Ohana means family, and family means that a comprehensive study of the King of Rock’n’Roll, Elvis Presley, is best undertaken by viewing Disney’s 2002 cartoon Lilo & Stitch. Well, that is according to Jacob Elordi.
The 26-year-old Australian actor has recently donned Presley’s gilded jumpsuits and signature pompadour greaser hairstyle for his role as Elvis in Sofia Coppola’s latest film Pricilla. Unlike Baz Luhrmann’s recent Elvis biopic, Coppola applies her trademark ethereal lens to Priscilla Presley’s story.
The film chronicles her life from her early years as a Beaulieu military brat to being swept into the flurry of fame through her romance with the rock deity. One that Coppola and Presley herself implies wasn’t the picture-perfect relationship it was touted to be. But we digress.
With Elordi making his theatrical motion picture debut with Priscilla, fans of the burgeoning Hollywood heavyweight were curious to see how his portrayal stacked up against his ex-girlfriend Kaia Geber’s current boyfriend, Austin Butler.
Butler, who received an Oscar nomination for the role, famously hired a plethora of acting and accent coaches to perfect his performance, fully immersing himself in Presley’s life and even going so far as to talk in his accent for ever a year. Elordi’s prep? Watching Lilo & Stitch.
Speaking to Jimmy Fallon, Elordi revealed that the first time he ever heard Presley’s music was through the animated film’s soundtrack.
“Growing up, were you an Elvis fan?” questioned Fallon. “No,” replied Elordi. “The most I knew of Elvis was in Lilo & Stitch… which is a lot”, he continued.
As a fellow Australian who grew up in the same generation as Elordi, I echo this sentiment. Lilo & Stitch had a profound impact on late-90s babies.
I’m not sure what was going on in the writer’s room when pitching Elvis’ music as the sole sonic theme for the cartoon. Still, the film certainly did introduce the King to a group of children who were otherwise obsessed with Nikki Webster’s “Strawberry Kisses”.
Or, more aptly, The Veronicas, considering Elordi’s Brisbane upbringing.
Either way, it’s safe to say the creation of Lilo & Stitch is a potential butterfly effect. Without it, who knows who would’ve starred as Elvis in Priscilla?