It’s Stitch Day, the date is 6/26, and Stitch’s name before Lilo found him was Experiment 626. Great reason to give Stitch his own day! That being said, I started thinking about the movie Lilo and Stitch, and why it has a special place in my heart.
Lilo and Stitch was released on June 21, 2002. At the time, my older son had just turned one, but I had already taken him to Disney World about a month and a half prior. I know as a child, I loved Disney Movies. The first Disney movie I remember seeing in the theater was Lady and the Tramp. It had already been out for years and years, but it was brand new to me at the time. I was around 5 or so. So, I remember seeing all the previews and such for Lilo and Stitch before it opened, and I thought about taking my son to see it. Yes, I know he was only 1, and I knew he wouldn’t remember it per say, but it was the first Disney movie that opened since he was born, and I couldn’t help myself. The Disney Fan inside me took over, and I took the baby to the movies.
We got to the theater, and there were a lot of kids there. Kids of all ages, so I didn’t feel so bad. I didn’t even know if my son would sit during the movie, or if we’d make it through the whole thing without having to leave. I had my over-sized purse loaded with a bottle, baby snacks, etc. I was prepared. The theater lights dimmed, and Lilo and Stitch began. From the beginning of the song “Hawaiian Roller Coaster Ride,” my sons eyes lit up and his little hands bounced with excitement to the music. He was in awe. Granted, he loved music from basically the time he was born, but this was a little different. The sounds and sights just encompassed him, and he really took it all in. I worried that he would get fussy or bored when the music stopped and the talking began, but he didn’t. When Lilo was teaching Stitch to be a “model citizen” and the Elvis music started up, he began the smile and bounce all over again. It was so sweet. Half way through the film, my baby fell asleep. I enjoyed watching the rest of the movie though. All in all a good experience.
My “baby” is grown up now. Does he remember his first movie going experience? No. Well, yes and no I should say. He doesn’t remember sitting in the theater, in awe of the movement and music. He does however, still love the movie Lilo and Stitch. He tells me he has always loved that movie, but doesn’t know why. I know why. Is it possible that the “magic” of Disney can get to us at any age? I think it’s possible. I wanted to start him off right, I had hoped he would love Disney, and I couldn’t wait until he was older to give it a go. Was it silly of me? Maybe. Do I regret it? Not one bit. History repeated itself when I took my second son with us to see The Incredibles when he was a baby too.
The whole back premise, if you will, of Lilo and Stitch is about family. Everyone who has seen the movie remembers “Ohana” and what it means…. family. The movie really does have a sweet undertone to it. While the music is wonderful, and parts of the story are really cute and funny, the meaning behind it all is still a good one. Families come in all shapes and sizes. Some conventional, some not so much, but togetherness is the main theme. I’m so glad that I took my boy to see this movie, and that Lilo and Stitch will always have a special place in my heart because of that. His heart too.
“Ohana means family. Family means nobody gets left behind. Or forgotten.”