People were hoping that The Princess and the Frog would be the turning point for Disney animation. Most folks who support the hand-drawn technique were anticipating that it'd revive the interest in traditional animation and perhaps even kick-start another Disney Renaissance. To a lot of people, it was supposed to be the next The Little Mermaid.
Instead, it seems to have turned into another The Black Cauldron; a film that was supposed to get people talking and usher in a new golden age, but just fell way short of everyone's expectations instead. And it's pretty obvious why. I've said this before, but it absolutely bears repeating - why Disney tried to release this thing one week before Avatar and hoped it would be a smash hit is beyond me. NOTHING could compete with Avatar. The fact that it was James Cameron's comeback and that it was released in 3-D (meaning it was guaranteed to gross high no matter what, thanks to the extra cost of a pair of glasses with every ticket) meant that no other movie in the theaters stood a chance of topping it at the box office. The Na'vis flourished while Tiana sunk like a stone.
So what did Disney executives learn from all this? To plan their release dates for their animated films a little better? Heck no - Rapunzel is still slated for the week before Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Only it isn't called Rapunzel anymore; Disney decided to change the name to Tangled, and the focus isn't going to be on the princess anymore. Oh, and you know The Snow Queen, the movie they've been working on for who knows how long now? Yeah, that's finally ceased production. Yes, Disney has decided that The Princess and the Frog failed because it was about a girl, and they're changing all their forthcoming animated features to make absolutely sure that they don't have female leads. Thanks, Iger, you just set Disney animation back about thirty years.
In the world of Disney animation, I was really hoping 2010 would bring about a Renaissance. Instead, we seem to be getting the Dark Ages, complete with the bubonic plague. (Oh well, at least there's always Pixar.)