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Why We Love Lilo & Stitch

August 03, 2018

Lilo & Stitch — Disney Traditions

We all have Disney movies that have a special place in our hearts. Most of us love many Disney films. Their films impact us for different reasons. Sometimes a film reminds of us important moments in our lives or the people were with us when we first watched it. With so many amazing Disney films, it would be hard to pick just one that we love best but the popularity of Lilo & Stitch collectibles – from figurines to vehicle decals – shows how many of us relate to the Lilo & Stitch story. Read on to learn more about how Lilo & Stitch resonates with people of all ages.

Ohana Means Family

The most quoted lines from Lilo & Stitch are “Ohana means family. Family means no one gets left behind.” That touched many people’s hearts. Everyone has faced challenges in their lives. The idea that our families will stick with us, no matter what, is a powerful message.

The movie also helps to teach us that family isn’t only the people we were born related to. We can build our own families through the bonds we form with others. This is can be a great comfort to those of us who don’t have many family members to turn to. It gives credit to our friendships and other relationships that have an enormous impact on our lives.

Part of this ohana message is an understanding that sometimes members of our family leave but they are still part of the family and will be welcomed back. Some of us need that space to learn and explore on our own. Knowing that our family will always be there for us can help give us the strength to become better people and follow our dreams.

Not a Princess

We love princesses and princes! We will be captivated forever by royalty and the glamour and excitement of the clothes, castles, and pageantry. At the same time, we are very aware of our ordinary lives. Lilo & Stitch was different in it features a family living a routine life and facing normal challenges that suddenly has encounters with the extraordinary.

Lilo & Stitch deals with the difficulty of everyday life. Trying to get and keep a job. The struggle of an orphaned child who is struggling with the new dynamics in her life. There is no wealthy prince waiting to save her but together, as a family, they find solutions that work. We get to appreciate the wonders of quality time spent together. A day at the beach with the people you love can be as magical as day spent in a palace.

Although younger than most Disney stars, Lilo has no shortage of personality and spunk. She shows us that one of the best ways to deal with loss and trauma is to give back to others. She shows Stitch love and kindness and eventually she receives it in return. Her willingness to share the things she loves like Elvis music help endear us to her. We can also relate to her strong personality. This is no wallflower. Lilo hulas to the beat of her own drum and that is a good thing.

Being Different

Stitch is different. Probably most of us have had times in our lives when we felt like we didn’t fit in. It can be painful wondering if we’ll be accepted. Like Stitch, struggling to find our way in the world can be difficult. He also faced the added challenge of negative expectations. This is a problem for many children who can be tainted by a public perception that they are troublemakers, bullies, or not as capable as other kids.

The expectations of those around us can have a huge impact on how we feel about ourselves. We can get caught up in living up to those perceptions (or trying to live them down) instead of discovering who we truly are and what we can do. Lilo & Stitch teach us how having one or two people who believe in us can make an enormous difference. By making us part of the family, they are willing to accept us in spite of our faults and mistakes while continuing to encourage us to improve.

In Lilo & Stitch we learn that the traits that make us different are things to celebrate. Rather than hiding our abilities to fit in, we should make the most of our strengths in order to give back to the people and community we love. There can be so much pressure to fit in and have the same lifestyle and interests as everyone else, it is wonderful to realize that it is fine to be yourself. Surround yourself with people who appreciate what makes you special and who encourage you to grow and thrive.


Life doesn’t always go smoothly. We are likely to be confronted by many challenges throughout our lives. Finding the patience to deal with obstacles can be the biggest secret to leading a happy life. We can appreciate our sorrows and losses while still celebrating the good parts of our lives. That could be as simple as a song that makes us happy or a complicated as adding a new member to your family or saving the planet from creatures from space. Regardless of what we face, having patience and a sense of humour can make anything easier to overcome.

Lilo and Stitch see that accomplishments take work and effort. Success might not come immediately but continuing to put in the effort will pay off. Patience is important as is being open to possibilities. We learn and grow and our goals and expectations should grow with us. Everyone tries and fails sometimes. The important thing is to have the patience and dedication to keep on trying. That hard work will pay off eventually and along the way, there will be many opportunities to learn.

Family Is What You Make It

We are born with relatives. From there, life takes its own twists and turns. While we tend to think of family as a constant, it really isn’t. Throughout our lives people will pass in and out of our families. We can embrace that in order to make the most of the opportunities to love and live or we can fight it. In Lilo & Stitch we understand how the pain of their loss can make it difficult to accept help and allow more people to become a part of their lives.

Lilo & Stitch shows us how important it is to be willing to open our hearts. Rather than pushing others away to avoid suffering more potential pain and loss, we can gain so much by learning to accept help. Gathering together people who care about us is the ideal way to improve our lives while offering ourselves more chances to give back.

The Characters

Obviously, when it comes down to it, we love Lilo & Stitch because they’re loveable. The mix of characters, the high-quality animation, and the hints into Hawaiian culture make this a film we want to watch again and again. We can all relate with Nani’s struggles to take care of her sister while balancing a job and other day-to-day concerns. We feel for the loss the family has suffered and cheer for their triumphs. From the aliens to the residents of Kauai, we find plenty of people who make us laugh or remind us of people we’ve known.  

The Setting

Disney has created gorgeous animation to transport us to mysterious kingdoms and to playful scenes under the sea. Kauai is wonderful in person but Disney did a particularly outstanding job bringing the colours, nature, and people to life. We felt like we were part of them catching a wave and exploring lush tropical forests. We could almost smell the buffet and cake at the luau. The movie manages to capture the look and feel of the islands while making each scene feel unique. That made us want to continue to explore not just the lives of Lilo and her family but also her island home. By the end of the film we all feel like we’re a part of Lilo’s ohana. Even though the movie gave us a happy ending, it never seemed like the end. We know Lilo and the rest of her ohana are continuing to have fun and adventures, well beyond the end of the film.