Pixar's Lasseter seen as 'new Walt Disney'
LOS ANGELES, Feb 1 (Reuters) - John Lasseter, the man chosen to revive the fortunes of Walt Disney Co.'s animation business has professed a deep regard for the legendary studio, but has criticized it for killing Walt Disney's innovative spirit.
Lasseter, the creative force behind hits factory Pixar Animation Studios Inc, is now set to take charge of Disney animation when its $7.4 billion purchase of Pixar closes this summer.
Industry watchers have dubbed 49-year-old Lasseter "the new Walt Disney" and are awaiting signs that his talent for creating compelling stories and characters will rub off on a cornerstone division that has been in a slump for a decade.
"Most animators regard Lasseter as the most respected current creator," Sarah Baisley, editor-in-chief of Animation World Review, said. "He lives the life of animators ... (he has) a pure dedication and love of the art and how to treat the artist."