One of John Lasseter's first edicts as Chief Creative Officer of Disney upon his hiring four years ago was to shut down the direct-to-DVD division that was responsible for such blatant money-grabbing atrocities as Beauty and The Beast 2, The Lion King 1 1/2, and The Little Mermaid sequels. He also apparently hated what he saw during a screening of Tinkerbell, which eventually led to his decision to remove DisneyToon Studios head Sharon Morill. There was an entire series called "Disney Princess Enchanted Tales" that was downright put in the ground due to Lasseter's notion that these "sequels" were undercutting the creative and financial success of their feature films. All this only makes the announcement that Pixar are looking to tap into the direct-to-DVD market all the more surprising. It was revealed this week that Pixar is developing an animated film called Planes, which is similar to Cars and probably a spin-off, except with planes as the anthropomorphic characters. Riiight..... Bleeding Cool have gotten their hands on pics of all the characters from Planes, which I have posted after the jump...
Al Oft, the Zepellin
Barney Stormin, Skywriter
Kathy Copter, Eye in the Sky
Rotor Turbosky, who carries The King from race to race
Ron Hover, news-copter
RSC-01, the rescue chopper
As someone who spent many a childhood afternoon watching the much loved originals, I despised for years Disney's constant cash-cowing attempts to rip off parents with their DVD-direct sequels. Young kids are oblivious to the difference in quality between cinematic releases and stuff that gets put on DVD right away, and their brains aren't yet wired to the fact they are being delivered an inferior product. It's rather surprising that the studio built on originality and imagination is not only tapping into the STV spin-off market but are also sequelizing previous hits Monsters Inc. and of course Cars (out next summer). But we loved Toy Story 3, and if these sequels are made with as much love, then maybe our premature criticism is unwaranted? And besides, anyone below the age of 8 would love the chance to see their favorite Pixar characters in more fun and entertaining adventures and afterall just because Disney made crappy DVD-sequels doesn't mean Pixar will do the same. They might pull a shocker on us, who knows? Cars is probably Pixar's only misstep in their line of critically-acclaimed feature films, and even it's enjoyable for pre-teens. If kids love talking Cars, why wouldn't they love talking Planes?