Australian Council on Children and the Media

Lilo & Stitch

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Short takes

Not recommended under 5, PG to 8 (Violence)

Age
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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Lilo & Stitch
  • a review of Lilo & Stitch completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 15 September 2002.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 5 Not recommended to children under five.
Children aged 5-7 Might be able to view this with parental guidance .
Children over the age of 8 Might be able to see this film on their own, depending on the parents own assessment of the content.

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines.

Name of movie: Lilo & Stitch
Classification: G
Consumer advice lines: None
Length 85 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

Experiment 626 is an alien product of a deranged mind, created with incredible strength and the ability to destroy everything in sight. Galactic Control determine that 626 must be sent into outer space and Jumba, the mad scientist is jailed for creating him. 626 is locked into a spacecraft from which he manages to escape and lands on Earth.

Lilo is a young Hawaiian girl being brought up by her older sister Nani, after the death of their parents in a car crash. Lilo is an Elvis fan with plenty of attitude who likes to sing and dance but is rejected by her peers at school. Nani overhears Lilo praying for a friend, the nicest angel from Heaven and decides she needs a pet. They set out to buy a puppy and find 626 who has transformed himself into a sort of dog with all his claws hidden. Lilo names him Stitch and takes him home where he creates all kinds of havoc. Lilo refuses to return Stitch however as she believes he is her angel.

Meanwhile Jumba is released from prison and sent to Earth with Pleakley to retrieve 626. They follow him everywhere and repeatedly try to grab Stitch but Stitch fights back. At first Stitch uses Lilo as protection from his pursuers but as time goes on he realises he is a lot like her, without friends or a ‘whole’ family. He identifies with the Ugly Duckling in the Story Book.

Galactic Control tire of Jumba’s efforts and send Captain Gantu, a large mean creature to capture 626. He manages to capture both 626 and Lilo and sets back with them but again Stitch escapes. The Grand Councilwoman comes to Earth to solve matters and Stitch manages to convince her that he has found a family “little and broken, but still good”. She sentences Stitch to exile on Earth where he lives happily with Lilo and Nani.

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

There is quite a lot of violence in this film including:

  • 626 is injected with a large syringe
  • 626 spits on pilot causing fire in the spacecraft
  • pilot shoots at 626
  • Lilo punches and bites another girl because she says she’s crazy
  • Nani nearly gets hit by a car
  • Nani kicks back at the car and yells at the driver calling him “stupid head”
  • Nani and Lilo yell and scream at each other—Lilo says it’s a “sisters’ job to yell at each other”
  • Jumbo and Pleakley attack and shoot at Stitch with guns
  • Stitch totally wrecks house and blows it up
  • Jumbo beats Stitch against a tree and crushes him underfoot

 

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

In addition to the violence in the film already listed, children under the age of five may be concerned by:

  • 626 being highly aggressive
  • Captain Gantu who is a large and aggressive alien
  • Stitch getting run over by a truck but survives
  • Lilo and Nani being separated from parents who have died in a car crash
  • Lilo lying on the floor listening to Elvis singing “I’m so Lonely I could die…” She repeats the words “I wanna die”.
  • Lilo reading Practical Voodoo and playing with dolls who “must be punished”

 

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

Children in this age group may also be concerned by the scenes described above.

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

Children in this age group could be upset by the fact that Lilo and Nani are living alone without their parents.

Over thirteeninfo

Children over the age of thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic physical harm or threats, molestation or sexual assault and / or threats from aliens or the occult.

Children in this age group are unlikely to be upset, scared or disturbed by anything in this film.

Sexual references

There is little sexual reference in this film. Nani has a boyfriend called David and Lilo tells him that Nani likes his ‘butt’.

Nudity and sexual activity

There is no nudity or sexual activity, although some girls are scantily clad on the beach.

Use of substances

None of concern.

Coarse language

None of concern.

In a nutshell

The Hawaiian term “ohana” for family means “no-one is forgotten or left behind”. This word is repeated quite often. This film’s main message is that family is important whether it is ‘whole’ or ‘broken’ and that everyone needs to belong. Lilo reads the story of the Ugly Duckling to Stitch and this is re-emphasised when Stitch watches a mother duck leading her family along. The importance of being accepted and the consequences of rejection are shown in this film.

Some values that parents may wish to encourage include:

  • accepting those who are different
  • caring
  • responsibility

Some values that parents may wish to discourage include:

  • use of violence to solve conflicts
  • sisters yelling and shouting at each other
  • inability to forgive
  • intolerance

 

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