- “Created something? Hah! But that would be irresponsible and unethical. I would never, ever...make...more than one.”
Jumba was born on the planet Kweltikwan. There, he created a series of illegal genetic experiments, but was eventually banished as a result. He then bought his own laboratory, where he continued to create more experiments alongside his former college friend Dr. Hämsterviel. Eventually, both Jumba and Hämsterviel would be arrested, following the creation of Jumba's latest experiment, 626. However, this new experiment proved to help Jumba in more ways than one, having him released from prison and finding him a family that loves him and vice versa.
He is said to be divorced and has mentioned his ex-wife several times (usually in a negative way). However, he has a stronger respect for his mother.
Jumba is a comical and endearing character, despite his "evil" status. Prior to meeting Lilo, Jumba was somewhat insane and ruthless, engaging in illegal, genetic experimentation, for the sole purpose of wreaking havoc across the galaxy. The motivation towards such malice remains unknown, though his previously sadistic nature hints it was merely for his own evil satisfaction and enjoyment. He's more interested in anarchy and chaos rather than true evilness.
Interestingly, Jumba's switch from villainous to heroic was rather hasty, showing he apparently had some form of moral to him even before meeting Lilo, as he quickly agreed to rescuing her after she was wrongfully captured by Captain Gantu, in an attempt to capture Stitch. Upon meeting Lilo, and following his welcome into the Pelekai family, Jumba became rather humble and began to act as a father-like figure towards Lilo, his previously egotistical nature watering down to mere pride and confidence, and his villainy forming into innocent mischief. He is often paired with his friend Pleakley, who was forced to work alongside him to capture Stitch when he was still a menace. The two had a bitter relationship at first, but following the events of the original film, Jumba and Pleakley became the closest of friends.
Ironically, for an evil genius, Jumba is actually very friendly and sociable outside his work. He is also one of the few characters, aside from Lilo, Nani, David, Pleakley and most of the other experiments, who loves Stitch. In fact, Jumba loves all of his creations, having a sense of paternal pride in them. He also speaks with a vaguely Russian accent, but ironically uses very poor grammar. This is not what one would expect from an evil genius scientist.
Though the extent of Jumba's "genius" can be somewhat questionable at times, the scientist proves to be a mastermind in his own right, as well as generally, having the ability to create new, sentient lifeforms singlehandedly, as well as a slew of different creations, as seen in the animated series, though they can sometimes cause more havoc than initially intended, even if their purpose was to enhance life's fortunes, rather than cause mayhem.
Jumba is a large, obese, hippo-like alien who wears a prison jumpsuit covered in horizontal dark and light blue stripes when he was imprisoned. In his "evil genius" form, he wears a white lab coat and sometimes a white wig. In his "Lilo's uncle" disguise, he wears a yellow (sometimes light blue) Hawaiian shirt with a couple of black vertical buttons and red (or white) Hawaiian designs on it, blue shorts with white linings, and gray boots with light gray soles.
AppearancesStitch escaped his craft that would have sent him to a desert-like penal asteroid. The Grand Councilwoman then commanded Jumba to search the island of Hawaii to find and capture Stitch, granting him one of her warriors' plasma cannons in an attempt to stun 626. Jumba and his new sidekick Pleakley tried numerous plans to capture Stitch, but always failed. Once Jumba and Pleakley were fired and scheduled to a prison sentence, Jumba decided to play by his own rules. A battle between Jumba and Stitch occurred at Lilo's home. Due to the battle, a blaster exploded and Jumba and Pleakley fled from the home. While Jumba and Pleakley were away, Stitch and Lilo were kidnapped by Captain Gantu. Stitch managed to escape, but was chained up by Jumba. Lilo's sister Nani asked Jumba and Pleakley if they knew where Lilo was located, but the duo had no clue. Stitch convinced Jumba rather easily to help save Lilo. Nani, Stitch, Pleakley and Jumba set off to rescue Lilo. Once everyone was saved and Gantu was defeated, Jumba helped rebuild Lilo's house and becomes a part of Lilo's ohana along with Pleakley and Stitch.
Jumba reappears in the franchise's second film. In the film, Jumba is kidnapped by Gantu and Dr. Hämsterviel, Jumba's former lab partner who plots to take over the galaxy; originally thought to have been deceased by the events of the film. It is revealed that Jumba created a far greater amount of experiments other than Stitch.
Before his kidnapping, Jumba managed to hide his experiments with Pleakley, though this would only prompt Hämsterviel to hold the scientist for ransom, threatening to kill Jumba unless the experiments were handed over; though Jumba's sass and fearless demeanor prevented the villains from legitimately intimidating him. Pleakley, Nani, and former CIA agent, Cobra Bubbles, constructed a transaction area in defeat. Nevertheless, Lilo and Stitch managed to save both Jumba and the experiments, though they are accidentally set free. In response, Jumba and the others are recruited by the Grand Councilwoman (who was also alerted about the situation regarding Hämsterviel and Jumba) in journeying across the island to find each experiment and turn them from bad to good.
Now residing with Lilo and Stitch in Hawaii, Jumba goes under the guise of Lilo's uncle and plays a major role in the series. With 624 experiments scattered around the island, Jumba provides information for each one that Lilo and Stitch discover and/or capture. In spite of becoming a humble hero, Jumba still strives to keep his evil reputation, but ultimately fails in favor of his family. When an experiment is captured, Lilo and Stitch will take it to Jumba first and foremost. Most of the experiments recognize Jumba and refer to him as their father figure. On many occasions, before an experiment's reformation, the former would go after Jumba to prevent him from revealing the key to their defeat before he can tell Lilo and Stitch.
In the episode, "Ace", it was revealed that Jumba is a member of the Evil Genius Organization (E.G.O.), which is an organization comprised of various evil scientist from across the galaxy. By the end of the episode, as a result of his apparent reformation, Jumba was discharged from the organization.
The episode "The Asteroid" revealed that Jumba suffered from homesickness, and was willing to abandon an endangered Earth if it meant returning to his home planet. However, his attitude shifted upon realizing his desire to stay with Lilo and Stitch.Kauai, Hawaii, Lilo and Stitch had rounded up and reformed 624 experiments. Jumba was given the opportunity to return to his old laboratory by the Grand Councilwoman. At first, he did not want to hurt Lilo's feelings by leaving, but she agreed to let him go, giving him an Elvis record to remember her by. However, Hämsterviel escaped from prison with the help of the former Captain Gantu, who had been retired from his position forcibly by the Grand Councilwoman three years prior to these events and held Jumba hostage in his own lab, forcing him to create a new experiment, which ends up being named Leroy. However, Jumba used the record Lilo gave him to program a shut-off switch for Leroy: if he hears the song "Aloha `Oe", he will glitch and switch off (but will not die like Stitch would have as shown at the end of Stitch Has a Glitch). When asked what he would like as a reward, he decides to give up his laboratory and return to Earth to become part of Lilo's family once again.
In the anime series, Jumba was given a mission by the Grand Councilwoman to watch over Stitch as he recently began a destructive rampage after Lilo grew up, went off to college, and found a boyfriend. Jumba eventually lost Stitch, but quickly reunited with him in a small island known as Izayoi. When he arrived, he met Stitch's newest friend Yuna and learns about Stitch's latest goal to do good deeds and obtain ultimate power. Jumba agrees to assist Stitch and stays on the island.
Sometime after being taken into custody by Federation forces shortly before the first film, the computers at Jumba's labs were hacked by space pirates hoping to re-create Experiment 626. When these attempts failed, they decided to kidnap Stitch. While in pursuit of the pirates, but unaware of Stitch's escape, Jumba and Pleakley are taken before the Grand Councilwoman who explains the situation and again assigns them to resecure Stitch and keep him out of space pirate hands. After seeing that Stitch has found a new family in China, Jumba decides to stay and assist in combating the pirates.
Jumba plays a prominent role in Experiment 626, where the goal is to help Jumba create new experiments and fuel teleporting machines that allow 626 to move between worlds.
While serving time for illegal genetic experimentation in a cell within the Turo Prison Block, Jumba witnesses Terra fight off several Unversed. He persuades the Keyblade wielder to release him so that the two may rescue a "constructive" creature of his own creation called "Experiment 626." Terra agrees and the two set off to find 626 together. When they finally find the small extraterrestrial encased in a pod within the Confinement Room, Jumba sets him free and reveals that he is meant to be an evil and malevolent creature whose only instinct is to destroy everything he touches. 626 then rushes at Terra and steals his Wayfinder, the Keyblade wielder ordering him to return it because his "friend" gave it to him. Jumba later laughs off the idea that 626 could understand the concept of friendship, but he is greatly surprised when his creation drops the Wayfinder and scuttles off. Jumba finds Terra's theory that 626 isn't evil at all and merely craves friends impossible, and he gives him another demonstration of his "evil geniusness" by activating Experiment 221 for the Keyblade wielder to battle. Terra is victorious and he and Jumba notice 626's return to the Confinement Room after 221 returns to pod form. Jumba watches Terra try to explain friendship to 626, but he angrily interferes with Terra's discussion, as things such as friendship would corrupt his creation's original purpose. He tells 626 that he needs to be fixed, but alarms begin to sound and an announcement is made that 626 and two prisoners have escaped. Terra flees Deep Space, leaving Jumba and 626 behind.
Aqua is the next to visit Deep Space, where she is taken by Captain Gantu before the Grand Councilwoman after destroying several Unversed. The Grand Councilwoman tells Aqua that the Unversed are getting in the way of the apprehension of Jumba and Experiment 626, and she asks the Keyblade wielder to destroy them and also make an attempt to capture Jumba and his experiment intact. Aqua agrees to do the task as asked and departs, much to Gantu's displeasure now that his duties have been assigned to a stranger. The Keyblade Master eventually finds the fugitives on the Launch Deck, where Jumba is attempting to recapture 626 so that he may fix him. Aqua stops Jumba and 626 and announces that she has been authorized to arrest them. When 626 charges at her to reclaim the Wayfinder he had previously made and left behind in the Turo Prison Block, Jumba explains to Aqua that the reason his creation is familiar with the shape of the Wayfinder and its purpose is of his previous encounter with Terra. Jumba then goes on to complain to Aqua about the negative impact Terra has had on 626, but Gantu soon appears and attempts to put an end to both Jumba and his supposedly evil creation. Aqua teams up with 626 to battle Gantu and, upon their victory, the Grand Councilwoman arrives to apprehend the two fugitives.
In World of Color: Season of Light, Jumba appears in the segment centered around Lilo & Stitch where he, dressed as Santa Claus, joins his extended family in celebrating the holidays.
Jumba makes occasional appearances at Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea, often in various shows and parades. Like many of the walk-around versions of the supporting characters of the Lilo & Stitch franchise though, he hasn't really been used elsewhere, as the film and television series are some of the most popular Disney media in Japan.
Jumba made appearances at Stitch's Hawaiian Paradise Party in Disney Village.
- Being that Jumba is the creator of Stitch and the other experiments, he is often cited as their father.
- He appeared in a limited amount of Disney Villains related material prior to the original film's release.
- Jumba 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.
- Prior to creating Experiment 177 (a.k.a. "Clip") Jumba had long, flowing locks of curly black hair. Since then, he has been bald with the exception of three long hairs which grow from the top of his head. He managed to get a full afro of hair but decided to go back to being bald, finding it more suitable for himself.
- Jumba likes to dance and he is not afraid to bust a move every now and then.
- During early development of the film, Stitch was conceived as an intergalactic gangster with a gang of three rather than a recently-created genetic monster. In that early version, Jumba was a former fourth member of Stitch's gang who was left behind during a bank heist and had been stewing in prison for years. Upon Stitch's escape, the Grand Councilwoman would then make the deal to release Jumba if he would go to Earth to capture his former boss.
- In a deleted scene, Jumba is shown to have an insane side when he attacks Stitch at Lilo's house.
- To be specific, the scene where Jumba attacks Stitch resulting in the Pelekai residence accidentally being burned down was actually going to have more violent scenes where Stitch actually uses a chainsaw to attack Jumba, and Stitch setting the house on fire by biting apart a gas pipe and tricking Jumba into shooting it with his blaster. The final version of the same scene has everything violent edited out and replaced in favor of making the scene more slapstick-oriented (Jumba knocking the ceiling down with dishes instead of laser blasts, Jumba's "shuriken" being made of hairbrushes and a tube of toothpaste instead of knives and a pizza cutter, the entire chainsaw scene shortened), had more comedic scenes added in (exploding Scrump, Stitch catching Jumba's laser, Stitch yelling, "Blue Punch Buggy! No punch-back!" when hitting Jumba with Nani's VW, the Elvis Presley song "Hound Dog" playing in the background) and the house being destroyed by having Stitch stop up Jumba's blaster with a carrot and then having them both play "Hot Potato" with it until the blaster overloads and explodes.
- A similar treatment was done to the climax, where Jumba, Pleakley, Stitch and Nani fly through the sky to pursue Gantu after he accidentally captures Lilo as a result of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001.
- The alien species and even the spaceships in Lilo & Stitch were inspired by Hawaiian wildlife and marine creatures as well. In Jumba's case, he seems to be inspired by sea lions and their relatives.
- In Lilo & Stitch, Jumba mentioned Stitch was "irresistibly drawn to large cities, where he will flood sewers, reverse street signs, and steal everyone's left shoe." In storyboards/concepts during Jumba's trial, there were video feeds of Stitch attacking a peaceful alien planet called "Lytwoc," in which he flooded sewers, reversed street signs, and stole left shoes from several citizens of the planet.
- In Stitch! The Movie and certain episodes of Lilo & Stitch: The Series, it is revealed that when Jumba is barefoot, his feet look exactly like Gantu's.
- Jumba states in "The Asteroid" that he finds chewing food rather annoying because on his home planet, nutrients are absorbed through the skin. However, at the end of the same episode, he admits that he enjoys pizza, and in "Holio", he mentions that he likes eating pastrami.
- We learn in "The Asteroid" that Jumba had been banished from his home planet for evil genius research, but in "Sinker", he mentions about having given presents to his evil genius family back home (hinting that he may come from a family of evil geniuses), implying while he cannot go back to his home planet, he is allowed to send gifts there.