The Stitch Day Thread Crashes Disney Movies

Lilo & Stitch opened on this day 20 years ago. The film was a huge critical and commercial success, something Disney very much needed after their ambitious Atlantis: The Lost Empire had underperformed at the box office the year prior.

This was due at least in part to what I can only describe as a brilliant marketing campaign. You see, Disney sensed they had something special with Lilo & Stitch and wanted to ensure it would be a hit for them, as they saw Stitch as someone they could turn into their new breakout star. But how to sell him? Lilo & Stitch has a plot which sounds stupid when you first read about it–an alien fugitive crash-lands on earth and a child befriends them? That sounds like an “edgy” knock-off of E.T. on paper! Of course, Lilo & Stitch is actually a very sweet movie, but at a time when Shrek was raking in a ton of green by making fun of Disney, the Mouse House decided to try the same strategy…by lampooning themselves.

I don’t know who had the idea of selling Stitch as something of an “anti-Disney character” by having him “crash” various animated classics, but I hope that person is living well now. Seriously, watching Stitch “ruin” Beauty & the Beast on the big screen when this trailer was shown before Snow Dogs was an absolute hoot for me (and, yes, I saw Snow Dogs in theaters. I’m not sorry)…

This was one of four such teasers. In one, he invaded Ariel’s song. In another, he took Simba’s place during The Circle of Life in The Lion King. But my favorite by far was the one in which he stole Jasmine away from Aladdin, which had me laughing really hard when it was attached to Return to Never Land earlier that year…

Seriously, I loved this so much that I actually starting shipping Stitch with Jasmine! Is that messed up? It’s possible it’s messed up. You know that cancelled movie The Search for Mickey Mouse? It was going to be an animated feature from Disney that was going to have Basil of Baker Street from The Great Mouse Detective solving the greatest mystery ever when Mickey Mouse goes missing, teaming up with several other Disney characters in the process. So it was sort of going to be like that Rescue Rangers film, in that all of the members of the Disney gang would exist in society together. Anyway, I imagined a running gag in that film where Jasmine would keep flirting with Stitch. Like, I dunno, Jasmine works at a drive-thru, and then Stitch shows up at her window, and she goes “Stitchy-Witchy!” and floods him with kisses off-screen. It was…funny and cute in my head at least.

Anyway, have a Stitch-tastic day, everyone! Will you get more Lilo & Stitch tonight? Yeah, probably.