Giving Flight To Disney’s Planes

tsm dis Earlier this month, I had the opportunity to return to DisneyToon Studios to talk to the team behind Disney’s Planes. This was my second visit with the team, and yet I realized that there was still so much to discover about the thought and care that went into every detail of the movie. 

DisneyToon Studios

One of the things that make Disney’s Planes so beautiful to watch is the incredible accuracy of flight. When the cartoon planes take to the air, it looks beautiful. It looks real.  That realism comes from the direction of executive producer John Lasseter to make the movie as authentic as possible. We met with Jason McKinley and Thomas Leavitt from the film’s Flight Team that was in charge of creating that realism in flight. 

The mandate from the director and John Lasseter was that when the planes are on the ground they had to be characters but then they had to be as realistic planes and limited to realistic physics as possible. 

Disney Toon Studios Planes

Taking that mandate to heart, the Flight Team built life-size models of the scenes within the computer. In the example they showed us, the scene was a two-mile square airport. This allowed them to simulate the planes in real time at real speed (220 miles per hour) adding to the visual effect.

Everyone sees plans fly every day. So they really have it in their heads what they look like. The second it does something that it can’t do you, you would pick it up and that pulls you out of the story.

Adding realistic flight to the aerial scenes in Planes took about a year, a pain-staking process that comes after story boarding and before final animation. 

Our job now is to make it look more cinematic, more like a movie.

If you have seen the movie, I am sure you will agree that the team did their job well.  So what is the Flight Team working on now? Planes Fire & Rescue, due out summer 2014. And they are excited to bring what they learned from Planes into Planes Fire & Rescue to make it even better.

Planes one looks great, but there’s stuff that I think looks exceptionally better in Planes 2.

As impressed as I am with Planes, I can’t wait to see what the Flight Team does next. November is National Aviation Month, and on November 19 Planes will be released on DVD/Blu-Ray. It maybe a cartoon, but the effort and consideration that went into every detail of flight is incredible. For those who worked on the film, creating Disney’s Planes is a celebration of National Aviation Month.

Disney’s Planes is currently available for pre-order

For more about Disney’s Planes, check out my previous posts:

Disney Planes 

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