The 2011 Walt Disney Investors Conference has been the source of quite a few new details about Pixar-related films and merchandise. They announced that the second Toy Story short will hit theaters with The Muppets in Novemeber, 2011. Additionally, the company shared first details of the long-rumored Cars spinoff, Planes, which stars – you guessed it – planes.
The film will be direct-to-home video and is set to hit retail in Spring 2013. As previously suspected, Planes is not being produced by Pixar Animation Studios – rather, Vancouver-based DisneyToon Studios will be at the helm.
When news of the animated film’s existence first leaked, there was an outcry from Pixar devotees. Many assumed that Pixar had “sold out” by making a spin-off film for Blu-ray and DVD. Today’s announcement is confirmation that Pixar is not going to be heading up the production and will continue to focus on its own films. At the same time, it allows Disney to utilize the immensely successful Cars idea and implement it in different types of characters. Personally, I see it as a win-win for both Pixar and DisneyToon.
I do not think we should be so quick to discount Planes. We have a press release with the first details of the storyline, but we have not actually seen anything. When it hits store shelves, we can let the opinions fly.
Also, this is not a Pixar film and it is not using Pixar characters. It is merely taking the idea of Cars and shifting it onto flying characters. I am sure we will see many detractors, and I have to admit I am a bit skeptical. However, DisneyToon deserves the right for its film to be seen before it is judged on its quality. Also, John Lasseter is going to be involved in the decision-making process for the film, and we have seen the wonders that he can do with the simplest of ideas. Let us wait and see what we get.
View the press release below (courtesy of Stitch Kingdom):
The sky’s the limit as DisneyToon Studios proudly announces Planes – a spectacular, full-length CG animated comedy action adventure movie for everyone set high above the world of Cars. Planes will introduce an entirely original and hilarious crew of daredevils from every corner of the globe and draws inspiration from the immensely popular Disney/Pixar’sCars world. Planes will arrive on Blu-ray™ and DVD in Spring 2013.
“We had such a great time exploring the world of Cars over the course of two films, so it seemed only natural for us to see where our imaginations would take us in a film where planes were the main characters. By expanding the Cars world, Planes gave us a whole new set of fun-filled situations and a great opportunity to introduce some fantastic new characters,” commented John Lasseter, Chief Creative Officer, Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios.
“The team at DisneyToon Studios has done such an amazing job creating a heartfelt story filled with great comedy, adventure, and emotion. I know audiences are going to love taking off into the wild blue yonder with these daredevil characters, as they experience a whole new kind of animated adventure.”
Planes takes off with an international cast of the fastest air racers around, in a comedy packed with action and adventure starring Dusty, a small town dreamer who longs to enter the most epic around-the-world air race … despite his fear of heights. With the help and support of a fleet of new and hilarious characters, Dusty wings his way into the biggest challenge of his life.