When Disney formally acquires Pixar this summer, [John Lasseter] will become the chief creative officer of both studios. He also will help design rides for Disney's theme park division, where he once operated a Jungle Cruise boat at Disneyland and, more recently, helped design a Bug's Land at Disney's California Adventure.
"For many of us at Pixar, it was the magic of Disney that influenced us to pursue our dreams of becoming animators, artists, storytellers and filmmakers," Lasseter said. "For 20 years, we have created our films in the manner inspired by Walt Disney and the great Disney animators."
At Disney, the company enjoyed the fruits of Lasseter's creativity by marketing and releasing Pixar's films. But its homegrown animation unit failed to anticipate as Pixar did the shift by moviegoers to edgy computer animation. While Lasseter and such rivals as DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. turned out computer animated hits, Disney was mired in such duds as "Treasure Planet" and "Atlantis: The Lost Empire."