I don't agree with that when Glen Keane has said that he voluntarily stepped down. How is that Lasseter and Disney grasping an opportunity to get rid of him?
It's not exactly "voluntarily" since he got sick and couldn't work for six months. He had to step down. I'm just speculating based on the buzz back then that if he hadn't they would find a way to remove him as a director eventually. Of course, no one knows for sure.
Calling him a micro-manager is fine but wasn't Walt Disney notorious amongst his employees for being a micro-manager? If and when one of Lasseter's ideas comes back to bite him on the ass and flop, criticise him but I personally think that he has done a brilliant job at Disney considering the state of the company, particularly animation, when he joined.
Yes because Walt despite assigning directors they were still considered his movies. The directors' role was to execute Walt's vision and not their own and everyone in the studio knew that. No one outside the studio even knew the names of the directors. The movies are known, even today, just as Walt's films. Even Floyd Norman has said so in one of his blog posts.
However, Lasseter keeps proclaiming that Pixar is a "director-driven" studio when clearly that's not the case. It's hypocritical and he basically says that to promote a specific "image" of his studio.
I may be wrong, but when was the last time Lasseter said "director-driven"? Because I haven't actually read that in a long time... like probably a couple years. So it seems to me that since Pixar has opened up with more directors and stories and whatnot, Lasseter has realized that it isn't just the four or five of the "Braintrust" that are making movies there anymore. So he has to step in.
Think of it this way: if you were John Lasseter, would you want your company to be putting anything out that you didn't agree with? Or would you make changes as you see fit? While in a perfect world he would let everyone make their own movie, that just simply isn't realistic.
This is just one more way that he is the modern day Walt Disney. It's true that the directors were much less known in Walt's day, and that they were all perceived to be Walt's films. But even today, the average movie-goer doesn't have a clue who Brad Bird, Lee Unkrich, Pete Doctor, Andrew Stanton, or even John Lasseter himself, are. All they know is "Pixar" made this movie. So it's really not so different at all from Walt's films. All the general public knew back then was that "Disney" made this movie, even though it could have been Woolie Reitherman, Hamilton Luske, Wilfred Jackson, etc... or in some cases Walt himself.
Basically what I'm saying is that Lasseter is doing the best job he can to put out quality films while still retaining what he feels "Pixar" should be. With it being his company and all, I think that's fair, and I think he's doing a great job. It's already been said: the day Pixar starts putting out flops is the day criticism against Lasseter will seem viable. But until then, all the decisions he's made thus far have produced some of the best animated films of all time. That's hard to argue against.