(CHUD Note: According to published reports, LILO & STITCH had to undergo a heavy edit following the 9/11 attacks. Reportedly, the film's final chase scene involved Stitch stealing a 747 from the Honolulu airport, and flying it through the city itself, dodging things like skyscrapers, buildings & such.)
CHUD: I understand there were a lot of changes made after the September 11th attacks, and that a sequence had to be significantly altered as a result. How did you approach that problem, and how did it affect the bottom line of the picture?
Clark Spencer: You know, September 11th happened. We were on east coast time, and within a couple of hours, we realized we had to make a change in the film. There was no meeting - It wasn't even a conversation in some ways - it was just sort of obvious, out of respect, that this part of the film needed to change, but we still needed a rescue. And so, the directors and myself went into a room and tried to figure out how we were going to make this change and be very smart about it, because we're at the very end of our production process.
I'm very fortunate to work with people like Chris and Dean (DeBlois, Co-Director). They come from story, and they can surgically go in and come up with a way of doing it, which doesn't mean you have to alter everything significantly.
Basically, we went in and took what was an airplane and transformed it into a spaceship. We were able to keep much of the same animation
and much of the same moves that had already been choreographed and planned for that sequence and just kinda trade the two out. We were lucky because we had never talked about how Jumba and Pleakley arrived on earth, so they could go back to the spaceship that was just hiding in the woods, and the rest of it could just happen from there.
What's amazing is that... When you have a moment in time at the end of a film, everyone's really ramped up, and they're able to push stuff through very, very quickly... And when you have everybody knowing that this is the right thing to do, out of respect for that moment in time, people just work their butts off. And, to be honest with you, our schedule change, which should have taken us several months to do, probably took us about 3 and a half weeks. We were fortunate, because we had already planned our film so that it was going to get done early no matter what for the summer release. So, we had the luxury of time to finish it.
CHUD: Was the Airplane footage ever put together? Do you think we'll ever see it on a DVD someday, maybe as a special feature or some such?
Clark Spencer: There may be. We're starting to talk about that kind of stuff right now, it terms of what types of scenes from the film that were originally done will now be seen on the DVD... there's actually several in the film that changed as we were making the movie. It's a natural part of our process. Because it takes so long to make them, we put 'em up, and we decide what's working and what's not. So, there'll probably be several things on the DVD. (*** CHUD NOTE*** They'd better work fast. According to film site DVDToons.com, Wal-Mart is expecting to have the LILO & STITCH DVD on its shelves by December 10th of this year.)