Do We Really Need Another Planes Movie?
By Andy Herndon (@andyherndon)
Alright all, I’m going to rant here. This July Disney is releasing the second installment of Planes titled Planes: Fire and Rescue. You can read my review of the first Planes movie here: https://thedcast.com/2013/08/12/movie-review-planes/ .
Once again, we follow Dusty Crophopper as he tries to defy the odds and do what a plane like himself is not suppose to do.
My Problem? It’s the same movie. Planes: Fire and Rescue looks a lot like Planes, which was just an in the air version of the first Cars movie.
Now, I can not reiterate this enough. Planes is not a Pixar film. This film is from the “world of Cars” but is made by DisneyToons studios, the same animation studio that is responsible for the Tinker Bell movies, which I enjoy. But they are also responsible for the straight to home video sequels of Disney classic animated films such as Peter Pan 2, Fox and the Hound 2, Cinderella 2 and… need I continue? But Planes does have a close connection to Pixar. Planes was written by John Lasseter. The John Lasseter, of Pixar who is now the Chief Creative Officer for Pixar, Disney Animation Studios, and DisneyToons Studios and the Principal Creative Advisor over at Walt Disney Imagineering. So in this I am torn, but I digress.
Now don’t get me wrong. Kids are going to love this movie. I will take my children to see it as the worst and most poorly written of Disney movies are still better than 98% of DreamWorks films. But was I the only one that noticed they had this film in the works before the first Planes movie had been released? In the end credit sequence of Planes Disney made sure to let us know that Planes: Fire and Rescue was coming in the Summer of 2014. Very unlike Disney to have a sequel green lit before the original even makes a dent.
So why is Disney doing this? Money!
Though the Cars movies have been the least critically acclaimed of all the Pixar movies, it has been one of the most profitable, Toy Story Trilogy not withstanding. Have you been to Toys-R-Us or Target lately? Cars and Planes take up half an aisle. The Planes movies capitalize on the excitement of the Cars franchise and brings in revenue for the Walt Disney Company. Let’s not even begin to talk about Cars Land at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim! The epicness of that place! Cars Land is one of the primary reasons the Disneyland Resort is setting record attendance numbers. Bottom line. The world of Cars and Planes brings in money for Disney, for better or for worse.
So what do I think? Well, originally Planes was set to be a straight to home video release. I wish it would have stayed there. But Disney opted to put it out on wide release and it faired well. Planes brought in over 90 Million for Disney having cost 50 million to produce. Not bad, especially for DisneyToon, but these numbers do not include blu ray, and toy sales. That number we may never know.
So do we need another Planes movie? Do I think they should be releasing another? My answer is: sort of. Planes should not be put out on wide release. I believe it deludes the Disney brand. A straight to blu ray release would be ideal, but this also looks strategic on Disney’s part. There are no wide release animated movies coming out in July and with How to Train Your Dragon 2 coming out in Mid June, the timing is perfect to capitalize on kids being home from school during the summer and parents wanting something for them to do out of the heat.
Bottom line: With the release of the new Planes movie and Disney Chairman and CEO Bob Iger saying a Cars 3 is in the works, Cars and Planes will not be going anywhere anytime soon. The real question is how long before kids get burnt out on talking modes of transportation? This coming from a guy who collects Disney/Pixar Cars toys.