isn’t designed to survive in water and since it seems to be approaching all the water ever but nope, there is Hawaii and that’s where it’s headed. Now an expert on Earth is needed.
Said expert is an alien of the one eyed variety and he calls us earthlings very delicate and simple creatures. NO YOU DIDN’T! The expert is sent to retrieve the creature from Earth but not alone, so the scientist is sent along with him. I’m sure nothing can go wrong here and am bathed in confidence for their mission.
Cut to Hawaii with some chanting and dancing because that’s all the people on Hawaii ever do. Hello racial stereotypes. We also get lots of close ups of fish and see a small girl swimming. No, this is not the second part to Ariel. The little girl rushes out of the water and it turns out she is late for her hula dance lesson.
Just like the creature headed in her direction, Lilo also has an anger management problem. She wants to play with the other girls after class but since she bit one during the lesson, they are having none of it but also are really mean, like little girls are. I’m speaking from experience though I have never bit or hit anyone. Lilo is such a little weirdo but I also like her.
Her sister comes to pick Lilo up from class but Lilo is not there anymore so the sister rushes home where Lilo has locked herself in, listening to Elvis on an old turntable record player because she is so cool. Nani is pissed because the social worker is supposed to be there any minute and just as she insults that person, a big guy in black, looking more like Secret Service than a social worker comes up right behind her, being not impressed.
Nani tries to make the best of this situation but it’s a disaster from the get go. Man in Black gives them 3 days to improve their situation and I don’t really know what he expects to change in 3 days but okay. We need a plot.
The sisters do lots of yelling and screaming at each other like the sisters that they are. Both cry into a pillow and it’s endearing but also sad. Then they witness green flashes from the sky. Lilo thinks it’s a shooting star and wishes to get a friend. This about breaks my little heart.
Cut to our creature running around. It gets run over by a lorry and is put into a dog pound.
The next day, Lilo and Nani are there to adopt a dog because something both of them need is more responsibility. While all the other animals are scared shitless of the creature, which I can understand, Lilo loves it because OBVIOUSLY. She wants to adopt that weird thing and Nani can’t change her decision no matter how life threatening it looks.
Lilo adopts the creature and calls it Stitch. Of course the Chasers are also there to observe all this. The sisters part ways in town, leaving Lilo and Stitch on their own because Nani has to rush to her job.
Lilo spots her 3 friends from earlier but they are as unimpressed by Stitch as can be because it sure as hell isn’t a dog so Stitch steals on of their tricycles and rushes over the island. See, Stitch is programmed to find the nearest city and dig some shit up and steal left shoes or something ridiculous like that only Hawaii doesn’t have a big enough city. Stitch gets really mad at his situation.
At Nani’s job, she does some not-flirt-y-flirting with a performer her age and I’m sure he is considered attractive by some.
Lilo and Stitch are also at the restaurant where Nani works, Stitch gets in a situation with a customer but it’s just the dressed up Chasers. Regardless, the manager lets Nani go because that sure will help with the social worker situation.
Back at home, Lilo shows Stitch their room but it goes berserk. She tells it to create something instead of just destroying everything.
So Stitch builds San Francisco just to run through those makeshift streets like Godzilla.
Stitch comes upon the ugly duckling story in a book, so Lilo tells it to him. The ugly duckling got lost so it waited for it’s family and they came or something of that sort. She also finds out that Stitch can be used as an extension of her record player. Cool.
Next day, MiB comes over and can’t tolerate the joblessness and whole situation. Stitch has to be a model citizen so Lilo tries to teach it to be more like The King while Nani is hunting for jobs. But at every job place, Stitch ends up doing something bad so she runs out of options.
Then Daniel, of restaurant not flirt-y flirting fame comes up to cheer the sisters up with surfing. I like him!
Of course the social worker has been creeping in the background while all of this has been going on like a stalker. I’m not sure that’s how social workers operate but okay. He informs Nani that Lilo will be collected in the morning.
As everyone leaves the beach, Daniel blames Stitch for everything and he is not completely wrong with this accusation.
At home, Nani tries to tell Lilo what will happen in the morning but can’t bring herself to do it. Stitch only comes back to collect the ugly duckling book and Lilo has the sadz. Also, Stitch can talk.
The Chasers get fired because they are terrible at their job, instead they’re sending Captain Hammer in after them to catch Stitch. The scientist stumbles over Stitch who tells him it is waiting for its family but scientist dude informs it, there isn’t any family because he created it. Womp, womp.
Cut to Daniel who found Nani a job so she leaves Lilo alone for a moment to fix that job. Obviously just then, Stitch comes back while being followed by the Chasers an they destroy the house completely. Lilo, being the little idiot that she is, calls MiB telling him about aliens and such so he rushes over to her.
But Lilo isn’t about to come with MiB and runs away after she learns she is to be separated from her sister. She also tells Stitch that it ruined everything.
Then Captain Hammer catches both Lilo and Stitch but Stitch can escape so that Hammer leaves with Lilo in his spaceship. So Nani and the Chasers have to team up to get Lilo back. That’s a whole long thing but in the end they manage.
In the end, the council ‘woman’ from Galactical HQ lets Stitch stay on earth as it has changed and is by now means the kind of killer machine it used to be. Also, Lilo and Nani are its family now which is sweet. The council woman and MiB have a moment where they both talk about having been involved in Roswell because obviously.
Everything ends well. The end.
While I found Stitch utterly annoying at times, I knew where this was going and I absolutely loved the end. It was done so sweetly that I want to forgive all the heavy handedness and contrivance.
What I really liked was the uniqueness of the story. Especially after having seen Return To Never Land last week, this was so different and I’m always glad to not get fed another warmed up storyline. I my not be planning in rewatching this sometime soon but I definitely put this one in the better Disney movie box.
I also like the message, that there is something good in all of us, that we aren’t programmed to be bad and destructive but that love can heal and change us. It’s very sappy but just the right kind for me.