|Directed by:||Klay Hall|
|Produced by:||Traci Balthazor-Flynn|
|Written by:|| Jeffrey M. Howard (screenplay and story)|
John Lasseter (story)
Klay Hall (story)
|Music by:||Mark Mancina|
|Studio:|| Walt Disney Pictures|
|Distributed by:||Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures|
|Release Date(s):|| August 2, 2013 (EAA AirVenture Oshkosh)|
August 9, 2013 (United States)
August 16, 2013 (United Kingdom)
|Running time:||91 minutes (1 hour 31 minutes)|
|Preceded by:||Cars 2 (2011)|
|Followed by:||Planes: Fire and Rescue (2014)|
Planes is a 2013 theatrical spin-off of the 2006 animated film Cars and the 2011 animated sequel Cars 2, and the first film in the Planes trilogy. Pixar Animation Studios, the production team of the Cars movies, however did not produce the film. Instead, it was produced by DisneyToon Studios. It was set to be released by Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment on DVD and Blu-ray in Fall 2013, but it instead had a theatrical release by Walt Disney Pictures on August 9, 2013. It is the first DisneyToon Studios film released theatrically since Pooh's Heffalump Movie eight and a half years earlier in 2005.
The movie starts with two jets soaring through the sky. From below comes Dusty Crophopper (Dane Cook). He challenges the two to a race but they ignore him and fly away. He then zooms right past them to their amazement, though he wakes up from this fantasy and it's shown he's just crop-dusting a field with his employer Leadbottom (Cedric The Entertainer). Dusty expresses his desire to enter the Wings Across the Globe race, a competition where planes fly all around the world, but Leadbottom thinks he's better off where he's at.
Dusty meets up with his best friend, a fuel truck named Chug (Brad Garrett). Together, they practice flying for the race, but Dusty accidentally burns himself out. Their forklift friend Dottie (Teri Hatcher) knows what he's been doing, and she thinks Dusty's gonna get himself killed if he tries to race. Chug suggests asking an older war veteran plane, Skipper Riley (Stacy Keach), to help Dusty practice. They go see Skipper, but he almost instantly turns Dusty away.
The next day, Dusty, Chug, and Dottie go to the qualifiers to enter Dusty. There, they spot reigning champion Ripslinger (Roger Craig Smith), showing off for his fans. When Dusty steps up to qualify, he is mocked for being a crop duster and coming from a farm. He surprises nearly everybody as he flies through the course with well-practiced maneuvers, but he only ends up placing sixth. He and his friends leave disappointed.
The forklift commentator Roper (Sinbad) goes to visit Dusty the next day to tell him that one of the racers, Fonzarelli, has been disqualified for using illegal fuel, putting Dusty in the race. Skipper finds Dusty and tries to talk him out of the race, but Dusty insists that he wants to prove that he is more than just a crop duster. This convinces Skipper to train him. They spend some time together practicing, which starts out awful. Although Dusty starts improving, it goes sour when Skipper tries to get him to fly above 1000 feet. Dusty gets dizzy when he looks down, and he must reveal to Skipper that he is afraid of heights. Skipper is baffled, but they continue practicing anyway.
The time comes for the race, with the first leg starting in New York going to Iceland. Dusty meets the eccentric Mexican plane El Chupacabra (Carlos Alazraqui; "El Chu" for short), who quickly becomes friends with Dusty. Dusty also becomes smitten by a plane from India named Ishani (Priyanka Chopra), while El Chu falls for French-Canadian Rochelle (Julia Louis-Dreyfus). The racers fly off to Iceland, but since Dusty refuses to fly high with everybody else, he is in last place.
The second leg has the racers fly to Germany. A British plane named Bulldog (John Cleese) is blinded when oil from his propellers squirts in his eye. Dusty guides him down to safety, which earns him Bulldog's respect, but he is still in last place. The third leg takes them to India, where at one point, Dusty and Ishani have a romantic fly around the area. Ishani knows that she has fans who are counting on her to win. She offers some advice to Dusty on flying through a tunnel for the next leg, which has the racers fly to Nepal. Dusty encounters a tunnel and almost collides head-on with a train. He blacks out for a while, landing in Nepal, initially thinking he is dead. Turns out he has managed to place first. The other racers come in, and Dusty notices that Ishani has a new propeller from Ripslinger, leading him to realize she was setting him up for a loss. Ripslinger himself is displeased when he learns that he is now second behind Dusty.
When the racers land in Shanghai, El Chu expresses to Dusty that he is having trouble winning over Rochelle. She is not impressed with his pompous attempts at winning her over. He tries to serenade her with an aggressive rendition of "Love Machine", but Dusty tells him to take it down a notch. Some forklifts pull in and play a softer version of the song with El Chu singing along. This gets Rochelle's attention.
On the way to the next location, El Chu comes to Dusty with multiple lipstick stains on his face, meaning he and Rochelle are now together. The racers take off over the Pacific Ocean. While Dusty is flying, Ripslinger has his two henchmen, Ned and Zed (Gabriel Iglesias), sabotage Dusty by taking out his navigation antenna, leaving him lost across the ocean. He begins to run low on fuel as he is picked up by a group of planes known as the Jolly Wrenches. They take him to their carrier ship, the USS Flysenhower, where he lands and is able to refuel. He spots a wall of famed flyers, and starts looking for Skipper. He spots him but is surprised to see he only has one badge from one mission. He gets in touch with Chug and Dottie, who tell him that they are going to meet him in Mexico since Chug and Skipper's forklift Sparky (Danny Mann) have sold a lot of Dusty-themed merchandise. Dusty tries to ask Skipper about why he only has one mission logged, but Skipper avoids answering. The Jolly Wrenches make him fly out of there to beat the oncoming storm.
While flying in the storm, Dusty is distracted when he thinks about Skipper and he crashes into the ocean. He is rescued and is met by his friends. However, he is badly damaged and is told he must pull out of the race. He confronts Skipper about the one mission, and it is revealed that on Skipper's first mission, his entire squadron was killed in an ambush from an enemy battleship. Dusty then considers dropping out of the race, but Chug and Dottie encourage him to continue. Additionally, the fellow racers (sans Ripslinger, of course) offer repair parts for Dusty so that he may continue to race alongside them. Dusty is fixed up and looking brand new, ready to re-enter.
On the final leg, Dusty manages to outfly the other racers, coming in behind Ripslinger and Ned & Zed. Ripslinger has his goons go sabotage Dusty again, but Skipper flies in to protect Dusty. He gets Ned and Zed away from him, leaving him to catch up with Ripslinger. Dusty starts losing power, forcing him to tackle his fear of heights and soar high above Ripslinger. When they make it to the end of the track, Ripslinger slows down to pose for cameras, giving Dusty the opportunity to fly past him and cross the finish line. In his surprise, Ripslinger flies into some portable toilets, leaving him humiliated by covered in oil slop. Everybody celebrates Dusty's victory, including Ishani, El Chu, and the other racers. Skipper rejoins the Navy, and Dusty is made an honorary Jolly Wrench. The two take off and race each other across the ocean.
- Dane Cook as Dusty Crophopper, a crop duster
- Stacy Keach as Skipper Riley, a Chance Vought F4U Cersiar and Dusty's mentor
- Brad Garrett as Chug, a fuel truck
- Teri Hatcher as Dottie, a forklift
- Julia-Louis Dreyfus as Rochelle, El Chupacabra's love interest
- Priyanka Chopra as Ishani, India's best plane racer and Dusty's love interest
- John Cleese as Bulldog, a de Havilland DH.88 Comet
- Cedric the Entertainer as Leadbottom, a biplane
- Carlos Alazarqui as El Chupacabra, a Gee Bee Model R
- Roger Craig Smith as Ripslinger, a custom-built carbon-fiber plane and Dusty's rival
- Val Kilmer as Bravo, a Boeing F/A-18E Super Hornet
- Anthony Edwards as Echo, a Boeing F/A-18E Super Hornet
- Gabriel Iglesias as Ned & Zed
- Danny Mann as Sparky, a forklift
- Sinbad as Roper, the WATG official
- Colin Cowherd as Colin Cowling, a blimp
- Oliver Kalkofe as Franz aka Fliegenhosen, a German aerocar
- Brent Musburger as Brent Mustangburger, a 1964½ Ford Mustang
- David Croft as Lofty Crofty (UK version)
- John Ratzenberger as Harland, a pitty
- Barney Harwood as Sky Cam 1, a red helicopter filming the race over Germany
Planes is based on a concept created by John Lasseter. Although Pixar didn't produce the film, Lasseter, being chief creative officer of both Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios, and director of Cars and Cars 2, was also the executive producer of the film. The writers made a conscious effort to not remake Cars in a new setting, rejecting ideas that were too close to ideas in Cars. The team also conducted research by interviewing several pilots of plane types that were included in the movie.
Lasseter had this to say about the film:
- “We had such a great time exploring the world of Cars over the course of two films, so it seemed only natural for us to see where our imaginations would take us in a film where planes were the main characters. By expanding the Cars world, Planes gave us a whole new set of fun-filled situations and a great opportunity to introduce some fantastic new characters. The team at DisneyToon Studios] has done such an amazing job creating a heartfelt story filled with great comedy, adventure, and emotion. I know audiences are going to love taking off into the wild blue yonder with these daredevil characters, as they experience a whole new kind of animated adventure.”
- ―John Lasseter
On August 20, 2011 at the D23 Expo, it was announced that Jon Cryer would be the voice of the protagonist Dusty. However, he dropped out of production and was replaced by Dane Cook. On February 27, 2013, the teaser trailer was re-released with dialogue from Cook instead of Cryer. Jon Cryer did however receive credit for "additional story material" for the film, along with Bobs Gannaway.
A new promo video was released on May 16, 2013.
James Seymour Brett was originally set to write the film's score, but was replaced by Mark Mancina.
DisneyToon is already working on a sequel called Planes: Fire and Rescue. It has been confirmed by Carlos Alazraqui the Planes series will be a trilogy. Instead of publishing an Art of book for the first film, Chronicle Books will publish The Art of Planes 1 & 2 to coincide with the release of the sequel. The sequel was originally titled with the "2", but on June 13, 2013, it was removed from the title. It was also announced to have a 3D theatrical release on July 18, 2014.
Besides the Planes trilogy, DisneyToon is considering to make more spin-offs that would feature other vehicles like boats and trains, and which may go into production if the Planes series is well received. John Lasseter said: "I kept thinking about—I’m a big train fanatic. I love trains. And I started thinking about trains, and boats and airplanes. And I kept wanting to have more and more of those type of characters. [...] It’s one of the ideas, that there will be an ongoing series. It almost starts getting into this thing where we fall in love with these plane characters, we want to see more and more stories with them. And then you start doing other vehicles and stuff like that. Yeah. So it kind of is a bigger idea that can keep expanding."
ReleaseThe film was first announced to be released in direct-to-video on DVD and Blu-ray in the Spring of 2013. Disney subsequently pushed it back to Fall 2013, while it was confirmed it would have a theatrical release in Europe. It was finally set to be released theatrically on August 9, 2013, placing it against Elysium and We're the Millers, and then was also screened at the D23 Expo, a biennial convention for Disney fans. It was released in the United Kingdom on August 16, 2013. The film had its premiere on August 2, 2013, at a special screening at the The Fly-In Theater at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh, an annual gathering of aviation enthusiasts in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. Along with the special screening of the movie, Disney brought a real life Dusty to be part of the activities. The real life version of Dusty was an Air Tractor AT-400A piloted and owned by agriculture pilot Rusty Lindeman.
Planes was released on DVD, Blu-ray and Blu-ray 3D on November 19, 2013.
Planes received generally negative reviews from critics. The review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reported a 27% approval rating with an average rating of 4.6/10 based on 107 reviews. The website's consensus reads, "Planes has enough bright colors, goofy voices, and slick animation to distract some young viewers for 92 minutes -- and probably sell plenty of toys in the bargain -- but on nearly every other level, it's a Disney disappointment." Another review aggregator, Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 top reviews from mainstream critics, calculated a score of 39 based on 32 reviews, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews". However, the film earned an A− from audiences polled by CinemaScore.
Alonso Duralde of The Wrap gave the film a positive review, saying, "As shameless an attempt by Disney to sell more bedspreads to the under-10s as Planes is, it nonetheless manages to be a minor lark that will at least mildly amuse anyone who ever thrust their arms outward and pretended to soar over the landscape." Justin Chang of Variety gave the film a negative review, saying, "Planes is so overrun with broad cultural stereotypes that it should come with free ethnic-sensitivity training for especially impressionable kids." James Rocchi of MSN Movies gave the film one out of five stars, saying, "Planes borrows a world from Cars, but even compared to that soulless exercise in well-merchandised animated automotive adventure, Planes is dead in its big, googly eyes and hollow inside." Michael Rechtshaffen gave the film a negative review, saying, "Despite the more aerodynamic setting, this Cars 3D offshoot emerges as an uninspired retread." Jordan Hoffman gave the film one out of five stars, saying, "The jokes in Planes are runway flat, and parents will likely reach for the air-sickness bag." Peter Hartlaub of the San Francisco Chronicle gave the film two and half stars out of four, saying, "Many will enter theaters thinking this is a Pixar film, with the raised expectations that accompany that mistake. But even cynical animation fans will see there's quality here. After a little turbulence, Planes comes in for a nice landing." Bill Goodykoontz of The Arizona Republic gave the film two out of five stars, saying, "Planes was originally scheduled to be released straight to video. Although the smallest children might like bits and pieces of it, there's nothing in the movie that suggests why Disney strayed from its original plan." David Hiltbrand of The Philadelphia Inquirer gave the film one out of four stars, saying, "The animated film has all the hallmarks of a straight-to-DVD project - inferior plot, dull writing, cheap drawing - perhaps because it was intended for the bargain bin at Target, Walmart, and Costco." Jen Chaney of The Washington Post gave the film one and a half stars out of four, saying, "This film is 100 percent devoid of surprises. It's the story of an underestimated underdog that's like every other kid-friendly, life-coachy story about an underestimated underdog." Rafer Guzman of Newsday gave the film one and a half stars out of four, saying, "If Planes were a reasonably priced download, you'd gladly use it to sedate your kids during a long car ride. As a theatrical, 3-D release, however, Planes will sedate you, too." Richard Roeper of the Chicago Sun-Times gave the film a C, saying "Planes moves along quickly at a running time of 92 minutes, occasionally taking flight with some pretty nifty flight sequences. The animation is first-rate, and the Corningware colors are soothing eye candy."
Lou Lumenick of the New York Post gave the film two and a half stars out of four, saying, "Often less really is more, and that's why I can recommend Planes, a charmingly modest low-budget spin-off from Pixar's Cars that provides more thrills and laughs for young children and their parents than many of its more elaborate brethren." Bruce Demara of the Toronto Star gave the film two and a half stars out of four, saying, "While the plotting is rather pedestrian, the humour mostly lame, what makes Planes a stand-out experience - not surprisingly, based on Disney's vast and impressive history of animated classics - is the visuals." Claudia Puig of USA Today gave the film two out of four stars, saying, "It's engaging enough, driving home the familiar message of following one's dreams and the less hackneyed theme of facing one's fears. But it feels far too familiar." Betsy Sharkey of the Los Angeles Times gave the film two and a half stars out of four, saying, "As with Cars, the world of Planes feels safe. A little too safe, perhaps." Neil Genzlinger of The New York Times gave the film two out of five stars, saying, Planes is for the most part content to imitate rather than innovate, presumably hoping to reap a respectable fraction of the box office numbers of Cars and Cars 2, which together made hundreds of millions of dollars." Tom Keogh of The Seattle Times gave the film two and a half stars out of four, saying, "Though not officially a Pixar production, the new Planes — released by the beloved animation studio’s parent company, Disney — has the look and feel of Pixar's 2006 hit, Cars, if not the latter's charm or strong story." Stephen Whitty of the Newark Star-Ledger gave the film two out of four stars, saying, "It's strictly by the numbers, from the believe-in-yourself moral to the purely predictable ending." Owen Gleiberman of Entertainment Weekly gave the film a B, saying, "What Planes lacks in novelty, it makes up for with eye-popping aerial sequences and a high-flying comic spirit." A. A. Dowd of The A.V. Club gave the film a D+, saying, "Planes cuts corners at every turn, a strategy that leaves it feeling like the skeletal framework of an incomplete Pixar project." R. Kurt Osenlund of Slant Magazine gave the film one out of four stars, saying, "The film feels second-rate in every sense, from the quality of its animation to its C-list voice cast." Dave Calhoun of Time Out gave the film three out of five stars, saying "Planes isn’t a Pixar film, even if it’s related to one (Disney bought Pixar in 2006), and there’s nothing groundbreaking about the animation or script. That said, the characters and story still offer low-key charms."
As of November 10, 2013, Planes has grossed $89,605,275 in North America, and $123,400,000 in other countries, for a worldwide total of $213,005,275. The film opened to #3 in its first weekend, with $22,232,291, behind Elysium and We're the Millers. In its second weekend, the film dropped to #4, grossing an additional $13,388,534.
LJH 86 Special
(voice unknown) He is supposedly one of the planes competing at the Wings Around the Globe rally.
Unnamed Stealth Bomber
(voice unknown) Little is known about this stealth bomber (apparently modelled after a Northrop-Grunman B-2), although he is supposed to appear during the scene where Dusty joins the Navy.
Dwight "Yorkie" D. Flysenhower
An aircraft carrier who shows up during Dusty's time serving the Navy, where he is supposedly the home base for fighter jets like Echo and Bravo. (Note: a similar aircraft carrier, who may or may not be him, shows up near the end of Moon Mater, when Lightning McQueen splashes down into the Atlantic Ocean during reentry after Mater rescues Impala XIII from being trapped inside a crater on the Moon).
Disney Interactive released Disney's Planes, a video game based on the film, on August 6, 2013. It was released on the Wii, Wii U, Nintendo DS and Nintendo 3DS.
- The Cars Toons episode Air Mater introduced elements of Planes, including Propwash Junction, Dusty's hometown; Skipper, his mentor; and Sparky, Skipper's assistant. Mater drops an allusion to Planes at the end of the short as he says that "They oughta make a whole movie about planes" and looks directly at the camera.
- Planes was leaked online almost one month before its release.
- On July 14, 2013, Disney Channel held a "Night of Flight" event, featuring sneak peeks at new characters from the movie, during its "Night of Premieres" lineup, which included all new episodes of its programs.
- Planes is rated PG by the MPAA "for some mild action and rude humor", making it the first film in the Cars franchise to get this rating. It is also DisneyToon's second movie to get a PG rating, after Lilo & Stitch 2: Stitch Has a Glitch. Unlike America, Planes had received a lighter rating in other countries. In the United Kingdom, the film has received a U rating by the BBFC. In Ireland, the film is rated G.
- The rating is rather shocking when compared to Cars 2, which was more action-packed, had a ruder sense of humor, and having a large body count of destroyed vehicles.
- Planes takes on some of Pixar's traditions. Like both of the installments of the Cars franchise, it features reporters of the Racing Sports Network covering its sportive event. It also includes a cameo of John Ratzenberger, who has had a voicing role in all of Pixar's films.
- This is the first DisneyToon film to be a sequel/spin-off to a Pixar film. Previous productions focused on mainly Disney properties.