A crop-dusting plane named Dusty (Dane Cook – Employee Of The Month) has grand plans of being a racing jet and competing in a global air race that attracts all of the worlds best flyers. There’s just two problems, he’s not very fast and he’s scared of heights. Thankfully with his friends and an old fighter plane for guidance, Dusty manages to qualify for the race. But how will he fare against the best of the best?
Planes proudly declares at the start of the movie that it’s linked to the world of Cars. If your kids loved the adventures of Lightning McQueen and co. then it’s a sure bet they will love Planes, an animated adventure that wears its heart firmly on its sleeve.
It’s harmless and exciting fun for its target young audience and features plenty of memorable characters, scenarios and trademark Disney comedy to keep them all amused. The action is well orchestrated and the film moves at a brisk but welcome pace.
The vocal cast assembled here is eclectic to say the least, but everyone works very well together. Dane Cook does a good job as our underdog hero Dusty. It’s nice to see Teri Hatcher back on the big screen (albeit in animated form) and the unmistakable voice of Val Kilmer makes for a quality villain.
There are numerous gags and good observations regarding the participants of the global race with countries like India, England and Mexico being well represented by the likes of John Cleese and Priyanka Chopra. Then there’s screen legend Stacy Keach on hand to provide some nice life lessons from a wiser head. The plot itself is deliberately kept simple but that works here and certainly makes for a good, enjoyable caper for the whole family.
By not overstaying its welcome, Planes does exactly what it needs to. It’s not a classic and I doubt the kids will be talking about this in the same way their parents talked about The Jungle Book or The Lion King years later but it nevertheless fulfils its purpose. There’s not much here for the adults but the kids will love it and I’m sure that will translate to decent box office takings and an inevitable sequel. And Disney still have a trump card to play in a potential Planes/Cars crossover which should be an interesting prospect.