Disney Officially Announces PLANES, a Direct-to-DVD Spin-Off of Pixar’s CARS

     February 17, 2011

As we reported last July, Disney is planning a Cars direct-to-DVD spinoff called Planes.  Pixar won’t be involved in the spin-off and the film will be handled by DisneyToon Studios, whose previous movies include The Lion King 1 ½ and Bambi II.  Disney has now officially announced Planes and provided an official synposis:

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.

Hit the jump for comment on the project by Disney/Pixar Chief Creative Officer and Cars director John Lasseter.  Planes is set to be released on DVD and Blu-ray in spring 2013.

Here’s what Lasseter had to say about Planes:

“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. 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.”

Around The Web
  • R3last

    aaaaand so begins the direct to DVD, no heart, very little story, Poor quality sequels and Spin-offs Disney has been loathed for. Really, Lion kind 1 1/2 and Bambi two – my kids hated them both.

  • Jesus

    Say what you want about this direct-to-DVD spinoff having “no heart” (you’d probably be right), but at least in this scenario Pixar/Disney know that it SHOULD be to direct-to-DVD, unlike Cars 2 which they’re releasing into theaters. Nothing about Cars 2 makes it sound like it deserves a theatrical release. A sequel to one of Pixar’s worst films.

    • Adam

      I’m also thinking the same thing about Cars 2. I liked Cars, but at the moment none of the footage they’ve released has me particularly interested in a sequel. I’m also worried about the fact that they are making a sequel simply because the merchandise sold like hot cakes last time around. It might become Pixar’s first rotten Tomatometer!

  • IllusionOfLife

    This is really very disconcerting. I remember that one of the things Iger and Lasseter both agreed on when they because execs at the company was to stop these “lucrative but low quality” direct to video movies. Disney just raked in over $2 Billion from Alice in Wonderland and Toy Story three, not accounting for the other successful films it has had, they shouldn’t need to be scraping the bottom of the barrel to make ends meet like this.

    Here’s a novel idea: why not have Disney Toon Studios do what they’re actually good at by making more high quality animated series. Duck Tales, Chip & Dale Rescue Rangers, Darkwing Duck, etc. were all well loved and fondly remembered while Bambi II and Cinderella III are barely remembered and widely despised.

    • Jesus

      Or that Little Mermaid prequel that offered to show “how it all began” and then renegged on the mermaid sex.

  • Terry


  • Adam

    I was watching The Pixar Story documentary, and it turns out Disney was originally going to release Toy Story 2 as a direct-to-video sequel in ’99 with no involvement from Pixar until they realized, by their own admission, that the story wasn’t working AT ALL and they had to call John Lasseter back from vacation to work on it. With Pixar’s involvement, it became so good they changed their minds and gave it a theatrical release! Pure Pixar magic. :-)

  • Steve Rudzinski

    Hey, Lion King 1 1/2 was awesome. Like really good, right there with Return of Jafar as a great sequel that it didn’t need a direct to video release.

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  • Carl

    Given that a direct-to-DVD release has a bad rep of being a sub-par feature, I think we are too quick to judge something like this. Remember that the previous direct-to-DVD releases by Disney are pre-John Lasseter days. And we haven’t seen any trailer or screencap yet. And yes, Cars maybe the weakest of the Pixar films, but it is still better than most of what Dreamworks came up with.Plus, its merchandise success helped (and will help) in financing the next Pixar films.

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  • David

    Get ready for other great Disney spinoffs:

    and Feet!

    • Abel

      I’d love to see Feet but there are no people in the Cars world, so it ain’t happening.

      Bikes would be hoodies in the suburbs.

      I think Locomotives is more likely than Trains.

      Also, wouldn’t Yachts, Canoes, and Barges be fun to watch? I mean, a ship for transporting garbage would be named in the title! It’s gotta be good!

  • John

    Don’t you think that sniping a film that HASN’T EVEN BEEN PRODUCED/RELEASED is just a bit premature? Or, can it be that we’re all now becoming liberal effetes who pronounce sentence, execute, then have a trial?

    For crying out loud, what is this country coming to?

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