Five Reasons Why We’re Not Seeing “Planes: Fire & Rescue” in Theaters

and | July 19, 2014 | 27 Replies

Let’s start off by stating the obvious – we are not the target demographic for Planes: Fire & Rescue. We are not between the ages of 4 – 10 and we don’t have any children. However, after watching 2013’s Planes, there is no way that we could sit through this sequel that was given the green light six months into the production of the first film.

1) Dane Cook is the main star.

I’m not sure what Dane Cook’s been up to since the massive blockbuster success of Employee of the Month, but I’m pretty sure it doesn’t involve much more than having his comedy albums being torrented in dorm rooms across the country. So when it comes to the voice of hero Dusty Crophopper, I think we can all agree that we haven’t rooted for Jon Cryer so much since Pretty In Pink. The only positive thing about his performance is he doesn’t voice a complete stereotype like every other character (e.g. Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ French Canadian accent).


2) The plot holes from the Cars universe get even deeper.

Even though the thought definitely crossed our minds with Cars and Cars 2, there is one question that just can’t be ignored with the expanded world of Planes – “Where the heck are all the people?” Yes, I know it’s a cartoon and I suppose we’re meant to suspend disbelief, but why in the world are there commercial jets? These are planes meant for the sole purpose of getting humans from one place to the other. What exactly are they doing here?

Then there’s the bizarre notion of Planes warfare. Who would they fight? Have the planes, boats and cars been involved in the same wars and conflicts as humans despite there being no reason for them to start wars to begin with? What is happening in this universe!?


3) More puns and word play than any script should ever have.

The screenplay for Planes took way too many liberties when it came to making somewhat dirty or derogative statements. The fact that lines like “He’s an old crankshaft,” “He kicked Aston Martin out there” or “Why don’t you go plow yourself” made it into the final cut show the level of care producers put into making the film. God only knows what horrendous lines will show up in this movie…


 4) Animation by DisneyToon Studios isn’t horrible, but isn’t good.

When Planes moved from Pixar to a DisneyToon Studios project, we all knew the look of the film would no doubt be different. Unfortunately, that shows in a lot of the character animation looking ‘cheaper’ and not done to the same quality we’ve gotten used to at Pixar. It feels rushed, which is pretty disappointing for animation fans. In contrast however, a lot of the landscaping and background designs of Planes are downright beautiful – I’m looking at you Taj Mahal. This does not make up for the other sloppy animation.


5) Every ticket sold is supporting the future Planes 3 and more cheap merchandise.

Unfortunately, Planes 3 is in our future and I can almost bet that production has already started. Why would Disney continue to invest in a franchise that is critically panned and only moderately successful? Because parents out there can now  spend millions and billions of dollars on Cars and Planes junk for their boys who were always jealous that their sisters got princess merchandise when they went shopping. Why wouldn’t Disney capitalize on cheap plastic cars and planes with faces when they can make 10 times what it costs to manufacture the toys?


Planes: Fire & Rescue is now in theaters in 3D.

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Category: Entertainment, TV / Movies

  • Erin

    You really shouldn’t lump Cars with the terrible Planes…..

  • Kther

    People usually see movies before they critique them. The visuals in this movie were great, the action sequences amazing and actually suspenseful. Maybe watch the movie and you’d see what the airliners carry. I’m pretty sure the only puns were the ones from the trailer, this movie was surprisingly funny and had a lot of heart, I couldn’t disagree with you guys more. 4/5 *

    • Shaun Thompson

      We’re actually critiquing “Planes”, which we both did see. That’s the exact reason we’re not seeing “Planes: Fire & Rescue.” “Planes” was full of puns and unless I fell asleep, they actually did not explain what was inside the big airline jets. Glad you enjoyed it though – we clearly say we’re not the target demographic.

      • Richard Creel

        Airliners are full of CARS! This was in Cars 2. BTW, they would have wars for the same stupid reasons people do.

        • saphia

          1. There are NO people. The cars are all the animals and people. Did you not notice that insects are VW Bugs, that birds are paper airplanes, that deer are John Deeres, that cows are tractors?

          2. Flying on jets was also addressed in the first Planes. That’s how Dottie, Skipper, Chug and Sparky got to Mexico. They talked about getting on a jet several times and Skipper mentioned someone else was doing the flying.

          Planes 1 was a boring movie. Planes 2 was better. Cars was WAY better than either of these. Planes 1 was also supposed to be a straight to DVD movie. So not being great and having B-list voices makes a bit of sense. Keeping the same talent and not changing voices in the sequel also makes sense.

          If you’re going to pan a movie, that’s fine. But at least pan it for real reasons and not lazy things you didn’t notice.

          • saphia

            And Richard, I was actually replying to the above topic and agreeing with you. This was supposed to be more of an add-on to what you were saying.

          • Craig Williams

            I think we understand at this point that there are no people and the anthropomorphic cars are supposed to be the “people” while other various forms cars, trucks, tractors, planes, etc. are the rest of the world as we know it. However, when I watch it I am overanalyzing it because even though they are the “people” they shouldn’t be in the same situations as humans are in this day and age. Crop dusting corn to turn into better fuel? How did they even discover corn in the first place? Did Native American cars teach the pilgrim cars how to grow it? Is that even a part of history because cars weren’t invented yet?Did the cars build the planes and boats as transportation? The planes have doors because they can carry the cars, but why do the cars have doors if there are no humans? You see what I’m getting at here?

            And wars start for the same stupid reasons people do? So, you’re telling me that the American Civil War happened because of car slavery? Or once again are we back to that not happening at all because cars weren’t invented yet? But if it did happen, were the cars equipped with missile launchers, or were there tanks, or were there planes and boats doing all the fighting?

            I will admit, I only watched Cars 2 once in theaters so I did forget about the commercial airlines actually carrying the cars, but in Planes they really don’t address the commercial airlines. They do say that they travel while someone else is flying, but if I remember correctly they are getting on and off cargo planes, not commercial. So +1 for catching us on the Cars 2 airliners.

            At the end of the day, we panned the first film not the second and we gave 5 reasons for why we wouldn’t see the second based off of the first. On top of that we gave 5 legitimate reasons and can back all of them up even though we overlooked commercial airliners being explained before, but a lot of holes are listed above and if you want to argue that there aren’t holes then please answer all the things I questioned. Maybe I will give Planes: Fire & Rescue a shot because so many people are saying it was better, but I probably won’t until it hits Blu-ray.

          • 1K Ghost

            The American Civil War was an effort to keep the United States united, the union together. Or did you pan Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln and so you are not aware of that?

            Your sour tone comes across as bitter and distasteful. Perhaps there is an opening on a Universal message board?

          • Craig Williams

            Are you kidding? The Union fought to keep the country together because the South seceded to form the Confederacy and be content with their slaves? Pretty sure the Confederacy didn’t fight to keep everything together. There are two sides to these conflicts. Next time I will try to get all of my information from an attraction though so thanks for the tip. Just watched the Enchanted Tiki Room. Birds and flowers can sing. Who knew?

            I’m sour you don’t agree with my tone, but this is a blog (one that I co-wrote) stating my opinions on a website that helps people plan WDW, DL, DCL, ABD and Universal trips. So, yeah, maybe I will check out those message boards, that also are attached to this site but before that I have to go watch Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln! Ciao!

  • Kim

    I did not like Planes one bit and was disappointed to find out that a sequel was being made and not going straight to DVD. The grandparents took the kids — I won’t have to suffer through the sequel.

  • Kathy Werling

    I saw the movie yesterday with my grandson. We totally enjoyed it. I do appreciate your review!

  • skier_pete

    Conversation with my 11-year old daughter recently:over Planes Fire and Rescue
    Me: “We haven’t seen Planes yet. Shouldn’t we see Planes first?”
    Her: “But you said it was garbage”
    Me:”No, I said it LOOKS like garbage”

    BTW, I really liked the first Cars movie, and the 2nd one was OK.

  • Clare

    I totally just read this in Craig’s voice, which made it even better.

    I saw Planes (bought it on DVD when it was on offer). I doubt I’ll watch it again until I have children of my own- I couldn’t even tell you a single character, which is how little they made an impact on me.

    Your list made me laugh. I’ll join you in that!

  • Eric

    Just got back from seeing it with my daughters (11,13, and yes, the 19 year old). I have to admit I thoroughly enjoyed it. It was fun as a Dad to see a ‘boy’ movie with my girls, since I’ve taken them to so many ‘princess’ and ‘girl’ movies over the years. The movie moved fast, the scenery was breathtaking, some of the lines were very clever, and the ending was very satisfying. It had all the elements I needed to enjoy a couple of hours with the girls. The ‘plot holes’ hadn’t even occurred to me until I read Craig’s column. I know he has some points, but “Planes: Fire and Rescue” got 4 thumbs us from us, so in my mind that makes it a pretty darn good movie.

  • Scotty P

    While I’ll bet my kids will like the movie, I’m with you guys and I would guess we will likely wait for the DVD and save the $30 + popcorn and drinks. The original CARS was awesome and a cool new experience. The recycling of this franchise is not terribly interesting. The only reason we’d see it in the theater would be so the Grandparents could take the kids “out” to a movie, which is always an exciting experience for both kids and grandparents:). I know we’ll see it, I’ll bet the kids will like it but while I’ve seen the original CARS and several other Disney Movies (and enjoy viewing them multiple times), I could barely get through the original Planes and CARS2 was ‘ok’. Regardless, I’m always interested to see what Disney has to offer. As always, love the ‘reviews’ but the tagline to this post (Will little Johnny love this? Yes. Should you be a good parent and take him? Yes. Will you hate every minute? Yes.) is what makes it truly Craig and Shaun! Thanks gents!

  • Mrs D

    There is nothing about this movie that looks good. My kids have not asked to see it. We’ll spend the $1.20 and rent it on Redbox.

  • Alyssa

    We got a free ticket to this movie and needed a rainy day activity so we saw it. I did not like the first Planes movie at all but have to say this one was really cute. Give it a chance!

  • Paula Huntley

    We just returned home from seeing the movie. We were skeptical but we really did enjoy it.

  • Michael Schroeder

    I don’t even know where to start on this…why would someone who is described in his profile as “Grumpy and bitter on a regular basis.” even be involved in anything Disney? Even Grumpy the dwarf had a heart of gold. Disney is about wonder and joy and kindness. That’s why I LOVE Disney through and through. To start a “review” of a movie you didn’t see, based on the first one, with 5 reasons you wouldn’t see the new movie is not only cynical, but counter-productive…you’re actually discouraging people from seeing a movie that is quite good (and you haven’t even seen it yet).

    Disney stories teach life lessons…that’s why Disney chooses those stories. They are meant to be seen by adults with their children so those families have things to discuss after the movie. Also, sadly, when those poor parents who decided to “grow up” and not have fun like kids anymore use the Blu-ray player as a surrogate to watch their kids while the parents are doing “important grown-up stuff” at least the children will learn some excellent life lessons from talking planes and helicopters.

    If you actually watched the movie “Planes: Fire and Rescue” you would see a lovely story about smokejumpers and courage and choices and circumstances that force characters to make tough, painful decisions. You would also see a story about selfishness, disregard for the awesomeness of nature and how greed will ultimately destroy us all. Best of all, in a very short amount of time you get to know complex, deep characters who are doing what they love and are commited to their job (meaning the Fire and Rescue crew). If you know any smokejumpers in your life or have any experience with the danger they face then you will enjoy the story this movie tells.

    I loved the animation…the landscapes were amazing and so interesting…we’re always trying to see what new landforms appear in the Cars/Planes universe. Also, I LOVE the fact that I forget that I just learned a great life lesson from a talking helicopter, because it’s the story that drives the movie, and it’s definitely a story worth seeing. Life is full of wonder. Please don’t forget that.

    • Craig Williams

      Disney the brand might be about some of those adjectives, but the man behind the name wasn’t perfect and all of those things by any means, so let’s not get carried away by a funny description. This is clearly not a review and never did we say that we are writing a review of the movie, nor are we trying to persuade people to not see the movie. We are just stating 5 reasons why we aren’t seeing it

      I’m glad you got a lot out the movie and believe in the story it tried to teach. The first movie dealt with life lessons too about figuring out who you are, breaking boundaries, being honest among other clichés. A lot of other people are saying they got a lot out of the movie and enjoyed it, so I say good for them and good for you. I guess I just have a higher standard for Disney films.

      • Michael Schroeder

        Thanks for your response. I rarely comment online outside of like-ing Facebook posts of friends and family, so it still surprises me when someone I don’t know actually reads what I wrote and responds to it.
        At any rate, sure, Walt Disney had his flaws like all of us, but look at what he and his imagination and vision created for all of us! There are all kinds of people out there…some will go to Disneyland and see the cost and underbelly and machine parts and others will go and see the wonder. I’m a “wonder-seer”. Yup, I just made that word up, just now. This world would be such a poorer place if it had not been for Walt Disney.

        Back to your reply: the fact that you labeled “figuring out who you are, breaking boundaries and being honest” as cliché is EXACTLY why people should see this movie and others like it. Not only will it teach your supposed target audience of 4 to 10 year-olds about those exact life lessons and values (it won’t be cliché to them because they don’t even know what that is) but it might also “teach” the adults who join those fresh, young children at the movie a few things they either forgot or let slip into the abyss of cliché. Thanks again for your response. I hope lots of people choose to see the movie just because of our discussion about it.

  • Andre Foster

    I’m happy to see Craig wrote this. :)

  • Squirk

    I have no skin in the “Planes: Fire & Rescue” game; I have no desire to see it, and will go only if my kids ask me to take them. That having been said, I know that the “grumpy and bitter” angle is Craig’s thing, but at times, these blog posts just become snide and genuinely off-putting. This one is a prime example.

    • Shaun Thompson

      I’m not sure what you mean by “these posts” – I can only think of one other that had a similar tone and that would be our “Maleficent” review. We’ve done several others about movies and shows that we truly enjoyed. At the end of the day, this is meant to be a funny and sarcastic write-up about something that we don’t enjoy but totally understand that others do – and we clearly say that. If this is so off-putting to you, I would suggest just skipping it.

      • Squirk

        Thanks for the suggestion. Was one step ahead of you, actually.

  • Jenn

    I invite you to look at this from another perspective and perhaps, broaden your knowledge a bit. While I understand blogs are opinion pieces, I feel this article lacks any sort of background knowledge and is short sighted. My husband is a pilot and to him (well over the age of said demographic) Planes and it’s sequel was impressive from an aviation stand-point. I invite you to read this article on the first Planes movie as written by aviation experts, Disney spent a lot of time trying to make these planes as realistic as they could while making it entertaining at the same time. My husband mentioned to me that when the planes are flying their rudders, flaps, etc move like a real plane should. While I understand that no 5 year old will pick up on this, nor many 35 years olds for that matter, Disney wasn’t sloppy while creating these movies as you claim. In fact, took great strides to make things as realistic as possible. There was another article written in the print magazine of AOPA on the sequel, mentioning the same attention to detail but I cannot locate it online. My son (well within the age demographic) loved the first and second movie. It’s disheartening to see these days, that no matter what Disney does, they are criticized without real investigation or knowledge in the matter. I guess it’s trendy to criticize Disney these days.

    • Craig Williams

      If this was a blog dissecting Disney for its accuracy then I would definitely look at it from the aspect you suggested. I have no doubt that Planes is realistic in how the planes are actually flying and moving in the same way that Disney takes the time to study real animals like deer or lions when animating Bambi or The Lion King, respectively. The problem in terms of animation is that it just looks cheap and the reason for that is because it was produced under DisneyToon Studios like most of the terrible Disney sequels that were made in the 90’s and early 2000’s.

      Planes had a budget of 50 million dollars whereas Frozen had a budget of 150 million and Frozen shows how much better a movie can be when you invest 3 times the amount of money into it. The main criticism is Planes is a complete franchise based off of making a cheap movie that will easily make back production costs and then profit off of the merchandise that goes a long with it. Look at Frozen again – Frozen barely had any merchandise associated when it came out in theaters and now Disney is starting to catch up with the demand based on the popularity. However, Planes merchandise was packing shelves before the first movie came out and toys were already lined up for the sequel because they know they were going to sell.

      Disney set standards that they are not adhering to in terms of quality and that is why there was a big movement against no more DisneyToon sequels. Criticism itself can be positive or negative and people have been criticizing Disney since Walt himself started making his movies. This criticism does happen to be negative, but I wouldn’t say that is something I do because it is “trendy”. I am more than happy to be positive when something is done well and I am more than happy to be negative when something is done poorly, because I want to make sure the same mistakes aren’t made again.