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Chris Sanders

Chris Sanders

Chris Sanders makes his directorial debut on Lilo & Stitch following a distinguished animation career as an artist, designer and story supervisor. He came up with the original idea for Lilo & Stitch and guided it through all stages of its creative journey from story sketch to the screen in his role as screenwriter/director (along with Dean DeBlois). Demonstrating yet another facet of his talent, Sanders also provides the voice of the mischievous title alien, Stitch.

A 1984 graduate of CalArts (where he majored in character animation), Sanders joined Walt Disney Feature Animation in 1987 as the first person hired in the newly-formed visual development department. In that capacity, he contributed to The Rescuers Down Under, before transitioning to the story department. He went on to storyboard several key sequences for Beauty and the Beast, including the Beast's memorable death and resurrection.

After developing new concepts for Fantasia/2000, Sanders moved into a key creative role on The Lion King, where he served as production designer and helped to establish the film's design sensibilities. His major contributions to that film include the colorful and inventive I Just Can't Wait to be King musical sequence and the powerful scene with Mufasa'sghost.

For the 1998 Disney animated feature, Mulan, Sanders lent his talents as co-head of story and screenwriter. His work on that film earned him two Annie Awards in the storyboarding and screenwriting categories.

A native of Colorado, Sanders recalls liking to draw as a kid and being greatly influenced by the outrageous Ward Kimball-animated musical sequence from Disney's The Three Caballeros, when he saw it on The Wonderful World of Disney at the age of ten.

"It is still the most unfettered, worrisome-free, joyous piece of animation that's ever been done," says Sanders. Years later, when his grandmother read an article about the animation program at CalArts, Sanders applied and was accepted. After graduation, he began his animation industry career with a four-year stint at Marvel Productions, where he designed characters for the popular animated television series, Muppet Babies.


Note: This profile was written in or before 2002.

Chris Sanders Facts

OccupationDirector, Screenwriter

Selected Filmography

The Croods
Lilo & Stitch
Lilo & Stitch / Lilo & Stitch: Stitch Has A Glitch Two-Movie Collection
How to Train Your Dragon
How to Train Your Dragon 1 & 2
How to Train Your Dragon w/ Icons Oring
Lilo & Stitch / Lilo & Stitch 2 / Stitch the Movie
Dreamworks 4 Movie Collection
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