The two universes of Lilo & Stitch
This is one of my more arbitrary theories. I have been thinking about Lilo and Stitch, and – more specifically – the differences between the Lilo and Stitch film franchise and the television franchise. For the purposes of this post, the film franchise includes Lilo & Stitch and Lilo & Stitch 2: Stitch Has a Glitch; the television franchise includes Stitch: The Movie and the Lilo & Stitch TV series which was shown Disney Channel. I have come to the conclusion that these two franchises are, in fact, in different universes.
Hear me out.
Both universes start in the same way, with (mostly) the same events which happen in the first Lilo & Stitch movie, in that Stitch ends up spending his exile on Earth as Lilo’s pet, and Jumba and Pleakley are made to stay behind on Hawaii. However, while the events of the Lilo & Stitch movie can be taken as canon for the film franchise universe, changes must be made for the television franchise universe.
I should say that, for the purposes of this theory, the defining feature of the television franchise universe is that Stitch is not the only experiment which Jumba created on his home planet; there are 625 others, each with their own powers. This, I argue, is in conflict with the events of the film franchise.
First, the evidence in the first Lilo & Stitch movie. The movie begins with Jumba’s trial for illegally creating a genetic experiment. Note: a genetic experiment. There is only one. Experiment 626 is the only experiment about which the Council knew, and the other 625 experiments are not even mentioned. Jumba himself denies having done experiments at all, and – when Stitch is revealed – says that he only made Stitch: he only made one.
Now, for the evidence in Lilo & Stitch 2: Stitch Has a Glitch. For this, I point to one scene in particular: a flashback to Stitch’s birth in Jumba’s lab. Jumba, in this scene, seems worried about the process he is using to create Stitch. So much so, that it seems as though this is his first shot. Surely, if he had already made 626 other experiments, he would have the process nailed down by this point?
That there are 625 other experiments are not addressed by the Lilo & Stitch films, even the second one, which was made after the television series. Thus, it seems that the second film picks up where the first film left off, and ignores the 625 other experiments. This suggests that they are, in fact, in different universes.