Originally, I was asked to write about just Stitch. Honestly, though, I think it is impossible to love Stitch without Lilo. Stitch was a genetic experiment created to be a weapon of mass destruction. At the beginning of his story he is a villain and happy to be so. He is unrepentant in his role as destroyer and escapes his captors to wreak havoc across the galaxy. Then he meets Lilo, a little girl with tragedy in her past, serious anger management issues, and a real need for a friend. Somehow Stitch becomes that friend. In the process of becoming what Lilo needs Stitch finds what he needs as well.
As the movie progresses Stich moves from trying to destroy everything he touches to searching for his own family. He comes to identify with the Ugly Duckling rather than Godzilla and discovers that family can be created as well as given. Honestly every time I hear the line about his family being, ‘little and broken; but still good’ I get a little teary. Every time.
Lilo & Stich’s story is the epitome of redemption. Two broken and damaged people find each other and through their (eventual) love of each other bring healing and wholeness. The circle of family is drawn wide enough for everyone. Everyone is loved for who they are and what they add to the whole. Perfection isn’t expected, just connection. And that brings hope to us all.