Actor and stand-up comedian Dane Cook (“Dan in Real Life”) brings the lead character Dusty to life in “Disney's Planes,” showcases an airplane’s desire to do more than what he was designed to do.
Dusty is a plane with high hopes—literally. Crop duster by trade, this single-prop plane sees himself soaring alongside his high-flying heroes in an international race. The fact that he’s not really built for competitive racing doesn’t deter him from pursuing his dream—but his fear of heights just might. With a little help from his friends—and a WWII vet with wisdom to spare—Dusty takes off on an adventure of a lifetime, going prop-to-prop with champions while daring to reach heights he never imagined possible.
Director Klay Hall says he relates to the crop duster that could. “This whole movie and my experience working on it parallels Dusty’s story in a lot of ways. We started small, worked really hard, and through a series of fortunate events have been able to go farther than we imagined.”
Dane Cook, who was called on to provide the voice of Dusty, also sees a connection with his character. “As a kid, it took me a lot of years to find my place, my voice,” says Cook. “I couldn’t even speak in class—I was afraid to put my hand up and yet I wanted to entertain the world. My journey—much like Dusty’s—was one of digging down deep and finding something inside myself that would help me to exceed my own expectations.”
According to Hall, Cook helped give Dusty the kind of edge he’d need to tackle the racing circuit. “Once we saw Dane do some of his stand-up and watched a couple of his movies, it just clicked. His voice is on the deeper side with a bit of sarcasm—dry wit—to it. We liked how that supported the character’s intense passion for racing as well as his sense of humor.”
When asked how exciting is it doing a Disney animated film and with a part like Dusty, Cook answers, “Would you believe me if I said it's like you really want to jump up and down and it's like being a kid again. I've known [Pixar legend] John Lasseter for several years. John has been a fan of my stand-up comedy. From time to time I would see him and he would say, `Oh, I was on a road trip listening to your comedy.' And my heart would always race hoping that someday he might be like, `I've got an idea for something.' And I went to an evening at Pixar… They had an evening at the Hollywood Bowl, and they played all Pixar music. I brought a date and we're sitting, and we're looking at the beautiful visuals, and the L.A. Philharmonic is playing. I'm saying to her like, `Can you imagine being a part of one of these films. It's so wonderful, the music, and the attention to detail.'
“I go back stage after to say thank you to John for inviting me, and he said, `You know, I'm thinking about something for you.' And two months later he called me up and we had dinner and he told me what was needed, and he told me about `Planes.' I'm not even kidding like it took everything in me to just be cool, and to not at that table just want to just up. Like this is a lifelong dream of mine. Like I grew up loving, loving animation and musicals and things of that nature. So I feel like I'm at home.”
Distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures International, “Planes” takes off in Philippine theaters in 3D on Aug. 21, and will be presented in Disney Digital 3D™ in select cinemas.