Experiment (Lilo & Stitch)
|Credit and dates|
|Creation date||Early 2000s|
|Publishing date||June 2002|
|Alternate name(s)||Genetic experiments|
|Home||Turo ("birth" planet for almost all experiments)|
Hawaii (adoptive home for most experiments, primarily around Kokaua Town on Kauai)
Plorgonar (Experiment 254/Mr. Stenchy's adoptive home)
|Metazoan||Varies depending on genetic construct, but usually mammalian|
|Sapience||Varies, ranging from near-non-sapience to humanoid|
|Locomotion||Varies, including terrestrial, flight, aquatic, etc.|
Genetic experiments or simply experiments are fictional genetically-engineered alien creatures in Disney's Lilo & Stitch franchise. In the franchise's fictional universe, they are creations of Kweltikwan biogeneticist (and self-proclaimed "evil genius") Dr. Jumba Jookiba, who made them with the shady funding of his former partner-in-crime (and the franchise's main antagonist) Dr. Jacques von Hämsterviel. The most famous of these experiments is Experiment 626, better known as the franchise's half-namesake Stitch.
The idea of the experiments were partly conceived by Lilo & Stitch director and writer Chris Sanders during the development of the film's story. Initially, Stitch was just an alien creature who crash-landed in a forest on Earth. In later developments, he was meant to be the leader of an intergalactic criminal gang and Jumba was one of his former cronies sent by the Intergalactic Council to capture him. However, test audience responses to early versions of the film resulted in the change of Stitch and Jumba's relationship to that of creation and creator, respectively.
The idea of genetic experiments other Stitch were initially shown in prequel comics released in Disney Adventures magazine, which despite being made non-canonical after the 2005 release of Lilo & Stitch 2: Stitch Has a Glitch, are notable for introducing an early version of later major franchise character Experiment 625, also known as Reuben. Another early instance of a pre-626 experiment appearing came in the PlayStation 2 prequel video game, Disney's Stitch: Experiment 626, released two days before Lilo & Stitch's theatrical release. This game featured Experiment 621 (also known as "Chopsuey" after Leroy & Stitch), a skinny green experiment who was featured as an antagonist. The video game was also later retconned by Lilo & Stitch 2.
The experiments in general made their formal debut in the 2003 direct-to-video sequel Stitch! The Movie, which serves as the pilot to the Disney Channel and ABC animated series, Lilo & Stitch: The Series, in which they are featured as the main plot devices. In the series, Stitch and his best friend Lilo Pelekai must find the experiments who were scattered around Kauai as dehydrated pods that activate when the come in contact with water (as seen in Stitch! The Movie). The duo capture, name, and rehabilitate the other experiments so that they use their powers to become productive members of society instead of the destructive creatures that Jumba initially intended them to be. Thanks to Lilo's influence, Stitch, inspired by Hawaiian terminology, calls almost every one of the experiments his "cousins" (with the notable exception of Experiment 624/Angel, who becomes his girlfriend instead) and sees them all as part of his ʻohana (family). By the end of the final Lilo & Stitch film Leroy & Stitch, Lilo and Stitch would successfully reform all 625 experiments, up to and including Stitch's immediate predecessor Experiment 625/Reuben, who served as a reluctant sidekick to secondary antagonist Gantu throughout the show. During the series and Leroy & Stitch, Jumba also creates three more experiments after Stitch: Experiment 627 (also known as "Evile" to the Lilo & Stitch fanbase), Experiment 628, and Leroy. However, none of these experiments were rehabilitated; 627 could not be turned good and was dehydrated back into pod form, 628 was never activated, and Leroy and his clones were shut down thanks to a fail-safe and were sent to prison.
According to Lilo & Stitch: The Series executive producer and screenwriter Jess Winfield, the show was initally going to feature various derivative clones of Stitch made by a villain, but then either fellow executive producer Roberts "Bobs" Gannaway, then-president of Walt Disney Television Animation Barry Blumberg, or Winfield himself suggested to use the 625 experiments before Stitch instead, eventually leading to the experiments replacing the Stitch clones for the series.
The experiments were also featured in the Stitch! anime series, which takes place years after the events of Leroy & Stitch, but with a number of them now inexplicably under the possession of Dr. Hämsterviel. The anime also introduced a number of experiments that weren't seen in the original series, such as Experiment 021/Twang (also called Experiment 145/Flute in the anime's English dub) and Experiment 122/Dorkifier. However, the first 625 experiments did not reappear in the Chinese animated series Stitch & Ai, which instead has Jumba making a number of new experiment-like creatures that are based on creatures found in Chinese mythology.
- L&S Says Mahalo. TV Tome. Yet Another Lilo & Stitch Fansite (re-uploaded archive) (2004-12-13). Archived from the original on 2016-03-19. Retrieved on 2018-06-01. “During development of the series, an artist and director here named Steve Lyons suggested that an evil villain clone Stitch into a bunch of different creatures that Lilo and Stitch would chase. That idea slowly became "the other 625 experiments." I honestly don't remember who first used that phrase... it might have been me, or Bobs Gannaway, or perhaps Barry Blumberg, President of Disney TVA.”
- Experiments on Disney Wiki — Note: Contains fanon information about unseen experiments.
- Lilo & Stitch: Experiments character sheet on TV Tropes — Better curated list that avoids providing fan-made information about the unseen experiments.
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