I am seriously looking forward to The Princess and the Frog. It's a beautiful throwback to classic Disney musical production. Also great is that the animation is a throwback. Disney was producing some great-looking stuff throughout the 80's, and had one of the most inventively drawn bad guys in history with Ursula, whom I still consider a high water mark in bad guy animation.
Disney started falling off of a cliff by Pocahontas, which was stunningly rigid, bland, and lacking any semblance of character. Even the "cute" sidekicks sucked. The Hunchback of Notre Dame was better, but not by much. And Mulan was abysmal! Who the hell did they think they were? Genndy Tartakovsky?
Again, the "animate by focus group" mentality remained strong in Atlantis and Treasure Planet, both of which bombed in the box office. Home on the Range was better, but still played and looked like an overgrown TV show pilot, which, frankly, I suspect it was. Disney never misses a chance to drive a property into the dirt.
Of course, after grinding out pieces of shit for a decade, Disney declares that CGI has "killed" traditional animation. Don't you just love how company executives think? "We've been failing repeatedly. It's obviously the market and not me, because I have an MBA."
But the guys from Pixar are real movie guys. They know animation, they know story, and they know business. They know that all the MBAs in the world are only icing on the cake. You have to start with quality.
Toy Story 2 was good in spite of Disney executives, who just wanted to push anything out the door. They fired John Lasseter in the 80's, only to return to him as savior. They marginalized CGI, then reaped the rewards years later.
That's why I have such high hopes for The Princess and the Frog. Almost exactly twenty years after Disney was saved with a good, old-fashioned musical, so it stands to do it again.