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‘Lilo & Stitch’ director ‘frustrated’ over praise for ‘Frozen’s sisterhood theme

20 years ago, Disney made a groundbreaking film that redefined and broke the molds of Disney films forever as they introduced to the public Lilo & Stitch, the first film that puts a spotlight on sisterhood.

This pioneering film paved the way for other movies, such as Frozen, to steer away from romance and revolve around sisterly love. Yes, Lilo & Stitch walked so Frozen could run.

lilo and stitch frozen, lilo and stitch
Image via IMDb

So when Frozen was released in 2013 and earned praises and recognition for focusing on the relationship of two sisters instead of romance, Lilo & Stitch co-director and Stitch’s voice actor Chris Sanders recalled being frustrated about this.

As per Variety, Sanders spoke to New York Times in time for Lilo & Stitch’s 20th anniversary. The co-director shared: “To be clear, I think Frozen’s great.”

“But it was a little bit frustrating for me because people were like, ‘Finally, a nonromantic relationship with these two girls,’ and I thought, ‘We did that! That has absolutely been done before,’” he admitted.

In case you have forgotten, Lilo & Stitch is a 2002 animated film that tells the story of a young girl named Lilo who adopts a “dog” from their local pound, which she later named Stitch, completely unaware that Stitch was the galaxy’s most wanted extraterrestrial and ended up on Earth after escaping custody.

lilo and stitch
Image via IMDb

The film does not only focus on Lilo and Stitch’s adventures, but it also shows Lilo and her older sister Nani’s journey and relationship as they navigate their new life after their parents died from a car accident.

With Lilo & Stitch focusing on realistic depictions of life, the film has captured and touched many viewers’ hearts, saying how they could relate to the characters.

Clark Spencer, the film producer, shared: “When the film came out, that’s what a lot of critics talked about,” he said. “Those moments that were based in reality in a way that people could see themselves in, and it didn’t feel like they were cartoon characters.”

Lilo & Stitch is helmed by Sanders and Dean DeBlois. The film starred Daveigh Chase and Sanders as the voices of the titular characters, Tia Carrere as Nani, David Ogden Stiers as Jumba, and Kevin McDonald as Pleakley.

Since its release, Lilo & Stitch became a box office hit, garnering over 273 million dollars. The film also produced three direct-to-video sequels, three television series, and spin-offs.


Other POP! stories you might like:

‘Turning Red,’ mature? Other Disney films had way more mature themes

Turning film snob? Turning Red film critiques caught lacking in empathy

Twitter users are disappointed with “Olaf’s Frozen Adventure” — says it shouldn’t have been shown in “Coco”

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