Soaring to New Heights with the Filmmakers of Planes: Fire & Rescue

Planes: Fire & Rescue is only days away from flying into theatres, but that didn’t stop us from taking a special early sneak peek at the film. Afterwards, we were delighted to also have the opportunity to chat with the filmmakers who made it all possible. Bobs Gannaway (director) and Ferrell Barron (producer) were on hand after our screening to give us the inside story of how they approach the mammoth task of creating new, memorable stories and films worth of the Disney banner.



Bobs Gannaway (Director/Co-Writer)

Hailing from Tulsa, Oklahoma, ‘the oil capital of the world,’ Bobs Gannaway has been with Disney for over 19 years, serving as producer on over 150 hours of television, including The Emperor’s New School, Lilo & Stitch: The Series, House of Mouse, Mickey Mouse Works, 101 Dalmatians: The Series and Timon & Pumbaa. Gannaway was also the creator and executive-producer of the hit Disney Jr. series, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. The real life heroes depicted in the film—the heroes that risk their lives each and every day to protect the public and natural resources—are what inspired Bobs to develop Planes: Fire & Rescue.


“I never plan on what my next film is going to be, because that hinders creativity. You might hold back. You want each film to be a whole full experience, so I build on what should happen rather than tweak the first film accordingly. Each character was something else before finding their current roles, and Dusty is a crop duster-turned-racer who can’t race any more. When we learned that historically, the very first air attack teams were crop dusters, it was clear that the plane was telling us where the story was going.”

“In the first Planes movie, Dusty is doing things to his engine that should not be done to it—he is stressing the engine out and causing severe damage. It’s great that the first movie teed this up without intending to. We just built on it, and the results were remarkable.”



Ferrell Barron (Producer)

Barron’s first project with Disney was for Walt Disney Television Animation’s The Tigger Movie. He also served as associate producer for Piglet’s Big Movie, and The Fox and the Hound 2.

“At Disney Toon Studios, much like Walt Disney Animation and Pixar, we work on the principle of story-trust here. What I mean by that is, all directors work together here. It’s a filmmaker driven studio—we create the story and that drives the movie forward. Because we are a series based studio, we know that what we’re going to make is a series of stories in a certain world. We like to all share each other’s candy, making secrets as we go so we can build upon previous movies.”


“I think we’ve all experienced some kind of loss at some point in our lives—an end of an era, a lost love, a failed career. We’ve all had to recalibrate. In Planes: Fire & Rescue, Dusty can’t go back to being a crop duster, he left that behind. He has to move forward.”

Hungry for more? Planes: Fire & Rescue hits theatres this Friday, July 18, 2014!

Posted 6 years Ago
Subscribe to
Follow us on