Frozen's" success shows the house that Walt built can compete with a sibling rival that is enduring layoffs and criticism of its sequel strategy even as box office booms.
The contrast couldn't have been more stark. On Nov. 22, Pixar Animation Studios laid off 67 employees, about 5 percent of its 1,200-person workforce, as the release of its next feature, The Good Dinosaur, was delayed 18 months to November 2015. ...
Splitting time between Pixar in Emeryville, Calif., and Disney's Burbank lot, [John] Lasseter gets credit for breathing life into WDAS, which stumbled through the 2000s with such flops as Home on the Range, Chicken Little and Meet the Robinsons. But some question whether he is stretched too thin as his studios and other parts of the Disney empire, including consumer products and park design, vie for his attention.
This is really pretty simple.
The two studios/divisions have different work forces doing different projects with different pipelines. Not unlike a single animation studio with different projects and different crews/pipelines. (Where one project, say, is CGI and one is hand-drawn.)
The Good Dinosaur wasn't delayed because John Lasseter wasn't paying enough attention to Pixar. The Good Dinosuar was delayed because sometimes, here and there, with even the most talented people, stuff happens. Characters don't jell and stories don't come together and retooling is in order. This has been happening since the days of Snow White and Pinocchio.
And Frozen wasn't a hit because John Lasseter was lavishing oodles of loving care on The Hat Building in Burbank. It's because creative projects move to their own rhythms, and sometimes the end results and terrific, and sometimes less than terrific. (Cars 2 ain't up to the creative level of Toy Story 3, even though both were made with many of the same bright minds. And John L. was devoting lots of time to Cars 2 as director. Sometimes the choices made are simply less than sterling.)
Frozen was in development for years before it got a green light, as was Tangled before it. You didn't see the press saying the problem was John Lasseter's inattention. Because when those movies had their hiccups, they hadn't been greenlit and were off the media radar. So nobody was writing, "The Rapunzel picture is stumbling because John Lasseter is spread too thin."