Disney and Pixar have a bit of an uphill battle – or maybe that should be dogfight, given the subject matter – with Planes. Spun off as it is from the successful, but least critically acclaimed of its films, Cars, the new family film was destined for DVD, before John Lasseter and co decided it was worthy of a cinematic release. Now comes the final word on the voice cast for the movie, including the fact that Top Gun veterans Val Kilmer and Anthony Edwards are playing fighter planes named Bravo & Echo. They’re just two of the new characters, pictures of which you can find in the gallery lower down the page.
"I always felt every vehicle in the world of Cars is a character, and I love the idea of airplanes because you get off the ground and can take people places they have never seen," says John Lasseter, who directed Cars and Cars 2 and executive produces Planes. "There's so much potential."
Planes, which is not produced by the Pixar team itself but by the DisneyToon Studios gang, follows Dusty (Dane Cook) a crop-dusting single-prop dreamer who wants nothing more than to travel the world and race. That’s despite having a fear of heights and some physical limitations to overcome.
Along the way, Dusty meets a variety of flyers, including the aforementioned F-18 duo (is it wrong for us to whine that if they wanted to keep the Top Gun homage accurate they should be F-14 Tomcats, retired status be damned?) French-Canadian racer Rochelle (Julia Louis-Dreyfus), Navy Corsair Skipper (Stacy Keach), old plane Leadbottom (Cedric The Entertainer), forklift Dottie (Teri Hatcher), fuel truck Chug (Brad Garrett), egotistical Wings Around The Globe champ Ripslinger (Roger Craig Smith), his cronies Ned and Zed (both voiced by Gabriel Iglesias), and old-timer Bulldog (John Cleese), among others.
We’re still hoping the ol’ Pixar charm and attention to story detail is present in this one, which takes to the air in cinemas on August 16 in 3D. For more, head to USA Today.