@Antemortem - Hey, I'm not a stick in the mud. D: I was giving Disney credit where it was due!
Also, Up is a Pixar film. That's a whole other topic, but I actually forgot to mention them. In a way, Pixar picked up where Disney left off, and this is plain as day. Let's take a look at the parallels:
Disney produces films like Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Oliver & Company, The Little Mermaid and Beauty and The Beast - animation for television goes back to creation based on artistic value as opposed to existing as product endorsement. Early Nicktoons (especially Ren and Stimpy), Warner Bros cartoons such as Batman: The Animated Series and Tiny Toons are examples. Primetime animation comes back in the form of The Simpsons, something that hasn't been sucessful since The Flintstones. Other film studios try to create features to compete directly with Disney, usually with a similar animation style.
Pixar creates Toy Story and follows up with A Bug's Life, and then Toy Story 2 (and if you want, Monsters, Inc. in 2001) - Television animation hadn't changed into all the 3D cartoons we see today, but the seed was planted. People start to incorporated computer generated effects and other bits of CGI where applicable. Film studios, notably Dreamworks, drop traditional animation in favor of riding the new big wave of 3D animated works.
Both Disney and Pixar were seen as pioneers, and everyone else just played follow the leader. Today, Dreamworks isn't really a derivative of Pixar anymore now that it has it's own notable films. Disney, on the other hand, seems to be playing second fiddle to Pixar, and now seems to be the new Pixar derivative. I haven't seen Wreck-it-Ralph, though, but it seems like it's nothing Pixar couldn't've done (better) themselves. Of course with recent outings like Cars 2 and Brave, that can be contended.
Pixar either is or was the new innovator. However, I'm leery about where things are going what with the string of sequels. I'm not jumping ship yet, though. I'm sure they've still got it in them to produce more great stuff, like I'm sure Disney can too. At this point, though, if there's no where else to innovate, then it comes down to ingenuity. John Lasseter is probably the best thing for both companies, as he still understands what makes both of them special, and knows the company's roots. Without him, we wouldn't have Princess and the Frog or Winnie the Pooh. The jury's still out on what'll become of 2D animation since neither of them met expectations, but without John's involvement, Disney would still be under the impression that 2D is dead.
Well, anyway, before I turn this into a topic about animation in general, I'd agree that there's an undeniably quality to most of their films. It's even more amazing when you think about the talent behind it. That's a ton of people with formal training right there, and it's something not everyone can do. You have to be one heck of a draftsmen to layout anything at the caliber of Disney's best. And to those who did the tight inbetweens, you darn well better know how to draw, and I mean draw flawlessly.
Okay, so now that I've included Pixar into this, I think I've finally said all I could possibly say without falling into redundancy. I think there'll always be some fear, though, into what Disney will do next, because most people are still approaching it from a corporate angle. I wouldn't worry about Star Wars. I would say that if George Lucas didn't already sabbatoge the franchise himself (not just the new films, but the constant retooling of the first 3 movies), Disney's not going to make it any worse. They just handle the marketing, they aren't the content creators. I think that's what people get confused about. It's the same with Marvel. Disney just has rights to promote it with all the rest of their stuff. The original or current writers are still responsible for the canons of their IPs.