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Movie review: Planes

Updated on August 13, 2013

In 2006 Pixar released the film Cars. Although it won't go down in the Pixar cannon as a classic, it performed amazingly at the box office. So well in fact, that a sequel was released in 2011 which did even better at the BO.

Now no doubt Disney producers had spent years sitting around a table, attempting to come up with fresh, new ideas to entertaining the public with. They clearly failed, miserably, if this effort is anything to go by.

Planes has been laughably described as a spin-off from the Cars franchise. In truth, it's a re-boot; i.e. it's exactly the same film as Cars - but with planes.

Although there's nothing wrong with being a crop-duster, Dusty (Dane Cook) has higher ambitions; he wants to participate in the Wings around the Globe, a tournament that sees the best planes on the planet race against each other in stages around the world.

After a bit of luck in the qualifying stage, Dusty finds himself on the starting line of the race itself. But if he wants to be the best, he'll have to pull out all the stops to compete against a formidable flying line-up that includes Bulldog (John Cleese), El Chupacabra (Carlos Alazraqui), Ishani (Priyanka Chopra) and the meanest of them all, Ripslinger (Roger Craig Smith).

Animated features have really developed in recent years, and not just technically, with the likes of the Toy Story franchise, Up and Wall-E having stories that both young and old can appreciate, with their added emotional weight. But not so Planes. It certainly looks pretty, possibly featuring the best animated clouds and water effects yet (yay), but the lack of originality really lets it down.

Not only that but the lead character Rusty is one of the blandest to appear on our screens in some time. He's like that kid at school who was always eager to sit in the front row, which made everyone else want to avoid him all the more. Yep, Rusty is that kid.

Rubbing salt into the wound is a supporting cast that relies heavily on national stereotypes, with nothing new to add. The fact the film resorts to such poor stereotyping is bad enough, but it's also borderline racism in places, particularly where the Mexican plane is concerned.

With a story that's overly familiar and lightweight, what's left feels like an infomercial for Disney Planes merchandise swooping into a shop near you soon, which you shouldn't buy into, at any cost.

This only goes to prove that unlike other animated films of late, this latest Disney is no labour of love and nothing more than a blatant commercial flight that includes disappointingly poor in-flight entertainment.

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    • twoseven profile image


      4 years ago from Madison, Wisconsin

      Interesting take! I have to agree with you about the borderline racism concerns with the various characters. However, in general I think this was a great movie (disclaimer - I did just write a hub about it!) and I think it had a different feel than Cars. In Cars you have the main hero being redeemed personally/morally but not winning the final race, but here Dusty is a good guy all along and you get the satisfaction of seeing him win. Of course I do agree there are a number of similarities.


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