Pixar expanding ‘Cars’ universe to ‘Planes’

Proving even the mighty Pixar can’t turn a great marketing opportunity down, Walt Disney Studios announced today it was releasing its first “Cars” spin-off, “Planes.”  The studio says the film will feature an entirely original and “hilarious” crew of daredevils from around the world and will be one of the company’s first production out of their new Vancouver based, DisneyToon Studios.  It’s also heading straight to DVD and Blu-ray.

In an official release on the project, Pixar says “Planes” storyline will center on 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.”

Disney and Pixar’s Chief Creative Officer John Lasseter, who directed and co-wrote the first “Cars,” also chimed in noting, “”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.”

No word if any of the characters from “Cars” or the upcoming “Cars 2” will make cameos in the new film.

Disney and Pixar expect to release “Planes” in the Spring of 2013.  “Cars 2” hits theaters in 3D on June 24.

Movieline originally broke this story ahead of the studio’s announcement.