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on August 27, 2013
Maybe there should be a law that only children should review movies for
children. Asking some adult critic to get off his/her lofty perch and
roll around in the mud of childhood might be a bit of a stretch.

Is "Planes" bland, derivative pablum with a "feel-good" message? Sure,
if you are over 30. I was lucky to see it with my 8-year-old grandson
and his two similarly aged friends. They loved it and talked about the
characters all evening.

Being Disney, it had excellent graphics, funny sight gags and naughty
references that flew (literally at times) over the heads of the kiddies
(vasectomies figure big here). If you are an adult who loves airplanes,
there are cartoon versions of some real beauties especially the Gee Bee
Super Sportster, a barrel-shaped monster from the 1930's, and the
stolid F4U Corsair, modeled after WWII ace Ira Kepford's bird.

As far as the plot; that's unimportant. It is indeed boilerplate but
for kids, it's the sheer thrill of watching an action-packed Saturday
matinée, laps adorned with popcorn and soda containers, that matters.
Let the critics sip Chardonnay over their computers in disdain. The
kids don't care.
2626 comments| 401 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on September 20, 2013
I took my 2 year old to see this twice. He is a huge cars fan so I thought what the heck he will love this.....was I ever so right!! Not only did he sit still the entire movie, I too enjoyed it as well. Would definitely recommend this to any Disney/Pixar collector!!!
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on August 15, 2013
'Planes' Review. By Owen Zupp
Author: Without Precedent: Commando, Fighter Pilot and the true story of Australia's first Purple Heart

Famous movie franchises can be like famous families. They can benefit from association, but they can also suffer at the hands of unending comparisons. And this may well be the case for 'Planes'.

In terms of a movie, 'Cars' was a massive success and taking this tale to the next level was undoubtedly the goal for Disney. In terms of media, marketing and merchandising, transforming 'Cars' into 'Planes' was a relatively straightforward exercise, however, it was a greater leap of faith to transform the movie.

Without being a spoiler, the 'Cars' template was overlaid on the 'Planes' concept and then tweaked here and there. The backdrop is once again a race circuit, albeit around the world, and the shifting fortunes play out on a leader board. The central character is not a shiny 'Lightning McQueen', but the little plane that could. Once again, a wise old character tempers the star's impetuosity and there is even a love interest, although it has shifted to a pair of co-stars.

There is no escaping the quality of the film's production. The animation, 'camera' angles, settings and colour are all first class. The audience even captures a sense of flight as the aircraft pitch and roll about the big screen. Visually, 'Planes' is captivating.

What is missing to some degree is the humour stemming from spontaneity that 'Cars' brought to the table. Achieving this was always going to prove a difficult task given that the first franchise had set a benchmark of great expectations and conjured preconceptions in the minds of the audience. Funnily enough, if a template was being applied, this film may have benefited from employing another 'Mater'. A goofy side-kick providing comic relief right on cue.

Personally, I enjoyed 'Planes', but then again, I couldn't sit more in the centre of Disney's target demographic profile if I tried. I am an aviation enthusiast with a young family. I was always probably going to give this film '5 Stars' as it offers another opportunity to share cherished laughter and common ground with my children. However, the real test for 'Planes' will come from those not so centrally located in Disney's cross-hairs. Can it possibly have the far-reaching impact of the highly successful 'Cars' films? It is a very, very tough act to follow. In the future, 'Planes 2' could actually benefit from being one step removed from the other franchise and build upon its own identity.

For me, there is one final acid test for the film. I was lucky enough to see the movie on its opening day in the United States, but I am now keen to see the looks on my own kids' faces when 'Planes' lands here in Australia. Only then will I be able to truly rate the success of 'Planes'. I'll get back to you then...

Owen Zupp
Author: '50 Tales of Flight' and 'Solo Flight'
50 Tales of Flight: From Biplanes to Boeings
Solo Flight: One Pilot's Aviation Adventure around Australia
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on September 24, 2013
The most important part...my two sons LOVE IT!! I can't wait to give this to them for Christmas. I showed my 3 1/2 yr old and my 18month old the trailer the night before and they were glued to the TV. I took my 3 1/2 year old to see it the next day. It was only his second movie theater experience--the first was the most recent Ice Age movie and we left because he could care less about Ice Age. But he knows the Cars movies by heart, and he can relate to them. He sat through the entire movie, quietly, enthralled in it! I didn't take the little one because I was afraid he wouldn't be able to sit through it-- I wish I would have. Now they both love anything related to Planes. Lil one asks EVERY DAY to watch the trailer on my phone--over, and over, and over! I love to hear him try to say "Chupacabra"! Oldest got to actually build Chupacabra at Lowe's Build and Grow clinic. "Chupe" has flown many miles since! AWESOME kids movie! I just wish I could get it today!
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on October 15, 2013
I never saw Cars, so I didn't know what to expect of Planes. AWESOME! Took my two year old Grandson, thinking he might last half of the movie...nope, he was mesmorized through the entire show!
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on May 22, 2014
My son usually watches Disney movies 100's of times when he gets a new one. He loves anything with an engine. He barely sat through this movie once. I didn't even make it through it once! It's a dud. Rent if you must but don't waste your money to buy it.
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on September 26, 2013
My two year old daughter loves to fly, and asks pilots to let her visit the cockpit when we travel (& at this point may believe this is a right, not a privilege). She likes to go watch planes land and take off at our local airport. She loved the movie and weeks later still mentions scenes to me on occasion. She was VERY excited about the pink airplane, and liked the yellow one, too...and of course loved Dusty. As for me, a pilot for over 20 years who has done aerobatics in small jets, flown for an airline and even flown in combat, I really enjoyed the full motion "camera shots." Great job, Disney! But....we are a little disappointed there aren't more pink airplane toys and books and other marketing items. We women pilots are a growing percentage of the pilot population.
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We had watched Cars and Cars 2 and had really enjoyed the animation and the story lines so we thought it would be worth while to try this video. Here is what we liked:

1. The attention to detail in this movie is incredible. There are many technical areas where a lot of movies miss the facts, but this movie did a superb job of getting the details right!

2. There is a very solid story line that is well developed!

3. The 90 minutes passes before you know it!

4. This is a movie for both adults and for children. There is some violence in this movie (a couple of planes get killed in a war scene), so you should be aware of that up front.

5. This is a movie that will rate been seen many times over!!

Another EXCELLENT Disney movie!!!!!
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on January 23, 2014
Steve Jobs and Walt Disney are rolling in their graves on this one. Pixar is the top of the line, can't miss, Cadillac of studios when it comes to animated films. You will notice that this is not a Pixar film like Cars, but rather Disney (who now owns Pixar) so they knew it wasn't worthy of their premium nameplate. John Lassiter has a credit on the film, but I refuse to believe this brilliant man had any input into this terrible film.

I have three children (12,9 and 6) and by the time the film ended I was the only one left in the room. I think my 12 year old actually went and straightened up her room on her own rather than lose 2 hours of her life to this half-baked flop. The story is boring, and actually a little difficult to follow as they brew up twists and turns to add angst to an otherwise totally predictable plot. This reminds me of the dark days of Disney when they put out Peter Pan 2 and 3, 102 Dalmations, and other terrible spinoffs to separate you from $20 with little or no effort on their part.

The market has shown it will happily give you hundreds of millions of dollars for producing quality, computer animated films so why this? Disney couldn't do it on their own so they bought Pixar and this is what we get? Somebody rescue John Lassiter from the dungeon of Cinderella's castle so he can straighten things out.

What an embarrassment.
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on May 26, 2014
Disney is now the studio of creative re-creations, not innovation. It is very sad, since Walt Disney was a unique, marvelously ingenious and creative innovator.

Whenever a current Disney 3D production is similar in any way to another production, I know it isn't Pixar who made it. The boys at Pixar are true to the Walt-Disney spirit - nothing they produce is ever like something they've done before. Except for their unparalled superiority - we can always count on that.

This is why I was soooooo disappointed when Pixar sold to Disney. It was like selling the Mona Lisa to a flea market. I knew we'd never again see the world-class stories and animation that again and again came out of Pixar Studios, and I knew I'd never see little hopping Luxor. Current Disney makes bad decisions and bad movies. They are hacks.

Hence Planes. A rip-off of cars. Nothing creatively demanding in rewriting a story to accommodate different characters. Ho hum. Disney: One-trick ponies.
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