By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist August 22, 2011 at 6:54AM
Well, D23 has come and gone, and with Disney's insistence on controlling the message suffocating any spontaneity and excitement -- coupled by a distinct lack of any real news other than some details about the new Pixar films -- the event was a bit of let down. However, Disney/Pixar did let a couple more morsels spill regarding the previously announced "Toy Story" short that will precede "The Muppets."
Angus MacLane has been revealed as the director. He's a longtime member of the Pixar art department who also helmed the short "Burn-E" on the "Wall-E" DVD. The plot for the forthcoming "Small Fry" will center on Buzz Lightyear who is left behind at a fast-food restaurant and must find his way back, encountering a bunch of older Happy Meal toys including Jane Lynch as a Mermaid. So despite the grand finale that was supposed to be "Toy Story 3," the franchise continues to be very alive and well; earlier this summer "Hawaiian Vacation" preceded "Cars 2" in theaters around the world. Whether or not the irony of setting a movie that has been franchised to death inside a fast-food joint has been acknowledged remains to be seen.
But "Toy Story" isn't the only franchise continuing to be milked, as "Cars 2" still has merchandise to sell. With that film hitting DVD/BluRay on November 1st, Pixar is showing off a clip from the short "Air Mater" featuring the irritating voice of Larry The Cable Guy. If anything, the short is merely a prelude to the official direct-to-DVD spinoff "Planes" that Pixar has been trying to pretend doesn't exist (they quashed an early teaser trailer and haven't really mentioned the project at all in their flurry of announcements). Anyway, check it out below. If anything, "Planes" can only be an improvement. [The Pixar Times]