Review of Disney’s Planes Movie for Families . . .
“From above the world of Cars” was the statement that piqued the interest of many Disney fans last year. We all know how popular Cars was/is, even inspiring an entire area of Disney California Adventure. The question was, though, how in the world were they going to make an interesting movie about planes? The answer is – they didn’t.
Before getting into the full review, I want to point out that I really, really wanted to like this movie. It pained me to write the following but, as I’ve had a hand in so much promotion of Disney movies lately, I felt it was only right to share my honest opinion of this one as well.
My family was sadly disappointed by Planes from start from finish. It was obvious that we weren’t the only ones who felt that way. In addition to the total silence during the whole showing, everyone that walked out of the theater looked somber and depressed. It was that bad. There was no humor. The storyline was completely predictable. Characters were unloveable and stereotypical. Music was forgettable.
As if the complete lack of personality wasn’t enough, the movie had strong overtones that were too obvious to miss. The basic idea was to do more than you were built for…and join the U.S. Navy. The latter part of the film appeared as nothing more than an advertisement for the military.
As a parent, it was quite disturbing how many of the characters would refer to death so casually. “I’m going to die!” “He’ll die!” “They all died!” “It will kill him!” “Oh, he’s dead!” Phrases such as this were mentioned repeatedly. Planes do crash and can be destroyed. However, now they were given life and feeling through animation, so just blowing them up isn’t so ‘okay’ any more.
In one part, the audience is taken to a full-out war in which a whole squadron ‘goes down’ except for one survivor. In another part, there’s an intense storm scene that basically lets a child know what it’s like to drown desperately in the middle of an ocean. Kind of bleak. Maybe that’s why the story artists felt it was important to add inappropriate comparisons of removing a crop duster to a vasectomy (high-pitched voice, the question of whether it’s reversible). Not quite the theme I was expecting ‘from the world of Cars’.
That was from an adult perspective. What about the kids? What did they think of it? On our way to the parking lot, I asked another mother how her small child liked it. Turns out that her five-year-old daughter fell asleep and the mom wished she could join her. The blank expressions on the faces of the other children in attendance lead me to believe they were less than thrilled with their 1-1/2 hour viewing experience as well.
Now, I did notice a whole slew of other bloggers saying how much they enjoyed Planes and how it was a ‘must see’ for families. I don’t know what they saw but it certainly wasn’t the same film we did. I generally try to find even the slightest positive point but I wasn’t even able to pinpoint one redeeming quality. Well, the animation was okay but nothing to ‘wow’ at. I’m just so sorry that this film was allowed to see the light of day, and in the name of Disney.
Disney’s Planes opens in theaters today. For more info check the social links below:
I was invited to a complimentary pre-screening and allowed to bring two guests. All opinions are 100% my own.