Has Walt Disney Feature Animation become the new Pixar?
This is the first year in quite a while without a new Pixar film, something that happened when "The Good Dinosaur" ran into creative issues and the film's first director was removed from the project. Considering the mixed reaction to their last few films and the idea that sequels have become their main focus lately, Pixar isn't looking nearly as invulnerable as they used to be. Meanwhile, the efforts that John Lasseter has made to turn Walt Disney Feature Animation back into a genuine creative force seems to be paying off in spades, with their latest release "Frozen" looking like a monster success, one of the biggest films the company has ever released. Their 2014 release "Big Hero 6" is brand-new territory for them, and it's a smart way of making the most of their partnership with Marvel. Has Lasseter spread himself too thin, though? Is WDFA more important to him at this point than Pixar? Can the company shake off the notion of themselves as being stuck in neutral with the next few original titles they're producing? If you'd predicted this five years ago, it would have been unthinkable, but "Wreck-It Ralph," "Tangled," and "Frozen" feel like a company that has hit a creative stride.
- Drew McWeeny