Planes (2013)

4.0 Overall Score
Story: 4/10
Acting: 4/10
Visuals: 4/10

Some good flying scenes

Cheap looking compared to Pixar films, poor story

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Planes

Studio:  Walt Disney Pictures

Genre(s):  Animated/Action/Adventure/Family

Release Date(s):  August 9, 2013

MPAA Rating:  PG


I’m just a cropduster…I wonder if I could ever win? (sarcasm)

Dusty Crophopper longs to be a racing plane.  When he enters in a qualifier for the Wings Across the Globe race, he finds himself an unlikely entry.  With everyone expecting his failure, Dusty is out to prove them wrong.  As the Wings Across the Globe race begins to make Dusty the lovable underdog, Dusty finds he might have to fight his fears and finally touch the sky if he hopes to defeat Ripslinger.

Directed by Klay Hall, Planes is a spin-off of Pixar’s popular Cars franchise which began in 2006.  The 3D film actually isn’t considered a Pixar film and was produced by Walt Disney and DisneyToon.  The film was released to mostly negative reviews but a massive haul at the box-office.


Goose…Iceman? Is that you?

I wasn’t a fan of Cars at all…Planes was even worse.  With an incredibly predictable story that was almost the reverse of Cars and animation that wasn’t up to par with other Pixar films, Planes almost feels like a straight-to-video kids’ movie.

Planes feels like a bad episode of Thomas the Tank Engine…without the charm.  The story has no surprises, twists, or fun.  It just feels like a tedious ride that moves on and on.  It is dull and lifeless like the vehicles themselves.


You snooze, you lose

This leads to a weird side note about the whole Planes/Cars thing.  I just don’t get it.  I can suspend belief and believe toys run around, bugs can battle grasshoppers, and a house can fly with balloons, but living vehicles just don’t make sense.  Why is Dusty a cropduster?  What needs the food that he’s dusting since there are no humans (ethanol just doesn’t cut it)?  Plus, who builds all this stuff?

While the cast of Planes is strong, it isn’t up to the level of Cars.  Dane Cook is fine as Dusty Crophopper but Stacy Keach doesn’t have Paul Newman’s level.  Brad Garrett, Teri Hatcher, Cedric the Entertainer, Julia Louise-Dreyfus, John Cleese, and Sinbad provide back-up voices and even though it isn’t technically a Pixar film, John Ratzenberger does voice a jet tug.  The only genius casting was Val Kilmer and Anthony Edwards as Boeing F/A-18E Super Hornet jets which harken back to their Top Gun days.


Let’s fly another lap…since there is no story

The visuals of the movie just aren’t as classy as a standard Pixar film.  I prefer traditional animation to computer animation, but I consent Pixar does a good job…the makers of Planes were not as good.  Though some of the flying scenes were strong, there was a certain type of cheapness to it.

Planes isn’t worth the time, and I could even see some kids being bored with it.  With so many other good animated films out there, Planes crashes and burns to use another flying pun.  Despite this, the huge financial pull of the film has led to a sequel in Planes:  Fire & Rescue scheduled for 2014.

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Related Links:

Cars (2006)

Cars 2 (2011)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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