University of Washington Tacoma

Access*: Interdisciplinary Journal of Student Research and Scholarship

Author Biography

Crysta A. Rollison is an undergraduate of the University of Washington, Tacoma, and is pursuing a degree in writing studies on the creative writing track. Although they are fascinated by literature and the study of it, their goal is to become a published author to further popularize and normalize LGBT+ fiction.

Document Type

Undergraduate Research Paper


This paper examines how the Disney animated film Lilo and Stitch functions as a work of science fiction, with a particular interest in its specific nature as children's science fiction and what the importance of children's literature and media is.

Lilo and Stitch makes use of typically science fictional elements and themes, such as alien societies and the considerations that accompany the artificial creation of life, and juxtaposes them with realistic and culturally relevant themes of grief and post-colonialism. This juxtaposition serves to highlight the unique problems faced by each of the titular characters, who have been "othered" by their respective societies, the concept of the "other" being yet another common science fiction trope. In the face of this commonality, the main characters are drawn together and fill the unique needs the other has, as demonstrated through the concept of ohana.

As a work intended for children, Lilo and Stitch makes excellent use of the art of subtlety in conveying its themes, and it is this subtlety that encourages much of the creativity found in works intended for children. It is an unspoken rule that there are certain topics that should not be directly breached in children's media, and while many creators push the boundaries of what is allowed and what isn't, creators have always found ways to introduce more serious and realistic topics into children's media.


University of Washington Tacoma


T LIT 391 Science Fiction Literature


Andrea Modarres