The foreseeable has become inevitable: Movieline reports that Pixar Animation Studios and its parent company, Disney Pictures, have announced plans to develop a semi-sequel/spin-off to their Cars franchise for home video. Titled, for now, Planes, the spin-off heralds Pixar's first move into the potentially lucrative direct-to-DVD market. As Movieline points out, Cars wasn't Pixar's biggest box-office hit (Toy Story 3 took that title from Finding Nemo this past weekend), making only $244 million domestically and $461 million internationally (second only to Toy Story, a film released 11 years earlier, box-office wise), nor was it Pixar's best-reviewed film, receiving only a 74% score on Rotten Tomatoes and a 73% score on Metacritic, but the merchandising has added several billion dollars to Cars bottom line, spurring next year's sequel and now a spin-off.

As Movieline also points out, Planes isn't the first time we've heard about a direct-to-DVD sequel for a Pixar property. Toy Story 2 was initially developed for home video before current Pixar/Disney Chief Creative Officer and Toy Story director John Lasseter stepped in at the last minute (well, 9 months before the release date) to convert preexisting material into a theatrical feature. What audiences received was far from the second-rate effort many feared. Toy Story 2 retained the original's strong storytelling, taking full advantage of the strides in computer technology that occurred in the intervening four years.

categories Features, Cinematical