Experiment 626, aka Stitch, is genetically engineered to be a troublemaker. When it came time to market “Lilo & Stitch” in 2002, Walt Disney Animation Studios took a subversive approach. The film’s four teaser trailers show Stitch mischievously interrupting famous scenes from classic Disney movies, wrecking havoc upon the likes of Ariel, Belle, Beast, Aladdin, Jasmine, and Rafiki during their iconic film moments.
Aligning with the film’s clever marketing campaign, ...er for “Lilo & Stitch” depicted favorite Disney characters surrounding Stitch, suspicious of him. Copy on ...er reads, “There’s one in every family.”
Disney has long loved synergy, frequently taking advantage of opportunities to collide its beloved characters in expanded media. It’s not uncommon to see characters from seemingly different universes rub shoulders with each other in merchandise, theme park productions, or the animated series “House of Mouse,” which aired around the same time “Lilo & Stitch” debuted. The early marketing for “Lilo & Stitch” might have led younger viewers especially to believe the film would once again combine character worlds and include callbacks to Disney’s earlier work. In reality, it was simply a witty promotional campaign for a movie that was about family, Hawaii, and Elvis.