Stitch is quite an interesting character in the vast pantheon of Disney animated creations. His presence in the parks and stores is constant. I would think if you were to walk around the parks and look in the stores at the merchandise, ignoring the push of whatever film is recently been released very few characters could reach his presence and level of saturation. I would say Mickey & Friends, the Princesses, Tinkerbell, Winnie the Pooh, and Stitch would make the top of the list. When we walk around the park over the years we always see Stitch at a character photo op and stop for a quick pic. This fact is made more interesting with the fact that character appeared in 1 film (and some TV cartoons & direct to DVD sequels) over 15 years ago and the film was a moderate success. According to Box Office Mojo Lilo and Stich is the 70th most successful animation film ever and the 30th most successful film by Buena Vista, which is Disney’s distribution company, which puts it in about the middle of the pack of Disney’s 56 theatrical animated films, not including Pixar and its other subsidiary companies like DisneyToons.
My daughter’s favorite Disney character is Stitch and while she loves the film Lilo & Stitch she only watches it occasionally as it is a real tearjerker for her. But the movie is not why she loves Stitch, she loves him because on her first visit to Disney World, when she was very young, she got the stuffed Stitch seen below.
Well, that is not true. She got the smaller Stitch on the left that was accidentally dropped by her parents while leaving the park (I subsequently replaced him on a later trip). I know, I know, dropping a stuffed animal in the park is horrible, but what can I say we were rookie park goers back then and we were exhausted, it was late, our first day there, it was dark, and the parade was going on. We found out we had lost when she asked for him on the monorail. We realized what had happened and the white-knuckle terror set in that no thrill ride can produce. What would we tell her? It was touch and go as it was a long hot day and she was coming down hard from some sugar and the over stimulation that is Disney World. So, when she asked for him to cuddle with on the monorail we scrambled and told her “Oh, he is in the backpack we will get him out when we get back to the hotel.”
Luckily, we were staying at the Contemporary which has a great store in the lobby. I went in frantically looking for that Stitch. Then I saw him across the store, but as I got closer I realized it was a larger version of him. I had no choice, I bought him, snuck into our room and placed him in the backpack. When we unloaded the bag, we pulled out all the day’s supplies including a mostly empty bottle of blue Powerade. When she said that was not her Stitch, we could not bear to tell her we lost it, we were just as exhausted as her, and she was borderline delirious. So, I told her that the troublemaker Stitch must have gotten into that blue Powerade and it made him bigger. She got very excited and could not believe her eyes. I mean what other logical explanation could there be. I felt bad at the time, but I believe that that thought that he was “magically special” bonded her to that character in a way that has not wavered over the years. So, that is how she fell in love with Stitch, got one of her favorite stuffed animals, and believed for a while that Powerade was magical.
Therefore, when it came time to build buildings for our Disney themed HO scale model railroad table Lilo’s house was at the top of my daughter’s list. I have showcased our Flynn’s Arcade from Tron & Carl’s House from Up in previous posts. As with all our builds I design them and cut the parts and my daughter helps assemble, paint, weather, and detail them. The house is not show many times and there are some visual inconsistencies in the film and TV show including the interior layout and color. Part of the designing of the build includes coming up with mini architectural plans. We opted to design the house as it appears in the final moments as it is more visually interesting.
The house is very small coming in about 3” in height. It was made completely from scratch using thin white sheets of polystyrene plastic (available at most hobby shops). We have designed each building to be lit and even printed off screen shots from the films so when you look in the windows you see a little detail.
The house is quite interesting from an architectural standpoint. It has unique elements like the elevated 2nd floor and UFO like tower posed some structural considerations.
The detail work of the windows, wrap around patio, and lattice work posed extra delicate construction issues.
To complete the home will purchased a small Volkswagen to match the one you seen at the end of the film.
Eventually the house will be placed in the terrain on a hill by our water elements with tons of palm trees.
Until next time…
The Imagine Ears features the DIY projects, adventures, and thoughts of a father and daughter who use a shared love of all things Disney to create memories together through encouraging her interests in architecture, design, Imagineering, while exploring history and science.