Although Bolt was fairly well received by critics and even better by fans, it was only mildly successful. After a string of box office bombs and mild success stories, Disney Animation Studios and John Lasseter, head of Disney’s entire animation department, decided to go back to their roots. As such, the next two animated features are both Disney Princess movies. The first of which, The Princess and the Frog, is also a return to traditional animation after three CGI movies in a row. It returns Disney to its animated Broadway style movie with its musical aspects, which served the company extremely well during the Disney Renaissance. They brought in co-directors Ron Clements and John Musker, who also brought us The Great Mouse Detective, The Little Mermaid and Aladdin. It felt like a surefire way to get Disney’s Animation Studio back into business.
It partially succeeded. The Princess and the Frog received positive critical reception with 84% on Rotten Tomatoes and a 73% on Metacritic, the highest rating any animated Disney movie earned since the turn of the century at the time. It earned $267 million on a $105 million budget. Although it wasn’t a massive success, it definitely made the studio enough money to convince them to release a traditionally animated movie every other year or so. Considering only one other traditionally animated feature has come out since, we all know how long that plan lasted.