I think I’m still kind of on cloud 9 after being out in California to attend both the premieres for Thor: The Dark World and Delivery Man in Hollywood. Going through the photos and memories I captured, I have to say that visiting the Disney Toon Studios was definitely one of the highlights! Disney welcomed us bloggers there for a preview of their latest home entertainment release, PLANES!
Just to refresh your memory, I actually visited the Disney Too Studios back in June to preview PLANES before its theatrical release in August! While there, I was able to chat with Klay Hall, the director, and Traci Balthazor-Flynn, the producer, about the film. What an experience! It’s not every day little ole me get to interview a Hollywood director. I was psyched when I learned that we would get to interview them again and catch up on what they have planned for the Blu-ray/DVD release of PLANES.
Klay’s father was a pilot with the Navy, and his grandfather was an aviator as well. When he talks about PLANES, you can tell that he’s been a lifelong aviation enthusiast! Growing up he often took trips to the air field to see the planes. As an illustrator, Klay always enjoyed drawing airplanes, even at an early age. There is no question that this love for aviation was definitely a driving force to bring PLANES to the big screen.
One of my favorite details to learn about the film was all the research for pre-production. The film’s main character Dusty, is a crop duster at Propwash Junction. Klay and Traci wanted to embrace that midwest feeling with an agricultural background to set up Dusty’s back story. With their team, they visited small off-the-grid airfields. It was actually kind of funny that they visited airfields right in the same town as one of my fellow bloggers on the trip!
Klay noted that his favorite part of the research phase of the film was when they toured the USS Vincent aircraft carrier, based out of the San Diego Navy base. Klay found the experience beyond surreal while Traci admitted she might have had a slight panic attack when she first boarded the ship as it was 150 miles out to sea. To give an idea of how big the carrier is, Klay noted that it is as long as the Empire State Building, and around 10 stories high. Certainly sounds like a big ship to me!
If you’ve already seen PLANES, you are definitely aware of the multi-cultural aspect of the film. The characters in the movie participate in a global race around the world! Not only do they stop at various countries and regions, but the characters themselves are from all over the globe. I asked Klay and Traci if part of their research included traveling to the different countries and stops of the race that are featured in the film. Sure enough, it did! How amazing is that? It was really cool to hear their first hand experiences of researching the race stops and taking in the cultural aspects of each region. Not a bad perk to film research in my opinion!
We couldn’t help but ask them about their favorite characters in the film. Klay replied that El Chupacabra is his favorite for the comedic aspect. Traci noted that she loves Dottie. She replied that Dottie is a tough character who speaks her mind, but also shows her soft side in her concern and caring nature for Dusty.
So the big question is… will there be a PLANES 2? Why yes! There is one in production right now! The theme will focus on fire and rescue planes. Since my 2 year old is a HUGE fan of fire engines and fire fighting, I know this will certainly be a film he’ll love. I mean hey, he loved the first PLANES, so I’m sure he’ll love the second one. Can’t wait!
After the chat, Klay was kind enough to take us into the back offices of Disney Toon Studios. We got a glimpse into the room where PLANES was basically created! The walls of the room were covered floor to ceiling with artwork and depictions of the characters and scenery from the film. Absolutely amazing! He then let us take a peak into his own office. Kind of cool to see all the toys and knick-knacks that help spark his creativity during the process. Definitely looked like a fun office to work in!
Klay’s Flight Plan
On the Blu-ray/DVD release of PLANES, there is plenty of awesome bonus features for your family’s viewing! One of the features is Klay’s Flight Plan, starring Klay himself with his two sons. Check out this clip below entitled Family Flying, where Klay and his sons go up high in the sky!
Be sure to follow the hashtag #DisneyPlanesBloggers to check out all the fun my fellow bloggers and I had while learning more about this Blu-ray/DVD release! Don’t forget to connect with PLANES on Facebook and Twitter! In all the excitement of the home entertainment release on November 19th, be sure to also follow the #DisneyPlanes hashtag for the latest information and news on the film.
Don’t forget to check out my PLANES Fruit Snack and the teaser trailer too just in case you didn’t catch the film back in August!
Original photo by DonnaHup.com. Photo edits by me.
While I attended an expense paid trip by Disney to the Thor: The Dark World Premiere and other events, all opinions are 100% my own. All original photos courtesy of Walt Disney Pictures, unless otherwise noted. All edits by me.