“Disney’s Planes” is a cute new animated movie that looks a lot like “Cars,” only with planes. Whereas Pixar was a production company on “Cars,” this one lists DisneyToon Studios instead.
A bit of history: DisneyToon Studios, formerly known as Disney Movietoons, creates direct-to-video and occasional theatrical animated feature films, short films and TV specials for The Walt Disney Company. The studio operates as a separate unit within Disney Animation Studios and has produced 60 feature films, beginning with 1990s’ “DuckTales the Movie: Treasure of the Lost Lamp” to their most recent, 2012’s “Secret of the Wings.”
In 2007, Pixar execs Edwin Catmull and John Lasseter assumed the studio as President and Chief Creative Officer, respectively. Since the release of “Tinker Bell” in 2008, the studio began to focus on spin-offs of both Disney and Pixar films, rather than direct-to-video sequels. “Planes,” their 61st feature, is set for an August 9, 2013 theatrical release.
With all that being said, it’s no wonder that “Disney’s Planes” has a decidedly Pixar look to it. The 3D adventure centers on Dusty (voiced by Dane Cook), a plane who dreams of competing as a high-flying air racer.
But Dusty’s not exactly built for racing — he happens to be afraid of heights. So he turns to a seasoned naval aviator who helps him qualify to take on the defending champ of the race circuit.
Directed by Klay Hall and produced by Traci Balthazor-Flynn, the voice cast also includes Stacy Keach, Brad Garrett, Teri Hatcher, Cedric the Entertainer, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, John Cleese, Carlos Alazraqui, Priyanka Chopra, Gabriel Iglesias, Roger Craig Smith, Colin Cowherd, Sinbad, Oliver Kalkofe, Brent Musburger, Anthony Edwards and Val Kilmer.