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Lilo & Stitch
July 8 @ 8:30 pm - 11:00 pm
Lilo & Stitch is a 2002 American animated science fiction comedy-drama film produced by Walt Disney Feature Animation and released by Walt Disney Pictures. The 42nd Disney animated feature film, it was written and directed by Chris Sanders and Dean DeBlois (in their directorial debuts) and produced by Clark Spencer. It features Daveigh Chase and Sanders as the voices of the title characters, and also features the voices of Tia Carrere, David Ogden Stiers, Kevin McDonald, Ving Rhames, Jason Scott Lee, and Kevin Michael Richardson. It was the second of three Disney animated feature films (the first being Mulan, and the third Brother Bear) produced primarily at the Florida animation studio in Disney’s Hollywood Studios (named “Disney-MGM Studios” during its production) at Walt Disney World near Orlando, Florida.
The film’s story revolves around two individuals: a Hawaiian girl named Lilo Pelekai, who is raised by her older sister Nani after their parents’ deaths, and the extraterrestrial creature Experiment 626, who is adopted by Lilo as her “dog” and renamed “Stitch”. Stitch, who was genetically engineered to cause chaos and destruction, initially uses Lilo to avoid recapture by the intergalactic federation, but they develop a close bond through the Hawaiian concept of ʻohana, or extended family, causing Stitch to reconsider his intended destructive purpose in order to keep his newfound family together.
The film is based on an idea by Sanders, who originally conceived the character Stitch in the 1980s, and the film’s design and aesthetics are based on his personal art style. Lilo & Stitch premiered at the El Capitan Theatre in Los Angeles on June 16, 2002, and was released worldwide on June 21. The film received positive reviews from critics, who praised its story, humor, charm, and originality. Produced on an $80 million budget and promoted with a marketing campaign that played up its oddities, it was a box-office success, grossing over $273 million worldwide. It was nominated for Best Animated Feature at the 75th Academy Awards.
The film’s success made it one of Disney’s few successes during its post-animation renaissance era in the 2000s, spawning a franchise that includes three direct-to-video sequels, starting with Stitch! The Movie, and three television series, including the sequel series Lilo & Stitch: The Series and spin-offs Stitch! and Stitch & Ai. A live-action adaptation is in development.