A native of Colorado, Sanders developed an interest in drawing after watching the Disney animated film The Three Caballeros, when he was 10-years-old. "It is still the most unfettered, worrisome-free, joyous piece of animation that's ever been done." Years later, his grandmother recommend he attend CalArts to further his interest in animation.
He agreed, and after graduation, he worked for Marvel Productions for four years designing characters for the popular television series, Muppet Babies.
In 1987, he was hired by Walt Disney Feature Animation studio where he worked on a number of projects, including The Rescuers Down Under (1990), Beauty and the Beast (1991), Fantasia 2000 (1999). He also worked as a production designer on The Lion King (1994). Ten years after starting at Disney, he made a shift in his career and co-wrote the film Mulan (1998). His work on the film earned him two Annie Awards in the storyboarding and screenwriting categories.
Following Mulan's success, he came up with the original idea for the feature, Lilo & Stitch (2002). Expanding his talents yet again, he not only wrote, but co-directed and voiced the character of Stitch - both firsts for Sanders.
Lilo & Stitch (2002) (voice)