I agree with Atomic Terrier that the Japanese are definitely beating us at commercial design.
These designs don't strike me as "retro" in the least. Yet, they're still appealing and fun to look at. Walking through the grocery store in Little Tokyo in Downtown LA is so much more refreshing(if you can stand the fish smells) than a trip to your local grocer.
I dont know what went wrong with American design. Though, I dont think it can be blamed only on the garish 3-d rendering, because the drawings underneth the rendering aren't all that great to begin with. Take any of the examples posted, Sleeping Beauty, The Grinch Cartoon Cover, etc... In all of this new cover art the contrast and life and appeal have been sucked out of these poorly re-drawn characters. The 3-d rendering is just a final insult to my eyes.
I think those new Disney Golden books are a step in the right direction. Though, things could be taken way more in that right direction. Those covers are just a ghost of the wonderful deisgn work of the first half of the 20th century. What would it take to see a rebirth of that? Maybe it has something to do with artists having little control over their designs. I dunno.