Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Watch: First Trailer For Oliver Stone’s ‘Snowden’ Starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Shailene Woodley & Nicolas Cage Watch: First Trailer For Oliver Stone’s ‘Snowden’ Starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Shailene Woodley & Nicolas Cage 'Thor: The Dark World' Director Alan Taylor Says His Marvel Experience Was "Particularly Wrenching" 'Thor: The Dark World' Director Alan Taylor Says His Marvel Experience Was "Particularly Wrenching" Watch: Anna Paquin Is Rescued In Clip From 'X-Men: Days of Future Past - The Rogue Cut' Watch: Anna Paquin Is Rescued In Clip From 'X-Men: Days of Future Past - The Rogue Cut' Kevin Feige Says 'Spider-Man 2' Is "One Of The Best Superhero Movies Ever," Talks John Hughes Influence On New Spidey Kevin Feige Says 'Spider-Man 2' Is "One Of The Best Superhero Movies Ever," Talks John Hughes Influence On New Spidey Watch: Live Your Ultimate Fantasy With The First NSFW Trailer For Gaspar Noe's 'Love' Watch: Live Your Ultimate Fantasy With The First NSFW Trailer For Gaspar Noe's 'Love' Review & Recap: ‘True Detective’ Season 2, Episode 2, ‘Night Finds You’ Review & Recap: ‘True Detective’ Season 2, Episode 2, ‘Night Finds You’ Terrence Malick’s ‘Knight Of Cups’ Won’t Arrive Until 2016, Austin Music Scene Drama Not Titled ‘Weightless’ Terrence Malick’s ‘Knight Of Cups’ Won’t Arrive Until 2016, Austin Music Scene Drama Not Titled ‘Weightless’ The Punisher Will Reportedly Appear As The Villain In ‘Daredevil’ Season 2 The Punisher Will Reportedly Appear As The Villain In ‘Daredevil’ Season 2 'Lucy 2' And 'Colombiana 2' Are In Development 'Lucy 2' And 'Colombiana 2' Are In Development Mixed Reactions For Marvel's 'Ant-Man' After First Press Screening Plus New Promos And Pics Mixed Reactions For Marvel's 'Ant-Man' After First Press Screening Plus New Promos And Pics The Essentials: The 5 Best Rachel McAdams Performances The Essentials: The 5 Best Rachel McAdams Performances Watch: Tom Hardy Does Double Duty In Trailer For Gangster Drama 'Legend' Watch: Tom Hardy Does Double Duty In Trailer For Gangster Drama 'Legend' The 25 Best TV Shows Of The 2014/2015 Season The 25 Best TV Shows Of The 2014/2015 Season Kevin Feige Says 'Spider-Man' Is "Definitely A Sony Picture," Talks Role Of 'Ant-Man' In Phase 3, More Kevin Feige Says 'Spider-Man' Is "Definitely A Sony Picture," Talks Role Of 'Ant-Man' In Phase 3, More The 25 Best Animated Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Animated Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 50 Best Films Of The Decade So Far The 50 Best Films Of The Decade So Far The 10 All-Time Best Episodes Of 'Parks And Recreation' The 10 All-Time Best Episodes Of 'Parks And Recreation' The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More

Disney’s ‘Cars’ Spin-Off ‘Planes’ Getting A Theatrical Release Next Summer

Photo of Drew Taylor By Drew Taylor | The Playlist December 21, 2012 at 3:31PM

Well this is somewhat surprising: “Planes,” the direct-to-video spin-off of Disney/Pixar’s “Cars” films, is now getting a wide theatrical release next summer. It will hit theaters on August 9th, alongside Neill Blomkamp’s Matt Damon-led sci-fi extravaganza “Elysium” and “We’re the Millers,” a comedy starring Jason Sudeikis and Jennifer Aniston that is being directed by “Dodgeball” helmer Rawson Marshall Thurber. “Planes” was originally supposed to debut on home video in the fall (a European theatrical release was always planned). The movie is either really, really good or must be tracking really, really well with the guys in Disney Consumer Products. Either way, it’s coming.
3
Planes

Well this is somewhat surprising: “Planes,” the direct-to-video spin-off of Disney/Pixar’s “Cars” films, is now getting a wide theatrical release next summer. It will hit theaters on August 9th, alongside Neill Blomkamp’s Matt Damon-led sci-fi extravaganza “Elysium” and “We’re the Millers,” a comedy starring Jason Sudeikis and Jennifer Aniston that is being directed by “Dodgeball” helmer Rawson Marshall Thurber. “Planes” was originally supposed to debut on home video in the fall (a European theatrical release was always planned). The movie is either really, really good or must be tracking really, really well with the guys in Disney Consumer Products. Either way, it’s coming.

“Planes” has a weird relationship with the vaulted Pixar series from which it originates. On one hand, there’s the short film “Air Mater,” which appeared on the “Cars 2” Blu-ray and set up the world of “Planes” explicitly (at the end of the short, tow truck Mater turns to the camera and says something like “They should really make a whole movie about these planes”). But Pixar had nothing to do with the production of “Planes,” and the word “Pixar” has never appeared on any of the promotional materials for the film (instead, it comes from “Above the World of ‘Cars’ ”). John Lasseter, the director of the two “Cars” movies and the chief creative force behind both Pixar and Walt Disney Feature Animation, produced “Planes” and has been its chief spokesperson.

Instead, the animation duties were handled by Disney Toon Studios, formerly the Australian animation studio for Disney, who provided the beautiful hand-drawn animation for its afternoon syndicate programming block (for things like “DuckTales” and “Goof Troop”), direct-to-video sequels like “Pocahontas II: Journey to a New World,” and additional animation for Walt Disney Feature Animation features (things like “Home on the Range”). (The duties used to be split between the Australian and Parisian studios but the French studio was shuttered early and all of the duties fell to the Australian crew.) In 2006, the consolidated Australian studio was shuttered and Disney began outsourcing the animation to various smaller companies (the finished product would always carry the Disney Toon Studios stamp, despite a physical “studio” no longer existing).

What makes this story even more complicated is the fact that once John Lasseter and his Pixar confederate Ed Catmull were installed as Disney Animation’s creative chiefs (following Disney’s buyout of Pixar in 2007), they made a clear cut, decisive vow to cancel all direct-to-video sequels to original Disney classics. This meant that a number of projects that were already in development, like sequels to everything from “The Aristocats” to “Chicken Little,” were summarily shuttered. A sequel to “Dumbo” that was very far along was also abandoned. Lasseter promised a commitment to new properties (mostly to tie in with the lucrative Disney Consumer Products line) and spin-offs; chief among them the “Tinkerbell” series of direct-to-video features that are actually pretty good.

“Planes” won’t be the first Disney Toon Studio feature to get a major theatrical release. Back in 1990, during the early years of Disney animation’s supposed Second Renaissance, “DuckTales the Movie: Treasure of the Lost Lamp” was released theatrically. More recently, “The Jungle Book 2” and the “Peter Pan” follow-up “Return to Neverland” were given wide theatrical releases. But this is the first under the Lasseter/Catmull regime to be given the big screen treatment.

The “Cars” franchise has become a key component to Disney Consumer Products in the past few years and an important part of the company’s overall health. The merchandise based on the “Cars” movies annually surpasses $1 billion. This past summer the Carsland section of Disney California Adventure, the centerpiece of a $4 billion renovation of the park, was unveiled to nearly universal acclaim (besides that damn Luigi’s Floating Tires ride), and just last month survey work was being done in Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Florida for an east coast version of Carsland. The “Cars” franchise (which now includes “Planes”) won’t be running out of gas for a while. It’ll also be interesting to see if the theatrical release of “Planes” affects the sequel (which is already in development), “Planes 2: Fire and Rescue.”     

This article is related to: Planes, Pixar , Walt Disney


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


E-Mail Updates