Critics Consensus

Planes has enough bright colors, goofy voices, and slick animation to distract some young viewers for 92 minutes -- and probably sell plenty of toys in the bargain -- but on nearly every other level, it's a Disney disappointment.



Total Count: 117


Audience Score

User Ratings: 72,015
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Movie Info

Cars gets a spin-off with this Disney Toon Studios film starring the voice of Dane Cook as a vertically-challenged plane with high hopes of becoming an air racer. ~ Jeremy Wheeler, Rovi


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Critic Reviews for Planes

All Critics (117) | Top Critics (29) | Fresh (29) | Rotten (88)

Audience Reviews for Planes

  • Aug 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
    Bradley J Super Reviewer
  • Jul 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.
    KJ P Super Reviewer
  • May 15, 2014
    Lacks the finesse that Cars had.
    Dannielle A Super Reviewer
  • Jan 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
    Cameron J Super Reviewer

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