Nov 122013
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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.

Celebrating National Aviation Month with "Planes" at Disney Toon Studios #DisneyPlanesBloggers

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.

Meeting with the "Planes" Pre-Vis Development Team During National Aviation Month #DisneyPlanesBloggers

Photo Credit: Disney

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.

Learning About Disney's "Planes" from the Pre-Vis Development Team During National Aviation Month #DisneyPlanesBloggers

Photo Credit: Disney

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

We were able to watch a really cute clip on the “Top 10 Flyers” presented by ESPN’s Colin Cowherd.  It’s a great way to celebrate National Aviation Month.  I learned a lot about aviation history that I didn’t know!

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.

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About Liza

Liza is a mom (5-year-old daughter, 20-year-old stepson, and 24-year-old stepdaughter) and wife living in Louisville. She loves spending time with her family, visiting the local zoo and parks, as well as planning travel adventures. Cooking and baking, DIY projects and crafts, and coffee - lots and lots of coffee - round out some of her other hobbies.

  16 Responses to “Giving Disney’s “Planes” Wings: A Salute to National Aviation Month”

  1. What a great demo! So cool to get a glimpse behind the scenes of film making.

  2. That looks like the best job ever! Getting to create cartoons every day.

  3. I can’t wait to see this! Looks like you had a great time!

  4. I can’t wait to show this to my plane loving 3 year old nephew!

  5. This movie was great – my boys loved it!

  6. We just watched Planes the other day, loved it!

  7. I seriously love to find out about things like this–an insiders view–so very cool–thanks for sharing your behind the scenes stuff with your readers–love it

  8. Wow this is awesome Very cool that you were there, our kids loved Planes

  9. What a fun demo, I had a great time learning about all this stuff

  10. What a great opportunity. We had a chance to watch this movie over the weekend and all I will say is, it is Awesome and the creators did a great job!

    • They did, didn’t they? Wait until I have a chance to post my interview with the director. He had us in tears, seriously! The amount of awesome they poured into this movie is amazing.

  11. Wasn’t it an amazing day, Liza? I feel so blessed to have been able to attend the trip! Great post, by the way!

  12. […] watching this bonus feature and the Top 10 Flyers bonus feature we broke off into smaller groups to complete three sets of interviews.  I shared the […]

  13. […] are a number of bonus features like Klay’s Flight Plan (you might want a few tissues) and the Top 10 Flyers.  Also click the image above for some free printable […]

  14. […] learned to draw Dusty from Dan Abraham, Head of Story, and Art Hernandez, Story Artist and toured Disney Toon Studios.  Read my Planes review for more info on why I loved the […]

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