This week Lilo and Stitch returned to social networks. The 2002 Disney movie has been a trend since the morning of this Thursday, June 23, on platforms such as Twitter. And the reason is not the two-decade anniversary of its premiere or the announcement of a new adaptation: it is a ‘fight’ against ‘Frozen’.
The context: The director of the Lilo and Stitch movie, Chris Sanders, this week gave an interview with the New York Times in which, among other topics, he touched on the legacy that his film had left in the history of animated films in Disney. Sanders took this opportunity to ‘get a thorn out: Lilo and Stitch did the same thing as Frozen almost a decade ago and nobody gave them credit:
“To be clear, I think ‘Frozen’ is great,” Sanders told The New York Times, “But it was a little frustrating for me because people were like, ‘Finally, a non-romantic relationship with these two girls,’ and I thought : ‘We did it! That absolutely has been done before.’”
The director’s comments make sense. When Frozen was released in 2013, many of the positive reviews highlighted how Disney’s conclusion did not end with the ‘prince’ saving the day, but with the love between the two sisters being the final answer. Although Lilo and Stitch does not have a similar story, it was an unusual film in its time considering that it does not present any type of love relationship, but even has the extra point of presenting a much more “realistic” relationship between the two sisters.
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The discussion on social networks has led to some interesting conclusions as to why Frozen received such praise, while Lilo and Stitch is today a film remembered only by those with nostalgia on the surface. For some, the popularity of Frozen helped make their message much more visible. Others say this element was much more noticeable in 2013 when the conversation about removing the ‘prince to the rescue’ dynamic was most active. For many, the answer is a little simpler (and controversial) is that the reason is that Lilo and Stitch’s sisters are dark-skinned.
Regardless of the current controversy, Lilo and Stitch is still a great movie, and a very good movie, two decades later. In fact, just as surprising is the quality of their animated series that expanded their history and universe and even led the duo to collaborate with other Disney shows at the time, such as Kim Possible or Recreo.
You can watch the movie and series on Disney +