If I had to pick any Disney character to call in an emergency, catastrophe, or totally-not-my-fault conundrum, it would be this man: Cobra Bubbles, ex-CIA, Hawaiian social services, intergalactic agent.
It’s true that Mary Poppins is the cream of the crop and tip of the top, and Genie has phenomenal cosmic powers, but this man in black has a pretty impressive CV.
Through most of the movie, he lives up to the name tattooed on his knuckles. Cobra comes across as mean, grumpy, and unreasonable. But he’s also real good at his job. I’m not the best housekeeper myself, but if I’d walked into that house – Nani locked out with a burning pot on the stove and Lilo creating voodoo in the pickle jar – I would have gotten the kid out of there as soon as possible. But Cobra’s been around; he knows. He’s incredibly patient with Lilo and acts in what he believes are her best interests. He also knows that the transition will be hard for Nani and tries to give her a few days to adjust to the knowledge that she can’t care for her sister. Although the audience can see that Nani and Lilo belong together, in any non-theatrical situation “aliens are attacking my house but my dog just found the chainsaw” would be considered a cry for help.
But he’s so much more than just a certified family dispute specialist. Bubbles saved humanity by convincing aliens that mosquitoes are an endangered species (Roswell, 1973). This not only kept Earth sanctioned off as a kind of wildlife preserve (though it seems there has been poaching over the years), but it also inspired Pleakley to speak up for NOT death-lasering the planet when Stitch crashed here. Bubbles saved the Earth twice, yo.
He didn’t stop there. Bubbles left the CIA, presumably, to make a difference in children’s lives and create a humanity worth saving. He proves that he is an advocate for children by stepping in to monitor Lilo’s family and continuing to stay active even after the paperwork has been filed. Mr. Suave and Savvy played the aliens’ rules against them to keep the little blue terror here because he understands how important the friendship is to her. Rather than just trusting that Nani would be able to handle an increasingly difficult job, he gave her the support she needed to make it work. It takes a community (of two surfers, a spy, and three aliens) to raise a child.
All those contribute to making him a great all-around guy, but his “special” qualities might be overlooked, too. He’s probably carrying more than just consent forms in that suitcase. His connections go way up, and I suspect he wouldn’t hesitate to use them, if I asked really nice. Even if it sort of was my fault, after all.
Best of all, he cooks a badass turkey.