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Disney slates aviation-themed animated film for 2019

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One upcoming mystery slot in Disney’s animated slate has been filled.

John Lasseter, chief creative officer for Disney and Pixar animation, announced Friday at Disney’s D23 expo that the untitled film slated for April 12, 2019 is set in the world of aviation, featuring characters that share the wide-eyed windshield aesthetic of the Cars universe.

The movie, directed by Klay Hall and Bobs Gannaway, “celebrates the next horizons of aviation,” said Lasseter. The directors’ research trips — a key rite of passage for Disney animated films — have brought them to NASA and well beyond and opened their eyes to the progress being made to push the furthest limits of where we can go in the world.

Lasseter debuted footage from the film in a sequence he simply called “The Speed Test.” The footage showed an arid desert in the middle of nowhere, quiet and remote — until two jet planes speed across the plains and through the canyons in a thrilling chase sequence. Near the end of the clip, they open their eyes and reveal the familiar eyes that define the Cars world. And one more surprise: What looks like a rocket flies up towards the dark sky, but turns around on the edges of the atmosphere; instead, the craft proceeds to chase down the two planes and launch a missile.

Disney

The title card revealed “Disney’s SPACE,” drawing oohs from the crowd — before the title shifted and revealed the full message, “This SPACE to be filled by a title when we think of one.”