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Lilo and Stitch: An Analysis of Religious and Moral Themes

Welcome to "Lilo and Stitch: An Analysis of Religious and Moral Themes". The popular Walt Disney Pictures full-length animated film "Lilo and Stitch", released in 2002, is perhaps one of the most atypical of Disney's productions, in that it explores many territories previously untouched by the company in its long history of children's entertainment. It is the first to present a main character who is a space alien, and the first full length animated film set in Hawaii. It is also the first Disney feature animation since "Dumbo"(1941) to use backgrounds that were watercolour-painted, a feature included to give the film a warmer, more traditional look.
However, these new, or renewed, steps taken by Disney pale in comparison to the religious and moral factors which permeate the film. Traditionally the Disney Company has told stories which focus on directly good versus evil conflict, strong traditional family roles, and the personal growth and discovery of teenage "princesses" or "princes". "Lilo and Stitch" possesses none of these elements, and many people I have spoken with only scarcely consider "Lilo and Stitch" to be a "true" Disney movie at all. Finding authoritative research material on this movie has been exceedingly difficult, limited only to various online reviews. It is this departure from the conventional essentials of Disney storytelling that, to me, makes this film so interesting. It is the purpose of this web page to analyze and discuss the ways in which "Lilo and Stitch" removes itself from Disney's religious and moral "safe ground", with particular focus on the characters themselves, and the various ways they forge new lines into the Disney worldview.

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Disclaimer: Please keep in mind as you read this web page, the writer has been raised in a Christian environment, and thereby finds comparisons most easily within that framework. There are certainly parallels or opinions within "Lilo and Stitch" which may apply equally or moreso to other religious beliefs, however I am not aware of them, nor do I have the required background to make such comparisons. As stated, authoritative publications regarding this film are in short supply, from Christian or any other viewpoint. I have made use of what I can, and put forth this resource. I heartily invite others to do the same.



"Lilo and Stitch", the other Disney films mentioned, and all characters and events therein are property of Disney Inc., and are being used here merely for the purposes of educational review and analysis.