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Planes Movie Review

Reviewed by on Aug 09, 2013
Rating: 3 Star Rating

Kidzworld’s review of Planes, the movie from above the world of Cars.

By: Lynn Barker

Can a crop duster plane, not designed to fly above 1,000 feet, fly over the Himalayas to become an international racing champ? Sure, if his heart is in it.


Little Dusty (voice of Dane Cook), a small crop duster plane, does his job but daydreams of being a Top Gun jet, a fast, high-flying Navy plane like Echo (voice of Anthony Edwards) and Bravo (Val Kilmer). Living in rural Propwash Junction, Dusty is being coached to fly higher and faster by buddy Chug (Brad Garrett), a gas truck. When his engine can’t make it, Dottie (Teri Hatcher), a mechanic, scolds him.

Ready to raceReady to raceCourtesy of Disney

Wings Around the Globe

Dusty’s dream is to compete in an international air race called “Wings Around the Globe” but he needs a real coach. He needs Skipper (Stacy Keach), an old Corsair war hero plane, to coach him for upcoming time trials. Skipper, sour and bitter, says no. Dusty is great at an obstacle course but comes in 6th in the trials and only the first 5 planes go to the final race.

Dusting cropsDusting cropsCourtesy of Disney

Afraid of Heights

When the 5th place plane is disqualified, Dusty is in but we learn that he is afraid to fly above 1,000 feet and he’s also not built for it. Skipper decides to help and Dottie makes his engine faster.

The Race is On!

At huge JFK airport in NYC where the race begins, Dusty is overwhelmed by all the big planes and his many competitors including champion Ripslinger (Roger Craig Smith), Bulldog (John Cleese), El Chupacabra (Carlos Alazraqui), Rochelle (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) and Ishani (Priyanka Chopra). Some of them make fun of the little crop duster. We learn that “Chup”, for short, is in love with sleek Rochelle.

Checking out famous RipslingerChecking out famous RipslingerCourtesy of Disney


Dusty makes it okay through much of the international race by flying low but he must fly over the massively high Himalayas with Ripslinger and his buddies sabotaging him on the way. Using advice from Skipper and Ishani, he makes it and continues the world-wide race, through storms and more but is Ishani also secretly against him?

Dusty with Top Gun palsDusty with Top Gun palsCourtesy of Disney

With Help From Friends

When Dusty is almost destroyed due to bad luck and sabotage, El Chup (now a buddy) and other planes contribute parts so he can make the final leg of the race back to NYC from Mexico. With the help of his friends including Skipper, Dusty wins the race and will spend some time onboard a cool aircraft carrier with the Top Gun planes!

Top Gun planes Bravo and EchoTop Gun planes Bravo and EchoCourtesy of Disney

Wrapping Up

Planes is a very cute film. The world-wide, beautifully-animated locations are amazing-looking, the soundtrack is upbeat and fun, the voice actors, including two from the original Top Gun film, do a great job and there are tons of characters to both root for in the race and boo. The “El Chupacabra” plane, who looks like a Latino, wrestling “luchador”, is especially endearing and funny as he tries to “court” plane Rochelle.

Dusty's friends wait belowDusty's friends wait belowCourtesy of Disney

Where the film loses points is in its tried and true but tired storyline. Just as the first Cars film was about a racer (McQueen) with a truck side-kick (Mater) and a bitter old pro mentor (Hudson) and centered around a race, Planes follows the same formula. Yes, the theme or message is different, i.e. You can achieve more than you were originally designed for etc., but, it’s tough not to make the obvious comparisons.

Planes posterPlanes posterCourtesy of Disney

In the final analysis, is the movie entertaining, funny and sometimes inspiring? Sure. It’s definitely worth a trip to the Cineplex with your buds and family. We go 3 stars.

Planes Movie Review: 3


Watch the Planes trailer below!