I spent part of the afternoon at Disney Animation Studios (that's the hat building, if you're not quite sure.)
Some of the remaining Bolt production crew is now working on a c.g. short for the picture's DVD. As one of them said:
We're happy with the way the feature came out. It gets released near the end of November, two weeks after Madagascar, so maybe it will have a weekend sort of to itself ...
Disney artists, I think, are going to be happier and more relaxed after the new picture has a big opening weekend. The publicity machine has already cranked up, with stories in the L.A. Times and the Wall Street Journal:
"Pixar was the reincarnation of Disney," said Floyd Norman, a retired Disney animator who also worked on Pixar's hits "Toy Story 2" and "Monsters, Inc." "Now Disney is becoming the southern version of Pixar." ...
The film, perhaps not surprisingly, evinces a Pixar pedigree. The title character evokes "Toy Story's" Buzz Lightyear, a space ranger who believes he has super powers only to discover that he is merely a toy.
Catmull insists "Bolt" is no Pixar clone.
"There isn't any cavalry coming over the hill," he said. "They have the talent there, they just needed a philosophy that let the talent rise to the surface."
I don't think there's much dispute that the Disney Animation Studio is being remolded along Pixar lines. The point mainstream media scribes sometimes miss is that when you burrow in a little, it's clear that Pixar, DreamWorks Animation, and D.A.S. are all branches of the same mighty oak Walt planted on Hyperion Avenue, seventy-plus years ago.
It's hardly an accident that the key creative minds running the three major U.S. animation studios come originally from Disney. It's simply the way God planned it.