When he came to Disney in 2006 he offered Glen Keane the option of making Tangled as a hand-drawn feature but Keane wanted to do it in CG. If someone at Disney really wanted to make a hand-drawn film and had a good story, I think Lasseter would allow them to move ahead with hit.
Yes, but that was before The Princess and the Frog
had underperformed. I think Lasseter has lost his faith in the medium after that or at least he does not actively support it anymore.
People at WDAS keep pitching their ideas as "envisioned in CG" because:
1) They know that management will greenlit a CG film easier and faster instead of a hand-drawn one.
2) They are afraid that their picture will underperform if it is hand-drawn.
Basically, they feel that the hand-drawn medium is a risk that they're not willing to take.
If management was truly supportive of the medium, artists there would not be feeling this way and there would have been more hand-drawn projects in development. Besides, the mantra that the nature of the story dictates which medium should be used is quite arbitrary. Except with cases like Wreck-It Ralph
, most stories could be told in either medium equally well. Therefore, the "nature of the story" sounds to me more like an excuse than a reality.