It might be hard for younger filmgoers to believe, but there was once a time when the release of a new Disney animated film was greeted not with cheers and applause but shrugs and yawns. After the renaissance of the late ’80s and ’90s — which gave us The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, and The Lion King, as well as later favorites like Hercules and Mulan — a period of complacency set in at the studio, and lackluster movies like Home on the Range and Treasure Planet prompted Disney to mothball its animation division. But when Pixar chiefs John Lasseter and Ed Catmull took over, the pair made it their mission to return Disney to its place as America’s leading cartoon studio. The seven animated feature films released since have won a steadily increasingly audience with their mixture of humor and heart fused to eye-popping visuals, culminating with last year’s megahit Frozen.
The latest issue of Wired celebrates this turnaround with a cover featuring Catmull and Lasseter surrounded by characters from the films they’ve produced, as well as celebrated shorts like Paperman and Get a Horse! But Wired has taken their celebration one step further, and created a special online version of the cover that allows fans to click on their favorite character and view a clip of her or him in action. Here’s the full cover, the interactive edition of which can be viewed on Wired.com.
All seven of Lasseter and Catmull’s features are showcased above — Frozen, Wreck-It Ralph, Tangled, The Princess and the Frog, Winnie the Pooh, Bolt, and the upcoming Big Hero 6. Based on the half hour I’ve seen of the studio’s next film, I suspect it may soon dethrone Tangled as my favorite of this bunch. How about you? Let me know in the comments below!