Making the Grades
A Hawaiian paradise is anything but blissful for two young sisters trying to make it on their own. Following the death of her parents, nineteen-year-old Nani (Tia Carrere) takes on the responsibility of raising her headstrong younger sister, Lilo (Daveigh Chase), who attracts trouble faster than flowers do bees. But their plan to mend their "broken" family by getting a pet backfires when the ugly puppy they adopt turns out to be an alien experiment on the run from his inventor.
Stitch (Christopher Michael Sanders) has escaped confinement on a foreign planet and made a break for Earth. Hoping to avoid detection, he tries to blend into his new family. But his pre-programmed disposition for destruction causes trouble for the girls and threatens to break up the siblings when a new social worker (Ving Rhames) is assigned to their case.
Meanwhile, back on Planet Turo, the leader of the Grand Council (Zoe Caldwell) and Captain Gantu (Kevin Michael Richardson) send Stitch's creator (David Ogden Stiers) and an environmental assistant (Kevin McDonald) to intercept Stitch and return him to his interplanetary prison without damaging the frail ecology of the green planet.
Lilo & Stitch comes with characters that are less of the sugary-sweet variety and more prone to the ups and downs of daily life. In spite of Nani and Lilo's commitment to staying together, they still face the challenges of trying to keep a job, care for a pet and run a household-- an undertaking that proves to be more than either can handle alone. And while Stitch is a long way from passing any dog obedience school, there's a shred of good in this unmanageable mutt that keeps us rooting for him.
Older children will likely appreciate the movie's humor best. Parents shouldn't forget this Disney animation rates PG, mainly due to scenes of alien gunfire (including a gun held to a character's head), kidnappings, an exploding house, and other cartoon-style violence. But considering it reworks the typical orphan-child formula, Lilo & Stitch at least offers young audiences a cast of characters that are more realistic and less alien.
Discussion Ideas After The Movie
Teaching ideas and topics to discuss about Lilo & Stitch.
The Hawaiian word ‘ohana connotes a sense of family and community. How is it depicted in the film and who helps the girls? Do you actually see the community offering support?
Lilo is a little girl without many friends. How do her actions prevent her from forming friendships? What are the important qualities to have in order to be a good friend?
Home Video Viewing Alternatives
Here are some ideas for home video titles that are related to Lilo & Stitch.
When Disney first began promoting this film, animators designed trailers with Stitch inserted into scenes from some of the studios other well-known productions like The Little Mermaid 2, Beauty and the Beast and Aladdin. ET - The Extra-terrestrial depicts another child who brings an alien home for a pet.