For starters, the animated picture was originally slated as a direct-to-video feature which is never a good sign. I can’t recall the last direct-to-video movie I saw that was entertaining. I guess with animated movies you can get away with a few things. The star of the picture is Dusty Crophopper (voice of Dane Cook) who works in a cornfield and has dreams of becoming a racer. Seems similar to the recently released flick “Turbo” doesn’t it. Of course with any picture there is always that nagging friend or naysayer who doubts the hero, as seen in Leadbottom (voice of Cedric the Entertainer) and Dottie (voice of Teri Hatcher).
The one theme that “Planes” addresses that I find important for kids to understand is tackling their fears. Dusty has a fear of heights, so it’s interesting to see that tackled in the film. Everyone has fears, but it’s important to not allow those fears from hindering you from tackling your dreams. It’s a universal message that applies to both adults and children alike and the picture’s ability to tackle that is liberating.
There are some funny moments in the picture that will likely keep the kiddies laughing, but it’s all too familiar in my eyes. When your nephew mentions the movie reminds them of “Cars” that is never a good sign. Those tikes that are very young between the ages of 2-6, may not notice the big difference between the two pictures, however, kids a bit older will understand the similarities from the pictures.
While “Planes” delivers a good message to audiences, it’s a bit too familiar to give the stamp of approval for audiences. If your child has never seen “Cars,” the movie is passable, but if they have seen the picture, as a parent it may be smart to skip this one.
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