Disney isn’t exactly known for its progressive storylines. But it does at least have plenty of movies that touch on non-romantic dynamics between friends and family members. Because why would anyone want to watch movies solely about falling in love with some bland prince or pixie dust-sprinkled manchild?
But Chris Sanders, director of Lilo & Stitch, seems to want all the credit for creating a Disney movie that features a strong bond between two female characters. In an interview with the New York Times, he dunks on Frozen for not inventing the concept of a non-romantic relationship between girls. “To be clear, I think Frozen’s 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 thought, ‘We did that! That has absolutely been done before,’” he says.
Frozen did receive praise for prioritizing its sisterhood storyline over its romantic ones, but it’s also simply one of the better-written Disney movies to come out in recent years. Plus, Frozen gave millions of parents the catchy songs that are still permanently imprinted on their brains today. Wouldn’t Sanders want strong female relationships to be depicted in a movie with such mass appeal and cultural impact? Or, is that his thing?
And… we can all agree this is an extremely low bar, right? Someone should break it to Sanders that gatekeeping female friendship, and demanding credit for bravely depicting two female characters in a children’s movie who aren’t just trying to get married, isn’t a great look.
So, instead of trying to remind us that he supposedly did it first, maybe he should just… let it go.