Chris Sanders (director)
Sanders at the 2012 San Diego Comic-Con International
|Born||Christopher Michael Sanders
March 12, 1962 
Colorado Springs, Colorado, United States
|Other names||Christopher Sanders|
|Notable work(s)||Lilo & Stitch
How to Train Your Dragon
Christopher Michael "Chris" Sanders (born March 12, 1962) is an American animation director and illustrator best known for co-writing and co-directing the Disney animated feature Lilo & Stitch (2002) and DreamWorks How to Train Your Dragon (2010), and providing the voice of Experiment 626 from the former. After leaving Walt Disney Animation Studios, Sanders went on to work for DreamWorks Animation, co-writing and co-directing the critically acclaimed animated feature film How to Train Your Dragon. His recent work is serving as co-director and co-writer on The Croods, along with Kirk DeMicco. Now, Sanders and DeMicco are both working on The Croods 2, a sequel to the film.
Sanders was born in Colorado Springs, Colorado. He is a 1984 graduate of the California Institute of the Arts.
Sanders began his career as a character designer for Muppet Babies. He also served as a storyboard artist, artistic director, production designer, and character designer on Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King, and Mulan.
On December 16, 2006 several internet animation fan sites, including AnimatedNews.com, reported that Sanders had been removed as the director of the upcoming Disney animated film American Dog by John Lasseter. A New York Times interview with John Lasseter later revealed that Chris Sanders was negotiating his exit from Disney. After the departure of Sanders from Disney, directing duties were handed to Chris Williams and Byron Howard, and the film was retitled Bolt. Despite his departure from Disney, Sanders continues to voice Stitch, reprising his role as Stitch in the English version of the Square Enix/Disney collaboration game Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep, and recently reprised his role as Stitch again in Kinect Disneyland Adventures.
In March 2007, Variety reported that Chris Sanders had moved to DreamWorks Animation and had then taken over as director on Crood Awakening (later renamed to The Croods), a project previously in co-production with Aardman Animations before their departure from DreamWorks. At the time, Chris had this to say about the move: "I've been so anxious to start working on things, and so I talked to a lot of people... I like the way DreamWorks looks at animation. Animation still has a lot of different places to go, and I don't want to miss out on a chance to try some new things with it."
On September 24, 2008, it was reported that Sanders and Lilo & Stitch co-director and co-writer Dean DeBlois would be screenwriting and directing How to Train Your Dragon for DreamWorks Animation. The film was released on March 26, 2010 and was well received by critics. It grossed nearly $500 million worldwide. It was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature and Best Original Score at the 83rd Academy Awards. The movie also won ten Annie Awards, including Best Animated Feature.
After completing How to Train Your Dragon, Chris returned to The Croods, which was released on March 22, 2013. Sanders shared directing and writing credits with Kirk DeMicco, who had joined in the middle of production. The film proved to be a success, grossing over $500 million, and earning itself a sequel, with Sanders and DeMicco returning in their original roles.
Sanders also draws the popular webcomic Kiskaloo, but, since a post from Chris on September 30, 2008 stating "I'll be drawing and posting the new comic in a just a couple of days!", hasn't been drawn since.
|1984||Muppet Babies||character designer|
|1990||The Rescuers Down Under||storyboard artist/character designer/visual development|
|1991||Beauty and the Beast||story/visual development artist|
|1994||The Lion King||story/production designer, storyboard artist for Mufasa's Ghost sequence|
|1998||Mulan||Little Brother||screenplay/story supervisor|
|1999||Fantasia 2000||original concept: "Pines of Rome"|
|2002||Lilo & Stitch||Stitch||director/writer/character designer|
|2003||Stitch! The Movie||Stitch||characters|
|Lilo & Stitch: The Series||Stitch/Experiment 627 (Evile)||characters|
|2004||The Lion King 1½||Stitch||cameo appearance|
|2005||Lilo & Stitch 2: Stitch Has a Glitch||Stitch||characters|
|2006||Leroy & Stitch||Stitch/Leroy||characters|
|2010||How to Train Your Dragon||director/screenplay|
|2014||How to Train Your Dragon 2||executive producer|
|2016||How to Train Your Dragon 3||executive producer|
|TBA||The Croods 2||director/screenplay|
- "One on One Spotlight: Directors Chris Sanders and Dean DeBlois". CTN animation eXpo. Retrieved December 31, 2011.
- Laura Holson (March 4, 2007). "He Runs That Mickey Mouse Outift". New York Times. Retrieved September 24, 2012.
- Chris Sanders, via e-mail
- Fritz, Ben (March 27, 2007). "Sanders joins DreamWorks". Variety.
- Amidi, Amid (September 25, 2008). "UPDATE: Chris Sanders Still Crood and Directing Dragon". Cartoon Brew. Retrieved March 5, 2012.
- Finke, Nikki (September 9, 2012). "DreamWorks Animation’s Release Schedule". Deadline. Retrieved April 30, 2013.
- "The Croods 2 in the Works at DreamWorks Animation". ComingSoon.net. April 17, 2013. Retrieved April 17, 2013.
- Shirey, Eric (September 28, 2011). "Producer Don Hahn Shares His Experiences Working on 'The Lion King'". Yahoo! Voices. Retrieved April 30, 2013.
- Chris Sanders at the Internet Movie Database
- Chris Sanders at DeviantArt
- Official Site
- Twitter page
- Kiskaloo Web Comic