In the spirit of Cars, the vehicles have come to life again to take us into the sky in the world of Planes. The movie centres on small town crop duster Dusty Crophopper (Dane Cook) who spends his days dreaming of racing on the world stage during his monotonous days at work.
The dream soon becomes reality with his local friends and land-bound vehicles Dottie (Teri Hatcher) and Chug (Brad Garrett) encouraging him to take a chance with the qualifier for the world air race. The ride to world fame isn’t smooth and requires the help of retired fighter plane Skipper (Stacy Keach) for Dusty to improve his technique and confront his fear of heights.
Once into the racing scenes we are introduced to an international cast of planes. The best racers from around the world compete in the challenge to be the first to circumnavigate the globe and take the glory away from three time champion Ripslinger (Roger Craig Smith).
The film’s storyline is similar to many other movies in the animated genre, in particular Kung Fu Panda, in how a small time character becomes an accidental world hero just by following their dreams. Planes, however, doesn’t have the same comedic flair as Kung Fu Panda, and in some ways, Cars. It is much slower starting and only once we are into the world championship does the film really speed up. The comedic moments do provide a small, warm chuckle and the usual heartfelt moments, and lasting friendships work effectively on the heart strings.
What does make Planes stand out from other animated films is the movement featured in the racing. These flight sequences have the camera following right behind the planes for all the twists, turns and dives. It drags you right into the action of the flights and may induce some motion sickness as some of the movement gives an impression like being on a rollercoaster, particularly in the 3D version of the film.
The voice acting for Planes is well arranged. The accents of each foreign plane bring to life the unique colours and flares of the planes without stereotyping excessively. The small character developments of these planes also give a bit of depth to an otherwise predictable plot.
Reviewed by Alex Dunkin
Rating out of 10: 5
Planes opens 26 September 2013