This Scene Was Cut From Lilo & Stitch For A Very Dark Reason


22 years since its first release, Lilo & Stitch is still a beloved family film and now it’s hard to walk through a Primark without seeing hundreds of items of Stitch-based merchandise.

But who can blame us? The tale of found family, friendship and coming-of-age resonates with all different kinds of people.

However, it turns out that the Disney film included a scene that, while very much in the spirit of the film’s mischievous nature, could have been extremely distressing if it had been included in the final cut.

The scene they had to cut from Lilo & Stitch

So, spoilers ahead, but the film culminates with an air chase between two alien spaceships while Stitch and the gang try to save Lilo, if you remember. It’s chaotic and silly, just like the rest of the film.

However, there was one part of the chase which involved one of the aircrafts being a 747 commercial aircraft that crashed into multiple buildings throughout the scene, according to Vox.

Following the attacks on the Twin Towers in New York, animators and scriptwriters changed the scene entirely, due to how distressing it may have been for viewers.

In the original cut, Stitch was joyriding in a 747 but in the final version, it was an alien craft and instead of weaving through, or indeed, crashing into buildings, the animators instead opted for Hawaiian mountains.

“Americans became highly sensitive to anything that bore even a slight resemblance to the attacks,” journalist Lindsay Ellis wrote on Vox. “Children’s shows like ‘Power Rangers,’ ‘Pokémon’, and ‘Invader Zim’ had episodes taken off the air due to scenes where buildings and cityscapes were destroyed.”

With the perspective that we have now, the deleted scene, featured in Vox’s video, is incredibly unsettling. It’s strange to imagine a time when hijacking could ever have been a lighthearted part of a children’s film.

Lilo & Stitch is available on Disney Plus.


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