Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Watch: James Bond Is Back In First Trailer For 'Spectre' Starring Daniel Craig, Lea Seydoux, Dave Bautista, & More Watch: James Bond Is Back In First Trailer For 'Spectre' Starring Daniel Craig, Lea Seydoux, Dave Bautista, & More Terrence Malick's Next Film With Ryan Gosling, Rooney Mara & Michael Fassbender Reportedly Gets Titled Terrence Malick's Next Film With Ryan Gosling, Rooney Mara & Michael Fassbender Reportedly Gets Titled Watch: Jake Gyllenhaal Gets Bloody And Bruised In First Trailer For Boxing Drama 'Southpaw' Watch: Jake Gyllenhaal Gets Bloody And Bruised In First Trailer For Boxing Drama 'Southpaw' New Infographic Lays Out Canonical 'Star Wars' Timeline With Films, TV And Books New Infographic Lays Out Canonical 'Star Wars' Timeline With Films, TV And Books First Official Image: Jesse Eisenberg As Lex Luthor In 'Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice' First Official Image: Jesse Eisenberg As Lex Luthor In 'Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice' Watch: First Trailer For Arnold Schwarzenegger's Zombie Pic 'Maggie' With Abigail Breslin Watch: First Trailer For Arnold Schwarzenegger's Zombie Pic 'Maggie' With Abigail Breslin Idris Elba Replaces Jamie Foxx In Harmony Korine's 'The Trap,' Al Pacino, Robert Pattinson, James Franco Also Join Idris Elba Replaces Jamie Foxx In Harmony Korine's 'The Trap,' Al Pacino, Robert Pattinson, James Franco Also Join Watch: Explore The Loneliness Of Sofia Coppola's Films With This Supercut Watch: Explore The Loneliness Of Sofia Coppola's Films With This Supercut 10 Terrible Films Starring Great Actors 10 Terrible Films Starring Great Actors Watch: Tom Hanks Acts Out His Filmography In 7-Minutes On 'The Late Late Show' Watch: Tom Hanks Acts Out His Filmography In 7-Minutes On 'The Late Late Show' New Directors/New Films Review: Jia Zhang-ke Produced 'K' Is A New Take On Franz Kafka's 'The Castle' New Directors/New Films Review: Jia Zhang-ke Produced 'K' Is A New Take On Franz Kafka's 'The Castle' Viggo Mortensen Reveals He Turned Down Quentin Tarantino's 'The Hateful Eight,' Auditioned For 'Reservoir Dogs' Viggo Mortensen Reveals He Turned Down Quentin Tarantino's 'The Hateful Eight,' Auditioned For 'Reservoir Dogs' Jonathan Nolan Says His Original Ending To 'Interstellar' Was “Much More Straightforward” Jonathan Nolan Says His Original Ending To 'Interstellar' Was “Much More Straightforward” The 25 Best Animated Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Animated Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Films Of 2015 We've Already Seen The 25 Best Films Of 2015 We've Already Seen Best Of 2014: The 15 Best Movie Soundtracks Of 2014 Best Of 2014: The 15 Best Movie Soundtracks Of 2014 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 From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki 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.


Check out Indiewire on LockerDome on LockerDome

E-Mail Updates