Dusty, a 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 a seasoned naval aviator who helps Dusty qualify to take on the defending champ of the race circuit. Dusty’s courage is put to the ultimate test as he aims to reac...more
Dusty, a 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 a seasoned naval aviator who helps Dusty qualify to take on 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. less
“Planes is light on script and innovation but the usual animation fluff can delight younger viewers. One time watch.”
‘Planes’ was designed primarily as a direct to DVD release, until at some point Disney decided to give a theatrical release a shot leading to an interesting experiment to see if cheaper animation alternatives (the movie’s production budget is half of most animated movies) could have a life on the big screen. Essentially a spin-off of ‘Cars’, the movie closely follows the narrative structure and themes of Pixar’s movie focussing more on engineering its product towards kids.
Dusty Crophopper (voice of Dane Cook) is a crop duster with dreams of competing in a professional race that spans the entire globe, except he has a fear of heights which holds him back. With some support from his friends he takes part in the qualifiers and by a combination of good flying and sheer luck manages to reach the final round of the race. Seeing the determination of the young lad, an old war plane, Skipper Riley (voice of Stacy Keach) begins training him, despite having turned the boy away earlier. Dusty finally takes part in the race and though he’s mocked by the other competitors, he soon earns their respect except for an arrogant former champion, Ripslinger (voice of Roger Craig Smith) who treats Dusty with contempt. Along the way, Dusty makes friends, endures double crosses and overcomes his fears to learn a few things about what it means to become a true champion.
Though it may not have quite the polish of ‘Cars’ in the technical department, it’s quite remarkable what has been achieved on a far smaller budget which easily outshines other cheaper animated movies we have seen in the recent past. The 3D however is unnecessary and adds nothing to the experience other than making a movie that’s pretty bright a few shades darker.
The jokes are geared purely towards very young kids and the adults will find little to keep them interested and neither will the plot generate much excitement thanks to its unoriginality. The cuteness factor however is high especially with the tractors cows and the Nepalese forklifts. The makers even found a way to shoehorn in an ode to ‘Top Gun’ by featuring Val Kilmer and Anthony Edwards as two naval fighter jets, too bad Tom Cruise couldn’t oblige.
The voice cast is adequate at best but never thankfully distracting. Yes, Priyanka Chopra does show up as Ishani, an Indian competitor who takes Dusty on a flyby over the Taj Mahal as ‘Tere Bina’ from ‘Guru’ plays in the background.
‘Planes’ is movie designed purely for kids, it has little originality and most of us who have watched plenty of animated fare will find little to recommend but at a cheaper budget it’s a decent accomplishment. Just let the kids enjoy this one, it's a no frills flight.