Even though one belongs to another, there is a sense of competition between animation giants Disney and Pixar. Their respective standard of animation, imagination and technical brilliance that go into their productions have made them pioneers of the animated feature. So, when Disney announced their plans to create a spinoff of a Pixar production, eyebrows were raised.
Ambitious little plane Dusty (Dane Cook) dreams of escaping the slow-paced life of dusting crops. Despite his limited racing skills and ironic fear of heights, he hopes to achieve his ambition to become a high-profile racer by taking part in an international competition – inspiring his peers and fellow ‘little folks’ in the process.
When it comes to 3D or computer animation, Disney’s efforts in the field haven’t had the same amount of imagination as Pixar’s works, not to mention the same level of positive critical acclaim in recent years. Even with this motivation to up-the-ante on the big screen, Disney’s production of Planes unfortunately doesn’t quite achieve its goal – there is a reason why it is a straight-to-DVD release stateside.
In a seemingly lazy strategy of widening the Pixar’s already extensive universe, the fact that Planes is labelled as “from the world of Cars” doesn’t help to raise expectations – considering that Cars is not one of the most critically acclaimed Pixar films. In addition to this, the predictable plot of Planes – classic underdog fighting against all odds with an assortment of friends and enemies – hardly sets the screen alight.
On the flip side, an underdog story is always appealing – everyone loves to see the ‘little guy’ triumph while winning the respect of his fellow competitors. Fair credit to director Klay Hall and screenwriter Jeffrey M. Howard, the amount of detail in terms of aerodynamics makes Planes an almost educational film and with its bright and colourful characters, it is sure to be a successful film for all the family.
With its fun characters and simple story, Planes will entertain young kids and parents. But don’t expect rocket science.
Planes is out in UK cinemas on Friday 16th August.
Director: Klay Hall
Writers: Jeffrey M. Howard (screenplay), John Lasseter (story)
Stars: Dane Cook, Stacy Keach, Brad Garrett
Runtime: 92 min