Being part of the Disney Planes Event was such an amazing experience. I was able to meet the animators, storyboard artists, and so much more! One of my favorite moments from the event was being able to sit down and talk with Klay Hall the director of Planes, and Tracy Balthazor-Flynn a producer from Planes. They were able to share with us how the movie started and the story behind the making of Disney Planes!
Klay started off by telling us that Planes started about 4 years ago when he was asked to begin a movie about Planes, inspired by the world of Cars. They wanted him to create a whole new world with a new bunch of characters that would look like the characters from Cars, so that it looked like they belong together, yet were different. When making Planes, they really wanted to embrace the different ethnicities, cultures, and colors of the world.
“The Cars universe is vast. All machines out there have a soul, a personality, and are fun to bring to life.”
One of the challenges they ran into during the making of Planes was bringing that personality and soul to the airplanes. They had to find the balance between realism and character animation. This was hard to do because they wanted to illustrate flight that looked realistic but they also had to animate the characters features. They were definitely able to achieve that!
Klay and Tracy said that they did extensive research in giving authenticity to Planes. They brought in a flight specialist that helped them figure out how the planes would move through the space and make it seem realistic. The Department of Defense heard that they were working on the movie and brought in the US Navy to help them with the Navy sequences in the film. They even flew Klay and Tracy out to an aircraft carrier off of San Diego to spend two days with the crew and the F18 team on the ship. Klay and Tray also visited several rural airfields starting in Fargo, North Dakota all the way to Minneapolis, Minnesota.
The words and inflection were also important for them to get right. To get the jargon correct for the film they talked with National Air Racers, aircraft mechanics, military pilots, civilian pilots, commercial aircraft pilots, and more. They wanted it to sound relevant to the parents out there and for anyone that is a pilot to say, “ Yeah, they got that right.” They really wanted to get out there, and see and experience everything about Planes.
Little tip: Listen for Val Kilmer and Anthony Edwards! They voice F18 Navy Pilots reminiscent of their characters in Top Gun! “Getting Goose and Iceman was the ultimate score!” – Klay Hall
I loved being able to talk with Klay and Tracy and learn all about the making of Planes!