Lilo & Stitch is a 2002 American science-fiction comedy-drama film directed by Chris Sanders and Dean DeBlois. It is the 42nd film in the Walt Disney Animated Classics series, and was produced by Walt Disney Animation Studios and distributed by Walt Disney Pictures. The film was released on June 21, 2002.
Dr. Jumba Jookiba is put on trial and imprisoned for illegal experimentation, the evidence of this being Experiment 626, a nearly indestructible creature. While being transported to a desert asteroid by Captain Gantu, 626 escapes his confinement and hijacks a police cruiser, landing on a Hawaii island on the planet Earth. There, 626 is knocked unconscious and taken to an animal shelter, mistaken for a breed of dog. The Grand Councilwoman orders Jumba to recover 626, accompanied by Agent Pleakley.
After the recent death of their parents, Nani Pelekai is forced to look after her younger sister Lilo. A social worker, Cobra Bubbles, considers putting Lilo in foster care, believing Nani may not be suitable to look after Lilo. Realizing that Lilo yearns for a friend due to being a social pariah amongst the local children, Nani allows her to adopt a pet dog. While visiting the animal shelter, Lilo takes a keen interest in 626 and adopts him, naming him Stitch. Lilo shows Stitch around the island, but the two are confronted by a group of Lilo's classmates, who mock them. Stitch attempts to flee the island, but finds that escape is impossible and suffers a nervous breakdown.
After Nani is fired from her job, she attempts to find a new one, being forced to bring Lilo and Stitch along with her. At the same time, Jumba and Pleakley attempt to capture Stitch, but he repeatedly outwits them. However, his antics prevent Nani from finding a job. While attempting to try out as a lifeguard, Nani is convinced by her friend David Kawena to go surfing. As Nani, Lilo, and Stitch surf at the beach, Jumba makes another attempt to retrieve Stitch. In the process, Stitch appears to try and drown Lilo, though they manage to get to the shore safely. However, the incident convinces Cobra Bubbles that Nani is unfit as a parent and informs her that he will be taking Lilo away.
The next morning, David informs Nani of a new job offer. As Nani leaves to secure the job, Jumba confronts Stitch and informs him that his only purpose is to destroy, and as a result he can never have a family. Stitch retreats back into Lilo's house, pursued by Jumba. In the chaos, Lilo phones Cobra for help. Cobra and Nani arrive, but fail to prevent the house from being destroyed as a result of Stitch and Jumba's battle. Cobra attempts to take Lilo away, but she flees into the forest and finds Stitch, who reveals his true identity to her. Captain Gantu, who had been sent to capture Stitch, arrives and abducts him and Lilo before jettisoning off the island.
Stitch manages to escape his container and encounters Nani, who realizes that he is an alien. Jumba and Pleakley, upon learning of Lilo's capture, offer to help retrieve her. Stitch sets off in Jumba's ship and launches himself into Gantu's ship. Stitch battles Gantu and manages to subdue him, destroying his ship and freeing Lilo. After returning to the island, they discover that the Grand Councilwoman had arrived to retrieve Stitch herself. However, upon discovering that Stitch has developed compassion, the Councilwoman agrees to let him stay with the Pelekai family. The Councilwoman orders Cobra, who had previously encountered her, to survey the family.
The Councilwoman retires Gantu of his job before they depart from the island, exiling Jumba and Pleakley on the island. Afterwards, Stitch, Jumba, and Pleakley are integrated the Pelekai family, rebuilding their house as well.
- Daveigh Chase as Lilo Pelekai.
- Chris Sanders as Stitch.
- Tia Carrere as Nani Pelekai.
- David Ogden Stiers as Dr. Jumba Jookiba.
- Kevin McDonald as Agent Pleakley.
- Ving Rhames as Cobra Bubbles.
- Zoe Caldwell as Grand Councilwoman.
- Jason Scott Lee as David Kawena.
- Kevin Michael Richardson as Captain Gantu.
- Susan Hegarty as Rescue Lady.
- Amy Hill as Mrs. Hasagawa.