For a movie that was supposed to go straight to DVD, Planes made Disney a lot of money and became its own franchise. Despite getting a rather negative reception from critics, Planes found an audience with many kids and as a result, Disney milked it for all its worth.
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The Movie Review
Planes is a rather interesting movie in that Disney hyped this up as being part of the Cars universe and I think that is what made so many people willing to give it a chance. John Lasseter who is the producer for this movie actually directed Cars 1 and 2. So there was a lot of positives going for this movie.
Disney managed to get quite a solid cast for the movie. It is even more impressive when you have to imagine that these actors at the time, they signed up thought they were doing a straight to DVD movie. Dane Cook, Brad Garret, Teri Hatcher, Val Kilmer, Julia Louise Dreyfus, and John Cleese all provide voices for the movie.
Dane Cook is the real star though as he plays Dusty. Dusty is a crop duster who dreams of being a racer. Dusty along with his best buddy, a fuel truck called Chug (Brad Garret) decide to enter a race. Dusty manages to qualify for the big race by the skin of his teeth, but as a result, a veteran plane called Skipper (Stacey Keach) takes him under his wing.
One thing that I have to give Disney credit for is that it would have been so easy for them to have the story be really basic. By that, I mean having Dusty be this one-dimensional character who wants to be a racer, despite having just a regular job. They did give him more depth than that.
The way that they do this is that despite Dusty wanting to be a racer, he is actually scared of heights. Not only that, but he has a kind of naivety about him with some other planes take advantage of. I actually really liked Dusty as a character and can see why he struck a chord with so many kids.
This movie was released in 2012 and had a 50 million dollar budget, Cars 2 was released the year before and had a 150-million-dollar budget! Still, despite that huge difference I still think that Planes has some of that Disney magic. It is not quite Pixar level, but it is still a movie that is very easy on the eyes.
Planes is not a bad movie and it is worth a watch if the kids want to watch it. However, I would say that Cars is a movie that can be enjoyed by both adults and kids alike. Planes, on the other hand, is the kind of movie that you watch because your kids want to watch it, not because you will get a lot of enjoyment out of it too.
The movie actually did really well and spawned a sequel and a ton of merchandise. The sequel, Planes: Fire & Rescue did not fare quite as well and the franchise seems to be on hold for now. I would say this is worth a watch if you have younger children as I am sure they will enjoy Dusty and his antics.