With the recent completion of its purchase of Pixar Animation Studios Inc, the Walt Disney Co must now figure out how to bring together the two biggest names in animation without diminishing either, experts say.
Pixar, famous for its computer-generated animated features such as "Toy Story" and "Finding Nemo," is seen as the best hope for bringing back the magic to storied Disney animation, which made such classics as "Pinocchio" and "Aladdin" but has not had a major animated hit in more than a decade.
"(Pixar) led the field in a way that no one has since Walt Disney's time," animation industry historian Jerry Beck said. "I think there is going to be a sense of mission here, a renewed purpose: 'We already conquered CG (computer generated) films, now let's return and restore Disney to what it was when I was a kid'."
That job will rest largely with Pixar Vice President John Lasseter, the creative chief at Pixar who spent several years as a Disney animator and revered Walt Disney. He returns to Disney animation as its creative director as part of the merger in a move that the animation community has lauded.
Neither Disney, which completed its purchase of Pixar last Friday, nor Lasseter would comment on plans for the two studios, but Disney has said that Pixar and Disney will be run as separate studios working on different films.