Disney's upcoming 'Planes' was already on turbulent ground with many film fans before it cast Dane Cook as the lead character, so expect the eye rolling and the weary sighs that tend to happen whenever this project is mentioned to be extra pronounced today. 'Planes' just went from being a cash-in spin-off of Pixar's worst film to being a cash-in spin-off of Pixar's worst film starring a not particularly well-liked comedian.

Cook will play the role of Dusty, who is described in the press release as "a plane with high hopes." We're not sure if that particular pun was intended or not. Anyway, Klay Hall, the film's director, says:

Dane Cook brings unmatched charisma and brilliant comedic timing and instincts to the character. He gives Dusty a great edge.


To be fair, only some of our ire at 'Planes' comes from the casting of the least interesting comic to ever sell out stadiums (look at 'Ratatouille's casting of Patton Oswalt to see what hiring a genuine talent looks like). Most of it comes from the fact that this film seems to represent the further watering down and exploitation of the Pixar brand and another step toward the dark side for Pixar-genius-turned-Disney-suit, John Lasseter. The fact that 'Planes' was originally a straight-to-DVD project that got bumped up to theatrical release doesn't bode well either. Oh, and the trailer doesn't help.

To be fair, 'Toy Story 2' was also a DTV movie that ended up getting a theatrical release after everyone saw how good it was...but 'Toy Story 2' wasn't a 'Cars' spin-off, so it doesn't feel immediately toxic.

'Planes' hits theaters on August 9th. Here's the official synopsis:

"The all-new story offers an exciting cast of characters and centers on Dusty’s high-flying dream. But Dusty’s not exactly built for racing, so he turns to a seasoned naval aviator who helps Dusty qualify to take on the defending champ of the race circuit. Dusty’s courage is put to the ultimate test as he aims to reach heights he never dreamed possible, giving a spellbound world the inspiration to soar."