Lilo & Stitch
June 21, 2002
It wouldn't be summer blockbuster season without an animated family film from Disney.
For 2002, they offer Lilo and Stitch. Lilo is a young orphaned girl who is cared for by her older sister, Nani (voiced by Tia Carrere). They live in Hawaii, and Lilo loves all kinds of animals.
Another galaxy away, Stitch is an alien creature created to be the ultimate weapon in the universe. Alien authorities capture him and his creator, Jumba, and sentence them to prison on a penal planet for violent creatures. En route to their prison, Stitch escapes and lands on Earth, where he meets Lilo.
Internet reports of early test screenings have been positive. Disney began releasing a series of teaser trailers in January, 2002. They feature Stitch crashing in on some other classic Disney films.
The first featured Stitch dropping in, literally, on Beauty and the Beast as they waltz across the ballroom floor. Stitch causes the chandelier to fall from the ceiling and as the glass settles, Belle scolds Stitch, telling him, "Get your own movie!"
In the second trailer Stitch buzzes in on Aladdin, stealing Princess Jasmine away and leaving Aladdin choking on an exhaust cloud. Both teasers effectively and surprisingly utilize AC/DC's "Back in Black" as Stitch's theme music. Whoever thought that Angus Young and Disney would be two subjects you could use together in a sentence?
With two more teasers to come, an adorable-yet-dangerous creature, and a cute and lovable leading lady, Lilo and Stitch would seem to have all the ingredients for another hit for Disney animation.
Past performance of summer Disney films include Atlantis: The Lost Empire with $84.04 million domestically; Mulan, with $120.62 million domestically; and Pocahontas, with $141.58 million domestically. The early positive buzz indicates that Lilo and Stitch could be more entertaining than its less warmly-received siblings.
Disney executives are more likely eyeing the higher marks set by Tarzan ($170.82 million domestically) and The Lion King ($312.78 million domestically) when estimating what their newest creation will earn at the box office. (Matt Kinney/BOP)
June 16, 2002
The Disney marketing machine has switched into overdrive as Lilo and Stitch’s official opening day approaches. Not only have they aired additional teasers and trailers that give greater insight into the actual story behind the film, but the studio has also partnered with McDonald’s and you can see Stitch in your Happy Meals and on the paper cup holding your large Coke. Just this evening, as Toy Story was running on ABC’s Wonderful World of Disney, Lilo and Stitch were totally the focus during commercial breaks, with special commercials and promotions being touted. Stitch is a perfect character from a marketing standpoint, as he is cuddly but naughty, dangerous yet adorable. The trailers get a tremendous reaction in theaters and the recognition factor for the character is extremely high.
The Lion King is Disney’s largest traditionally animated film opening ever, and they certainly look to be aiming to match or exceed that mark with this unique new offering. With family films being the hottest ticket in the business at the moment, Stitch appears poised to steal the hearts of the movie-going public - along with the money from their wallets. (Kim Hollis/BOP)
Comparison films for Lilo & Stitch
|Lion King, The
|Hunchback of Notre Dame
|Atlantis: The Lost Empire