Will little Johnny love this? Yes. Should you be a good parent and take him? Yes. Will you hate every minute? Yes.
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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