The Idea of a Live-Action Lilo & Stitch Frightens Me and I Don't Want It

Lilo and Stitch, dancing like cuties.
Lilo and Stitch, dancing like cuties.
Image: Disney

I think there’s one thing we, as a society, need to come together and agree on: no one wants to see a “realistic” CGI version of Stitch, the little blue gremlin of death and friendship that stars in the Disney animated movie Lilo & Stitch. Put it on the next election ballot as a referendum, get some data. Because we need to lay down the law, and we need to lay it down now. Because we’re running out of time.


To wit: the Hollywood Reporter shared yesterday that Jon M. Chu, director of Crazy Rich Asians, is in talks with Disney to direct the still-in-process live-action remake of Lilo & Stitch. The film is being produced by Dan Lin and Jonathan Eirich of Rideback, which produced the Aladdin remake. Currently, Disney’s also looking for more writing talent to revise the original script written by Mike Van Waes.

And, okay: if you’re going to make a movie, this is good talent. Chu’s an exciting new director, these are clearly talented people who know how to make a movie. But this does not make this movie a good idea. Lilo & Stitch is a wonderful, sweet tale of a young girl and her older sister healing their family with the help of an adorable alien superweapon. It’s a story of Hawaiian culture, and love, and learning to be happy together even in really hard times. It’s a movie that deeply relies on the cute, warm empathy you develop as a viewer toward Stitch, who looks like a teddy bear come to life in hand-drawn animation.

Please. I do not want to see him in live action. Realism would ruin him. Don’t do this to me, Disney. Just put the license down, and let’s all go home. 

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io9 Weekend Editor. Videogame writer at other places. Queer nerd girl.


C.M. Allen

A realistic Stitch? Absolutely not. A stylized Stitch using more modern animation technology (less Lion King, more Frozen), sure that could be fun...but rather redundant and unnecessary-ish. I say ‘ish’ because Pixar and Disney have created an entirely new generation of viewers who expect a certain style of animation from said studios. Is there an issue with the older films done in traditional animation styles? Nope. They’re just not the expectation.

Take a quick Google search for 3d models of Stitch or Lilo, and you can see the potential is there. Just not in the ‘hyper-realistic!’ remakes that Disney has been aiming for of late.

On the other hand, maybe they can find the right blend between live action and realistic CG characters? Won’t know until you try!