Disney/Pixar’s Cars was a lucrative title for the joint studios (despite a so-so critical response), which explains why that computer-animated feature gave rise to a feature-length sequel and multiple short films. DisneyToon Studios is behind the newest spinoff for the franchise, in the form of the upcoming Planes.
Planes takes place in the Cars-verse – a world where anthropomorphic vehicles are the dominant species – and revolves around one Dusty Crophopper (voiced by Dane Cook), a humble dust cropper with big dreams of competing in (and winning) a famous aerial race. The only problem? He suffers from a crippling fear of heights that prevents him from flying any higher than… well, high enough to dust crops, basically.
Stacy Keach (The Bourne Legacy) is the voice of Skipper, Dusty’s mentor – who helps his young protege to conquer his fear and realize his full potential – and, rounding out the voice supporting cast, are the former Top Gun costars Val Kilmer and Anthony Edwards, in addition to Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Veep), Teri Hatcher (Desperate Housewives) and Brad Garrett (‘Till Death), as well as comedians John Cleese, Cedric the Entertainer and Sinbad.
Planes is the first DisneyToon Studios film that will release in theaters since Pooh’s Heffalump Movie opened in 2005 (remember that one?). The fact that it was also originally slated for a direct-to-DVD release is probably telling about the film’s quality. Similarly, the trailer doesn’t inspire much confidence in screenwriter Jeffrey M. Howard and Klay Hall – who’ve both worked on Disney’s video-only Tinker Bell movies – as far as their ability to deliver a ‘toon with exceptional storytelling.
In other words: you’ll probably be fine, waiting to either buy or rent Planes – for your kids to watch – when it’s available in the DVD/Blu-ray format.