There are two different ways that I can review this film, as a mom or as a Disney File, so I’ll do both.
I’ll start this review in my most important role, a mom of a Plane Enthusiast six-year-old boy. Gavin LOVED this movie. I can’t express in my writing how much he enjoyed the film. In his mind, it’s better than Monsters University, better than “other” studios’ summer movie releases, and even better than Pixar’s “Cars”! From the second the film started, he was smiling, laughing and occasionally whispering something IMPORTANT to me about the film. The DVD is already on his Christmas List! I don’t believe he was alone in his thoughts. The theatre was full and this was the 3 pm showing during Friday afternoon. After the film’s ending, we went to Target to purchase a new plane. Every single Disney Plane was sold out. Then we went to Wal-Mart. They also, were sold out.
Seeing the joy that he received from the film, made me love it too. The film is overall lighthearted and adorable. The storyline is really simple for young children to follow. It does mention planes dying throughout the movie, which was really the only darkness related to the film. Most of the death references were in a joking context and the villain in the film is tame when it comes to Disney villains. The film moves very fast, which keeps the kids attention and the movie length is about an hour and a half. If you have a young child, three years or older, they’ll love this film.
As a Disney Fanatic, I was disappointed, but not entirely surprised. I knew that this film was slotted as a direct to DVD release, then after the company saw interest in the film arise, it went into the theatre. Here’s my overall issue with the movie: The Disney PIXAR brand has earned the top spot in animation excellence. Again I want to emphasis, EARNED this spot. Does Disney truly believe that showing the word DISNEY( without the word PIXAR) in front of the title “PLANES” would lead people to think, “Oh, this isn’t a Disney/Pixar film so I shouldn’t expect it to be that good? The general public is going to believe it is a Pixar film because of how it’s been marketed so closely with “CARS”. Therefore, viewers may be highly disappointed and in turn it will put a blemish on the Disney/Pixar name. That bothers me. The movie wasn’t up to their standards. The storyline was cute, but not heart capturing. The character development wasn’t deep enough. They didn’t spend enough time getting the audience to fall in love with the dozen characters in the film. It felt like a cheapened version of “CARS”. Disney animation is always fantastic. However, after seeing Monsters University just over a month ago, it made this film’s animation appear mediocre. In my opinion the animation came across as inconsistent. There were a couple of moments in the film where I said, “OK, now here is the breathtaking animation that I was looking forward to seeing.” Then they’d show a crowd shot and it was horrible to watch as the planes made the strangest “fan cheering” movements. I believe that this film could have been spectacular, if it was only given enough time in development. Bottom line, Disney Toon Studios will most likely be releasing many spin offs in the near future and the animation quality will be sub par to the studios traditional releases. Hopefully the audience will realize this before Pixar is blemished.
The sequel to PLANES, “Planes: Fire & Rescue”, is already in development, with a theatre premiere date of July18, 2014. My hope is that when they start the “TRAINS” films that they take a little more time and release them under Disney Pixar, instead of Disney Toon Studios.
Regardless of my disappointment, my purse will still be opening to purchased licensed products with Dusty stickers all over it. He is adorable…