Disney is a company that always manages to release great animated movies. Both Walt Disney Animation Studios and Pixar are two of the biggest and best animation studios to exist and have put out gems that will last for years to come. With that said though, Disney has released an animated stinker every once in a while. Not every studio is perfect and every company is prone to release a bad movie every now and then and "Planes" is without a doubt, a bad movie. This film is a spinoff to Pixar's successful "Cars" franchise although it's not made by Pixar but rather another lesser known animation studio at Disney and it's obviously a cash grab. How do I know this? Well, the film was initially meant to go straight to DVD, but the executives at the company must have seen dollar signs in their eyes and wanting to squeeze some more money out of parents pockets, decided to release it on the big screen. Big mistake. This film is easily one of the worst animated movies that have been released under the Disney banner in a long time and that's saying a lot given the good movies they've put out recently.
A crop-duster named Dusty (Dane Cook) dreams of being a racer. Having been bored of flying in straight lines over fields constantly, he flies to Lincoln, Nebraska with his friends, a fuel truck named Chug (Brad Garret) and a forklift named Dottie (Teri Hatcher), to enter the Wings Across the Globe race and manages to qualify. Hoping to get some training for the big race, he enlists the help of an old fighter plane named Skipper Riley (Stacy Keach) and manages to get Dusty to improve over time except for achieving a fear of heights he has. Yeah, a plane has a fear of heights and the excuse for why he has it is because he never flew over 1000 feet before. Give me a break. Anyway, will Dusty manage to win the race and conquer his fear of heights? Should this movie have stayed being made for DVD and not have been released in theaters? I think you know the answers to both questions.
The story for this movie is so predictable and lazy that it might have been written by a script generator. You've seen the story a million times. The dreamer who is doubted by everyone takes on a challenge and comes out on top. It's nothing new. It goes everywhere you think it goes and hits every single point you think it will hit. There's high points and low points. There are conflicts and dramas. There are attempts at comedy that all fall flat on their face. Yeah, I should talk about that as well. This comedy is dreadful. Not one joke and I mean one joke made me laugh. They mostly consist of unfunny puns and juvenile gags that maybe a five-year-old will laugh at, but will make everyone else roll their eyes. The animation has some good things in it, but not a lot. For something intending to go direct to DVD, the backgrounds look great. They look very photorealistic, are beautifully rendered and are simply wonderful to look at. Just wish the characters looked as good. They looked amateur at best. Fine for a straight to DVD movie, but pretty lame for a film released in theaters. At least Pixar gave some details and scratches to the characters in the "Cars" films. Here they looked like a toy that came fresh out of the box. There's a reason why movies have keen details. The characters are just the clichéd characters you expect to see in the movie. Dusty is the dreamer with the heart, Skipper is the old mentor with a past, Chug is the silly best friend, and Dottie is the sensible friend. It's just a checklist now that has every single character trait possible. However, there are other things that frustrated about the movie. The cinematography was a joke as it was constant zooms and characters always being mostly centered. The editing was rushed and made the film kind of hard to follow at times. And I really have to ask, why did most of the cast accept this movie? I mean apart from the ones I mentioned, other actors include Cedric the Entertainer, Julia Louis-Dreyfuss, Roger Craig Smith, Gabriel Iglesias, John Cleese, and Val Kilmer. Seriously, with a cast like that, I expect a lot better. I'll just say that these aforementioned actors (along with Brad Garret) have been in better-animated movies and I suggest watching the other ones they were in than this.
"Planes" is just a lame movie only made to make money. The story is predictable and lazy, the animation looks amateur at best, and the characters are so generic and have actors that are far better than this movie deserves. There are far better movies out there that have the word "plane" in the title and I suggest you avoid this wrong flight and look at them instead.