Disney fans are celebrating International Stitch Day. Lilo & Stitch celebrated its 18th anniversary earlier this week, but today is all for the star of the show, Experiment 626. June 26th, aka 6/26 is the day that fans from all over the world come together to pay tribute to the mischievous little blue alien. Stitch was created to cause chaos across the galaxy by destroying everything he touches, but he ended up doing some good for the universe instead.

Experiment 626 was the 626th genetic experiment created by Jumba. He is notable as being the first made without Hämsterviel's funding. Jumba designed 626 to be "virtually indestructible, fireproof, bulletproof, shockproof, think faster than a supercomputer, have super sight and hearing, and lift objects 3,000 times his own weight (but not an ounce more)." He gets his new name Stitch when he lands on Earth and befriends Lilo, who believes he's just a weird little blue puppy who destroys everything around him.

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Disney fans have been taking to social media to share their favorite images of Stitch, including art that they made on their own. The day has gotten big enough that it has started trending on social media, thanks to the devoted 626 fan base. Other fans are sharing images of themselves at Disneyland meeting up with the character, which is something that won't be happening at the theme park again for a while. Stitch Day is a lot bigger this year than some of the previous years, which just goes to show how popular the character has become in the 18 years it's been since we were first introduced to him.

Lilo & Stitch was almost a completely different movie. The original idea was to have Stitch on his own in a forest, trying to overcome his isolation. The idea didn't last too long and the Lilo character was brought on to help balance things out. From there, a location was needed, which was originally between Kansas and Kentucky before they settled on Hawaii. While a lot of fans love the character because of how cute he is, there are a number of people who love the movie from a technical standpoint, mainly because it was the first Disney animated movie since Dumbo to use watercolor painted backgrounds.

Lilo & Stitch hit theaters on June 21st, 2002 and was embraced by Disney fans, though it never hit number one at the box office. Steven Spielberg's Minority Report kept it from the number one spot during its original theatrical run. It was able to earn $273.1 million globally, which isn't exactly a homerun for Disney, but it ended up doing extremely well when it became available on home video. Now, Stitch, aka Experiment 626, is one of the bigger characters in the stable, thanks to his committed fans. You can head over to Disney+ to watch Lilo & Stitch and check out some 626 tributes below.

Kevin Burwick at Movieweb
Kevin Burwick