This aerial substitute for a proper Cars sequel quickly loses altitude. Disney’s Planes makes an emergency landing in box offices this weekend. Perhaps I’m not taking this seriously, but Planes is hollow children’s entertainment better served as a direct-to-DVD release.
Dusty Crophopper ([tooltip text=”Mr. Brooks, Employee of the Month” placement=”top”]Dane Cook[/tooltip]) is a small crop-dusting plane with hopes of being a world-class race plane someday. In the evenings, Dusty can be found practicing with the help of his buddy, Chug ([tooltip text=”Everybody Loves Raymond” placement=”top”]Brad Garrett[/tooltip]), while a mysterious old war plane named Skipper ([tooltip text=”Anger Management, 30 Rock” placement=”top”]Stacy Keach[/tooltip]), angrily watches from a distance.
Skipper reluctantly joins the team to train Dusty who has qualified for a race-around-the-world competition, but quite predictably, we learn that Dusty is really afraid of heights and must stick to low altitudes. No problem. While initially not the most respected plane in the race, Dusty quickly makes ally’s with some of the other competitor’s. His biggest hurdle though, is overcoming his fear of heights, and constant sabotage from the race’s favored winner, Ripslinger ([tooltip text=”Wreck-it Ralph” placement=”top”]Roger Craig Smith[/tooltip]). Dusty would eventually soar above those hurdles.
Planes was not initially meant for theatrical treatment, so there’s a fair bit of polish missing from these animated characters. The animation isn’t nearly up to snuff, at least by Pixar standards. This isn’t a Pixar film, despite the origin of the Cars world these planes admittedly come from. Then there’s the issue with voice-over. Dane Cook is lifeless, but so is every other actor lending their talents in this film. Sound editing was horrid.
It’s important to remember, this is a kid’s film, and their entertainment is truly was is at stake here. I was fortunate enough to bring along my 5 year old and capture his opinion. I asked him how he liked the movie, but he shrugged it off. I asked what was his favorite part – turned out to be the paper airplane they handed out before the film. He didn’t hate it, but he didn’t value the experience as much as I would hope.
Disney’s Planes is a film better left for DVD shelves, which coincidentally, was the initial idea for this spin-off. Planes is now playing in cinemas, but your best bet is to just stay home.