Planes Parent Guide
Dusty's willingness to sacrifice his hopes of winning to help another competitor and his kindness make him soar past many movie heroes. However, quality of storyline and animation is mediocre.
Parent Movie Review
Since acquiring Pixar, Walt Disney Studios has had an ambitious animation schedule with a goal of releasing at least three productions per year. In 2013 that includes: Monsters University, Frozen and Planes. The latter is the first film in the planned Planes trilogy. While that may be good for audiences looking for more family entertainment, such a rigorous agenda can lead to mediocrity if the quality of storyline and animation is sacrificed for quantity.
Taking to the skies with an adventure that feels like a close cousin to Cars, Planes is the tale of a crop duster named Dusty (voice by Dane Cook) who wants to compete in a famous aerial race around the world. While he is enthusiastic, hard working and eager to fly with the best international competitors, he has one small problem. He’s afraid of heights.
Getting off to a lagging start, Planes follows Dusty up and down the field as he spews out a nasty smelling vita mix on the crop below while imaging himself in a tight heat for the finish line. Although his coworker Leadbottom (voice by Cedric the Entertainer) and his mechanic Dottie (voice by Teri Hatcher) can’t understand why the little propeller plane would want to leave the farm in search of fame, Chug the refueling truck (voice by Brad Garrett) encourages Dusty’s dream. After work, he coaches the little orange and white flyer through a training routine that includes silo buzzing, tight turns and speed.
Unfortunately with the time trials for the Wings Around the World tour fast approaching, Dusty has to admit he needs some tips from someone who can actually get airborne. Mustering all his courage, he taxis down the runway and knocks on the door of Skipper (voice by Stacy Keach), an old warship who lives a secluded existence at the end of the airfield. Although it takes some convincing, Skipper finally agrees to help Dusty prep for the competition.
Thankfully the story gets some air once the starting gun fires, sending the fleet of international aircraft racing around the globe. But anyone who has seen a crop duster putter around the countryside knows there is no way one could compete with the likes of Ripslinger (voice by Roger Craig Smith), a mean-spirited, custom-built carbon-fiber speed machine who is out to defend his title.
Like most other Pixar-led productions, this one is not for the youngest of viewers despite the colorful characters and comical antics. In one scene a squadron of warplanes explodes into flames and crashes into the ocean after being shot down by enemy ships. Another character, caught in a storm over the sea, crashes into the rough waters and appears to drown. Repeated bullying and other moments of peril may also be too scary. Even the script’s depiction of positive international relations might be lost on the kids.
However Dusty’s willingness to sacrifice his hopes of winning to help another competitor, along with his kindness toward others, will make this little flying machine soar past many other movie heroes contending for your family’s entertainment dollars.Directed by Klay Hall. Starring Dane Cook, Stacy Keach, Val Kilmer, Gabriel Iglesias, Brad Garrett. Running time: 92 minutes. Theatrical release August 9, 2013. Updated July 17, 2017
Rating & Content Info
Why is Planes rated PG? Planes is rated PG by the MPAA for some mild action and rude humor.
Violence: During a routine reconnaissance flight, a squadron of planes is shot down and killed in a fiery exchange of bullets. A character crashes into the ocean and appears to drown. A plane and train appear to crash in a head on collision. Characters watch plane crashes on a TV program. Characters knock off the navigation equipment of a competitor. A plane nearly crashes after loosing his visuals. Characters engage in bullying behaviors.
Sexual Content: A female character is shown in a mildly provocative way. A character attempts to woo another. He his later seen with lipstick marks all over his body.
Language: The script contains some name-calling and a crude implied sexual comment.
Alcohol / Drug Use: A racing competitor is disqualified for using an illegal fuel additive. A character is told he needs to have a drink after a long and disappointing day.
Other: A character makes a comment about “gas”. Another character is covered in “excrement” after he crashes into a row of portable toilets.
Page last updated July 17, 2017
More parents' guide for Planes after the break...
Planes Parents' Guide
Dusty’s fear of heights has him flying low to the ground. Here is a math question parents can pose to their children. Which would take longer—flying a direct path at a higher altitude or following the twists and turns of the landscape below? Is it at all believable that Dusty could even keep up with the other competitors?
Why does Skipper lie about his past? How do he and other characters in this movie learn to face their fears and past mistakes? What do the competitors learn about integrity?
How does Dusty show compassion to others? What benefits does his kindness have later?
The most recent home video release of Planes movie is November 19, 2013. Here are some details…
Home Video Notes: Planes
Release Date: 19 November 2013
Planes releases to home video (Blu-ray 3D/Blu-ray/DVD/Digital Copy or Blu-ray/DVD/Digital Copy) with the following extra luggage:
- Klay’s Flight Plan
- Top 10 Flyers
- Meet the Racers
- Deleted Scenes
- Franz’s Song: Produced exclusively for Blu-ray and HD Digital, this completely finished animated song features the German mini-car, Franz Fliegenhosen, who encourages Dusty on his flight.