Thank you to Disney for providing trip expenses to Disney’s Toon Studios during National Aviation Month. All thoughts and words are my own.
One of my favorite parts of our Disney trip was a visit to the Disney Toon Studios. I love behind-the-scenes and making-of kind of features – I’m one of those people that actually watches all the extras on DVDs and Blu-rays. So getting a “behind the screen peek”, so to speak, of Disney’s Planes during National Aviation Month was pretty cool.
While we were there we spoke to Jason McKinley and Thomas Leavitt, two guys who worked on Planes in Pre-Vis Development. Jason McKinley was the actual Flight Supervisor for Planes. And why would you need a Flight Supervisor? Because, as Jason put it, “Flying is really, really hard.” They were having difficulty with realistically the movement of the planes, so they created a team that was dedicated solely to flight.
And it is! The Pre-Vis Development folks take the storyboard panels (more on those coming in another post soon) and do what’s called an animatic. Jason explained that “an animatic tries to time out as best they can how long they think the sequence will take, just to get a good feel for it.” They then showed us a clip of what it looked like to go from storyboards to the animatic and you could really start to get a feel for what the end product might look like.
Jason and Thomas both kind of laughed as they explained that while cool, “90% of that stuff a plane couldn’t possibly do in that amount of time.” So you know what they did? They “built” a full-size airport on the computer to get an idea for the real size and real speed of the planes and how they would relate to their surroundings.
I’ve always been a fan of just how far Disney goes to make movies as amazing as possible, but to hear from the Pre-Vis Development team the lengths they went to make Planes realistic was amazing. They went out on the road and visited different airstrips and airports, checking out all kinds of real planes. Then they could take that information back and say what would and wouldn’t work in the movie based on size, shape, and power.
National Aviation Month
During the month of November select aviation museums will feature “PLANES”-inspired learning materials designed to introduce children to the exhilarating world of flight and its most celebrated figures. You can find more information on the “Planes” Facebook page.
Disney’s Planes releases on November 19th. I’ll have a full review of the movie for you around that time but just let me say – go preorder the Disney Planes Blu-ray and DVD Combo Pack on Amazon. You will NOT be disappointed.