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Lilo and Stitch

Movie review by
Nell Minow, Common Sense Media
Lilo and Stitch Movie Poster Image
Cute story, great characters, fabulous soundtrack.
  • PG
  • 2002
  • 85 minutes
Popular with kids

Parents say

age 6+
Based on 39 reviews

Kids say

age 5+
Based on 45 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Educational Value

The movie is intended to entertain rather than educate, but there are nice take-aways about the importance of family and friends.

Positive Messages

Family ties can be formed under the most strained and difficult situations and can unite even angry, desperate, and otherwise abandoned people (and creatures). A close, loving family is a source of great strength, and caring about others is a way to experience true happiness.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Female characters are portrayed as strong and resilient ... as well as capable of great mischief. A non-traditional family unit proves to be safe, secure, and loving. Key characters, including Lilo, learn to channel aggression and anger in productive ways. The characters are diverse.

Violence & Scariness

Lots of non-lethal cartoon action. On a distant planet, aliens/monsters are always ready to do battle: There are explosions, falls, armed conflict in space, shooting with lasers, stabbing with a needle, creatures held in glass cages, and the capture and imprisonment of a little girl. While on Earth, a child punches and bites a classmate, a house blows up and falls apart, there’s gunfire, characters are dragged underwater, and there are frequent appearances by a destructive, perverse little monster with gnashing teeth and vicious behavior. The main characters' parents died in a car accident (a fact that is referenced once).

Sexy Stuff

"Butt" is used.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that some elements of this movie's cartoon action (including laser battles, gunfire, characters being captured and held hostage, and explosions) -- as well as the more bizarre-looking monsters -- could be scary for young children and justify the PG rating. Stitch, a small but powerful intergalactic creature, is destructive and angry; he bares his sharp teeth and angry attitude frequently throughout, causing chaos and mayhem wherever he goes. As in many Disney stories, Lilo and her sister Nani are orphans, though the circumstance of their parents' death is referenced only once. In a break from Disney tradition, there are no unredeemable villains; everyone ultimately learns important life lessons, including the heroes, who are far from perfect when the movie begins.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 5, 13, and 18+ year old Written byjenaula September 1, 2010

Not for 5+

I do not agree that this is appropriate for 5+. For example, Lilo asks a special agent "have you killed someone before?" Also, language includes mor... Continue reading
Adult Written bysagorsch April 9, 2008

Desensitize Fear

This movie is so scary and violent. My husband and I previewed this for our kids and will not allow our children to watch. Stitch this cute character is very vi... Continue reading
Kid, 12 years old March 14, 2010
I don't know what disney would have done without stitch! He is awsome and so are the movies!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Kid, 10 years old July 27, 2010

great nice movie for kids

watched the tv sereis and the 4 movies

What's the story?

LILO & STITCH opens on a far-away planet with all kinds of monstrous-looking creatures. One of them, a scientist, has been experimenting with genetics, and has created an indestructible destruction machine called 626 in the form of a mischievous-looking little blue guy. The scientist is thrown in jail, but the experiment escapes and races off to a planet they refer to as "E-Arth." So, the scientist and an expert on Earth are sent after him to capture him with a minimum of fuss. 626 lands in Hawaii and disguises himself as a dog. He is adopted by a tiny little girl named Lilo who is grieving the loss of her parents. She names him Stitch and teaches him that even a creature designed to destroy can learn to create.

Is it any good?

Lilo & Stitch has a cute story, endearing characters, a sensational soundtrack of Elvis classics, and glorious hand-painted animation. At its heart, it's just an old-fashioned story of a child and a pet. But this is not the usual movie child and it is definitely not the usual pet. The Hawaiian location and gorgeous visuals give it a fresh feeling. Instead of the usual wasp-waisted Disney heroine, there's attractive but believable-looking Nani, Lilo's sister, who is struggling to grow up quickly so that she can care for Lilo the way her parents did.

Lilo is irresistibly adorable and her relationship with her sister is a believable mixture of affection, resentment, and connection. Both are deeply affected by the loss of their parents and torn between fearing another loss and just wanting to get it over with. Ving Rhames adds just the right note of wry authority to his role as the social worker with a surprising past, and Jason Scott Lee is fine as the friend who would like to be more.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about Lilo's definition of a family: "No one gets left behind." What does family mean to you?

  • Is this movie scarier than other Disney movies (or other cartoon movies in general)? Why or why not?

  • Why didn't Stitch stay the destructive monster he was designed to be? Did anything surprise you in the scenes at the end that showed what happened to Lilo and Stitch and Nani?

Movie details

Themes & Topics

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