It was an incredible day at the DisneyToon Studios for the Disney PLANES Event! You can read about my Animation experience, Story Artist experience, and my exciting experience in the Recording Studio. We were able to sit down with Klay Hall, Director of Disney’s PLANES, along with the Producer, Traci Balthazor-Flynn.
It was an elighting experience, finding out things that you don’t think about when you are watching the completed movie. I was impressed with how down-to-earth everyone we spoke to was during our visit to DisneyToon Studios, and that includes Klay Hall and Traci Balthazor-Flynn.
Animation is the most collaborative art form out there. – Klay Hall, Director
A lifelong aviation enthusiast, Hall is from an illustrious line of flyers and began drawing airplanes at an early age. We were even able to see one that he drew at the age of 8, and I was surprised at how good the drawing was. I wouldn’t even be able to draw that well, now. His father and grandfather were both aviators, the former serving as a pilot in the Navy. Hall has flown in dozens of aircraft from World War II bombers to Vietnam-era Huey helicopters.
Traci Balthazor-Flynn is the Producer of Disney’s PLANES and her journey with Walt Disney Studios began when she was recruited and took on her first role as a digital production manager overseeing a team of technical directors and CG artists on such animated features as “Return to Never Land,” “Bambi II” and “The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Beginning.”
Klay Hall began working with John Lasseter four years ago to get the basic concept for this movie. They talked about the idea of using trains, but decided on the planes theme because of Klay’s aviation background. In doing research for Disney’s PLANES film, they talked to all forms of pilots, as well as the Department of Defense. They even spent two days on board an aircraft carrier as part of the research process. Sounds like fun to me!
If you don’t know already, I’m going to let you know that there is a cameo by Iceman and Goose, as Echo and Bravo (Val Kilmer and Anthony Edwards) and Klay said they were fun to work with during the movie. I was a big Top Gun fan back in the day so that was cool to see them in the film as actual planes.
When asked why he likes to work with stand up comics, Klay responded that they ad lib a lot and all you have to do is have a practice read with them and go over what needs to be done, then just let them go. It leaves room for discovery and they have a little more fun.
Film Clips from Disney’s PLANES
Dusty Meets El Chupacabra
Disney’s PLANES flys into theaters on August 9th.