Stitch & Ai (安玲与史迪奇 "An Ling and Stitch") is a television series spin-off of Lilo & Stitch produced for Chinese audiences that premiered on March 27, 2017 on CCTV-1 and CCTV-14. It is the Lilo & Stitch franchise's third TV series, after the Western-animated Lilo & Stitch: The Series and the anime Stitch!
The series was produced in English before being dubbed in Mandarin for Chinese broadcast, as the show was produced with the assistance of American animators, including those who previously worked on Lilo & Stitch: The Series. The original English version began airing on Disney Channel Asia on February 5, 2018. On December 1, 2018, it was given a digital release in Western countries on the DisneyNow website and app, with the exception of the ninth episode "The Phoenix", although it has been removed from the service as of June 2019.
Stitch & Ai follows the events of Lilo & Stitch (and its subsequent film and television sequels up to and including Leroy & Stitch). This series sees Stitch separated from Lilo after being captured by a gang of aliens who had hoped to utilize Jumba's research and use Stitch in their space war with another race of aliens. When Stitch escapes, he ends up re-entering Earth's atmosphere over China and lands in the Huangshan Mountains where he befriends a young girl named Wang Ai Ling and becomes part of her family. However, the Galactic Federation sends Jumba and Pleakley to keep a watch on Stitch and his Chinese family. They are concerned with a hidden function that Jumba secretly programmed in Stitch. This function, which causes Stitch to metamorphosis into a giant beast to fully carryout his destructive programming which can be triggered in a large city—which could be unleashed into the Galaxy if the warring factions figure out how to manipulate Stitch into activating his hidden programming.
- Ben Diskin - Stitch
- Erica Mendez - Wang Ai Ling
- Laura Post - Wang Jiejie, Daiyu
- Jess Winfield - Jumba Jookiba
- Lucien Dodge - Pleakley, Dahu, Sage, Platypus
- Cherami Leigh and Xanthe Huynh - Meiying
- Richard Epcar - Wombat, Mr. Ding, Cobra Bubbles, Gantu
- Kyle Hebert - additional voices
- Bobby Thong - additional voices
- Sarah Anne Williams - additional voices
- Deborah Crane - additional voices
- Jacob Craner - additional voices
- Steve Kramer - additional voices
- Bryce Papenbrook - additional voices
|1||"Hello - Goodbye"||March 27, 2017||February 5, 2018|
|2||"Teacher's Pet"||March 28, 2017||February 6, 2018|
|3||"Gotcha!"||March 28, 2017||February 7, 2018|
|4||"The Scroll"||March 29, 2017||February 8, 2018|
|5||"Spirals"||March 29, 2017||February 12, 2018|
|6||"The Lock"||March 30, 2017||February 13, 2018|
|7||"Dragon Parade"||March 30, 2017||February 14, 2018|
|8||"Tell the World"||March 31, 2017||February 15, 2018|
|9||"The Phoenix"||March 31, 2017||February 20, 2018|
|10||"Dream On"||April 5, 2017||February 21, 2018|
|11||"Nuo Opera" (a.k.a. "Creatures")||April 5, 2017||February 22, 2018|
|12||"Brothers"||April 6, 2017||February 26, 2018|
|13||"Monstrosity"||April 6, 2017||February 27, 2018|
Help from Disney
Though Stitch & Ai is made in China, Panimation Hwakai Media gets a lot of help from Disney. The actual number of non-Chinese employees may be more, to fit the definition of "made in China" in China and enter the Chinese market better. An example is that in the Chinese version, directors are two Chinese people instead of Tony Craig.
- Victor Cook
- Victor Cook, one of the directors of Lilo & Stitch: The Series, came to China to help Panimation Hwakai Media in making Stitch & Ai episode 8. Drinking tea in China with Victor Cook draws some inspiration for this episode.
- Greg Guler
- In March 2013, Panimation Hwakai Media invited Greg Guler to come to China to finalize the characters' appearance design and make key scenes that help understand the story.
- Aluir Amancio
- In 2014, Aluir Amancio joined in the project of Stitch & Ai. His storyboard not only retains the style and tone of the classic animation, but also incorporates Chinese elements.
- Peter Lonsdale
- Film editor Peter Lonsdale work for the project of Stitch & Ai for a long time as well.
- Tony Craig
- Tony, as creative partner and CAO of Panimation Hwakai Media, directed Stitch & Ai. But his name doesn't appeared in Chinese version.
- Michael Tavera
- Michael response the music of Stitch & Ai. He likes to use dizi, guzheng, erhu and drum for Stitch & Ai, which makes the music sound more like Chinese style.
- Jumba creates new creatures, though they are all specific creatures from Chinese myth. In this series, Jumba creates two cliff dragons that mate and breed. This marks the first time that creatures of Jumba's creation produce offspring.
- This is the first Lilo & Stitch TV series where none of the first 625 experiments appear, and the first one in which neither Gantu nor Dr. Hämsterviel are main characters, though Gantu does have a speaking role in the series.
- Various scenes from previous installments in the franchise appear in flashbacks, including:
- Ben Diskin and Jess Winfield reprise their roles as Stitch and Jumba respectively from the English dub of the Stitch! anime. Much like the Stitch! anime, none of the original voice actors from the original American Lilo & Stitch continuity reprise their roles in this show.
- There are occasional cameos from previous characters of the Lilo & Stitch franchise, including Captain Gantu, the Grand Councilwoman, Cobra Bubbles, and the Ice Cream Man.
- Plans for a potential season two was discussed by the production team, but Disney did not approve of a second season.
- As early as August 2015, Panimation Hwakai Media released two artworks but didn't mention more information. We can't even recognise it's related to Stitch.
- In May 2012, after more than two years of hard negotiations, the project of Stitch & Ai was finally settled by Panimation Hwakai Media. In early September that year, major staffs came to Huangshan Mountain for fieldwork. Many scenery and people they met during the fieldwork appear in the finnal cartoon.
- "Takao" (February 13, 2018). "Stitch & Ai debuts in South East Asia". ToonBarn. Retrieved on February 15, 2018.
- Croyle, Joshua. Discussions with Tony Craig: Executive Producer “Lilo & Stitch: The Series” and “Stitch & Ai!”. JoshuaCroyle.com. Archived from the original on January 14, 2018. Retrieved on March 3, 2018.
- 流程流程流程！重要的事情说三遍！—— Victor Cook
- 造型设计师Greg Guler — 给角色赋予生命
- 缅怀动画剪辑师——Peter Lonsdale
- 米老鼠和史迪奇信手拈来 迪士尼导演的三十年动画人生