Lilo & Stitch came into prominence in 2002 when Disney released an animated featured film of the same name 2002. The movie propelled Disney‘s “drought” after the so-called post-Disney renaissance of successful Disney movies. Lilo & Stitch brought something different to Disney’s formula and the story of a young Hawaiian girl named Lilo, who is living with her young-adult sister Nani after their parents died in a car accident.
Lilo finds Stitch, formerly an Experiment 626, who was created by a mad scientist and takes him in as a pet. At first, the creature only uses Lilo for shelter until he ultimately leaves, but throughout the movie, there is a change of heart, and Stitch decided to stay with his family. The first movie propelled the whole franchise, which we will discuss in this article.
If you are interested in this topic, and wonder about the watch order of the Lilo & Stitch franchise, stay with us until the end of the article.
How Many Lilo & Stitch Movies and Shows Are Out There?
As we already mentioned, Lilo & Stitch original movie propelled the whole franchise of other movies and TV series. Besides the original movie that was released in 2002, there was Stitch! The Movie, which served as a pilot episode to the Lilo & Stitch: The Series released in 2003, and the sequel of the original movie, Lilo & Stitch 2, was released in 2005. The original TV series aired from 2003 to 2006, and another film served as the TV series finale, with a few international spin-offs that aired a few years ago.
When we conclude all of these projects together, there are eight Lilo & Stitch projects that are either interconnected or their own thing. Regardless, you can enjoy Lilo & Stitch wholeheartedly if you give it a chance.
Lilo & Stitch Series and Movies in Order (At Glance)
Lilo & Stitch is still popular and referenced a lot in popular culture. The phrase ‘Ohana or family is something that was popularized a lot in the 2000s, and the interest in Hawaiian culture got even higher. The bond between a koala-looking Stitch and his companion, a young girl named Lilo, made us really emotional and reminded us that family could be anyone, regardless if they are biologically related or not.
We will provide you with the chronological watch order of the Lilo & Stitch franchise including both TV series and movies. The order is acknowledged by Disney as well, and during the watch marathon, you will be able to distinguish the timeline of the franchise. Here is our list at glance:
If there is a separate Lilo & Stitch project or feature that is worth mentioning, we will explain it and include it in this article. So, without further ado, let’s start!
- Lilo & Stitch (2002)
- Lilo & Stitch 2: Stitch Has a Glitch (2005)
- The Origin of Stitch (2005) – a short film
- Stitch! The Movie (2003)
- Lilo & Stitch: The Series (2003–2006)
- Leroy & Stitch (2006)
- Stitch & Ai (2017) Chinese anime
- Stitch! (2008–2015) Japanese anime
Lilo & Stitch Series and Movies in Order (Chronological Order)
1. Lilo & Stitch (2002)
Lilo & Stitch is a Disney animated feature movie released in 2002. It was directed by Chris Sanders and Dean DeBlois – the same duo wrote the script as well. Lilo & Stitch movie revolves around Lilo Pelekai, a young six-year-old Hawaiian girl, whose life abruptly changes when her parents die in a car accident. She is living with her young-adult sister Nani, and their situation is one of the most important parts of the movie.
Lilo is a mischievous, but lonely girl and Nani is trying her best to take care of her little sister. The social worker voices their concern about Nani’s ability to take care of her sister by herself, which propellers Nani to let Lilo acquire a pet dog.
Lilo stumbles upon Stitch in the animal shelter, where he is hiding from Jumba and Pleakley, his captors, and Lilo takes him in immediately. The chaos starts there – Stitch is wild, Lilo is with him all the way, and Nani struggles with a social worker to prove she can take care of her sister. Stitch eventually sees what he has and decides to stay with his ‘ohana.
The movie was critically acclaimed, a commercial success, and the first post-Disney renaissance period featured a movie that was successful. Everyone praised the message, the plot, and the characters of the movie, and even with all of these facts, no one expected this movie to become a fully pledged franchise. This movie is the start of it all, and you should definitely check it out first.
2. Lilo & Stitch 2: Stitch Has a Glitch (2005)
A few years later, more specifically in 2005, we got a so-called “bridge” between the original Lilo & Stitch movie from, 2002 and Stitch! The Movie is a film released in 2003. This time, the movie was directed by Michael LaBash and Tony Leondis and written by the same duo, including Eddie Guzelian, and Alexa Junge.
The movie starts with Stitch having nightmares of trying to destroy the Earth, including his newfound family, Lilo, and Nani. Lilo is preparing for the performance at the local May Day festival. Lilo wants to win it, especially after she finds out about her late mother at the festival in the past. During the movie night, a science fiction movie triggers Stitch again and he goes berserk in the house. The plot of the movie escalates from there, especially when Lilo finds out that Stitch has a “glitch” that triggers his craziness.
The movie was not successful as the previous one, and critics did not like the humor and the charm of the movie. Overall, it is worth watching, especially before the next two entries on this list.
3. The Origin of Stitch (2005) – Short Film
This is a short movie that is a bonus feature on the Lilo & Stitch 2: Stitch Has a Glitch DVD CD that can be seen on the Disney+ platform, and it tells the story of how Stitch found out how Jumba created him by hacking into his computer. Cool addon and filler for the Lilo & Stitch lore.
4. Stitch! The Movie (2003)
Stitch! The Movie is a direct sequel to the previous entry, Stitch With a Glitch. The directors changed once again, and this time Tony Craig and Bobs Gannaway are in charge of the direction, Robert Gannaway, Jess Winfield, and Bobs Gannaways were the writers of the movie. This time, the story follows Lilo and Stitch once again, and this time it revolves around the revelation of the Stitch family that crashed in Hawaii and is hunted by the galactic forces like he was when Lilo found him.
A lot of new characters were introduced in the movie and some of them worked and some did not have the effect as the original movie. Some critics praised the characters but criticized the lack of Lilo & Stitch charm that made people watch and love the movies and its characters. Once again, a definite must-watch movie that serves as an extension of the Lilo & Stitch lore.
5. Lilo & Stitch: The Series (2003–2006)
Immediately after the Stitch! The Movie, the TV series picks up the plot of the previous entry. It was directed and created by the original creators Chris Sanders and Dean DeBlois, who managed to mostly replicate the success of the original movie. The series ran for three years and managed to release two seasons, which contained 65 episodes.
The TV series aired all over the world and became really popular. It had positive reviews and fans could finally see Lilo & Stitch and their life together as ‘ohana.
6. Leroy & Stitch (2006)
Leroy & Stitch is considered a third and final sequel of the original movie from 2002 Lilo & Stitch. Once again, the directors are Tony Craig and Bobs Gannaway, who is also a writer with Jess Winfield. This time the story follows Lilo, Stitch, Jumbo, and Pleakley after they caught all genetic experiments and found one true place where each of them belongs.
Stitch, Jumba and Pleakley are offered the positions in the Galactic Alliance, but promptly turn down the offer since they finally think of Hawaii and Lilo as home. However, Lilo thinks otherwise, and she is of thinking they belong in space, and that it is time to say aloha.
The story goes from there with the new threat of doctor Jacques Von Hamsterviel and his new experiment Leroy, with whom the doctor wants to take over the world. This was the last Lilo & Stitch project that included Lilo as the main character and companion of Stitch. Even though the critics still insisted that the movie cannot measure up to the success of the first one, they insisted that the movie serves as a great ending to the great movie trilogy.
This is the last animated featured movie, and Lilo & Stitch franchise transferred to the international market and audiences, with totally different premises and styles.
7. Stitch & Ai (2017) – Chinese Anime
This is actually the third Lilo & Stitch Tv series, that takes place before the next entry on this list. The Chinese version of the series follows the continuity of the original Lilo & Stitch series and before the Japanese version. The TV show has one season that contains 13 episodes. The story follows a Chinese girl Wang Ai Ling and Stitch, where, after Stitch was kidnapped by Jaboodies, he is brainwashed and consequently freed which leads to him crashing into the Chinese Huangshan mountains.
Stitch finds Wang Ai Ling, who deals with family problems that lead to her being separated from her sister. Stitch quickly befriends the girl and becomes her pet, as he did with Lilo. The series follows their adventure in China, and it is a really sweet and cool story.
8. Stitch! (2008–2015) Japanese anime
The Japanese series is closely connected to the other films and series, and even though it seems that the shows are in another universe, especially, this one, it is false. During the two-part episode in the third season of the TV show, it was revealed just how much time has passed since the Leroy & Stitch movie. The episode, which revolves around Stitch’s birthday, reveals that Stitch is 18 years of age, and the episode in the same season is called simply “Lilo”, the original Stitch’s companion Lilo is all grown up, with a young daughter named Ani.
This is very interesting since it clears up some confusion and probably some fans’ reluctance to watch the show. It is worth it – the characters, plot, and just the Japanese vibes of the show are really well reflected in the Disney series.
Where To Watch Lilo & Stitch Series and Movies?
All of the Lilo & Stitch content is available on Disney+ streaming platforms all over the world since it is a Disney franchise.
Do You Need To Watch Lilo & Stitch Series and Movies in Order?
After the investigation and looking up the storylines of each Lilo & Stitch project, we warmly recommend for you watch the Lilo & Stitch franchise in chronological order.
Disney and fans themselves will agree with that notion as well since the shows and movies were set for the main characters of the original projects to move on and aged up, which will open up new premises and possible projects for the future.
Are Lilo & Stitch Series and Movies Connected?
Even though some fans speculated that the shows, especially the international ones are in a different universe, a few episodes of the same shows disagreed with that notion. All of the series, movies, and spin-offs are closely connected to the first original movie from 2002, that started it all.
Will There Be More Lilo & Stitch Series and Movies?
Seven years went by since the ending of the Stitch!, Japanese anime series and it seemed that the Lilo & Stitch franchise will be put aside for other projects to develop. Well, fans can rejoice because the new live-action remake of Lilo & Stitch has been reported all the way back in 2018. That was the period where a lot of Disney’s original animated movies were remade into live-action, including Aladin, Mulan, and more.
Chris Sanders will come back as the voice of Stitch and after a few changes of the directors, in July of 2002, it was announced that Lilo & Stitch live-action movie will be directed by Dean Fleischer-Camp who is known for the direction of a critically acclaimed mockumentary, Marcel the Shell with Shoes On.
All in all, we have something to look forward to, but before that, check out our watch order of Lilo & Stitch to remind yourselves how a little Hawaiian girl and her blue koala-looking alien experiment charmed us all.