“Ohana” means “family.”, “Family” means “no one gets left behind….or forgotten”
We’ve been covering a lot of grown, strong confident women on our profiles lately but how about we switch it up and talk about girls in Sci-Fi. One of the ones that springs to mind is Lilo from Disney’s Lilo and Stitch. The beloved animated sci-fi family comedy is about a little Hawaiian girl who adopts an evil and indestructible alien. It’s okay though, he’s super cute, fluffy and alone just like she feels. Together they embark on a journey to discover that no matter where you are in the universe, you’ll always belong to a family. Here are some reasons why Lilo is one of the most standout kid characters of science fiction:
Accurate depiction of a real girl: Lilo represents one of the first times in Disney animation that a child is realistically represented. She isn’t drawn as an idealized version of a child–or princess for that matter. She looks like we did when we were tiny humans, you know, maybe a little chubby during our growing pains. Lilo is also a product of a family broken by tragedy. She is raised by her older sister Nani who has to work very hard so they can survive and also to keep social workers from putting Lilo in the system. This is a fact of life for many families who endure difficult economic straits.
Spunky Attitude: Lilo is very confident and headstrong with a bit of a brat streak like most kids at her age. For someone who has had to deal with the loss of their parents at that age, Lilo copes by acting out and being defensive about her actions particularly when she tries to honor her mother’s memory by being a hula dancer. When the kids in her class make fun of her by calling her crazy or tell her she will never be like her mom, she snaps and fights back. She doesn’t just let herself be bullied, she stands up for herself and never tries to assimilate to be accepted. She wants to be liked for who she is.
Misfit: Her spirited personality may alienate her from her peers but she never stops trying to be included by just being herself. Even when that doesn’t work, she adopts a pet to begin to rebuild her ohana. This is universal to anyone who has ever felt left and can relate to Lilo’s experiences. Because she’s an outsider and has felt alone she takes in Stitch, who she sees as someone who is lost just like her. And it is with Stitch, the aggressive little alien, that she learns being a part of a family isn’t always easy.
Relatable quirks: Her tastes also separate her from kids her age. To her the king of rock n’ roll is Elvis. She listens to her vinyl, has voodoo dolls of her friends, gives fish peanut butter sandwiches and has a penchant for sci-fi and horror movies. She and Stitch recreate some very iconic monster movie scenes and go around taking pictures of people on the beach.
Family: She doesn’t give up on Stitch just like her sister does not give up on her because they are family. Lilo is a handful because of the circumstances she went through and in a similar way Stitch is too. Despite his mean streak, Lilo is determined to help him change by teaching him that he doesn’t have to evil and push those that love him away. They overcome space and human laws to remain a family. After the first film, Lilo is tasked to help find and help all the other evil experiments from Stitch’s program to rehabilitate them too. Her family goes from just her sister to an extended intergalactic ohana.
Recently, fan art (Above) has been floating about that shows Lilo as an adult who after high school went on to attend the Galactic Alliance Community College in order to study to be a future Captain of the Galactic Armada alongside Stitch. Many comments say “Why isn’t this a show?” or “Now this is a Disney sequel I can get behind”. It goes to show that kids who grew up watching Lilo want to see this kind of future for girls like her.
To talk more in depth about ideas for an A.U. where Lilo does grow up to be a Captain or just anything DISNEY, feel free to tweet @wicked_phoenix A.K.A. Sabina, this week’s contributor. Drop us a comment below for any suggestions on who you want to see profiled next or tweet us: @LegionofLeia
’til next week!