Movie Review: Planes (2013)

by StevenHelmer

A review of the animated movie starring Dane Cook and Teri Hatcher.

Synopsis: Crop duster Dusty Crophopper dreams of being a racing plane and surprises everyone when he narrowly qualifies for a famous around-the-world race. In addition to the physical limitations that make him a long shot in a race full of planes that were built for speed, he also has to overcome his fear of heights.

Who's In It?

The animated film uses voices from Dane Cook, Teri Hatcher, Brad Garrett, Val Kilmer and Stacy Keach.


I recorded this film off of one of our movie channels sometime last year with the intention of watching it a few days later. That didn't happen and I completely forgot about it until last night, when my youngest daughter wanted to have a family movie night.

When this film first came out, I figured it would wind up being very similar to the movie Cars. As it turns out, I was wrong. But, unfortunately, this film also wasn't as good as I was hoping it would be.

I will give the film some points for originality. There was a good mix of interesting characters and the overall plot wasn't nearly as predictable as I thought it would be (it ended the way I figured, but there were enough twists and turns to put that in doubt).

I think my biggest problem with this movie is, for all the talk about him wanting to compete in a famous world-wide race, the race itself seemed to be very limited. Other than the last leg, we only saw bits and pieces of Dusty's (Cook) flight, something that was very disappointing considering the various landmarks they could have shown.

I also thought the underdog story lost a little something when Dusty kept receiving all sorts of help. He only qualified for the the race because another plane was disqualified. He then took a short cut, had help from the Navy and received a bunch of upgrades before the final leg with the judges looking the other way. Why not just give him a jet engine while we're at it? Oh, and I'm not even included the outside interference from his coach, Skipper (Keach).

One other thing I wasn't a huge fan of with this movie was the relatively violent flashback involving Skipper's military service, something that really didn't belong in a family movie and prompted questions from our youngest daughter who was confused about why planes were suddenly avoiding bullets and blowing up. While I understand that is part of Skipper's backstory, I can also think of another way of explaining that without the violence.

Final Opinion

As I said, the movie wasn't as predictable as I thought it would be. But, while it was an OK film, it also seemed to lack something and just wasn't as good as I was hoping. In other words, it was OK but not great.

My Grade: C

Updated: 05/13/2017, StevenHelmer
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DerdriuMarriner on 08/19/2017

StevenHelmer, How did Dusty overcome his fear of heights?

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