Captain Gantu is the main antagonist of Disney's 2002 animated film Lilo & Stitch and the former secondary antagonist of its franchise. He is the brutish captain of the Galactic Federation and a longstanding rival of Experiment 626. After endangering innocent lives during his attempts to apprehend a wanted 626, Gantu was discharged from his position and forcibly went to work as Dr. Hämsterviel's henchman.
Gantu is the former captain of the Galactic Federation, serving as the second-in-command to the Grand Councilwoman. Unlike the Grand Councilwoman, however, Gantu was known for being the brute force of the Galactic security forces, holding no sympathy toward criminals or fugitives, and preferring immediate arrest, as opposed to awaiting a chance to see if a criminal in question has some form of good within them.
After his failed attempt to arrest 626, as well as following his discharge from the Galactic Federation, Gantu left to work for a notorious galactic enemy known as Dr. Hämsterviel, who sought out to capture the other 624 of Dr. Jumba Jookiba's loose experiments in an attempt to take over the galaxy. Though his actions under Hämsterviel's control were completely villainous, Gantu noted several times that the job was mostly taken out of a desperate need for money, while another motivation could include revenge against Lilo and Stitch.
In earlier drafts of the film, Gantu's role in the climax of the film was taken by a character called Ramthar, who was a member of Stitch's gang of criminals. As the storyline changed, most of the gang was phased out and Ramthar played the role of a bounty hunter. Ramthar capturing Lilo still remained, even with the creation of Gantu in the intervening period.
Gantu is a strict, no-nonsense soldier. He is not evil, however, but follows his orders in an admittedly ruthless manner and tends to take the rules too seriously. As the Grand Councilwoman stated, he has a problem with ethics. He is also fairly sadistic, as he seemed to enjoy seeing Stitch in shackles and wasn't hesitant to shoot or capture him every chance he got. However, he does not tolerate failure or being mocked as shown through his interactions with Stitch and Reuben. Considering his backstory given in Lilo & Stitch: The Series, it is possible his ostracism by his peer groups caused him to be the cold, lonely individual he is. Even after being fired from his position, he seemed eager to redeem himself and get his position back every chance he got. He is fairly arrogant of his abilities, often exclaiming how he was a former captain of the Galactic Armada, showing that he still takes pride in his previous occupation. He is also fairly hardworking but can be impulsive, which often works against him.
He tends to get annoyed easily and has a short fuse, willingly resorting to violence against those who insult him. This sometimes causes him to act without thinking or not listen to others. His loyalty to Hämsterviel is strictly that of an employer and worker, as Hämsterviel shows very little respect for Gantu, despite all the hard work he does. Even so, Gantu is always willing to leave Hämsterviel whenever an opportunity to earn cash presents itself. However, he still tolerates Hämsterviel's insults and tends to be meek toward those whose authority he is under, as shown by his relationship with the Grand Councilwoman and Hämsterviel. He is often called "Big Dummy" or "Blubber Butt," which he doesn't tolerate, as he hates being ridiculed and also being called "fat" or "stupid." Gantu is quite intelligent and shown to conduct decent plans for capturing experiments, but usually, due to interference from Lilo and Stitch, they end up backfiring. He also tends to endure the most pain and slapstick throughout the series, getting hurt very often. However, he sometimes does get a happy ending in episodes such as "Clip", "Amnesio", "Topper", "Phoon", and "Snooty".
Gantu can be rather selfish as shown in "Houdini" when he took credit for Reuben finding an experiment pod, only for it to backfire as the experiment was Fudgy, who smothered Hämsterviel in chocolate. Additionally, he can be lazy, such as in "Mrs. Hasagawa's Cats" when he opted for sleep instead of searching for the experiments, and a little slow due to his serious nature and his inability to discern jokes and sarcasm as shown throughout the series and in Leroy & Stitch. However, he is not completely heartless, as seen in "Topper" when he gave an experiment pod to a little girl as a present, and in "Mr. Stenchy" when he refused to give Hämsterviel Mr. Stenchy because he grew fond of him and was taken in by his cuteness. He also stated that he thought it was cute when Lilo named the experiments in "Clip". He even opened up to Reuben about his childhood in "Dupe".
He is the type to hold grudges, as shown through his grudge against Stitch and always willing to battle him. He was even happily watching the moment when Stitch's cousins were about to pummel him in "Angel". He also seems to hold a grudge against Lilo but is less likely to deal her harm, implying he at least knows to control himself and not abuse someone weaker than him. He will also back out of a deal in exchange for a better one, as shown through his attempts at finding a good job to escape Hämsterviel's employment and also in "Sample", where he sold out Stitch and Sample so the alien hunters hunting Gantu wouldn't hurt him, and that he would give Sample to Hämsterviel in return. Also, despite his claims of hating Earth, he is shown enjoying many of the recreational activities on Hawaii, such as hula dancing, kickboxing, a spa weekend, games and sports, owning a boat, watching TV, surfing, and karaoke.
Gantu is a giant, hulking alien resembling either a gray humanoid shark or whale, which is a recurring joke in the franchise since many characters often compare him to fish, crustaceans, and sharks. He wears a black spacesuit consisting of a tank shirt with thick red brims on his sleeves and matching linings vertically on both sides of it, and trousers with their same vertical linings on his leggings. He also wears a gray belt with a light gray "V" on the front, a holster on the right, and black wristbands.
Gantu appeared at Jumba's trial. Gantu immediately felt that Jumba's Experiment 626 was a complete and total menace to society and should be destroyed. Upon hearing 626 speak, Gantu placed Jumba under arrest and sent 626 to be imprisoned to a desert maximum asteroid for life. Gantu has a little interrogation before exiting the room and, during his absence, 626 escapes. The Grand Councilwoman then hires Jumba and an Earth expert named Pleakley to go to Earth to capture Stitch.
Gantu plays a much bigger role in the second half of the movie, when Jumba and Pleakley fail within a two day period, resulting in the Grand Councilwoman hiring Gantu to finish the job. Gantu successfully captures 626 (now under the name "Stitch") and his newfound human friend Lilo. Stitch manages to escape, although Gantu is clueless to his freedom. Stitch, Lilo's sister Nani and a reformed Jumba and Pleakley then set off to save Lilo. A battle ensues and Stitch rescues Lilo. After the battle, the heroes and Gantu return to the island. Gantu is then fired from his job for the brutal manner in which he followed his orders and for endangering the lives of others during the mission.
Gantu did not appear in Lilo & Stitch 2: Stitch Has a Glitch, but he reappears in this film as a secondary villain aiding the evil Dr. Hämsterviel in his goal to take over the galaxy. In this film, Gantu kidnaps Jumba and uses him as a hostage in order to gain the other 625 experiments Jumba created. With the guidance of Cobra Bubbles and the Grand Councilwoman, Hämsterviel and Gantu make a trade with Jumba, successfully gaining the experiments with the exception of Experiment 221 (Sparky), which is in the hands of Lilo and Stitch. On Gantu's ship, Lilo and Stitch battle Gantu for the experiments, but they are accidentally unleashed on Hawaii. After a circuit malfunction created by Sparky, Gantu's ship crash lands in Hawaii, leaving Gantu stranded with an experiment released to destroy Stitch, but turned out to be nothing more than a lazy sandwich-maker: Experiment 625.
Gantu appears as one of the series' main villains and is featured in almost every episode. Gantu is now the official henchman of Hämsterviel and plans to capture all 625 experiments. It's possible that Gantu will capture Stitch as well (as seen in episodes like Kixx). Gantu is given a sidekick as well, the wisecracking Experiment 625. He is revealed to be quite bumbling and dim-witted, compared to his debut appearance, where he is more intelligent and competent. He tries various schemes and natural forces to capture all the experiments with little success. Near the end of the series, he is revealed to have only captured seventeen of them (010, 032, 033, 054, 103, 204, 222, 275, 303, 323, 390, 544, 586, 603, 609, 617, 624), but these experiments were soon released by Lilo and Stitch. The series implies that Gantu works for Hämsterviel for money and money only.
In "Wishy-Washy", an experiment with the ability to grant wishes prompts Gantu to betray Hämsterviel, not needing the villain with the power of wishes. The same episode revealed insight on Gantu's younger years; years which included a love interest.
Three years after the experiments were released onto the island and turned good by Lilo and Stitch, Gantu attempts to redeem himself in the eyes of Hämsterviel by breaking the latter out of prison. He does so successfully, leaving 625 behind on Earth. Hämsterviel then enlists Gantu in his new scheme to create an evil clone of Stitch in a plot to take over the galaxy. They head over to Jumba's lab, where the scientist currently resides after receiving his keys back from the Grand Councilwoman. Gantu threatens to kill Jumba unless he cooperates with Hämsterviel and finishes the nearly-complete experiment in the lab. Once the experiment is complete, Hämsterviel names it Leroy (a name which Gantu and Jumba seem to find funny) and orders it to capture all the other experiments. Once they are collected, Hämsterviel fires Gantu, no longer needing the former captain. As a result of this betrayal, Gantu decides to turn over a new leaf by freeing a captive Lilo and 625 (now named "Reuben" by Lilo). The team meets up with Stitch, Jumba, and Pleakley and heads to Earth to battle the Leroy army and save the galaxy. After the mission is a success, Gantu is granted his position as captain of the Galactic Armada once again.
Gantu works under Dr. Hämsterviel to steal Stitch's Good Deed Counter. According to the English dub, Gantu was dishonorably discharged from his Galactic Federation job due to bad karaoke singing, whereas in the original (which does not follow anything past Lilo & Stitch) he is still fired due to the events of the original film. Gantu has a huge obsession with a television drama called Red Rose Maiden, or The Young and the Stupid in the English dub, and has a huge crush on the main character of the drama, Princess Michigo.
Gantu has a relatively less important role as a minor antagonist in Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep. In the game, he is found and resides in the Lilo & Stitch-based world of Deep Space. Holding a desperate struggle to retain the dangerous Experiment 626, it is both on and before his quest to recapture Experiment 626 that he crosses paths with Terra, Ventus, and Aqua.
Gantu first appeared alongside the Grand Councilwoman after he reported capturing a strange being floating through space, showing her an unconscious Terra in one of the ship's prison cells. The two aliens were soon attacked by a group of Unversed, Gantu attempting to defend the Grand Councilwoman but eventually forced to flee while a recently awakened Terra took on the mysterious creatures.
When Aqua arrived in Deep Space, she was captured by Gantu, who was on the search of the renegade Dr. Jumba Jookiba and Experiment 626 and branded an intruder by the massive extraterrestrial. She was then taken to the Grand Councilwoman. Gantu was criticized when he told the Grand Councilwoman the ship's weapons were no match against the Unversed. Aqua was hired to eliminate them in his place; she was also told to search for Experiment 626 and Jumba. When the Keyblade-wielder found the fugitives on the docking bay, Gantu ultimately attacked with a desire for revenge. Witnessing his attack on her security monitors, the Grand Councilwoman arrived on the docking bay after the battle between Gantu, Experiment 626, and Aqua had ended, demoting Gantu back to Patrol status despite his protests.
Having recaptured Experiment 626, who had escaped during Terra's visit and was later given a fighting chance at survival for learning about friendship during Aqua's visit, Gantu was interrupted from tormenting the small alien. Soon after, an intruder was detected. He found Ventus, whom he accused of being the trespasser. Ventus explained he was merely following an Unversed that had sneaked aboard the ship, Gantu calling him a liar, since no other intruders had been sensed. However, the Grand Councilwoman's announcements of a monster causing the engine to go wild and out of control made him change his mind and pursue the creature. Ventus then proceeded to disobey Gantu's orders to stay put, defeating the mysterious Unversed alongside Experiment 626. Ventus and the renegade Experiment 626 affirmed their friendship, but then Gantu arrived in an attempt to destroy them. He was out-maneuvered and Experiment 626 was able to escape the ship.
Gantu appears in Stitch's Great Escape! in the Magic Kingdom. Gantu pilots the park guests through the tutorial along with Pleakley. Soon enough, news of a Level 3 threat being teleported into the Galactic Federation Prisoner Teleport Center prompts Gantu, worrying for the safety of the guests, to send the guests to the high-security Level 3 teleportation chamber. He joins them in the room where they meet and interact with the Level 3 prisoner, who turns out to be Stitch.
In 2014, Gantu made his live, Walt Disney World debut as a walkaround character at the Unleash the Villains event.
Gantu makes an appearance in Stitch Live! at the Walt Disney Studios Park. Here, Gantu's space cruiser was stolen by Stitch (it was rather easy for the experiment, as Gantu left the keys inside). Stitch then asks the audience to assist him in escaping, but Gantu arrives anyway and gives chase. The audience and the cast member guide Stitch through the ship to find his own. Once he does, he makes his escape, leaving Gantu frustrated.
He also made an appearance at Disneyland Paris for Stitch's Hawaiian Paradise.
In Midsummer Night's Panic, Gantu and Hämsterviel, with an army, plot to capture Stitch and travel to Earth. During the middle of summer get together, Gantu is ordered to make his move; however, Lilo challenges him to a music face-off. After Gantu's defeat, he ultimately gives up and decides to join Lilo and Stitch in their party. Soon enough, Hämsterviel arrives shocked by the situation. In spite of the confusion, Hämsterviel decides to join the party as well.
Gantu can be seen in the Tokyo parade Lilo and Stitch's Big Panic.
- Gantu is an expert in twelve martial arts.
- Gantu doesn't appear to be evil in the first film. However, it is completely unknown why he captured Lilo together with Stitch. It was probably unintentional, but he had no qualms with abducting her alongside Stitch (his primary target) and then didn't bother to release her, even going so far as to comment to the two of them as he loaded them onto his ship, "And look, I even got you a little snack," implying that he thought Stitch might eat Lilo. It is possible, though, that he didn't release Lilo simply because it would have given Stitch the opportunity to escape once again.
- Gantu appears, along with several other Lilo & Stitch characters, in a parody of the Disney Channel Original Movie High School Musical, which was broadcast as part of the High School Musical: Around the World one-year anniversary special.
- Gantu is mean and hostile due to his intellectual memory. This is proven when he loses his memory in the series episode "Amnesio", as he becomes very polite and kind at once.
- Gantu seems to dislike working for Hämsterviel and has occasionally done hostile things to him on purpose, which proves Gantu is not always on Hämsterviel's side. After Hämsterviel fired Gantu in Leroy & Stitch, he decided to join Lilo and Reuben's side.
- People mistake him as a whale or shark, due to the fact that he resembles a bipedal whale or shark. He has also been mistaken as a Samoan (due to his large size and when he is wearing human clothing).
- Despite claiming to not like the planet itself, Gantu seems to enjoy recreational activities on Earth. He danced at a luau in "Clip", showed an interest in kickboxing in "Kixx", enjoyed a spa weekend in "Fibber", played checkers and basketball in "Slugger", bought a boat to become a captain in "Shoe", watched Macki Macaw on TV in "Snooty", went surfing in "Phoon", played cards in "Ace", and sang karaoke in "Snafu".
- In "Dupe", Gantu revealed that in his past, his father was an authoritarian, and it is because of this that he grew up lonely and with no friends. His father also told him to never trust people and to avoid them. Additionally, he revealed that he was often excluded from his peer groups' parties by the age of 12 and had braces at 13.
- In "Wishy-Washy", Gantu had a school year hologram, which is similar to a school yearbook; he was a member of an unknown football team and had a girlfriend named Cynthia.
- His favorite kind of sandwich is egg salad as mentioned in Stitch! The Movie and Leroy & Stitch. However, he states in Stitch! The Movie that he dislikes bologna because it is too fatty.
- It has also been mentioned sporadically throughout the series and in the episode "Richter" that he is shown to like toasted bacon and raisin, as well as chicken soup sandwiches in "Slushy", "Poxy", and "Slick".
- However, he states in "Frenchfry" that he dislikes sweets, yet he devoured a whole cake that Frenchfry made him, which caused him to bloat up. On the other hand, this could be attributed to Frenchfry's ability to make food irresistibly delicious.
- In "Swapper", he is revealed to be allergic to Hämsterviel's dandruff while inside the latter's body.