Director: Klay Hall
Starring: Dane Cook, Stacy Keach, Teri Hatcher, John Cleese, Julia Louise-Dreyfus, Val Kilmer, Anthony Edwards
Written by: Jeffrey M. Howard and (story) John Lasseter
Running Time: 91 mins
Release date: 16th August 2013
What is going on at Disney? It seems that no one seems to have any creative ideas anymore. what once the magic kingdom has now turned into the kingdom of averageness. First there was the below par Monsters University, then The Lone Ranger and now this, Planes. If their latest animation has anything to go by, they will no longer be at the top of the animation world looking down, they will be at the bottom looking up because this has to be Disney’s laziest film to date.
Dusty is a crop duster who dreams of entering an around the world flying race and taking on the top dog, Ripslinger. Only problem is, Dusty is afraid of heights and so with the help of his friends, including a gas truck called Chug, he gets his confidence and enters. Although initially laughed at for taking on much bigger and faster planes, Dusty has to win everyone over and hopefully prove them wrong.
Cars was one of Pixar’s least success animations. Although it still made a heap load of cash, the usually plot perfect arm of Disney didn’t come up with the good that time. Nor did they do it with the sequel. So now they have handed over the series to Disney and they have come up with the worse of the series, an almost carbon copy of Cars, even down to characters.
The story is limp and lame that it barely gets off the ground. A race around the world where the animators can pick up the caricatures of countries instead of coming up with something original. Even the planes that are involved, while obviously picking the right plane to represent the right country, if you didn’t know a thing about planes, you wouldn’t care about the attention to detail and that’s where the problem lies.
Director Klay Hall said that it took 4 and a half years to make with a year and a half on research. Maybe that time could have been spent on plot and character instead of finding out what plane is right. The plot is so shallow that you know the outcome before you even buy the ticket and as for the voice talent, Hall said he wanted the cream of comedy to help create a hilarious world. That world is definitely somewhere else.
The animation is fine and still at a high level but after films like Despicable Me and some of Pixar’s earlier efforts, Disney should be upping their game, not coasting. Having the planes voiced by comedians is fine but make sure they have something funny to say. Dane Cook, as the voice of Dusty, is, well average and doesn’t once bring any warmth to a character that we should arm to. Even the usually hilarious John Cleese doesn’t raise a smile once.
There is a sequence which is a gentle tip of the hat to Top Gun and includes two famous voices but if you are under 20, you won’t have a clue who they are and, frankly, won’t even care.
This is going to make money because it has the Disney name and because it comes out at the end of the Summer when the last remnants of the children’s cinema is finally coming to an end and because of Cars but, to be honest, it will test the patience of the parents as there is very little for them to enjoy and the kids will probably go along with it while its on but forget about it soon after.
I love Disney. If it wasn’t for Disney, I wouldn’t be a film fanatic (I watched The Jungle Book just the other night and it still had me in awe like it did the first time I saw it). Planes doesn’t have that effect and I really wanted to like it but when a film this lacklustre comes along that seems only to exist to make money, you can’t help but feel that Disney, who were once kings of this stuff, are slowly losing their crown.