Planes - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Planes Reviews

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Super Reviewer
July 10, 2014
It may just seem like a "Cars" rip-off, and it certainly is, but at least they acknowledge that and say in the titles that it is from the world of cars. Also, having the story thought of by John Lasseter is a huge plus, so he must have had some faith in this project. "Planes" does not come anywhere near close to Pixar's legacy, nor does it even touch the original "Cars" film, but "Planes" is a very fine animated kid's flick that may not be remember to anyone as a huge success, but for what it is (and as clichéd as it may be) I enjoyed it. Did I hate how predictable it was, of course, but I didn't let that take away from the film's nice animation and cool racing scenes. Going into this film I honestly thought I was going to hate it, so I think that is why I give it some credit. You'll either like it or you'll hate it, and this time, the latter is not quite for me.
Super Reviewer
December 3, 2013
From above the world of Cars.

Very good animated movie! It's a Disney movie, it has happy endings and it gives kids great motivational dreams. A spin-off from Pixar's Cars, the movie gave some good comic relief with their stereotyped personality and the colorful images seem to be able to calm the hell of screaming children. I always like motivational movies, and in this case, Planes teaches kids how they should always try to overcome their fear. What's more important is the breaking of hereditary roles and defining who you want to be, away from what society thinks you should be. You don't need to be a fantastic race-plane to win the race. As long as you are willing to work hard, the sky is the limit! Recommended for all ages, yes including adults, you will enjoy it too!

Dusty Crophopper is a little cropduster plane with a fear of heights and a crazy dream of being a racer. While his friends need convincing, Dusty gets the training he needs from Skipper, a veteran fighter, and qualifies for the Wings Across the World race. In the event, Dusty finds competitors who soon learn that there is something special about this underdog as he is tested to his physical and emotional limits. In doing so, Dusty soon finds enemies, and more importantly friends, who are inspired by his dream. In the face of all obstacles, the winner of this air race will be anyone's guess.
Super Reviewer
½ December 2, 2013
So I think its safe to say we all know what this film is about and what its based on right?. Should I also be surprised that the entire thing is a bit of a cliched rehash of every animated film ever made?...sort of. Its quite clear this film is a direct spin off from the 'Cars' movies, its no secret obviously just by looking at the poster. Problem is its not been created by Pixar but by DisneyToon Studios, its all still under the same roof, written/produced by Lasseter, but its clear to see the quality just isn't here.

The film was meant for a straight to DVD release and boy can you tell. First thing that does hit you is the fact the visuals just aren't the high quality you'd expect. They look nice sure but blatantly low in standards compared to other Pixar work, it just looks like a cheap DVD release all the way. Those spin off adventures that big mainstream characters have but no one ever hears about them because they disappear straight into the shops, made purely to capitalise on the original cinematic hit.

So the visuals look basic and too simple, although they are planes, only so much you can do with them I guess. The actual animation is fine but overall it all looks dated, about ten years old. Next up is the plot...oh my the plot, you know those overused underdog tales where the plucky young hero braves his fears and eventually, after some wise tutoring from a mentor, overcomes the odds and wins something, usually a tournament or whatever. Yep well that is the plot right here all over again, predictable, hokey and corny to the max.

Character wise its the same story I'm afraid, you can guess right now exactly what the characters might be...and you'd be right, yes it is that predictable. One plucky young hero...check, one gruff wise old mentor...check, one soft female love interest...check, one goofy amusing sidekick...check, one dastardly plotting baddie...check, two clueless amusing baddie sidekicks...check and plenty of stereotypical multiracial characters that could border on being offensive to certain folk...big fat check.

Next to that is the fact all the characters just look boring, real boring!. There is nothing exciting going on with any of them, all the background characters look the same, lots of little cookiecutter forklift characters whizzing around. The planes are a standard mix of light aircraft, old war planes, racing planes etc...all propeller planes I might add. The only neat little touch was using Anthony Edwards and Val Kilmer as two Super Hornet jet fighters in a cool little 'Top Gun' homage. That was literately the best thing the film had to offer.

I'm still amazed they didn't include any of the 'Cars' characters or have any tie in's anywhere (unless I missed it). Surely that would be a must?! screaming out for that I would of thought, strange.

The other thing that bothered me about this was the fact it just doesn't work. There are no humans in this world, this universe seems to be a fully living mechanical one with no mammals whatsoever. Now I know its a kids film and I shouldn't delve too deep but I kept asking myself things like...why on earth would they need buildings, tables, glasses and various other regular items humans use. Why would the airport need an actual airport building? why would their be airliners if there are no people to carry?. Thing is if that airliner is suppose to carry other plane 'people' or cars etc...surely it would have to be HUGE! surely all buildings would have to be huge to fit all these vehicles within them.

I know its picky but the more I thought about it the more it just makes no sense at all. Why would the main character, who is a cropduster, need to dust crops?? do these mechanical things eat crops? human food, surely not?. And why would the crops need that kind of protection anyway seeing as there aren't any organic creatures in this world to eat them, or so it seems. Every vehicle in the film is a living mechanical object, even the big aircraft carrier is alive! but how would that work? my god his existence must be deathly dull haha. The whole film felt more like one of those tacky old kids cartoons/animated shows where all the vehicles were living 'Thomas the Tank Engine' or 'Jimbo and the Jet Set'.

The main problem is the lack of humans, without them it makes this world completely unworkable, you need humans to give these vehicles a real purpose and believability. The 'Cars' films weren't too bad because cars aren't as big as planes obviously plus I don't think everything was alive in those films, could be wrong. Like what the hell do these vehicles do all day besides race? and who or what creates them? the characters even chat about birth at one point, how would that come to be exactly?. I know its not important but it just seems so stupid to me when I was watching it, as if nothing has really been thought through, its a kids flick so it doesn't matter.

That aside the film is reasonably enjoyable in places but it really is lacking in imagination badly. It literately feels like they just took the foundations of the 'Cars' movie, stripped it of cars and slapped a planes shell over the top and churned it out with a few minor alterations. Is there a better word I can use other than predictable? this word doesn't feel grand enough to describe just how much of a rehash this film is, fast food flick making of epic proportions folks.
Super Reviewer
½ August 27, 2013
Planes is one of the first animated features that I've actually found to be not up to the standards of what I've expected from Disney. This is a tiresome film that is quite dull and it recycles ideas from previous animated outings, Cars being the most prominent example. The film is really not that entertaining to begin with, though the voice cast is interesting, there is nothi9ng good to really enjoy here. The animation is wonderful, but that doesn't redeem Planes from being a poor effort on the part of Disney. This was a film that could have been good, but instead it fails to be truly entertaining and fun from start to finish. During the film, some people actually left and asked for a refund. This is purely and simply put a lazy movie that just isn't worth your time. The film was originally intended for a straight to DVD release, and it should have been so. This film was a sheer disappointment. The only thing that stands out here is the animation, but that's it. The film really isn't worth your time, and it is among Disney's worst computer animated features. Hopefully they'll redeem themselves with future movies, but Planes fails to take flight, and stalls in terms of an engaging, fun storyline and entertainment value. I really didn't enjoy this movie and it's quite forgettable in the long run. Disney have made finer animated films than this, but with Planes, it's clear that they're scraping the bottom of the barrel of ideas. This film should have been good, but instead it's a boring movie that just fails and it leaves you wanting much more out of the film. Planes is not worth your time.
Super Reviewer
January 12, 2014
From DisneyToon comes the Cars spin-off film Planes, an exciting new tale of adventure. When a crop-duster named Dusty enters into a race around the world he makes some new friends and gives inspiration to other planes that aspire to be more than what they are. The voice casting is fairly good and features Dane Cook, Cedric the Entertainer, Teri Hatcher, and John Cleese. However, the CG animation isn't quite up to the Disney/Pixar standard, and doesn't have a lot of depth or texture. Still, despite the lacklusterness, Planes is entertaining and fun for the whole family.
Bradley T. Johnson
Super Reviewer
August 22, 2014
Planes is diverting enough for kids, but tedious and boringly familiar for anyone else. Beautifully designed but emotionally hollow, Planes is a low point in Disney's animated catalogue. Rating: 38
Super Reviewer
May 15, 2014
Lacks the finesse that Cars had.
Cameron W. Johnson
Super Reviewer
January 20, 2014
Come on, Disney, not a whole lot of people were asking for "Cars", hardly anyone was asking for "Cars 2", and, let me tell you right know, no one was asking for a spin-off about planes. ...Well, I am that jerk who at least liked the first "Cars" quite a bit, so I didn't completely object to this idea, although that might just be because I'm hoping that they make yet another spin-off, about trains, so that they can finally complete the "Planes, Trains & Automobiles" saga. Oh, John Hughes, just rolled over in his grave, but hey, another John who is well-known for raising kids with movies, Mr. Lasseter, might like the idea of shameless profit. Well, I don't know about that, because he clearly has enough artistic integrity to take a pay cut, seeing as how, after "Cars 2", Pixar didn't want to take their chances with this film and just bailed out. Granted, Lasseter did co-conceive of this story, such as it is, but this is still ultimately Disney's sole burden, because they don't have nearly as much integrity as Pixar and will take whatever project will shut kids up, kind of like Dane Cook, even though I don't reckon his intention is for potentially laughing audiences to shut up. Actually, I'm also that jerk who is kind of okay with Cook, but I'll still join folks in saying that you know you're in trouble when your film actually stars Dane Cook, no matter how hard they try to disguise him as a cartoon plane. That's a pretty distinctive gruffly goofy voice, but hey, compared to the other obnoxious elements in this film, it's practically a strength, even though there are admittedly more legitimate strengths to give credit to here.

The film's animation doesn't seem quite as well-polished and lively as it likely would have been if Pixar paid its usual contribution, but this effort still takes plenty of upstanding notes from the certain Disney animation team that we all know and respect so highly, offering enough delightfully bright colorfulness and adequate life to expressiveness to bring this world to life beautifully. The animations are not simply easily this film's biggest strength, but stand out, playing a big role in establishing a certain entertainment value, though not without the help of admittedly pretty colorful voice performances. The lazy filmmakers are certainly not asking for much out of this, at best, C-level cast, but where the performers could have also lazed out, like the overacting casts of other mediocre animated features, most everyone charms, with even Dane Cook having enough endearing genuineness to his vocal efforts to feel more like a relatively inspired lead than the Dusty Crophopper role itself does on paper. Yes, people, this effort does indeed feature the solid animation and voice talents that have made mighty very films of this type in the past, it's just that the script falls short, and even then, it's not like storytelling is a total misfire here. In regards to Jeffrey M. Howard's script, there are some genuinely thoughtful and amusing moments to break up flatness, and to go brought to life by highlights in Klay Hall's direction that offer inspired lively elements amidst generally lazily overblown storytelling. There's only so much effort being put into playing up a potential for fun in this ultimately trite piece of family filler, but make no mistake, there is, in fact, enough heart behind this mostly misguided effort for the final product to come closer to rewarding than some are saying. Nevertheless, the fact of the matter is that the film falls just short of decency, having its moments, but not enough to disregard missteps, if not the disregarding of certain elements that need more attention, including, at least to a certain extent, development.

Whether it be because of the characters' being familiar or simply because this is a mere fluff piece that was never to hold all that much, I am by no means asking for all that much in the way of flesh-out to characterization, but I should be able to at least place a little bit of investment in these characters, who, while well-animated and well-portrayed, ultimately feel like undercooked, coldly drawn types who aren't even organically juggled. Being uneven, this film's focus is bloated at times with excesses in obligatory-feeling material that storytelling jars through in a hurried fashion that, upon really kicking up, pumps momentum to the point of being exhausting. The film is sometimes annoying in its hurrying through noisy humor and a thin plot, plagued by limitations in the control on storytelling that are made all the more aggravating by some seriously cheesy writing. Again, Jeffrey M. Howard's script is sometimes effective in its humor, and even in its sweet sentimentality, but humor remains often trite and frantic, with a certain kiddy under-inspiration, while sentimentality gets to be cloying, at least when director Klay Hall bloats storytelling with manipulative plays on atmosphere. Inspiration in storytelling is there at times, but there is generally a distancing laziness that would be less frustrating if it wasn't particularly prominent within the uniqueness departments. Even in concept, this film's thin plot lazily offers nothing new, and when it comes to the story concept's execution, laziness drives the film not only into the aforementioned pacing inconsistencies and cheesiness, but into bombastic tropes within humor and plotting that leave the final product to eventually sputter out, not just as generic, but as all-out trite. Sure, the flaws are limited, and the strengths are pretty hard to deny, but at the end of the day, the missteps just barely outweigh the strengths, and go backed with enough of a sense of laziness for the final product to limp along as an ultimately inconsequential and merely mediocre misfire of a piece of animated Disney filler.

Overall (There are probably some plane puns for this closer lead-in, but I'm just "plane"-I mean, [u][b]"plain"[/b][/u] worn out on those kind of puns after this), strong animation and pretty good voice performances that join highlights in direction in bringing life to highlights in writing carry the final product to the brink of genuine decency, ultimately lost by the distancing underdevelopment, jarring unevenness, near-cloying cheesiness and near-aggravatingly trite genericisms that reflect a glaring laziness which sends Disney's "Planes" crashing into mediocrity as a sorely under-inspired animated affair.

2.25/5 - Mediocre
Super Reviewer
½ September 8, 2013
Though not plain-out Plane awful, Disney's Color-By-Numbers Cars rip-off just barely wings it with low-flying jokes that go up in flames faster than the Hindenburg. Yes, Disney warns us at the outset that this low-flying excuse for a kid's flick is "from the world of Cars" as if to say that it's not Plane stolen from a more well-rounded franchise. This statement proves about as full of manure as saying the James Bond-in-space adventure Moonraker wasn't capitalizing on the Star Wars craze of the late '70s. For 90 minutes, moviegoers are subjected to cutesy vehicles with eyes that try to emote and mouths that fail to crack wise because the script crashed on takeoff.

In this PG-rated animated adventure, cropdusting plane Dusty (Cook) competes in an air race and confronts his fear of heights with the support of his mentor Skipper (Keach) and friends (Brad Garrett, Teri Hatcher).

Disney should've stuck to Planes' original intended release format: direct-to-video. Topped off with C-Grade zingers and Grade C caricatures, this Air Farce tries greasing the cast list with C-List stars. Together with some brilliantly detailed animation, these celebrity pipes end up to be the only frills worth the price of flight. Oftentimes predictable and silly, it falls so far from attaining a Pixar level of quality that adults and older kids will get bored.

Bottom line: Flop Gun.
Super Reviewer
½ August 22, 2013
I was expecting more from this Cars spin off. The film is exactly like Cars but a different ending. I am surprised that the film got a theatrical release rather than it's original direct to DVD release. The film is predictable and nothing really new here. The film reminded me a little of Valiant and Rio. Turbo, which came out last month, I thought was better than this film.

The animation is ok. People can get confused thinking that Pixar made the film. I did like that the film does an homage to Top Gun. I love that they got Val Kilmer and Anthony Edwards from Top Gun to do voice work here. There is another scene that reminded me of a scene from Pearl Harbor.

Overall, the actors providing the voices are ok, but none of them are spectacular.
½ September 2, 2015
Though certainly not anywhere near on par with Disney and Pixar's usual theatrical fare (this film was produced by their TV production arm) the movie is rather harmless.

Obviously, the animation isn't as polished as that of the Cars films. This effort also shares the visually-bland sameness in character designs that even those movies suffer from. Let's also not forget the cynical, purely merchandise-related decisions at work here in an even more obvious way than in Cars 2. I can't even go into the weird logic of this world populated by sentient, self-driving vehicles. All that aside, Planes does offer a few laughs and clever bits ensuring that its 90 minutes aren't outright torture for parents.
½ June 28, 2015
Disney presents its next animation piece in Planes. Presented in the same universe as the Pixar's Cars series, Planes is the story of a crop dusting plane that desires to be the best racer in the world. He for some reason is afraid of heights, but still is quite ambitious. With minimal training he qualifies and begins the race around the world. This is the entire story as the 90% of the film covers the race. Planes is unoriginal, features terrible characters and fails to entertain audiences beyond children. The animation is solid, but aside from that the film is ripoff and was only made to cash in on the success of Pixar's cars.
July 17, 2014
Normally I'd pan a movie with a simple story and jokes that revolve around stereotypes and farts. But "Planes" shines because the director's love for aviation shines throughout the entire movie. It's the perfect way to indoctrinate your kids!
May 16, 2014
I'm not giving it more than three stars, because it's not really that original. It's basically the exact same as Cars only with planes. It was still good, but not really remixed enough.
½ November 2, 2013
Completely uninspired. The only question I had going into it was if it would be worse than Cars 2. The answer is yes. (First and only viewing - 1/5/2014)
½ December 24, 2013
This was a test for Disney. The first Pixar-style animation released totally under the Disney label. They failed. The animation rocked. The voice acting was great. What DIsney still doesn't get - is how important the strength and uniqueness of the story is to the movie experience. The animation advancements Pixar brought to the game were groundbreaking but what has always made Pixar movies so great (Toy Story, Finding Nemo, Wall-E, Tory Story 3) for all ages has always been the power of the stories - even with the shorts. THIS MOVIE WAS COMPLETELY UNORIGINAL! IT WAS CARS 3 - or CARS 2 Pt.2: This time the race is with PLANES!!!
December 3, 2013
(3 Stars) Ok, I KNOW you're not going to believe me when I say this, but Planes is not as bad as you think it is... granted, it's still not very good and on the low end of Pixar movies, but it's technically not a Pixar film. The story is nothing new; it's basic underdog stuff, but the reason I like it more than usual is the first person perspective plane racing scenes. I think this would look amazing on an IMAX. And that's saying something for a movie that was originally going to be direct to video.

I think Dane Cook is another reason why it's criticized, but at no point did I think, "Hey, the main character is totally Dane Cook-ing right now." Ok, you don't like the guy in real life, but his voice doesn't take you out of the movie at all. Planes is fun for kids, harmless for everyone else, and I promise it is better than Cars 2.
December 1, 2013
Usually when it comes to Disney films - especially those Disney films who are also made by the fine folks at Pixar - I'm usually all for it. Emphasis, though, is on the word "usually" especially when it comes to Pixar's recent works. It seems that they have either run out of ideas or are simply borrowing from Dreamworks' stories to try and make bucks themselves. Because they seemed to be borrowing a story strictly out of the released-a-few-months-before Turbo, I was very hesitant to see this film before finally caving in. Planes on its own is a great, heartwarming film but when you are forced to compare it to animated movies of the past, the problem is that there's too much comparison. There's the character you can't help but love in Dusty Crophopper, the villain that makes you grind your teeth in Ripslinger and his minions Ned and Zed, and a bunch of secondary characters that have subplots but nothing in terms of true, honest character development. The subplots are nice but again too predictable - Dusty overcoming obstacles, the romantic subplot, the "wait a minute that character isn't who we thought he was" subplot, etc. I'm honestly surprised they're even making a sequel to this. Let's hope that they've taken a completely different approach and doesn't try to rip another movie off, because if they do, it officially makes you wonder if Pixar has lost the battle AND the war when it comes to animated movies. Just like Finn McMissile was the only thing that I'll remember and love about Cars 2, Dusty Crophopper is the ONLY thing I'll remember and love about Planes.
½ December 1, 2013
New contender for the worst movie of all time. Look up "generic, cliche, and soulless" in the dictionary. This should have released straight-to-video to avoid tarnishing of the Disney brand. I honestly do not have a single positive thing to say about this movie.
½ November 25, 2013
There is absolutely nothing special here and it lacks any Disney magic; but saying that I am certain most children will still find Planes entertaining and enjoyable as this bright and colorful Cars spin-off plays out much like it and its sequel. Planes un-inspiringly combines the plots of Cars 1 and 2 and turns the characters into planes instead of cars in hopes of making a new lucrative franchise. How similar are the plots you ask? The first Cars film had an underdog in a racing competition while the sequel had that same underdog compete in a race spanning the globe. Planes has an underdog crop dusting plane named Dusty (voiced by Dane Cook) aspire to enter an around-the-world racing competition and become a bona fide contender for the title! It is the same story although the characters in Planes are nowhere as entertaining, original, endearing or witty as their automobile counterparts ... and as more proof that the films don't really measure up, Planes' voice talent includes Stacy Keach, Brad Garrett, Teri Hatcher, Sinbad and Anthony Edwards (no Paul Newman-caliber talent here). Planes feels un-original because it isn't original. I hate the word "pedestrian" used as an affront but Planes is pedestrian. It's coach travel ... as you only get the basics.
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