Originally slated as a direct-to-video release starring Two and a Half Men's John Cryer, the film was promoted to a full-fledged theatrical release after executives loved the script and an early cut of the movie. Reportedly it was Pixar's John Lasseter who, in spite of having reservations about a Cars spinoff, made the call.
The studio describes the film as "an action-packed 3D animated comedy adventure" featuring Dusty (Cook), a plane with dreams of competing as a high-flying air racer. But Dusty’s not exactly built for racing—and he happens to be afraid of heights. So he turns to a seasoned naval aviator who helps Dusty qualify to take on the defending champ of the race circuit. Dusty’s courage is put to the ultimate test as he aims to reach heights he never dreamed possible, giving a spellbound world the inspiration to soar. Disney’s Planes takes off in theaters on Aug. 9, 2013.