Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Planes - Review

Last week I had the pleasure of seeing DisneyToon Studio newest film, Planes. I’ll start off by saying this gets two wings up from me, Pixie Wings that is! When I first heard about Planes a while back I felt it was direct to video quality. Even after seeing trailers I felt the same. But I am happy to say I was wrong! Disney did right by putting this in the theaters!
Yes, you heard right DisneyToon Studio made Planes not Pixar! DisneyToon Studio usually makes direct to video sequels and not theater releases. Planes was to be a sequel to the highly successful Pixar movie, Cars. When a clip was shown to Disney Studio executives they were so pleased with the quality they decided it should be released in theaters not direct to video.
This movie is in the same “world” as Cars. The vehicles are alive and everything is Plane/Car themed. There is even a flying car with a split personality. John Lasseter said he was looking for a franchise that would be focused on boys, as many Disney/Pixar movies have generally been female targeted. They thought of Trains and then fell in love with the idea of Planes.
And now for a hopefully non-spoiler review.
Planes is a sweet story of a dreamer. Dusty Crophopper is a crop dusting plane dreaming of becoming a world class racing plane. He is not a bragger or a show off he just likes to fly low and fast. Yes, I said low. Dusty is afraid of heights! Dusty enlists the help of retired war vet Skipper Riley (a WWII Corsair fighter) to train him on how to fly fast and take advantage of his abilities.
Throughout this movie you find yourself cheering him on each step of the way because he is so likeable and is out to do his best to fulfill his dream. When others scorn and betray him you feel his hurt. Dusty responds with an attitude I find refreshing in this current ME ME ME day an age. When attacked he stands firm but does not attack in return. He does not stoop to retaliating for the dirty tricks that are played on him. These are values I’d like to see passed on to my children and grandchildren.
Dusty earns the respect of his fellow racers with his determination and kind heart. Dusty goes from near front of the pack to last-place when he helps another racer in trouble. In the end, when he is in need even those that were enlisted to trick and betray him step up to help him. This movie shows that even the good guys can win!
One other interesting thing found in Planes is the reference to the “VF-17 Jolly Wrenches“ with the boxy skull and crossed wrenches logo reminiscent of the Pirate Jolly Roger skull and cross bones. Skipper Riley, the Corsair mentor of Dusty flew with the “Jolly Wrenches”. The real VF-17 Jolly Roger Corsair fighter squadron of World War II was one of the most feared and respected Corsair fighter squadrons. VF-17 Jolly Rogers became the highest scoring Navy corsair squadron of World War II. They destroyed 154 Japanese planes in 76 days, beating the record of ‘Pappy’ Boyington’s notorious Black Sheep VMF 214 a US Marine Squadron.
I love this attention to detail!
Having seen a trailer and sneak clips at the D23 Expo of the upcoming (July 18th, 2014) sequel to Planes, Planes 2, Fire and Rescue I am really excited to see it! As much as I was surprised by Planes, Planes 2, Fire and Rescue looks even better than the original!

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