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Born into an artistic household in Colorado, CHRIS SANDERS (Writer / Director) grew up drawing and penning short stories. Although Sanders drew throughout school and served as the cartoonist for the Arvada High School newspaper, he hadn't considered art as something he could do for a living. But when his grandmother found a random article about the California Institute of the Arts (or CalArts) in the Denver Post, everything changed. Sanders applied for and was accepted to CalArts' Animation Program, and went on to work for Marvel Productions, and then Disney Studios. He worked as a story artist on "Rescuers Down Under,” "Beauty and the Beast,” "Aladdin” and "The Lion King,” before he was made head of story on "Mulan.”

It was towards the end of production on the film "Mulan” when then-Head of Disney Feature Animation Tom Schumacher asked Sanders if there was anything he wanted to develop. Sanders recalled a story from 18 years before that he had tried to write as a children's book, but had given up on because he couldn't compress it into a short-story format. Over a sushi dinner with Schumacher at the Walt Disney World Swan Resort, he pitched the story—a tale of a strange forest creature, shunned by all, and unaware of his own origins. Schumacher liked it, and when he suggested that Sanders relocate the tale of the lonely little monster into the human world, "Lilo & Stitch” was born.

Sanders wrote, boarded and directed "Lilo” with Dean DeBlois. In 2006, he left Disney Studios to join the filmmaking team at DreamWorks Animation.

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