IronicGrin writes "Even hard-core House of Mouse apologists have to admit that Disney's Feature Animation division has lost its way. After a half decade of pathetic failures (Atlantis) and epic disasters (Treasure Planet), the company shut its fabled Orlando 2D animation studios last year and announced that it was jumping on the computer animation bandwagon. A big motivation for the move to CGI was, of course, the Magic Kingdom's tenuous relationship with Pixar--the source of all of Disney's recent animated hits. But Disney is overlooking a better example of just what its toon team has been doing wrong...right under its nose. Howl's Moving Castle, which opened this weekend to rapturous critical acclaim, is the third masterpiece from Japan's Studio Ghibli that Disney has released theatrically. Today's New York Times has a feature by A.O. Scott [reg required, blah blah] calling Miyazaki the "world's greatest living animated-filmmaker"; meanwhile, last Thursday, I wrote a column for SFGate.com on why Disney animation, 3D rendered or not, is doomed to irrelevance if it fails to (re)learn some basic lessons from Miyazaki and his cohorts at Ghibli. What do you think? Is Disney destined to fade to black, or can a little Ghibli flavor (mmm....Ghibli) get it back on track?"
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