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The director of Lilo & Stitch considers that his film was the first to focus the story on a relationship between sisters

The co-writer and director of Lilo & Stitch, Chris Sander, admitted that for him they were “frustrating” the high praise it received Frozen by “celebrate brotherhood”considering that his film conveyed this message first.

Sander told New York Times that his film premiered in 2002, did not receive as much recognition for showing this message even though he considers that Frozen It’s a good movie.

“To be clear, I think ‘Frozen’ is great. But it was a little bit frustrating for me because people were like, ‘Finally, a non-romantic relationship with these two girls,’ and I was like, ‘We did it! That absolutely has been done before.’”

Chris Sanders

Lilo & Stitch explores the bond between a girl, Lilo, and her older sister, Nani, through the Hawaiian concept of ohana (family) as they fight an alien named Stitch. The film was nominated for an Oscar for Best Animated Feature and spawned three sequels, television shows and multiple theme park attractions.


They tried to create real characters

The co-writers and directors Sanders and Dean DeBlois they had already worked together in the history department to Mulan of 1998 and, since then, they decided to focus on elements of the real world to build their next films.

That was how Sanders noticed that a drawing of Mulan beside Nani, the older sister of Lilo, showed that Mulan “parts of his anatomy were actually missing” and had an absurdly elongated torso.

“One thing we learned from working on ‘Mulan’ is that when you’re setting a story in a specific place in the real world, there are some cultural elements that you can’t use because you’re not part of it.”

For this, the production of Lilo & Stitch recruited a Hawaiian musician to consult on hula dancing and choral arrangements. Also, local residents were chosen and consulted about the dialogues that were mentioned in the film.

“When the movie came out, that’s what a lot of critics talked about. Those moments that were grounded in reality in a way that people could see themselves, and it didn’t feel like they were cartoon characters.”

Clark Spencer President of Walt Disney Animation Studios

Lilo & Stitch

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Peggy McColl

Mentor l NY Times Bestselling Author. Hi, I'm Peggy McColl, and I'm here to deliver a positive message to you!

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