Planes (2013)


Dane Cook as Dusty Crophopper (voice)
Stacy Keach as Skipper (voice)
Brad Garrett as Chug (voice)
Teri Hatcher as Dottie (voice)
Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Rochelle (voice)
Priyanka Chopra as Ishani (voice)
John Cleese as Bulldog (voice)
Cedric the Entertainer as Leadbottom (voice)
Carlos Alazraqui as El Chupacabra (voice)
Roger Craig Smith as Ripslinger (voice)
Anthony Edwards as Echo (voice)
Val Kilmer as Bravo (voice)
Sinbad as Roper (voice)
Gabriel Iglesias as Ned / Zed (voice)

Directed by
Klay Hall

Length 92mins




Review and Summary

Cars and Cars 2 has been the mainstay of entertainment for my son and somewhat for my daughter for the last several years. When we had heard about the evolution of the franchise to Planes, we all were excited. I am happy to say that the delivery met the expectations overall.

The story starts off with a thrill ride day dream by the hero Dusty (voiced by Dane Cook). The opening sequence and aerial dance reminds me of the F14’s and Zeroes in The Final Countdown (1980), it’s that damn good! Just like all of us he yearns to be more than what he is, a crop duster. Dusty’s dream is to be an air racer. But there is only a few problems, one is he is a Crop Duster built for low and slow, and the other, he’s afraid of heights.

With the help of his friend Chug (voiced by Brad Garrett) and mechanic Dottie (voiced by Teri Hatcher, who is real and spectacular), the trio works to make Dusty’s dream a reality. First stop in this dream chase is the try outs for the World Air Race. The competition is pretty fierce but Dusty turns in a respectable performance, unfortunately it’s just not good enough, .05 secs too slow. So back to the fields it is, at least for a bit. Shortly after we find out that because one of the planes in the competition who one used performance enhancing fuel, he is disqualified and Dusty is in. I didn’t catch that planes name, but I’m sure its initials were AR.

Realizing that this is a great opportunity, but they are missing something, the team goes to Skipper (voiced by Stacy Keach) for help in training. Skipper is a F4U Corsair, a war veteran that lives on the airfield but keeps to himself. I think I was more excited by this than my kids. The Corsair is by far one of my most favorite planes, and Disney did an excellent job in portraying it.

With Skipper now directing Dusty’s training, Dottie tuning him up, and Chug’s friendship, Dusty soon makes the most of his skills. However, he still can’t surpass his fear of height. But that will come in time. Once training is done it’s off to the race.

The field of competitors is pretty cool. El Chupacabra (voiced by Carlos Alazraqui) soon becomes Dusty’s best friend, along with Bulldog (voiced by John Cleese). Rochelle (voiced by Julia Louis-Dreyfus) and Ishani (voiced by Priyanka Chopra) are the female love interests of the group. The stereo typical villain is Ripslinger (voiced by Roger Craig Smith) and his henchmen Ned and Zed (voiced by Gabriel Iglesias) rounds out the characters.

Other than Chup, everyone views Dusty’s presence as just an anomaly; they put up with him, but overall overlook his potential. Through the course of the races legs, he wins them over one by one. He saves Bulldog from crashing, he helps Chup win Rochelle’s heart, and he shows Ishani how to get her perspective back.

Ripslinger, and his boys, do everything they can to keep Dusty in last place. But they aren’t very successful with their subtle attempts and must take action. On the Pacific leg of the race, they clip Dusty’s GPS antenna, leaving him lost at sea. When all seems to be dire however, 2 familiar voices show up, Bravo and Echo (voiced by Val Kilmer and Anthony Edwards, you may remember a little movie they did called Top Gun), 2 F18’s from the Jolly Wrenches VF-17 and the USS Flysenhower. They escort Dusty to the aircraft carrier so that he can land and get patched up. I give Pixar PROPS (pun intended) for all the detail and accuracy to the entire sequence. It was awesome!

Fixed up Dusty heads on out to finish the last leg, unfortunately the tropical storm is too much and he augers into the sea. Luckily for him he is rescued and brought to Mexico, the end point of this leg of the race. But it doesn’t look good for him. All the damage he suffered in the wreck pretty much puts him out of the race. But this is where the big heart of the lesson comes in. Every one of the competitors comes to his aid and donates parts to get him repaired and back in the race. Everyone that is except for Ripslinger, he still has a lesson to learn.

Fixed up and rearing to go, Dusty faces Ripslinger. The final leg of the race is Mexico City to New York. Dusty is back in the race after a time penalty is served. He works his way up thru the field and makes it to Ripslinger who is in first place. But Ripslinger, Ned and Zed, aren’t going to let this happen. Just as it seems that they are going to ground Dusty, out of the sun comes Skipper Han Solo Deathstar style. Dividing and conquering, they ground Ned and Zed so that Dusty can race Ripslinger mano-a-mano.

Using what he learned from Skipper, and overcoming his fear of heights, he is able to gain on Ripslinger,  it’s nose to nose. But Ripslinger makes one final mistake as he lets his ego for the press sidetrack him enough for Dusty to get past and win the race, leaving Ripslinger in the john literally.

Returning to the Flysenhower, Dusty sporting a new look, Jolly Wrenches Style, and Skipper both get to catapult off the deck and race for home. A great way to end a movie.

So what’s good??

The whole movie is great. I don’t think that there are any really glaringly bad spots.


The quality of the animation is superb!


The Jolly Wrenches are a great homage to the Jolly Rogers fighter squadron.

Whats bad??

One of the things that has been nagging at me is that I felt something was missing, and I don’t quite know what it was. The only thing I can think is that I didn’t leave the theater with the same feeling and interest in the characters that I did or have had for the Cars movies.


Again, it seemed that some of the scenes or segments of the movie were slightly missing some pieces or meat on the bone that Cars did.


The end credits were a bit disappointing. I was expecting them to keep the same level as their other movies and have outtakes or other little skits. But they totally went out of the 3d like animation and went more 2d flat cartoonish in nature. I find this to be a bad decision.

Bottom Line:
This is a great movie, it’s worth the price of admission. I am sure we will be picking up the DVD when it comes out. I only hope that if they make a sequel or a series out of it, they keep the level of animation the same, or its just not good.

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