When Simba raised his head high on Pride Rock in 1994's The Lion King, it looked like it might be for keeps. The Disney (NYSE:DIS) classic grossed a stunning $312.9 million in domestic box office before tacking on a little more in an Imax rerelease this past holiday season. Nine years passed without an animated feature even coming close.

The way movie ticket prices inch up each year, you knew it would be a matter of time before we saw a new King of the Hill. Few, however, would have expected Simba's dethroning to come at the fins of a clownfish.

Pixar's (NASDAQ:PIXR) Finding Nemo passed the $313 million mark over the weekend (much to our own David Gardner's pleasure: Pixar is one of his top picks in Motley Fool Stock Advisor). But when industry watchers at Animated-movies.com culled the top-grossing animated features of all time from Box Office Report's inflation-adjusted list, they found that, in real dollars, Nemo ranked below 10 other hand-drawn features.

Yet there's one important difference. All 10 have been through various rereleases since their initial runs. Nemo is still a freshman. Reissues to introduce new generations to the Pixar classic will hit the big screen in time. That kind of perpetual bonus will be good news not only for Pixar but for Disney, too. After all, while Disney is behind the 10 inflation-adjusted leaders, it also splits profits with Pixar as Nemo's distributor.

Let's face it, Disney's owns the box office this summer. This past weekend the third installment in the Spy Kids series was the surprising top draw in theaters, while critically acclaimed epic Pirates of the Caribbean held strong in second place, sailing off toward a $200 million bounty.

Between the sword-wielding pirates, the Aussie fishies, and the 3D hijinks of the Cortez family, Disney's once-troubled studio division looks a pretty picture right now. The view from Pride Rock couldn't be better.

Did you catch Spy Kids 3D over the weekend or did the 3D gimmick keep you away? What about Pirates of the Caribbean? Was Disney's attraction-titled release a swashbuckling good time? And, hey, how about that Finding Nemo? What will Disney do without Pixar if the deal isn't extended beyond 2005? All this and more -- in theDisney discussion board. Only on Fool.com.