Movie Review: Planes
The notorious DisneyToons studios, who is responsible for such great Disney Classics as Pocahontas II, The Lion King II, Lady and the Tramp II and many others, released the Pixar Cars spinoff Planes this weekend. Before going any further one must understand the three main legs of Disney animation. There is Walt Disney Animation Studios, which we all know and have loved since we were children. There is Pixar Animation Studios who brought us such classics as Toy Story, Cars and Monster Inc. Then there is the third much less know leg of Disney animation, DisneyToons. DisneyToons is responsible for strait to DVD sequels of classic Disney stories which ruined them for some of us.
Planes is “above the world of Cars”, as such it is not a Pixar film. Though John Lasetter (one of the founders and the patriarch of Pixar) is the Chief Creative officer there at DisneyToons, this should not be mistaken for a Pixar film as Lassetter has his creative genius in every aspect of Disney right now. Planes went back and forth between going to theater and going straight to DVD/BluRay until Disney finally settled on sending it to theaters which is rare for the Classic ruining giant, DisneyToons.
Planes follows a small town crop dusting plane “Dusty Crophopper”, voiced by Dane Cook, as he tries to become an air racing legend. He beats the odds and is given a chance to qualify in the greatest air race in the world. The movie follows Dusty as he fights adversity and beats the odds with the help of some friends.
What I liked:
The movie was well animated, especially for DisneyToons studios whose computer animation department’s only real experience is the Tinker Bell/Pixie straight to video movies my 5 year old daughter loves so much. The animation was admittedly not at the level of Pixar, but I was surprised and impressed. Some scenes were spectacular such as the Taj Mahal, the Pacific Ocean and what appeared to be the desert southwest.
The voice work was amazing. Disney was able to get some quality actors for this project and in my opinion, it makes the film. The line up includes Dane Cook, Stacey Keach, Brad Garrett, Teri Hatcher, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, John Cleese, Cedric the Entertainer, Val Kilmar, Sinbad, and John Ratzenberger even makes a cameo, which up until now he’s only done in Pixar films. Quality seasoned actors, doing a bang up job, make this film.
What I didn’t like:
Don’t go out and buy the soundtrack to this film, because it’s horrible! Disney had a real opportunity here, like they did with Cars, to take some classic aviation songs ( ie Danger Zone, Fly Like an Eagle, I Just Want to Fly, Come Fly with Me just to name a few) modernize them and place them in the film. Not only did they not do that, the music they did have was rather unimpressive.
The storyline was very familiar, though it did not follow the original Cars storyline. The similarities were blaring to me since I’ve probably seen Cars over one-hundred times. The race, the love interest, the washed up mentor and the cocky antagonist all screamed Cars to me.
Should I see it?
The movie over all was entertaining and my 3 and 5 year olds LOVED IT! Both were engaged for the entire hour and thirty-two minutes. This film is a must see if you have kids, especially boys or any kids who loves the original Cars movie. Go out and see it and have a great time! Though this will probably not be a Disney Classic, it is worth dropping some coin at the cinema! It was a definite break in character from the studio that brought us Cinderella II. Don’t worry though, DisneyToons Studio is planning on staying true to form as sequel to Planes, Planes: Fire and Rescue, is already in the works for 2014.