IN CINEMAS NOW
RUNNING TIME: 91 min
REVIEWED BY: Dr Lenera, Official HCF Critic
Dusty Crophopper is a cropduster plane who works at a cornfield and practices aerobatic manuveurs in his spare time, dreaming of becoming a racer. His dreams are scorned by his boss Leadbottom and his forklift/mechanic friend Dottie, but he is supported by his fuel truck friend, Chug. Dusty and Chug train for qualifiers for the upcoming Wings Across the World race. On the night before the qualifiers, Dusty asks an elderly, reclusive navy war plane named Skipper Riley to teach him how to fly well but Skipper refuses. Dusty enters the qualifiers, the audience mocking him for being a crop duster,but he manages to wow them by his well-practiced flight maneuvers and just about qualifies due to the plane ahead of Dusty using an illegal fuel enhancement. Skipper decides to mentor Dusty on his speed and agility, despite Dusty admitting that he has a fear of heights….
Because it’s a spin-off from Cars, and even has one character from them appearing [Brent Mustangberger], not to mention some tractor-tipping, Planes seems to be considered by most to be a Pixar film, but it’s actually from Disney. It’s odd if Pixar didn’t want to release Planes to cinemas, considering that the quality of Pixar’s work is diminishing like Disney’s, if not as fast. In any case, Planes, which was originally intended for a straight-to-DVD release, is strictly average fare. Children may be absorbed for an hour and a half by something that will probably feel to most adults like an excuse to sell toys, but said adults may not be too involved in a story that doesn’t have any originality once they get over the idea of planes with faces – unless they remember Jumbo And The Jet Set. You get the familiar messages about following your dream and proving to the world that you can be more than what everyone else tells you that you have to be. There’s also the typical cultural stereotypes. The laughs are minor, with some gags repeated from the Cars films, and there’s even a variation of the Doc character. The animation is good and there’s some typically great detail, while the final race is quite exciting. There’s nothing really terribly wrong with Planes, but it is still weak, lazy stuff.