Review: Insipid ‘Planes’ Doesn’t Rev Engines

If you’re thinking of bundling up the kids and taking them to see Planes, the Disney movie based on the world of Cars, think again.

Wait for the DVD.

Or better yet, don’t.

Planes may operate in the same universe as Cars, but it’s worlds away in terms of quality.

It has none of the richness, the humor, the heart, or the beauty of the original Pixar work. In fact, at times it is downright nonsensical.

Dusty (voice of Dane Cook. Wait…voice of Dane Cook? Really? In a children’s movie?)

Ahem…Dusty is a cropduster who dreams of greatness. Specifically, he wants to race. He wants to be more than just a cropduster.

When he enters to qualify an around the world race, everyone laughs at him.

But because this is his movie and not real life, he makes it. Otherwise the film would be very short and depressing.

He enlists the help of his dimwitted friend, fuel tanker Chug (Brad Garrett), his bright and spunky friend mechanic Dottie (Terri Hatcher), and crabby but wise WWII Corsair Skipper (Stacy Keatch) to help him prepare.

Along the way, he makes many friends and has many adventures, all of them entirely predictable, and battles his contrived fear of heights.

Everything goes along just as you suspect it will, with no originality and little humor. Jokes are attempted, to be true, and occasionally hit. But for every laugh, there are two moments that utterly fail to be funny.

The whole thing feels phoned in, which makes sense when you realize it was originally intended as a straight to DVD release and not a theatrical release.

Planes would be a fine DVD to have in your arsenal to keep your toddler boy occupied while you take a shower, if they’d grown tired of Thomas the Tank Engine or Cars itself. That’s its level.

But a trip to the theater? Don’t waste your fuel.

About Rebecca Cusey

Rebecca is a lead critic and editor of entertainment at Patheos. Follow her on Twitter @Rebecca_Cusey

  • radiojake

    Really? Only boys will watch this? How sexist can you get….

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/tinseltalk Rebecca Cusey

      Not sexist. Experienced. Transportation videos are like crack to toddler boys. Except a kind of crack that makes them sit still.


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