|“||'Ohana means family. Family means nobody gets left behind—or forgotten.||„|
|~ The famous Pelekai 'ohana motto, which was partially spoken by Lilo Pelekai herself.|
Lilo Pelekai is one of the two main protagonists of Lilo & Stitch, its subsequent sequel films, and Lilo & Stitch: The Series. She is the younger sister of Nani Pelekai and was orphaned along with her sister after the death of their parents. Her extended yet unconventional family of alien visitors marooned on Earth Stitch, Jumba, and Pleakley. She was voiced by Daveigh Chase in most of the franchise and Dakota Fanning in Lilo & Stitch 2: Stitch Has a Glitch.
Lilo is a 6-year-old (7 at the end of Lilo & Stitch) Hawaiian girl with long, straight black hair and brown eyes. She's most often seen wearing a muumuu and sandals, but also wears other warm-weather clothing as well as traditional hula costumes. She also appears to be a little on the chubby side. In Lilo & Stitch 2: Stitch Has a Glitch, her reflection in a mirror is compared to a picture of her young mother, suggesting that they look similar. In the episode "Skip", where an experiment is used to skip time 10 then another 10 years, it's mentioned that older Lilo looks a lot like her sister Nani. By the end of Leroy & Stitch, she is almost 10.
Lilo's spirited and highly-unconventional personality, especially in light of her parents' death, has alienated her from her fellow children (whom she still considers to be her friends, despite them maltreating her and openly confessing that they loathe her and don't want her around) yet Lilo makes the perfect best friend for Stitch, an alien experiment whom she adopts, believing he is a "dog" (although he actually bears more of a resemblance to a koala, which is pointed out several times). She is also extremely disobedient. Lilo is emotionally sensitive and usually cries whenever she's really hurt or if something bad happens to someone she loves and cares for (mainly Nani or Stitch), having been emotionally scarred by losing her parents at such a young age. She attends hula school and her hobbies include the photography of chubby people, talking about creatures from horror/sci-fi movies, and capturing and rehabilitating Jumba's wicked genetic experiments. She also admires Elvis Presley and does not seem to get to the point that her unconventionally cause her to be an outcast from most of the other children.
In addition to her mischief, she enjoys being messy and having fun, though her recklessness causes her to make a mess of her surroundings, much to the disapproval of others around her every once in a while. She does have a tendency to act self-absorbed and reckless, however, especially when an experiment is around that she can use for her own personal benefit, which usually causes huge trouble and brings out the worst in her. She's very adventurous, brave, and clever, easily coming up with strategies to capture the experiments and never showing fear in the face of the many life threatening dangers to her life that she faces while capturing the experiments. In fact, she views the experiments as part of her ʻohana, and as a result, devotes so much time to capturing them that it meddles with her life, but at times she abandons them and leaves them free for Gantu to capture (which Nosy calls her out for in the last episode). Nonetheless, she is sweet and believes in the good of everybody as shown through her interactions with Gantu and the experiments, especially Stitch.
Lilo's parents died in a car accident sometime before the first film, and therefore, they have not appeared in the franchise apart from three photographs: one of Lilo, Nani and their parents having a picnic on the beach; a photograph of Lilo's mother winning the hula contest at her school's May Day celebration and a photo of Nani with her parents when she graduated to intermediate hula.
Lilo's mother is depicted as beautiful, kind and loving (and perhaps eccentric like her younger daughter), as well as an excellent hula dancer. She would placate her children by holding a family night, singing lullabies and making up funny constellations. Lilo's father played the ukulele and was the one who coined the phrase, "ʻOhana means family, and family means nobody gets left behind or forgotten." The phrase becomes a sort of family motto for his daughters and their intergalactic adopted clan.
Lilo loves and misses her parents very much, and so does Nani. She keeps a picture of them under her pillow and initially would not allow Stitch to touch it (rejecting him when his fight with Jumba caused her house and the picture to become damaged). In the episode "Remmy", which takes place on the anniversary of the accident, Lilo is depressed and takes a nap to help deal with her sadness. The picture is used to turn Lilo's nightmares into a dream of the day the photograph was taken, which manages to make her happy again.
Lilo writes a thank you note to an "Uncle Joe" in "Glitch/Woops". Otherwise, Lilo and Nani are the only known living members of the Pelekai family.
The development of Lilo's ohana (extended family) begins with the adoption of Stitch in Lilo & Stitch. Though Lilo technically owns Stitch by Hawaiian state law, the relationship between the two is more like siblings and best friends. By the end of the series, Lilo's extended ohana includes Stitch, Nani, "Uncle" Jumba, "Aunt" Pleakley, David, Cobra Bubbles, the Grand Councilwoman, Reuben, Victoria, all 628 of Stitch's "cousins", and Gantu.
Lilo & Stitch
Lilo is first seen in the film running late for her hula class. Upon arriving, she causes some of her classmates to slip and explaining her strange reasons for being late (feeding Pudge the fish), she gets into a fight with Mertle Edmonds and classes are ended early for the day as a result, to her dismay. Rejected again by Mertle and her friends, she heads back home by herself and, feeling depressed, starts listening to "Heartbreak Hotel". Nani arrives trying frantically to get ready for a visit from social worker Cobra Bubbles that ends up turning out disastrously. Lilo and Nani get into a fight, make up and Lilo spots a shooting star (Stitch's starship) and makes a wish for "an angel" to be her friend.
The next day, Lilo and Nani visit the local animal shelter, where Lilo meets and adopts Stitch much to Nani's dismay. Nani wants to get rid of Stitch, but Lilo convinces her otherwise because she claims Stitch to be her angel. Unknown to Lilo, Stitch is a wanted, intergalactic criminal, being chased by two bounty hunters; Jumba Jookiba and Pleakley and is secretly using her for protection. That night Lilo and Stitch accidentally cause Nani to lose her job, the next day, Cobra Bubbles arrives again and orders Stitch to be made into a model citizen and for Nani to find another job. As Lilo and Stitch tag along with Nani to find another job, Lilo uses Elvis Presley as a role model for Stitch. At the beach, it ends in a disaster and Nani fails to get a job as lifeguard. Nani's boyfriend David comes and takes Nani and Lilo surfing in order to cheer them up. After Jumba tries to get Stitch and it looks like Stitch was trying to drown Lilo, Cobra comes and says he will take Lilo away the next day. Stitch, realizing everything is his fault after David saying that he really believed Lilo and Nani had a chance, until Stitch came along, leaves Lilo. The next day, Nani applies for a job at the coffee shop and leaves Lilo at home. There, Stitch returns with Jumba and a fight begins, resulting in the house's destruction.
As the fire department arrives, so does Cobra Bubbles (who Lilo contacted during Jumba and Pleakley's invasion) and decides it's time for her to be taken away. Nani returns and argues with Cobra, and during the chaos, Lilo escapes the scene. Stitch returns to her, but the little girl immediately hardens and starts crying when he hands her her damaged photo of her parents, rightly blaming the alien for causing her family so much trouble; even more so upon finding out Stitch is "one of them", referring to Jumba and Pleakley after he reveals his natural form. Just then, Gantu, a member of the Galactic Federation who was ordered to capture Stitch, arrives and imprisons both Stitch and Lilo. While Stitch escapes, Lilo is taken away. Fortunately, Stitch rallies Nani, Jumba, and Pleakley to rescue her, and does so successfully.
When the Grand Councilwoman arrives on earth to take Stitch into custody, Lilo shows the certificate from the dog pound, showing Stitch is now legally in her possessions. This, along with the fact that Stitch has had an obvious change of heart, leads the Grand Councilwoman to sentence Stitch (along with Jumbaa and Pleakley) to life in "exile" on earth with his newfound Ohana. In the epilogue, it is shown that Lilo, with the help of Stitch, Nani, Jumba, Pleakley, David, and Cobra, have rebuilt their destroyed house and continued their days together as an ‘ohana.
Lilo & Stitch 2: Stitch Has a Glitch
Lilo is preparing for an important Hula recital just as Stitch's behavior becomes darker to the point where they have a serious argument. Unbeknownst to Lilo (and Nani and David), Stitch is malfunctioning and dying and Jumba and Pleakley are working on a solution with a fusion chamber.
Lilo becomes extremely obsessed with winning the contest and neglects Stitch, who is trying to prove he can become good. She wants to carry on her mother's legacy, as she had won the contest when she was Lilo's age.
On the day of the recital, Lilo abandons Stitch and decides to do her hula alone after Stitch accidentally malfunctions and scratches her on the arm. At the recital, however, she begins to fear for Stitch and decides to forfeit the competition and leave to search for him, with Nani, David, Pleakley, and Jumba following behind. They search and communicate with him via phone. He's taken Jumba's ship to leave for an unknown galaxy, but crashes during one of his glitches. Lilo finds him unconscious on the peak of a mountain. Stitch is placed in Jumba's newly-built fusion chamber, but then dies. Lilo mourns for her departed friend, but out of nowhere, Stitch is revived. Lilo and her Ohana have their own hula recital centered on how love is more powerful than death.
Not counting the Stitch! anime, this is the only Lilo and Stitch entry where someone else voices Lilo, instead of Daveigh Chase.
Stitch! The Movie
In this film, Lilo teaches Stitch about cousins but during a day at the beach, Stitch is unable to befriend anyone and ruins the luau. Back at the house, Lilo tries to cheer up Stitch right before Jumba is kidnapped by Gantu. Lilo and Stitch learn why he was captured—Gantu's new boss Dr. Hämsterviel (Jumba's former partner) wants the other 625 experiments (as Stitch is the 626th) who have been dehydrated into the form of pods. Lilo refuses to give the experiments, as they are Stitch's family. Jumba still needs to be saved, so Lilo and Stitch unleash one of the experiments. Experiment 221 is activated through the use of water—the lightning bolt-like experiment runs loose, prompting Lilo and Stitch to chase after him. They give up for the night, but the next morning, they set off again, finally retrieving and befriending him. Lilo names him "Sparky" and heads to the lighthouse where Cobra Bubbles and Pleakley are about to trade the other experiments for Jumba's freedom. While Jumba is freed, the experiments are taken, but Lilo, Stitch and Sparky board Hämsterviel's ship. They rescue the other experiments, who are now scattered all over Hawaii. Back on Earth, Sparky re-powers the old lighthouse and claims it as his home while Lilo and Stitch become experiment-hunters, setting out to find all the remaining experiments so they too can be turned from bad to good and given a place where they belong.
Lilo & Stitch: The Series
Lilo and Stitch have become full-time experiment-hunters. In the series, Lilo has decided to name all the experiments. They meet various experiments along the way, some having large impacts on their lives while others are a grab and go. Nearly everyday, they battle Gantu for the experiments. Aside from the hunting, Lilo falls in love with a local boy named Keoni Jameson (throughout the course of the series, she sometimes uses the experiments to impress him in some way). She also meets a new friend named Victoria who had just moved to town. Despite being a human with no powerful abilities, Lilo is viewed as a large threat to the plans and ambitions of the series' villains. She often refers to Gantu as "The Big Dummy" or “Stinky Head”, whilst he refers to her as "The Little Earth Girl".
The series also depicts Lilo as being rather mischievous as well, often resulting in her and Stitch getting into trouble with Nani and other adults around the island. She and Stitch have also had help on their adventures with other Disney Channel characters, such as Kim Possible, Penny Proud, Jake Long, and the kids from Recess.
Leroy & Stitch
Lilo, Stitch, Jumba and Pleakley are being awarded by the Grand Councilwoman as they have successfully retrieved all of the genetic experiments (except 625) and turned them from bad to good. Lilo becomes the caretaker of the experiments in Hawaii, Pleakley is given a position at the Galactic Alliance Community College, Jumba is given access to his lab again and Stitch becomes the captain of the Big Red Battleship. The friends are now given the choice to fulfill their dreams or stay together. Unfortunately for Lilo, the aliens depart, leaving Lilo and Nani alone and sad. After a few days, Jumba is held captive by Dr. Hamsterviel to finish an experiment, whom Hamsterviel names "Leroy". Lilo tries to communicate with Stitch, but he, Pleakley and Jumba have been captured by Leroy. Lilo goes to the only one who has the technology to reach her friends--625, who is soon named "Reuben". Together, they learn about Leroy and head to the Grand Councilwoman, who has been demoted to Hämsterviel's secretary. Lilo and Reuben are imprisoned by Gantu, but later freed when Gantu has a change of heart.
They reunite with Stitch and set off to Earth in order to save the captured experiments. A battle ensues between the experiments and Leroy and his clones. Lilo, Stitch, Reuben and other experiments rally together to defeat the villains by singing "Aloha `Oe" (during Leroy's creation, the song was playing and if heard again, Leroy and the clones would be shut down). The plan is successful. Back at the Galactic Alliance, Lilo and her friends reunite, choosing to give up their awards and return to Hawaii together. There, they, along with Nani, David, Mertle and all the other experiments come together to take a family photo.
Though this series is non-canon, Lilo originally never appeared or was mentioned in the anime (which made it the only time in the franchise that she doesn't play a major role, as well as the famous "The Japanese hate Lilo." meme); 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.
Lilo finally appears in Episode 23 of sequel series "Stitch! ~Zutto Saiko no Tomodachi~" where 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 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 forgotten 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.
- "Lilo" can mean "lost" or "the generous one" in Hawaiian, hence her generosity to others in the series, and possibly her loneliness.
- Her name may also be a reference to the character Leeloo from the 1997 movie The Fifth Element.
- It is quite possible that both Lilo and Nani were named after Queen Liliuokalani, the last ruling monarch of Hawaii. Lilo has the same first three letters of the monarch's name, while Nani has the last three letters of her name.
- Lilo & Nani
- If this truly is indeed the case, then that would make their connection to the song "Aloha ʻOe" that much more meaningful, as they, as a whole, represent the last Queen of Hawaii, who wrote the song.
- Despite not appearing in the show itself (as the show ran for about one year before the movie came out), Lilo was featured with Stitch in some online games for the television series House of Mouse.
- Lilo was 5 years old in the original story.
- In the monarch at the end of the movie, Lilo has 7 candles on her birthday cake, meaning she was 6 for the majority of the movie. (This could also mean that she is 7 years old for the Lilo & Stitch franchise.)
- Lilo is the fourth heroine to be seen praying, the first being Snow White, the second being Penny, and the third being Esmeralda. However, the movie has Lilo saying that she is "making a wish" instead of praying.
- A stuffed toy Dumbo can be seen on Lilo's easel.
- She likes to be messy, which causes problems for the adults around her when she makes such a big mess.
- At least twice in the television series, when an experiment is christened, Lilo gives a ridiculous reason for its name after someone else gives a logical one:
- For Shoe, who had a horseshoe-shaped growth that affects its luck ability, she said he needed shoes, despite the fact that none of the experiments wear shoes.
- For Link, who binds together arguing people with sticky blue gunk that only mud can remove, she said he was named after Linkenstein, a zombie president.
- She enjoys feeding peanut butter sandwiches to Pudge the fish and cleaning his grove for him. Since her parents died in a car accident, where rain made the road more treacherous, it is possible the reason she wants to appease Pudge is because she believes he controls the weather, and that if she continues to treat him in such a manner, a similar accident to the one that killed her parents won't happen again.
Main Characters: Stitch | Lilo Pelekai | Jumba Jookiba | Pleakley | Nani Pelekai | David Kawena | Gantu | Reuben | Yuna Kamihara | Wang Ai Ling