Pixar Reportedly Developing 'Planes' As Direct To DVD Spinoff Of 'Cars'

It had to happen eventually. Pixar has flirted with the idea of direct to DVD sequels in the past — notably with Toy Story 2 — and as the studio veers more overtly towards sequels that leverage proven characters (the Toy Story films, Cars 2, Monsters Inc. 2) it is probably inevitable that we'd see a direct to DVD Pixar project.

Reportedly, the first one to actually happen could be Planes, which is intended as a spin-off from Cars.

Movieline reports that Pixar is developing Planes as "a semi-sequel and spinoff franchise to Cars, one meant to take advantage of the enormously lucrative direct-to-video market."

We have little more info at this point, as Pixar's development process is not a quick one. That being the case, this film could go many different ways: it might take final form as described here, it could be scrapped, or it could mutate into a theatrical feature.

I think many people visualize Pixar as a studio that is very much above it all, and I expect to hear some cries that a move like this could dilute what the Pixar name represents. But it could also be a way to generate revenue so that the studio can make more adventurous movies, and a set of direct to DVD films would only help broaden the opportunities for animators, designers and storytellers to hone their skills. Let's wait until there are more (read: any) real details about this before jumping to many conclusions.