Stitch is a blue koala-like alien standing around three feet tall. He has large rabbit-like ears (with asymmetrical notches on the outer rims of each ear — one near the tip of his right ear, one near the base of his left ear — with the back of the ear tips colored indigo), a wide mouth, a round nose, black eyes, a small, short, stumpy tail; three tufts of fur on top of his head and on his chest, aqua countershading around his eyes and from his lower lip extending down to the bottom of his abdomen, four arms (two of which are usually retracted), three retractable spines that run down his back, four sharp retractable claws on each of his front and back paws (hands and feet), two retractable antennae on his head, and abstract indigo markings on his back and occipital that vaguely look similar to snow angels (with the back marking having two large “bulges” in the middle that allude to his four arms). He is referred to as a dog by Lilo throughout much of the franchise, as he was taken to a pound and disguised himself as one in order to escape his captors by being adopted by Lilo. He was initially believed by Lilo to be a collie that had been hit by a car, while Nani thought he was a koala of a sort before they found out he was an alien genetic experiment. He has a limited ability to change his physical appearance, as he can retract his lower set of arms, his claws, his antennae and the three spines on his back into his body.
Sanders’s initial design concepts for Stitch, as seen in early concepts of the film’s story, differs from the final version. Stitch was originally going to have a greener fur coloration, which was changed to the now-familiar blue in early development. His black eyes were slightly smaller compared to his final version, his ears flared at their bases instead of close to their tips, and some early drawings placed his nose below the eye line instead of above. The early drawings also showed him with white or silver claws instead of dark blue claws, and he wore a yellow-orange spacesuit with burnt orange pants instead of the more uniform red-orange spacesuit that he wears in the original film’s first act.
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