'Planes' to go direct to home video

Disney plans to spin off Pixar’s “Carsfranchise first with “Planes,” that features a cast of new airborne characters.

Film will be a direct-to-homevideo toon that will be followed up by projects that are built around other “stuff that kids absolutely love,” said Rich Ross, chairman of the Walt Disney Studios at the Mouse House investors conference in Anaheim.

“Planes” takes flight on Blu-ray and DVD in spring 2013.

“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,” said John Lasseter, chief creative officer, Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios. “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.”

Project was produced by DisneyToon Studios, a division of Walt Disney Animation Studios, that produced the Tinker Bell pics.

Studio was built to get their own franchises off the ground, similar to how Pixar’s sister studio in Vancouver had done with the “Cars Toon” series of shorts, whose 10th installment is in production.

“Toy Story” is also getting its own “Cars Toons”-like franchise. First is “Toy Story Hawaiian Vacation” to bow in front of “Cars 2.” A second one will unspool in front of the new “Muppets” movie.

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