DisneyToon Studios-logo
DisneyToon Studios-logo2

DisneyToon Studios was an American animation studio owned by The Walt Disney Company and founded on April 1, 1990, responsible for producing direct-to-video and occasional theatrical films for Walt Disney Motion Pictures Group. It was shut down on June 28, 2018.

New direction of the company

On June 22, 2007, management of DisneyToon Studios was turned over to the control of Ed Catmull and John Lasseter under the banner of the recently reorganized and renamed Feature Animation studio, now Walt Disney Animation Studios. As chief creative officer, Lasseter called for the cancellation of all future films in production or development at DisneyToon that weren't connected to a Disney Consumer Products line. As a result, planned or in-progress sequels to Dumbo, Chicken Little, Meet the Robinsons and The Aristocats were all cancelled.[1][2] A few days later, it was announced that DisneyToon would no longer produce future sequels to Disney animated films, but will instead focus on spin-offs and original films.[3] Following conflicts over the new direction for the division, as well as complications relating to the production of a debut Tinker Bell DTV film, the previous president of DisneyToon, Sharon Morill, moved to a new position in the company.[1]


In mid-February 2011 it was officially announced that the studio is currently producing a Cars spin-off, Planes. The film was first announced to be released in direct-to-video on DVD and Blu-ray in the Spring of 2013. Disney subsequently pushed it back to Fall 2013[4][5], while it was confirmed it would have a theatrical release in Europe.[6] It was finally set to be released theatrically on August 9, 2013. Brad Garrett will be part of the film's voice cast, which he will voice a character called Chug.[7][8] Also, a sequel titled Planes 2: Fire and Rescue is in the works. It has been confirmed by Carlos Alazraqui the Planes series will be a trilogy.[9][10]

Besides the Planes trilogy, they are also considering to make more spin-offs featuring boats and trains, which may go into production if Planes is well received.[11][12] John Lasseter said: "I kept thinking about—I’m a big train fanatic. I love trains. And I started thinking about trains, and boats and airplanes. And I kept wanting to have more and more of those type of characters. [...] It’s one of the ideas, that there will be an ongoing series. It almost starts getting into this thing where we fall in love with these plane characters, we want to see more and more stories with them. And then you start doing other vehicles and stuff like that. Yeah. So it kind of is a bigger idea that can keep expanding."[13]

To create a transition between Cars and Planes, Disney has launched a product collection called "Cars Take Flight", which focuses on all material from the Cars franchise related to flying machines.[14] The line features die-cast, race tracks, games and books. A "Cars Take Flight" event was held on September 14th, 2012 at the Chicagoland Speedway.[15]

Jon Cryer was originally cast as the main character Dusty,[16] but was dropped out.[17] He was later replaced by Dane Cook.[18]



  1. 1.0 1.1 DisneyToon Studios Prexy Morrill Steps Down
  2. Say "So Long !" to direct-to-video sequels : DisneyToon Studios tunes out Sharon Morrill
  3. Disney unveils animation slate
  4. Disney Changes 'Planes' Release Date
  5. Disney Officially Announces PLANES, a Direct-to-DVD Spin-Off of Pixar’s CARS
  6. INTERVIEW: Anna Chapman, Disney
  7. Brad Garrett cast in 'Planes'
  8. Stand-Up Comedian Brad Garrett
  9. Planes trilogy confirmed; Cryer’s recasting discussed
  10. Bradley Raymond dishes dirt on the Disney Channel's "Pixie Hollow Games" TV special
  11. Bob Hilgenberg and Rob Muir on the Rise and Fall of Disney’s Circle 7 Animation
  12. Disney's 'Cars 2' a Hit Already—in Stores
  13. In ‘Cars 2,’ John Lasseter Says Big Oil is the ‘Uber Bad Guy’
  14. Disney Toy World Supplement 2012
  15. ‘Cars Take Flight’ at Chicagoland Speedway’s Kids Zone This Weekend
  16. Jon Cryer cast in 'Planes'
  17. Disney Sets Theatrical Release Date for 'Planes'
  18. Dane Cook Leads the Voice Cast for Disney's Planes