They get no respect, they get no chicks - except, I would imagine, by the end of their respective movies they've rectified that second thing - but they have jobs that give them the illusion of power. It's a recipe for hilarity.
Creating peace in the middle east is nothing compared to trying to deal with a teenager daughter! Is what the President/fathers of Chasing Liberty and First Daughter would probably say. Hijinks ensue!
I doubt very much that any studio today would try to go head-to-head with Pixar by releasing a similarly themed animated film of their own in the same year, but in 1998 Pixar's only feature to date was Toy Story, so their total dominance in the realm of animation had not yet been confirmed. A Bug's Life walloped Antz by nearly $100 million and pretty much set the tone for a decade's worth of success for Pixar.
An asteroid is headed to earth so we'd better blow it up. Just to be sure, we blew it up twice in the summer of 1998...
... But in 1997, terror came from below in the form of duelling volcanoes. Maybe it was a bit of fin de siecle panic, but in the later '90s we were apparently convinced that everything was trying to kill us.