Disney’s Planes hits theatres today, and it is sure to inspire you and your family as you watch the movie’s resilient plane protagonist, Dusty Crophopper, persevere through an endless chain of obstacles and challenges to pursue his dream of becoming a racer. With the help of his loyal friends, Chug and Dottie, and his mentor, Skipper, Dusty finds the courage to have faith in his dream, and attempts to make it to the big leagues of racing.
Dusty Crophopper (voiced by Dane Cook) is a crop duster who dreams of being one of the fastest racers in the world. He devotes virtually all his free time to trying to break his previous speed record, and itches for the chance to put his skills to work in a real competition. The largest racing competition in the world is known as the Wings Around the World competition, and Dusty finally decides, with some encouragement from his friend Chug (voiced by Brad Garrett), to enter the qualifying race for it. Dusty is informed after the qualifying race that he has made it to the Wings Around the World competition, so he begins training for it with the help of an old war plane named Skipper (voiced by Stacy Keach). Skipper is surprised when, during one of their training sessions, Dusty reveals to him that he is afraid of heights.
Dusty is met with disdain, and even contempt, from many of the other contestants in the race as he is “only a crop duster,” but he manages to befriend a Mexican plane (voiced by Carlos Alazraqui) named El Chupacabra (or more commonly just “El Chu”), and an attractive Indian female plane named Ishani (voiced by Priyanka Chopra).
Battling a rough start to the race, others who want to see him fail, as well as some hurtful betrayals, Dusty tries to prove he is more than what most think he is.
What we loved:
This movie has a ton of lovable characters, like Chug — Dusty’s dopey but kindhearted truck-friend — but you and your family will especially love El Chu, as he is arguably the main comedic source in Planes. El Chu falls in love with a pink female plane at the competition named Rochelle (voiced by Julia Louis-Dreyfus), and desperately tries to win her heart (mostly unsuccessfully). There’s a hilarious scene in which he makes an embarrassing attempt one night to serenade her outside her window, but luckily Dusty comes to his rescue.
The scene when Dusty first arrives at the Wings Around the World competition and finally gets to see the enormous, buzzing stadium and the huge crowd of spectators (constituted of mostly cars and trucks) is also noteworthy; confetti fills the sky and the excitement is almost overwhelming. There are a ton of nods throughout the movie to this movie’s predecessor, Cars — in fact, Dusty’s two best friends are “cars.”
You and your family are also sure to love the quirky and hilarious little truck who appears at one point and claims to be Dusty’s fan; he turns himself into a plane and completely changes his personality, catching Dusty completely off guard.
Parental advisory (potential spoilers):
Planes is suitable for the entire family as it is has virtually no violence or scary parts. Feel free to take your youngest kids with you to this one. The only parts that may be questionable in terms of suitability for a younger audience are the way in which Dusty suggestively “checks out” Ishani’s propeller as she walks away; a big storm during the race takes place out at sea and is a bit frightening (the waves pull Dusty under); at one point Dusty almost seems like he’s going to get into a head-on collision with an oncoming train, which is a suspenseful scene even by adult standards; and to defend Dusty in the last leg of the race Skipper clips one of Dusty’s fellow competitors (and main antagonists), Ripslinger, as he is flying by, only to be clipped right back by him.
G — Suitable for all ages.
Planes is a heartwarming and inspiring movie that emphasizes the power of perseverance, courage, and friendship. You and your kids will love watching Dusty beat the odds against him to finally achieve his lifelong dream.