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On an alien planet, Jumba, a scientist, is on trial for unethically creating a new creature: Experiment 626.The planet’s leader proclaims Jumba to be guilty as charged, and Experiment 626 is sentenced to a life in exile, since he was created to be nothing but destructive. He is also, however, superior in strength and cunning as well as indestructible, so he proves difficult to contain. After the creature escapes, he steals a space vehicle, and ends up crashing on a Hawaiian island on earth, and is run over by a truck. Meanwhile, a small girl, Lilo, is making her way from the beach to her hula lessons, joining her class soaking wet and causing some of the other girls to slip and fall. The girls scorn her, and a fight follows. He teacher calls her older sister, Nani, who is also Lilo’s guardian since their parents’ death in a car crash. We see that Nani has her hands full trying to hold down a job, control her troubled sister and create a life for them that is suitable in the eyes of the social workers. That evening, the sisters fight after the newest social worker, Cobra Bubbles, sees them at their worst. Lilo sees what she thinks is a falling star, and is determined to make a wish. She wishes for a friend, an angel. What she sees, however, is not actually a star, but the alien creature’s spaceship crashing nearby.
In the morning, Nani tries to help Lilo with her wish by taking her to the local animal shelter to get a dog to be her companion. Experiment 626 is in the shelter, recovering from the truck accident. He sees Lilo and pretends to be a dog, so that she and her sister will unknowingly protect him from his pursuers, Pleakly (the alien expert on earth) and Jumba, who agreed to capture 626 in exchange for his freedom. Lilo instantly falls in love with the odd “dog” and names him Stitch. Nani finds him creepy, but she succumbs to Lilo’s wishes. Having a new dog doesn’t help her situation with her classmates, who continue to jeer at not only her, but now her ugly dog as well. Stitch has no real interest in Lilo’s friendship, and creates mayhem wherever they go, and Nani loses her job as a result. Between Cobra Bubbles’ watchfulness and the alien’s chasing Stitch, nothing seems to go right for the sisters, even with Lilo trying to model Stitch after Elvis, her hero. But when the Lilo ends up captured and on a spaceship instead of Stitch, he realizes that he loves his new family, and will do whatever it takes to bring Lilo home.
The circumstances of your birth do not determine who you are. YOU decide the type of person you are going to be. Loss and loneliness are powerful emotions, and many people lash out at others as a result of their own frustrations. Lilo recognizes this behavior in Stitch, most likely because it was what she, herself, had been doing. They each desperately needed someone. Stitch had no family; and Lilo felt separate from Nani now that she was playing the role of mother instead of sister. But they never stopped needing and loving each other, but they did have trouble seeing each other’s point of view. Lilo was treated differently by the neighborhood kids. Nani had the responsibility of child rearing suddenly thrust onto her shoulders. Trying your hardest over and over again with little or no success can be incredibly frustrating. Everyone needs help at times. Nani learned that by allowing others to help her, rather than trying bravely to shoulder all of the burdens, things had a better chance of working out.
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Pleakley: Oh great! He’s loose!
Jumba: His destructive programming is taking effect. He will be irresistibly drawn to large cities, where he will back up sewers, reverse street signs, and steal everyone’s left shoe.
Lilo: (Nani is taking Stitch outside with intentions of returning him to the animal rescue) He was an orphan and we adopted him! What about “ohana”?
Nani: He hasn’t been here that long!
Lilo: Neither have I. Dad said “ohana” means family.
Lilo: “Ohana” means family. Family means…
Lilo & Nani together:…nobody gets left behind.
Nani:..or forgotten. I know, I know. I hate it when you use “ohana” against me.
David: I may not be a doctor, but I know there’s no better cure for a sour face than a couple of boards and some choice waves. Whatcha think?
Lilo: (as Cobra holds her, she explains the explosion) One of them had a giant eye in the middle of his face.
Nani: (runs to take Lilo) Oh, Lilo.
[Cobra places Lilo in the car and closes the door]
Nani: Please don’t do this.
Mr. Cobra Bubbles: You know I have no choice.
Nani: No! You’re not taking her! I’m the only one who understands her! You take that away; she won’t stand a chance!
Mr. Cobra Bubbles: You’re making this harder than it needs to be.
Nani: But you don’t know what you’re doing! She needs me!
Mr. Cobra Bubbles: (pointing to the exploded house) IS THIS WHAT SHE NEEDS? It seems clear to me that you need her a lot more than she needs you.
Stitch: This is my family. I found it all on my own. It’s little, and broken. But good. Yes, still good.