‘Lilo & Stitch’ director says ‘Frozen’ praise was ‘disappointing’ for one reason

For the first time in a long time, Lilo & Stitch is getting the respect they deserve.

Long before Anna built a snowman and Elsa learned to let go of one, the 2002 Disney movie set the standard for animated stories about sisterhood.

But the success of Frozen and its sequel, which are among the highest-grossing animated films of all time, is making Lilo & Stitch co-writer and director Chris Sanders feel left out, especially with the blockbuster’s accolades. franchise received for the emphasis on family love.

“To be clear, I think Frozen is great,” Sanders. told The New York Times for an interview marking the 20th anniversary of the film. “But it kind of upset me because people were like, ‘Finally an unromantic relationship with these two girls,’ and I was like, ‘We did it! This has already been done before.”

There’s no denying that Lilo & Stitch broke the mold that would allow future Disney films to tell more emotionally grounded stories about strong female characters.

Like Frozen, the film follows two sisters, Lilo and Nani, whose relationship is severed after the death of their parents, resulting in the latter becoming the protagonist’s legal guardian. Their lives in Hawaii are turned upside down by the arrival of the charming but chaos-hungry alien Stitch, who helps remind the siblings of the true meaning of family – or Ohana – in the film’s most frequently quoted line.

Perhaps most notably, the film is a rare Disney film with a female lead that is not centered around a novel.

Sanders and the producers explained that they carefully crafted the story to reflect real-life issues and portray realistic female bodies, as well as respect the culture behind the film by bringing in Hawaiian musicians and actors to play the roles.

“A lot of critics were talking about it when the movie came out,” said producer Clark Spender. “Those moments that were grounded in reality in a way that people could see themselves and didn’t feel like they were cartoon characters.”

Lilo & Stitch became one of the studio’s highest-grossing films of the decade, grossing over $270 million worldwide on a fairly modest $80 million budget. The feature spawned two more sequels, and a live-action adaptation is currently in development.

Comparisons between the film and Frozen have since sparked a social media conversation about Lilo & Stitch’s innovative approach to animated storytelling.

Sanders, who also voiced the koala-like creature, has left his mark on a plethora of animation franchises since Lilo & Stitch, including directing the original How to Train Your Dragon and The Croods. movies.

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