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Planes Drops Below Disney Heights

If Planes was about a bomber, then it would be mission accomplished. The voice talents of Dane Cook, Stacy Keach, John Cleese, Brad Garrett, and Priyanka Chopra are the best things about the movie Planes, a Disney release, but NOT a Pixar production. It is Prana Animation Studios that put this one together. Not exactly a household name, but they’re the ones who released Tinker Bell and Secret of the Wings (another Tinker Bell movie) straight to DVD release. Unfortunately, the quality of this film reveals its history.

Planes was originally created to be a direct-to-DVD release, but when little ones clamor to see a summer flick with a giant tub of buttery movie-theater popcorn, why not squeeze more money out of it and slip it into the theaters first? Ohhhhh, now this movie makes more sense.

The movie begins with the title “From above the world of Cars” hoping the Disney connection will help this movie to soar to megabucks. It flops. Cars was somewhat unique and successful, and although Planes has a similar look, it doesn’t quite make it off the runway. Without Pixar’s humorous magic, the audience didn’t laugh for almost 15 minutes. I don’t know if any parents ever did. The humor is definitely geared towards younger children, almost at the parents’ expense. The simplistic underdog story lacks the sophistication to entertain bored parents, yet provides endless stereotypes to offend them.

Dane Cook voices Dusy, a crop-duster who dreams of becoming a racing plane, has a secret fear of heights. Kinda lame, right?

While most movie critics consider this film to be a soulless cash grab, there are some visually colorful aerial views of landscapes, although older folks may get dizzy in the 3D version. (I’m showing my age.) The “believe in yourself” ending is predictable and unoriginal. I mean, we just finished watching Turbo a couple of weeks ago.

It’s a disappointing movie theater trip, but at least you got your buttery popcorn fix. Little ones will enjoy it. Parents will endure it. Are we going to see “Boats the Movie” next?

Grade = C

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