Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Klay Hall|
|Produced by||Tracy Balthazor-Flynn|
|Screenplay by||Jeffrey M. Howard|
|Story by||John Lasseter
Jeffrey M. Howard
Roger Craig Smith
|Music by||Mark Mancina|
|Edited by||Jeremy Milton|
|Distributed by||Walt Disney Studios
|Box office||$239.3 million|
Planes is a 2013 American 3D computer-animated sports comedy film produced by DisneyToon Studios and released by Walt Disney Pictures. It is a spin-off of Pixar's Cars franchise and the first film in a planned Planes trilogy. Despite not being produced by Pixar, the film was co-written and executive produced by Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios' chief creative officer John Lasseter, who directed the Cars films. The film stars the voices of Dane Cook, Stacy Keach, Priyanka Chopra, Brad Garrett, Teri Hatcher, Danny Mann, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Roger Craig Smith, John Cleese, Carlos Alazraqui, Val Kilmer, and Anthony Edwards.
Like many of DisneyToon's films, it was initially set to be released as a direct-to-video film, but was instead theatrically released on August 9, 2013 in the Disney Digital 3D and RealD 3D formats. The film grossed $239.3 million worldwide on a $50 million budget. A sequel, titled Planes: Fire & Rescue, was theatrically released on July 18, 2014.
Dusty Crophopper is a crop duster plane who works at a cornfield and practices aerobatic maneuvers in his spare time, dreaming of becoming a racer. His dreams are scorned by his boss, Leadbottom, and his forklift/mechanic friend, Dottie. However, he is supported by his fuel truck friend, Chug. Dusty and Chug train for qualifiers for the upcoming Wings Across the Globe race. On the night before the qualifiers, Dusty asks an elderly and reclusive navy war plane named Skipper Riley to teach him how to fly well, but Skipper refuses. Dusty enters the qualifiers, and although the audience mocks him for being a cropduster, he manages to wow them by his well-practiced flight maneuvers; but he barely makes it into the race.
Later in the morning, Skipper visits Dusty and tries to talk him out of racing, but when Dusty explains he wants to prove he's more than just a crop duster, Skipper decides to mentor Dusty on his speed and agility. While in the midst of his training, Dusty admits that he has a fear of heights. Despite this, their training continues, and when it is complete, Dusty heads off to the meeting of the race at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City. There he befriends an eccentric but loyal Mexican race plane named El Chupacabra, who eventually falls in love with a beautiful French-Canadian racer named Rochelle, who shows no interest in him. Dusty then makes a rival of the arrogant and villainous 3-time-winner plane Ripslinger, who rudely dismisses him as being only a crop duster. He also falls in love with a racer plane named Ishani, who becomes supportive of him. During the first leg of the race from New York to Iceland, Dusty's refusal to fly high causes him to finish in last place. During the second leg of the race to Germany, Dusty shows good sportsmanship by saving another racer, Bulldog, from crashing when Bulldog's eyes get squirted with oil from one of his propellers, winning Bulldog's respect but finishing last again.
The fifth leg is over the Hump (the mountains between northeast India and south China) to Shanghai. In India, Ishani invites Dusty to fly around the Taj Mahal and advises him to fly low through the Himalayas by following some railroad tracks. However, after encountering a tunnel and barely being able to fly through it, Dusty realizes Ishani deliberately gave him bad advice to get a new propeller from Ripslinger, and he shuns her. As the race continues, Dusty manages to get into first place. In Shanghai, Dusty manages to help El Chupacabra win over Rochelle with a romantic song.
In the sixth leg of the race across the Pacific Ocean, Ripslinger's henchmen, Ned and Zed, under orders from Ripslinger, sabotage Dusty's navigation antenna. Lost and low on fuel, Dusty miraculously comes across the USS Flysenhower (a reference to the real-life carrier) which allows him to land and refuel. While on the carrier, Dusty sees a hall of fame set up for Skipper's squadron but discovers that Skipper only flew one mission, which contradicts his previous reputation as a veteran of many battles. He is then forced to take off to try and beat an oncoming storm.
Dusty gets distracted from flying by his thoughts about Skipper and ends up crashing into the ocean but is eventually rescued. He is flown to Mexico to his friends but he is severely damaged and may never fly again. Skipper confesses to Dusty that he did indeed fly only one mission in the Pacific theatre, where his entire squad of trainees was killed in an attack on the Japanese Navy. Skipper was the only survivor, but torn by his guilt, he never trained another plane or flew again. Demoralized and heartbroken, Dusty begins to consider dropping out of the race but is encouraged by his friends, Bulldog, Ishani, and many of his newfound fans to continue, and they all donate parts to have Dusty repaired.
With a change of heart and morale restored, Dusty becomes determined to continue in the race in the seventh leg, but Ripslinger still won't give up and plots to put an end to Dusty's competing in the race "once and for all". He and his goons attack Dusty but are thwarted by Skipper, who has overcome his guilt and come to help Dusty. When trying to catch up with Ripslinger, Dusty conquers his fear of heights when his engine starts losing power, forcing him to ride the jetstream. Both he and Ripslinger make it to the finish line in New York; and when it looks like Ripslinger will win, his ego gets the best of him, and he slows down to have his picture taken. Dusty manages to fly above him and win the race while Ripslinger crashes into some portable toilets. Dusty is congratulated by his friends and fans, and Skipper thanks him for giving him the confidence to fly again. Skipper rejoins the navy briefly in the company of Dusty and they take an honorary flight together, ending the story.
- Dane Cook as Dusty Crophopper. He was inspired by the Air Tractor AT-502, Cessna 188 and the PZL-Mielec M-18 Dromader.
- Stacy Keach as Skipper Riley, a Chance Vought F4U Corsair and Dusty's mentor.
- Danny Mann as Sparky, a forklift
- Priyanka Chopra as Ishani, a Pan-Asian champion from India, based on the AeroCad AeroCanard
- Brad Garrett as Chug, a fuel truck
- Teri Hatcher as Dottie, a forklift
- Cedric the Entertainer as Leadbottom, a biplane inspired by the Boeing-Stearman Model 75 with a partial engine cowl.
- Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Rochelle, a racing plane inspired by the Bay Super V, a conversion of the V-tail Model 35 Beechcraft Bonanza. Originally from Quebec, her flag and paint job are localized in 11 countries. In Australian and New Zealand, Rochelle is re-contextualized as a former Tasmanian mail delivery plane, and is voiced by Jessica Marais.
- Roger Craig Smith as Ripslinger, a custom-built carbon-fiber plane (reminiscent of the Curtiss YP-37) and Dusty's rival.
- Gabriel Iglesias as Ned and Zed, Ripslinger's henchmen inspired by the Zivko Edge 540 and MX Aircraft MXS.
- John Cleese as Bulldog, a de Havilland DH.88 Comet
- Carlos Alazraqui as El Chupacabra, a Gee Bee Model R
- Val Kilmer as Bravo, a Boeing F/A-18E Super Hornet
- Anthony Edwards as Echo, a Boeing F/A-18E Super Hornet
- Colin Cowherd as Colin Cowling, a blimp. In the UK, the blimp character is named Lofty Crofty and is voiced by Sky Sports F1 commentator David Croft.
- Sinbad as Roper, a forklift
- Oliver Kalkofe as Franz aka Von Fliegenhosen, a German Aerocar
- Brent Musburger as Brent Mustangburger, a 1964½ Ford Mustang
- John Ratzenberger as Harland, a jet tug
- 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 did not produce the film, Lasseter, 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. Jon Cryer was initially announced as the voice of the main protagonist Dusty, but later dropped out and was replaced by Dane Cook. A modified version of the teaser trailer for the film (featuring Cook's voice in place of Cryer's) was released on February 27, 2013. Cryer did however receive credit on the film for "additional story material", along with Bobs Gannaway. Prana Studios provided work on visual effects, animation and compositing.
Planes was originally set to be released in North America as a direct-to-video film in Fall 2013, while having a theatrical release in Europe. However, in December 2012 Disney announced that the film would be released theatrically. This was the first DisneyToon Studios film released theatrically in North America since Pooh's Heffalump Movie eight and a half years earlier in 2005.
The film premiered on August 2, 2013, at a special screening at 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. The film was theatrically released on August 9, 2013, when it was also screened at the D23 Expo in Anaheim, California, a biennial convention for Disney fans.
Planes was released by Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment on DVD, Blu-ray and Blu-ray 3D on November 19, 2013. Blu-ray bonus features include "Franz's Song", an alternate sequence produced exclusively for the Blu-ray and HD digital releases, the featurette "Klay's Flight Plan", which follows director Klay Hall's personal journey during the making of the film, two deleted scenes with introductions by the director and producer, character interstitials, and "Top Ten Flyers", a countdown of history's greatest aviators hosted by Colin Cowherd.
The review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reported a 26% approval rating with an average rating of 4.6/10 based on 112 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.
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." 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 of The Hollywood Reporter gave the film a negative review, saying, "Despite the more aerodynamic setting, this Cars 3D offshoot emerges as an uninspired retread." Jordan Hoffman of the New York Daily News 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."
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." 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."
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." 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."
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."
Planes, despite negative reception, grossed $90,288,712 in the United States and Canada, and $148,970,000 in other countries, for a worldwide total of $239,258,712, and was a box office success. The film opened to number three in its first weekend, with $22,232,291, behind Elysium and We're the Millers. In its second weekend, the film dropped to number four, grossing an additional $13,388,534. In its third weekend, the film dropped to number five, grossing $8,575,214. In its fourth weekend, the film stayed at number five, grossing $7,751,705.
|Award||Category||Recipients and nominees||Result|
|British Academy Children's Awards||BAFTA Kid's Vote - Film in 2014||Nominated|
|Soundtrack album by Mark Mancina|
|Released||August 6, 2013|
|Mark Mancina film scores chronology|
- Track listing
All music composed by Mark Mancina, except as noted.
|1.||"Nothing Can Stop Me Now" (performed by Mark Holman)||3:14|
|2.||"You Don't Stop NYC" (performed by Chris Classic and Alana D)||3:49|
|3.||"Fly" (performed by Jon Stevens)||2:58|
|7.||"Hello Lincoln/Sixth Place"||1:06|
|8.||"Show Me What You Got"||1:21|
|9.||"Dusty Steps Into History"||1:06|
|10.||"Start Your Engines"||1:59|
|11.||"Leg 2/Bulldog Thanks Dusty"||2:22|
|12.||"Skipper Tries to Fly"||0:51|
|13.||"Dusty & Ishani"||2:38|
|15.||"Running on Fumes"||3:10|
|16.||"Get Above the Storm"||1:11|
|17.||"Dusty Has to Ditch"||0:58|
|19.||"You're a Racer"||2:52|
|21.||"Skipper to the Rescue"||1:58|
|24.||"A True Victory"||0:41|
|25.||"Honorary Jolly Wrench"||0:53|
|26.||"Skipper's Theme" (performed by Volo Pro Veritas)||1:13|
|27.||"Love Machine" (performed by Carlos Alazraqui and Antonio Sol)||1:45|
|28.||"Ein Crop Duster Can Race" (performed by Dave Wittenberg)||1:11|
A sequel, titled Planes: Fire & Rescue, was theatrically released on July 18, 2014. Bobs Gannaway, co-creator of Jake and the Never Land Pirates and co-director of Secret of the Wings, directed the film. Dane Cook reprised his role of Dusty, and was joined by Julie Bowen as the voice of Lil' Dipper. Rather than publish an Art of book for Planes, Chronicle Books will publish The Art of Planes 1 & 2 to coincide with the release of the sequel. The music for the film was again composed by Mark Mancina.
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