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Monstrosity? What you see before you is the first of a new species. I call it Experiment 626. He is fire-proof, bullet-proof, and can think faster than super computer. He can see in the dark, and lift objects three thousand times his size. His only instinct... to destroy everything he touches! Ha ha ha ha
―Jumba
Stitch OfficialDisney

Background

Development

PreStitch

Chris Sanders' original drawing of Stitch from 1985.

Experiment 626 (better known as Stitch) is an alien created by Dr. Jumba Jookiba and the main protagonist of Disney's 2002 animated feature film Lilo & Stitch, it's 2003-06 sequels and television series. He is voiced by Chris Sanders, while his growling is provided by Frank Welker. Chris Sanders first created the character of Stitch in 1985 for a planned children's book that never came to be. Years later, in 1997, when production on Mulan was wrapping up, he had the opportunity to pitch a film version of his planned story, beginning the development of the film. In early drafts, Stitch would have landed in Kansas (the setting was changed to Hawaii as a result of the greater isolation from large cities the islands would provide as well as the islands being one of Chris Sanders' favorite places) and the character himself was an intergalactic gangster rather than a recently-created genetic monster. In these early drafts, his gang (including ex-gang member Jumba) would be the ones hired by the Galactic Federation to hunt him down.

Personality

626 was designed to be a monster, but now he has nothing to destroy. You see, I never gave him a greater purpose. What must it be like to have nothing, not even memories to look back on in the middle of the night? 
―Jumba giving an example on the instinct of Stitch

Throughout the course of the entire Lilo and Stitch franchise, Stitch is depicted as a character that is unlikable to many people except Lilo (on rare occasions, even she falls out with him, most notably in Lilo and Stitch 2, where she cries out at him that he is "bad and always will be bad!"), due to his destructive and temperamental behavior. It is interesting to note that people who are averse to Stitch (such as Mertle Edmonds and Dr. Hamsterviel) describe him as "ugly and deformed," while those who do love him (like Lilo, Nani and Jumba) describe him as "cute and fluffy." This reflects the basic idea behind Stitch and also his cousins: they do not correspond to many established criteria of good physical appearance, having an extra pair of arms, misshapen heads or other odd features.

When Stitch is in his "evil" form (which is his true alien form), he is undeniably worrying as his somewhat botched physique underlines his at the time twisted behavior; in his "good" form however (the "dog" form that is trademarked and the form that the audience most often sees), Stitch's display of emotion at being rejected for his misbehavior and looks while trying to act good for Lilo are meant to make him seem more adorable to the audience. Despite his surface destructiveness, which does not go away completely even after he has become "good," Stitch is a complex character: according to his creator Jumba, Stitch as a destructive machine was not given a greater purpose in life. Since Stitch is trapped on an island in Hawaii, where there are relatively few things to destroy, he has many occasions to reflect on occupations other than evil. It is implied that Stitch destroys only because that is what he was programmed to do; but since he has a personality of his own (a fact that only Lilo truly understands), he also has the choice, and even the will, not to do so.

Despite having superhuman strength and a high level of computer-intelligence, Stitch is emotionally fragile and has a childlike personality beneath his monsteresque exterior. Lilo believes that one reason why he originally pursued his destructiveness was for reasons similar to her own naughtiness—that it was because he was emotionally scarred (for having been made as a monster by Jumba), but received little or no understanding or sympathy from others. Stitch becomes much more well-meaning after his betterment, but is frequently unable to control all of his impulses to anti-social actions. Fortunately for him, Lilo (and later Reuben and Angel) is always there to support him and he returns her support willingly.

There is a common misconception from viewers that Lilo is dependent on Stitch for protection and support; if anything, it is Stitch who is more dependent on Lilo. Despite her having her own troubles to contend with, Lilo makes every effort to help Stitch in life and, as the story progresses, he becomes more self-conscious and capable of making the right decisions thanks to his friend. At the end of the series, Stitch has friends, family, loved ones and a purpose worth believing in.

Physical Description

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Stitch and a sea turtle, by Geraldine Kovats.

Stitch was designed by his voice actor, Chris Sanders. Stitch is a blue alien genetic creation standing around 3 feet tall. He strongly resembles a koala or a French bulldog and is referred to as a dog throughout much of the franchise. He has sharp teeth within his mouth, along with a long pink tongue. A short tail cuts out from his rear. He has a limited ability to change his physical appearance, as he can retract a second set of arms, his claws, his antennae and the three spines on his back into his body.

  • True form: Four arms, a pair of antennae on his head, and 3 porcupine-like spines on his back.
  • "Dog" form: Two arms, no antennae or spines, and sometimes a red flea collar with a gold name tag.
  • Alien form: Red spacesuit with an upside-down triangle consisting of a red border and yellow center on his chest and each of his sleeves and patches consisting of a dark red border and orange center on each of his legs, black belt with a dark red square buckle, both black collar, cuffs, and anklets.

Abilities

While explaining his creation to the Galactic Council early on in Lilo & Stitch, Dr. Jumba gives the following rundown of Stitch's powers: "He is bulletproof, fireproof, shockproof, and can think faster than [a] super computer. He can see in the dark and can move objects 3,000 times his size. His only instinct - to destroy everything he touches!"

  • Feral Mind (temporarily): In the original Lilo & Stitch movie, Jumba claimed that Stitch's "destructive tendency was taking effect" and that he would be irresistibly drawn to large cities to "back up sewers, reverse street signs and steal everybody's left shoe."
  • Dense Body Tissue: Although we rarely see Stitch shot at with a bullet, he does survive the crash of his spaceship with only a scratch, is only briefly stunned by a fall of several thousand feet and has to be run over by three tractor-trailers in succession to be knocked out.
  • Fireproof Skin: He drives a tanker truck of gasoline into a volcano and ends up only a little singed.
  • Bulletproof Skin: Weapons fired from plasma guns seem to cause him discomfort, although he can hold it in his hands long enough to throw the plasma back at his enemies.
  • Shockproof: He also has some resistance to electricity; he was able to take a electrical attack from Sparky and he quickly recovered from it. However, he can still feel pain from shocking despite his immunity to electricity.
  • Hypercognition: Thinking faster than a super computer is harder to quantify, but he does escape from captivity fairly ingeniously, builds a model of San Francisco after only glancing at a postcard; grabs a crossword puzzle from the table and finishes it in about 7 seconds; builds a bomb out of a plasma-bolt, a doll and a roller skate; builds a "bucking bronco" out of a toaster, a vacuum cleaner, and a lamp; reads aloud a description of a display at a local museum at a remarkable speed; is able to understand he can use a human as a shield from Jumba, by Pleakley's presence; and generally picks up quickly on what is happening around him.
  • Lingual Intuition: Stitch can converse fluently in over 20 different languages, but prefers Tantalog (his native language).
  • Cooking Intuition: He can cook 372 recipes, but prefers Chinese food.
  • Parallel Computing: He is an information repository, with a dictionary, thesaurus, encyclopedia, and experiment catalogue, and records every moment of his life, in a reserved portion of his brain that can theoretically store up to 300 PB.
  • Guitar Player: He is also fluent in playing the guitar.
  • Vehicle Intuition: Also driving any sort of vehicle, which can be as simple as riding a tricycle or as complex as piloting inter-galactic spaceships.
  • Enhanced Strength: His ability to lift objects 3,000 times his own size and weight is seen several times throughout the franchise, including incidents where he picks up a descending blast door, hits Dr. Jumba with a thrown Volkswagen Beetle (shouting gleefully, "Blue punch buggy! No punch back!") and stops an 18-wheeled tanker of gasoline dead in its tracks. The reason why Stitch can lift 3,000 times his own weight even though he has small arms is because his muscles contain excessive compressed amounts of myofibril in one muscle cell. This muscular arrangement makes Stitch's muscles contract 1,000 times faster than a human's muscle can and makes them much much more powerful. The ability is sometimes joked about in the later series; for example, in Stitch! The Movie, Hämsterviel, while physically restraining Stitch for a cloning experiment, counters Stitch's strength with restraint devices that are equal in strength themselves, as Hämsterviel loudly declares, to "three-thousand and one!" times Stitch's own weight. This was accomplished due to the fact that Stitch cannot lift even an ounce larger than 3,000 times his size and weight.
  • Wall Crawling: Pads on Stitch's hands and feet can secrete a sticky substance allowing him to adhere to almost any surface and scale buildings and walls.
  • Spherical Form: His skeletal system is very flexible, allowing him to put his feet into his mouth and become a rolling ball and also to allow him to squeeze through tight spaces.
  • Enhanced Jump: Stitch's legs are small, but powerful enough to enable him to jump several feet into the air.
  • Electromagnetic Vision: His eyes can pick up various forms of light and he can filter out one or the other if necessary. Stitch can see in normal vision, during this mode, his eyes appear black in color. Furthermore, he can also magnify his vision.
    • Night Vision: Eyes appear green.
    • Infrared Vision: Eyes appear red.
    • X-Ray Vision: Eyes appear bright green.
  • Audio Amplifier: He also can act as an audio amplifier, radio and/or microphone, illustrated when he uses a claw as the needle on a record player, and the music comes out of his open mouth.
  • Enhanced Hearing & Smell: He has an acute sense of smell and hearing.
  • Skilled Hand-to-Hand Combat: He is also dexterously skilled in hand-to-hand combat, using all four arms or just two.
  • Alien Form: In his alien form, he has three spines on his back, two antennae on his head, and can grow two extra pair of arms.
  • Dog Form: Stitch can hide his spines, antennae and extra pair of two arms in his body, taking the form of an ordinary Earth dog; he used this to become Lilo's dog.
  • Semi-Immortality: Stitch can't age; when Skip flashed 10 years ahead, he didn't age a bit, but for some reason Babyfier's powder reversed him into an infant, meaning he's immune to aging older.
  • Vacuum Adaptation: Along with the rest of his cousins, Stitch can survive in the vacuum of space due to being a genetic alien.

Weakness

  • Water: Stitch's greatest weakness is his inability to float or swim due to his dense molecular structure, which causes him to sink like a stone in water. Stitch originally had an instinctive aquaphobia, but was able to overcome it because of Lilo's influence over him.
  • Sonic Blasts: Another weakness is the fact that his super-sensitive hearing can lead to temporary deafness when exposed to sonic blasts, such as Yaarp's destructive sound blast.

Appearances

Lilo & Stitch

Lilo-disneyscreencaps.com-199

Experiment 626 on trial.

As revealed in Lilo & Stitch, Stitch was created by "evil genius" Dr. Jumba Jookiba, who called him "Experiment 626." Both Jumba and Stitch were captured and put on trial by the United Galactic federation. 626 is then sentenced by the Grand Councilwoman to life imprisonment on a desert asteroid and Captain Gantu (who despises him to no end) escorts him. Stitch escapes and crash-lands in Kaua'i, Hawaii. Disguising himself as a dog to hide from his captors, 626 was adopted by a little girl named Lilo, who names him "Stitch." Stitch is trained by Lilo to be good, using her idol Elvis Presley as a model for his behavior. Lilo's efforts prove to be fruitless at first, as Stitch is unable to suppress his destructive programming. Nevertheless, Lilo enjoys her new "puppy." Although at first he only wanted to use the girl as a human shield from Jumba and Pleakley, whose mission is to capture the fugitive experiment, Stitch slowly develops feelings for Lilo, to the point where he saves her from Gantu. After his heroics, the Grand Councilwoman allows Stitch to serve his exile on Earth with Lilo and her older sister Nani as his warders, citing Lilo's dog adoption certificate. Subsequently, Lilo seems to have become not only a best friend, but also a sister figure to Stitch.

Lilo & Stitch 2: Stitch Has a Glitch

In Lilo & Stitch 2: Stitch Has a Glitch (set shortly after the first movie), Stitch is now living, along with the also-exiled Jumba and Pleakley, in Lilo and Nani's house. Although still hot-tempered and mischievous, he is reasonably well-behaved, but then begins to malfunction unintentionally. Since his molecules were not fully charged after his creation, Stitch frequently experiences periodic glitches that have him revert to his original destructive programming; basically suffering from a seizure disorder. Seeing this, Jumba strives to create a proper fusion chamber in which to recharge Stitch. Before Lilo goes on to perform her hula dance, Stitch accidentally scratches her, hurting her. Believing himself to be too dangerous, Stitch attempts to leave Earth for a remote planet while Lilo, Jumba and the others desperately try to have him return so they can recharge him. When Stitch crashlands the ship, Lilo manages to get him into the fusion chamber, but she pulls the switch too late. As Stitch dies, he says his last words: "Stitch sorry." Jumba says that they're too late and there's nothing Lilo can do. But Stitch seems to be revived with his molecules fully charged by Lilo's love. She tells Stitch that he needed her more than she needed him because he's Lilo's ohana and she'll always love him, in accordance with her belief that love is more powerful than death. With these words, it turns out that Stitch was put into the fusion chamber just in time after all.

Stitch! The Movie

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Stitch in Stitch! The Movie.

In Stitch! The Movie, Stitch discovers Jumba's first 625 genetic experiments locked in a crate, in the form of dehydrated pods. In order to rescue a kidnapped Jumba, a trade between Dr. Jacques von Hämsterviel and Jumba for the experiments is organized, but it instead results in the freedom of the experiments and the capture of Lilo and Stitch. Hämsterviel then tries to clone Stitch, but he was rescued by Experiment 221 ("Sparky"). Stitch then rescued Lilo and landed Hämsterviel's spacecraft back in Kaua'i, where the Grand Councilwoman waited to arrest the evil rodent. She then puts Stitch and Lilo in charge of capturingand taming the other illegal genetic experiments scattered on the island. 

Lilo & Stitch: The Series

In Lilo and Stitch: The Series, Stitch and Lilo have to capture Jumba's experiments, turn them from bad to good and find them each a home. Along the way, Stitch meets his match Experiment 627 (who is tougher than him), and he eventually defeats him. He also is affected by a few experiment powers: Amnesio wipes out his memory, Spike makes him goofy and Babyfier turns him into a baby. However, the powers wear off. He also meets Experiment 624 ("Angel"), who is introduced as a love interest for Stitch. Over the course of the series, he and Lilo also had adventures with Kim Possible, Penny Proud, Jake Long and the kids from Recess.

Leroy & Stitch

After Stitch, Lilo, Jumba and Pleakley have successfully captured and redeemed all the remaining 625 experiments, the Grand Councilwoman offers Stitch the chance to become the new captain of the Galactic Armada and its new flagship, the BRB (Big Red Battleship) 9000. However, that would require Stitch to be separated from Lilo. Not wanting to make Lilo sad, he chooses to return to Kaua'i. However, Lilo tells him he should go. Before he leaves with Jumba and Pleakley, Lilo gives him a necklace with a tiki of the god Ku Tiki to give him strength. She also gives Pleakley an Earth rock and Jumba an Elvis record. When Gantu breaks Dr. Hämsterviel out of prison in an action of frustration, Stitch is sent on his first mission as captain to capture the evil rodent once more. But when he arrives at Galactic Defense Industries, Stitch faces off against a new experiment—Leroy, who is an enhanced red doppelganger of Stitch. After Leroy is named, Stitch brusts into the lab and starts to fight against Leroy. Stitch fights well and is about to beat Leroy when Pleakley shows up unexpectedly, allowing Leroy to take advantage of Stitch's lapse in concentration and beat him. He is knocked into a capsule and sent with Jumba and Pleakley heading towards a black hole, while Leroy disguises himself as Stitch. After they are sent towards the black hole, Leroy heads off towards Earth to capture all of the other experiments for Hämsterviel. Later, Stitch, Jumba and Pleakley escape from the black hole and arrive on the planet Turo. There, they rescue Lilo, 625 (now known as "Reuben") and Gantu, and then fly Pleakley's car pool van back to Earth to assist the other 624 experiments in the defeat of an army of Leroys. Now, with Leroy defeated, Stitch, Jumba and Pleakley return to Earth with Lilo, realizing that family is more important than spaceships, laboratories and prestige.

Stitch!

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Stitch with Yuna in Stitch!.

In the anime, the series starts years after Leroy and Stitch with Stitch being chased in a spaceship by authorities and Jumba before he crashlanded on Earth on Izayoi Island, off the coast of Okinawa. Soon joined by Jumba and Pleakley, they make a new life with a young girl named Yuna, and Stitch seeks the mythical powers of the Spiritual Stone, a sacred island object that can grant any wish, which is, in Stitch's case, wanting power. But the powerful wish only works by doing and getting 43 good deeds and Stitch now faces the return of Hämsterviel and a once-again disgraced Captain Gantu along with various experiment threats, all while juggling, getting and losing (due to his own mischief) good deeds. Lilo originally never appeared or was mentioned in the anime, but many would still question her absence. In the English dub, it completely changed the story by implying that Stitch ran away out of jealousy of Lilo having a boyfriend, as mentioned by Jumba, "Just because little girl, has new boyfriend now and is all washed up by 626 is no reason to act bad," which leaves us to believe that this takes place years after the events of Leroy and Stitch. Despite this, when Yuna once confronted Stitch, telling him that his previous family forgot about him, offended Stitch quickly states, "Lilo didn't forget!" which implies that he still deeply cares about her, and is certain that Lilo still feels the same way about him. It wasn't until Episode 23 of sequel series "Stitch! ~Zutto Saiko no Tomodachi~" that Lilo makes her appearance for the first time.

She, now fully grown, visits Okinawa's Newtown with her daughter (whom Stitch thought was Lilo in the beginning). Both friends reunite, and we learn that there was never any boyfriend. Lilo had gone to college, and they planned to meet by the beach when she returned, but when that day came, Nani was in labor and caused Lilo to be a little late. Stitch, for unknown reasons, was never aware of Nani's condition, and since Lilo didn't arrived at the time they planned, he thought Lilo had forgot about him. He leaves his tiki necklace on the beach before flying away in his ship, and by the time Lilo arrives he had already left, and cries when she find his necklace. In the end, before Lilo and her daughter could board the plane, Stitch arrives in time to see her again. They both have a happy reunion, she hugs him, promises to visit him again, and asks Stitch to take good care of his new family. She gives Stitch his tiki necklace back before leaving.

Cameos and Other Appearances

Mochi painting

Mochi's Stitch costume.

In Treasure Planet, Stitch made a brief cameo as a stuffed toy on a shelf in Jim Hawkins' bedroom when he was a child.

In The Lion King ½, a silhouette of Stitch is seen at the end of the film crawling on the wall in the theater. He bounces off Goofy, Rabbit, Mad Hatter and Donald as he makes his way to his seat. Donald is heard quacking angrily as Stitch laughs at him.

In Brother Bear Stitch makes a surprise appearance in the Outtakes.

In Big Hero 6, a costume of Stitch was worn by Mochi in a painting.

Credit

Disney Wik

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