Currently the largest Disney shareholder and a member of Disney's Board of Directors, Jobs, a longtime Disney fan, is thought to have influenced the decision.
In recent years DVD’s such as Lion King 1 1/2 and Bambi II have been commercial rather than critical hits for Disney. Little Mermaid III, which is currently in production, will be the last of the direct-to-DVD animated sequels.
In a 2003 conference call with financial analysts, Jobs said how much he hated the DVD sequels. "We feel sick about Disney doing sequels. If you look at the quality of their sequels it's pretty embarrassing." The change comes with a shake-up at the company's DisneyToon Studios, including the removal of longtime president Sharon Morrill.
DisneyToon Studios will become part of Walt Disney Feature Animation and report directly to Animation President Ed Catmull and John Lasseter, who assumed roles there after Disney bought Pixar Animation Studio last year for $7.4 billion in stock.