Chris Sanders removed from “American Dog” Director’s Chair

Cartoon Brew is reporting that Chris Sanders, director of "Lilo and Stitch", has been removed from his role as Director of "American Dog".

Having spoken to some people who are close to the production, the decision to separate Sanders from his "baby" most likely came from John Lasseter and Ed Catmull. Even though MEET THE ROBINSONS (scheduled for release in March 07) will be the first film released in the new Lasseter/Catmull era, it was in production long before they arrived and neither of the Pixar bosses will receive scrutiny for how it performs. AMERICAN DOG, on the other hand, has fallen clearly under their creative supervision, and they know that their first outing at Disney has to result in a high-quality, financially successful product.

"American Dog" was pretty much Sanders’ baby, so it must have gone seriously off path for the folks at Disney (read: Lasseter and Catmull) to remove him from its helm. Like Cartoon Brew, I’ve really been looking forward to this film. But mostly because I enjoyed the artistic direction it was taking and I had great faith in Sanders after seeing "Lilo and Stitch".

The orginal lead for the story came from the Newlywed in Dubai blog, which writes more about Chris Sanders as an animator and friend.