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Disney’s ‘Planes’ nosedives on takeoff

???????????????????New in theaters this weekend is the film from Disney’s direct to video division that was later deemed to be worthy of a theatrical release, Disney’s follow up to Pixar’s “Cars”, “Planes”. That last point is a very poignant one, this is a Disney in house animation project NOT a Pixar project, and the script for Planes sadly makes this point all too clear.


Starring the voices of: Dane Cook, Stacey Keach, Brad Garret, Teri Hatcher, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Priyanka Chopra, John Cleese, Cedric the Entertatiner

Written by Jeffery M. Howard

Directed by Klay Hall

From above the world of “Cars” comes Disney’s “Planes,” a 3D animated comedy adventure featuring Dusty (Cook), a small-town plane with dreams of competing as a high-flying air racer. But Dusty’s not exactly built for racing—and he happens to be afraid of heights. So he turns to naval aviator Skipper (Keach), who helps Dusty qualify to take on Ripslinger, the defending champ of the race circuit. Dusty’s courage is put to the ultimate test as he aims to reach heights he never dreamed possible, giving a spellbound world the inspiration to soar.

Planes-movie-0010The plot is simplistic as is the dialogue and scenario; this is the ultimate rehash of everything that has made money in the past. The entire plot is just a redo of the Cars movie, but with all the charm and wit that endeared that Pixar classic to millions. Garrett’s Chug is an obvious rip off of ‘Mater, so much so that Garrett is forced to mix in some of the southern slang/drawl that is Larry the Cable Guy’s trademark into his own vocal performance. Dane Cook is decent enough as Dusty, though the script makes him say some ridiculously generic patter and gags. Even the town Dusty is from ‘Propwash Junction’, which sounds like its one word away from something vulgar, is an almost spot on replica of ‘Radiator Springs’, with a landing strip replacing the dirt track. The voice of the villain Ripslinger, by Disney regular voice actor Roger Craig Smith, sounds like its only missing a kachuga or two from being an exact copy of Michael Keaton’s Chick Hicks. This film is not presenting anything that is original or fresh at all.

planes charactersThe one part that the studio does get right is the animation of the racing and flying. The graphics do look sharp and the animation is pretty flawless, the fling sequences look very polished and well done. At least that part of the film will excite audiences, but it also probably explains why they blow through the story telling as fast as they can to get to more racing. The camera angles and computer designs are excellent though, until you watch the “How to Train your Dragon 2” trailer and realize how flight should be executed on screen. But, giving credit where it is due, those sequences are by far the best part of Planes.

planes ishaniAudiences will have a hard time liking Planes, in fact many adults and children walked out of the screening with 5-10 minutes left in the film and kids were restless and bored by most of it, as there really isn’t anything here they have not seen before. And with 3D prices being as ridiculous as they are, many will have a hard time justifying a pricey night out for a few great flying sequences that lead nowhere.

Movie Junkie TO

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