Planes (2013) Movie Review
Released : Aug. 16th, 2013
Reviewed : Jan. 28th, 2014
Genre : Animated
Film Length : 91 Minutes
What happens when a former straight to DVD spinoff of the Cars series goes to the big screen to try and replicate the success of Cars?
We follow a crop duster plane who dreams of racing and competing in a world wide race. Along the way he meets a gang of odd ball characters before finally getting to be in the race he always imagined. Now the story never goes far and is pretty straight forward, give or take for a few side angles that last about 5 minutes each (if that long). The film also never really reaches its message like most Disney films do, there is the obvious one of go your dreams but that’s all. One character even lies to another just for him own sake so clearly providing a good message wasn’t too important. Story and theme wasn’t a top priority. It also should be noted that the jokes in here always fall flat. None of them worked for any moment.
Speaking of the oddball cast of characters you meet, while being different (and very stereotypical) none of them are too interesting or anything other than one dimensional. Some of them are a British plane, a named “El Chupacabra,” who is a passionate romantic, a talented Mexican singer, and a telenovela star to round them out. The cast themselves can’t really do much to save the film either. Upon viewing it I only was able to pull out two voices and those were Dane Cook (as Dusty Crophopper) and John Cleese (as Bulldog “the British plane”). Names like Cedric the Entertainer, Teri Hatcher, Val Kilmer, Sinbad, and Gabriel Iglesias round out some of the cast as well but I couldn’t tell you they were in it before watching this.
Animation you would think is a strong suit usually for Disney related films but this one doesn’t hit the usually high marks. Some of the animation is great in this. Scenes are often colorful and the scenes involving the racing around the world and quite beautiful and showcase well. Other scenes however don’t look so great. Almost as if they were thrown in before they could fully finish it. I also have to blame it on the fact that this was originally made for a straight to DVD film so the animators may not have been trying to make everything to the stranded you would if it was planned on going to the big screen.
Overall the film suffers on a few parts. With comedy that doesn’t work, a boring story, flat characters, and some lackluster at times visuals this wasn’t the big hit Disney hoped for. While it can be decent at times to watch there are better animated films to pick than this one.