The film's story revolves around two eccentric and mischievous individuals: a young Hawaiian girl named Lilo Pelekai, who is raised by her older sister Nani after their parents died in a car accident, and a blue extraterrestrial animal-like creature named Experiment 626, who gets adopted by Lilo as her "dog" and is given the name "Stitch". Stitch, who is genetically engineered by his scientist creator to cause chaos and destruction, initially uses Lilo to avoid being captured by an intergalactic federation, but the two individuals develop a close bond through the Hawaiian concept of ʻohana, or extended family. This bond causes Stitch to reconsider, and later defy, his intended destructive purpose in order to keep his family together.
The success of the film spawned a franchise. A direct-to-video sequel called Stitch! The Movie was released on August 26, 2003. This was followed by a television series, Lilo & Stitch: The Series, which ran from September 20, 2003, to July 29, 2006. A second direct-to-video sequel, Lilo & Stitch 2: Stitch Has a Glitch, was released on August 30, 2005. A third sequel, a television film titled Leroy & Stitch, was released on June 23, 2006, as the conclusion to the TV series. An anime series that succeeded the original television series called Stitch! ran in Japan from October 8, 2008, to June 19, 2011, with TV specials broadcast in 2012 and 2015. A Chinese animated series succeeding the Stitch! anime, Stitch & Ai, ran from March 27 to April 6, 2017.
Other animation studios produced the sequel films and series: Stitch! The Movie, Lilo & Stitch: The Series, and Leroy & Stitch were all produced by Walt Disney Television Animation; Stitch Has a Glitch was produced by Disneytoon Studios; Stitch! was produced by Madhouse for its first two seasons, and then Shin-Ei Animation for its third season (and two post-series specials); and Stitch & Ai was produced by Anhui Xinhua Media and Panimation Hwakai Media.