Planes is based on a concept created by John Lasseter. Although Pixar did not produce the film, Lasseter, then-chief creative officer of both Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios, and director of Cars and Cars 2, was also the executive producer of the film. The writers made a conscious effort to not remake Cars in a new setting, rejecting ideas that were too close to ideas in Cars. The team also conducted research by interviewing several pilots of plane types that were included in the movie. Jon Cryer was initially announced as the voice of the main protagonist Dusty, but later dropped out and was replaced by Dane Cook. A modified version of the teaser trailer for the film (featuring Cook’s voice in place of Cryer’s) was released on February 27, 2013. Cryer did however receive credit on the film for “additional story material”, along with Bobs Gannaway. Prana Studios provided work on visual effects, animation and compositing.

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