Ascended Fanon: Leroy from Leroy & Stitch wasn't given a number in the film. However, he is called Experiment 629 by fans and wikis. Although some commercials that aired before his debut and some Japanese and Disneyland Paris merchandise number him 628, most fans rejected that as there was already an Experiment 628, who was seen in pod form at the end of 627's episode. 628 was never activated, and Leroy was never officially numbered by Jumba in the film. (Jumba tried to number him 627, but Gantu reminded him that he already made Experiment 627.) In June 2020, a volume of the web manga Tono & Stitch released through the Japanese version of Disney Tsum Tsumdesignated him as Experiment 629◊, finally ending years of that number being fanon for him.
People believe that, due to Stitch's broken English, he said in his little speech about his family, "Is little, and broken, but still good." In actuality, he actually said the more grammatically correct "It's" in that sentence, not "Is".
Cash Cow Franchise: The franchise's owners aside, the success of the original film and the huge popularity of Stitch has lead to Lilo & Stitch becoming the only major DAC-based cash cow from the Experimental Era of the 2000s. Its success is even greater going eastward from the U.S.
Tia Carrere and Jason Scott Lee, who play Nani and David, respectively, are both native Hawaiians and were often approached for advice on how to make their dialogue sound more authentically Hawaiian.
Kunewa Mook, who plays kumu hula Moses Puloki, is a kumu hula in real life and helped the animators to make sure that the hula performed in the film was authentic.
Children Voicing Children: In the Western continuity, all the young human characters were voiced by child actors. Averted with the EastAsian shows, which (quite obviously, especially in the English versions) had adults voicing children.
In scene in the final film, Jumba received an interesting Art Shift, having a much bigger and rounder head.
This bedtime story scene was cut because it confused test audiences into thinking Nani was Lilo's mother rather than sister.
This infamous deleted scene shows Lilo being attacked by seagulls as she tries to show Pudge the fish to Stitch, who was still a Jerkass then and simply watches the scene in amusement. When Pudge dies from asphyxiation and presumably being pecked by seagulls, Lilo gets mad at Stitch for letting Pudge die and takes the fish to bury him next to her parents' graves, leading to Stitch having a Heel Realization moment. Although the scene was fully voiced, it thankfully never got past storyboards and was cut for its dark tone. (That also means that Pudge stays alive in the franchise's canon, later appearing in Lilo & Stitch: The Series.)
Doing It for the Art: This is one of the only Disney films since the company's heyday that can truly be called "experimental": complete creative control was given to a small team, who designed the entire production and characters to resemble of one employee's personal drawing style. It was also the first since Dumbo to use watercolored backgrounds (that's right, the first one in over 60 years). The result is something intimate and completely distinct.
Dueling Movies: With Men in Black II, which also dealt with aliens with rules and featured the OTHER King, Michael Jackson. Disney won. It also went up against (and had a better fight with) the live-action Scooby-Doo movie. It also debuted on the same day as another sci-fi film, Minority Report, with which it had a close battle on opening weekend in the domestic box office. (Minority Report earned less than $500,000 more money, but Lilo & Stitch sold more tickets because many of the attendees were children, who pay lower ticket prices.)
One minor instance of this during the development of the film was that Stitch's experiment number was originally supposed to be "666", but Disney told Sanders to change it, so he changed the tens digit to 2. In hindsight, this isn't a bad thing, considering that the number 626 has become practically synonymous with Stitch (the only other notable instance being an unremarkable mid-size car from Mazda).
In North America, the franchise peaked somewhere around Stages 3 or 4, but Disney's aforementioned Executive Meddling of the whole franchise caused it to lose all momentum and become a strange hybrid of all three Stage 6 scenarios, if only because it's still a reasonably successful Disney-owned franchise. Most Americans today seem to only vaguely remember Stitch and the ʻohanamotto (and, oddly, Scrump, if Disney's merchandising push for it counts for anything), and don't recall any of the sequel films, series, or most of the other characters besides maybe the other title character. The experiments even lost their Wikipedia article in 2016 since there were very few Western fans left on The Other Wiki to defend it.note Compare the former article's first deletion nomination in 2006 to its fourth and final nomination in 2016. Tellingly, Disney's last major push for the franchise over there, the airing of the Stitch! anime's English dub in 2011 (which first debuted in Australia in 2009), ended in disaster with them pulling the anime off the air after only five episodes in less than a week due to supposed fandom backlash.
However, Stitch still has enough popularity in The New '10s to at least have been voted into Disney Infinity (starting with that series's second game) and Disney Heroes: Battle Mode, and still gets a regular flow of merchandise. Plus, Disney has been pushing more merchandise of Angel in the States, hosted a fan art contest with BoxLunch (Hot Topic) in 2018, a Live-Action Adaptation is reported to be in the works, Stitch & Ai had a surprise U.S. release in December 2018 (although that one didn't pan out and was later removed from legal U.S. viewing in June 2019), the Disney Parks' Lilo & Stitch costumed characters other than the titular duo finally began making a few appearances at Walt Disney World (albeit only for private or restricted events), and all four films and all sixty-five episodes of Lilo & Stitch: The Series were made available on Disney+ at launch. Whether this leads to the franchise coming back to some prominence in the West (especially the States) remains to be seen.
It's a little better going eastward with the franchise having a slightly bigger presence in Europe (not only did the anime's English and other language dubs air in full there, one can go see Stitch Live!, a.k.a. Stitch Encounter, in Disneyland Paris and possibly even see Jumba, Pleakley, and some of the other experiments over there during special events), while in East Asia, especially Japan, the franchise has near-mainstream popularity, considering the existence of the aforementioned anime and China's Stitch & Ai, Tokyo Disneyland having Stitch Encounternote which is also in Shanghai Disneyland and was also in Hong Kong Disneyland where it originated and their own exclusive Stitch-themed version of The Enchanted Tiki Room, their version of Fantasmic! having a Lilo & Stitch segment with Angel making an appearance, having more Lilo & Stitch characters available for regular meet-and-greets, and of course a crapton more Stitch merchandise being sold over there.
This is stretching the trivia term quite a bit, but some fans add Lilo's surname (Pelekai) to Stitch's name to signify the closeness he has with his ʻohana and to portray him as being more like a brother to Lilo and Nani instead of just a pet like he's legally adopted as. (Mind you that the franchise already portrays him as a brother figure to the Pelekai sisters through his interactions with them, primarily Lilo.) Even fewer fans surname some of the other experiments "Jookiba" after their creator (sometimes giving Stitch this surname as well).
Girl Stitch/Pink Stitch: Experiment 624/Angel, being a pink, female experiment who bears a strong feminine resemblance to Stitch and is his love interest. This is more used by those who are not as aware of (or do not like) the character or the showsshe appears in.
Franchise Zombie: After 2006, the franchise has continued without any involvement from Chris Sandersnote Well, outside of voice work for certain Disney crossover material. He left The Walt Disney Company some time after Leroy & Stitch's release. It should also be noted that he really only worked on the original film and just did voice work in the sequel films and Lilo & Stitch: The Series, and the show supposedly also made use of Stitch's then-official soundalike Michael Yingling for a few episodes, also doing the initial voicework of most of season two before Sanders recorded over them in ADR. and without Lilo Pelekai as a lead character. Even in promotional material and merchandising does Lilo get little representation today, with Scrump—her rag doll—frequently appearing alongside Stitch instead of her. This has gotten to the point where Stitch has received a Disney-approved manga in Japan where he ends up in feudal Japan befriending an adult male Japanese warlord.
God Does Not Own This World: Despite being the creator, Chris Sanders was only creatively involved with the original film. Everything else that involved him was just voice work for Stitch plus a couple one-shot characters. Jess Winfield of the franchise's TV showsnote executive producer and writer of Lilo & Stitch: The Series plus its pilot and finale films, and the voice of Dr. Jumba Jookiba since 2009 would arguably be the franchise's curator, but even he doesn't have a full say over things.
Image Source: The original film provides the page image for:
Walt Disney Home Video inverted this from 2004-2009, when they sold a 2-Disc Lilo & Stitch DVD in Europe and Australia, but not the U.S. While they did originally announce that America would also get it in 2004, the date got repeatedly pushed back, until it ended up reaching stores the same day Bolt* originally written and co-directed by L&S creator Chris Sanders, but he got replaced during production came to DVD.
Disney Stitch Jam's sequel was only released in Japan, since the first game received little attention when it was released internationally.
There was a Chinese iOS virtual card game that featured Stitch and the other experiments in cosplay, but it was only released in China, sadly.
Orphaned Reference: Lilo taking and adorning her wall with photos of sunbathers might come off as just one of her quirks, but it was originally intended to be her way of dealing with racist white tourists, who would regularly stop her and ask if she was "going to do a hula dance" for them. This (understandably) made her feel like a caged animal, and the photos were her way of doing it right back to them.
Ben Diskin has been the English voice of Stitch in animated works after Chris Sanders left The Walt Disney Company in 2007, playing the role in the Stitch! anime and Stitch & Ai. Likewise, Lilo & Stitch: The Series executive producer and screenwriter Jess Winfield has taken over the role of Jumba Jookiba in those two East Asian shows, replacing David Ogden Stiers (who would pass away on March 3, 2018). However, Sanders reprised his role as the voice of Stitch in other Disney works since the original parts of the Lilo & Stitch franchise ended in 2006, and Stiers also reprised his role of Jumba one last time in Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep.
Quote Source: The original film provides the page quote for:
Sending Stuff to Save the Show: A rather long-running one in the form of Save Lilo & Stitch, which has been around since 2004 (when it was believed at the time that The Series would end after its first season). It's little,note The dedicated core fanbase today is not that big.and brokennote Combined with what's written over on our YMMV page, the fanbase cannot agree on how Disney should continue the franchise.—not to mention their main site and Tumblr blog are in dire need of a major update and redesignnote Not only does the website have an old Web 1.0 look, they apparently still want to revive Lilo & Stitch: The Series—a show that ended over a decade ago—with a third season to go past 65 episodes.—but its intentions of helping keep the franchise alive in some form are still good.note Yeah. Still good.
Serendipity Writes the Plot: As mentioned above, the original climax had to be hastily re-animated due to the scene's resemblance to the then-recent September 11th attacks. Fortunately, the filmmakers realized that they never showed how Jumba and Pleakley arrived on Earth, and had the 747 remodeled into their spaceship and buildings into mountains.
Despite the film trying its very best to avoid being dated by this trope, Lilo & Stitch is still clearly dated to the early 2000s by the facts that the tourists are using film cameras and Cobra uses a flip cell phone. Today's tourists would be using smartphones and tablets to take snapshots, and even CIA agents would be using smartphones themselves.
The design of Pleakley's communicator is also affected by this trope; while the device's touch screen and live video chatting capabilities are certainly ahead of its time when the film was made,note and the facts that its camera is embedded into the screen, it can make intergalactic calls from anywhere, and it is completely waterproof are still certainly impressive those features are now standard on today's Earth smartphones. Not only that, but it has a thick casing and bezelnote whereas today's smartphones have been making them increasingly thinner and the antennae on the device has to be pulled out in order to use it.note Even flip phones released before the 2000s decade ended dropped the need to do this, and phone antennae are now completely embedded inside the casing. And as for the round body... well, the Microsoft Kin ONEnote a very short-lived feature phone with a squircle body released in 2010 says, "Hi!"
Humorously inverted with Lilo's use of vinyl records; at the time of the film's release, vinyl was dying out in favor of CDs and digital media, and Lilo's preference for records is supposed to be a sign of how out of touch she is with kids her age. By The New '10s, while digital media still stands strong, CDs were dying out and vinyl records saw a major resurgence, which today makes Lilo ahead of the curve when it comes to music.
Unisex Series, Gendered Merchandise: An interesting case where the gender focus in merchandising shifted over time. While the film and the franchise always held a unisex appeal, much of the merchandise and some of the marketing during much of the franchise's heyday focused more on young boys, with Disney believing that Stitch's mischievous and sometime crude behavior and sci-fi aspects appealed more to that demographic. This led to such merchandise as "Stitch boogers" being sold at Walt Disney World. Unfortunately, this backfired, as older Disney fans were turned off by this focus on his negative traits while boys didn't seem to care much. In the years since the end of the main continuity in 2006, most of the franchise's merch now target the female demographic, with Disney emphasizing Stitch's cuteness more, the pink, female, Stitch-like experiment Angel managing to receive merchandise years after her two shows ended (and even after the anime where she is more prominent failed in the U.S.), and the increasing prominence of Lilo's rag doll Scrump to the point that Disney now pairs the doll up with Stitch frequently (despite him never really caring about the doll in either the original film or the sequel material).
Chris Sanders' original pitch involved Stitch living alone in a forest in the Midwest and having the ability to imitate nature sounds, as the weather was the only thing that didn't run away from him in terror. Then-president of Walt Disney Feature Animation Thomas Schumacher suggested putting Stitch among humans, as the forest would already be "alien" for most viewers.
Early in development, the social worker was planned to be a slim Caucasian man with glasses before it was decided he should be a threatening-looking former CIA agent.
The original pitch involved an alien being discovered in the woods in Kansas the story would've focused on woodland creatures not wanting to interact with the alien.
Director's commentary on the DVD gives some insight about previous drafts of the movie.
Jumba was originally envisioned as a bounty hunter hired to hunt down Stitch. After the writers realised that he needed to be an expert on Stitch, they changed this to an ex-member of Stitch's gang who had been in prison for years after being left behind after a bank robbery, and much like in the finished movie he was promised his freedom in exchange for hunting down Stitch.
The version of the story where Jumba was a gang member, Stitch was revealed in the end to actually be a 35-year-old gangster, and had three other gang members attempting to find him. After a test screening, this gang was removed because they were deemed to be extraneous and make the story hard to follow, and Roy Disney was disappointed when he found out that cute, babylike Stitch was actually an adult gang leader.
Gantu was originally just a minor character piloting the prison ship Stitch was being transported on. After Stitch was changed from a gang leader to a bio-weapon, he received the more prominent antagonist role he has in the finished product.
In one version of the film, the scene where Stitch throws a book at Cobra Bubbles would be followed with Cobra throwing books from his briefcase back at a fleeing Stitch. Nani was later going to clean up these books and see that they had titles like Life After the CIA: What to Do with All That Time to Kill and Finding the Gentler Side of You.
In the scene where Stitch first comes to Lilo's room, Nani was originally going to come in when she heard them fighting and see that Stitch had bit Lilo. This was cut for being too dark.
The scene where Stitch gives a performance dressed as Elvis on the beach originally had Lilo making a deal with David that if she could clear the beach of tourists so he could surf by himself, he'd ask Nani out. She would accomplish this by telling people that the tsunami warning siren going off meant a tsunami was on its way, right before the siren had its monthly test.
The Wiki Rule: A few on Fandom, but the most prominent is Lilo & Stitch Wiki (formerly known as Stitchipedia). However, the reliability of that wiki had been questionable at best for several years as it had a gluttony of information made up by fans (especially of unseen experiments) and needed a serious clean up. Not only that, most of the more reliable information (and, unfortunately, some of the fan-made ones) found over there can be found on The Disney Wiki anyway. The current administration eventually (with some prodding by other users) got around to taking care of the cruft, first by removing the (mostly bad) fan art and fan tracings of experiments both seen and unseen in 2018, then finally deleting all the articles for the unseen experiments and removing much of the fanon stuff from their experiments list the following year. It still needs some Wiki Magic as some fanon cruft remains and there are still a number of articles missing or underdeveloped (most notably relating to the anime and the Chinese series), but it's a start.