Planes is a 2013 3D computer animated sports adventure comedy film made by Disneytoon Studios. It is a spinoff to the Cars franchise made by Pixar, despite not being a Pixar movie, which is a common misconception made by people who watched the movie.
The movie starts with two jets soaring through the sky. From below comes Dusty Crophopper (Dane Cook). He challenges the two to a race but they ignore him and fly away. He then zooms right past them to their amazement, though he wakes up from this fantasy and it's shown he's just crop-dusting a field with his employer Leadbottom (Cedric The Entertainer). Dusty expresses his desire to enter the Wings Across The Globe race, a competition where planes fly all around the world, but Leadbottom thinks he's better off where he's at.
Dusty meets up with his best friend, a fuel truck named Chug (Brad Garrett). Together, they practice flying for the race, but Dusty accidentally burns himself out. Their forklift friend Dottie (Teri Hatcher) knows what he's been doing, and she thinks Dusty's gonna get himself killed if he tries to race. Chug suggests asking an older war veteran plane, Skipper Riley (Stacy Keach), to help Dusty practice. They go see Skipper, but he almost instantly turns Dusty away.
The next day, Dusty, Chug, and Dottie go to the qualifiers to enter Dusty. There, they spot reigning champion Ripslinger (Roger Craig Smith), showing off for his fans. When Dusty steps up to qualify, he is mocked for being a crop duster and coming from a farm. He surprises nearly everybody as he flies through the course with well-practiced maneuvers, but he only ends up placing sixth. He and his friends leave disappointed.
The forklift commentator Roper (Sinbad) goes to visit Dusty the next day to tell him that one of the racers, Fonzarelli, has been disqualified for using illegal fuel, putting Dusty in the race. Skipper finds Dusty and tries to talk him out of the race, but Dusty insists that he wants to prove that he is more than just a crop duster. This convinces Skipper to train him. They spend some time together practicing, which starts out awful. Although Dusty starts improving, it goes sour when Skipper tries to get him to fly above 1000 feet. Dusty gets dizzy when he looks down, and he must reveal to Skipper that he is afraid of heights. Skipper is baffled, but they continue practicing anyway.
The time comes for the race, with the first leg starting in New York going to Iceland. Dusty meets the eccentric Mexican plane El Chupacabra (Carlos Alazraquil; "El Chup" for short), who quickly becomes friends with Dusty. Dusty also becomes smitten by a plane from India named Ishani (Priyanka Chopra), while El Chup falls for French-Canadian Rochelle (Julia Louis-Dreyfus). The racers fly off to Iceland, but since Dusty refuses to fly high with everybody else, he is in last place.
The second leg has the racers fly to Germany. A British plane named Bulldog (John Cleese) is blinded when oil from his propellers squirts in his eye. Dusty guides him down to safety, which earns him Bulldog's respect, but he is still in last place. The third leg takes them to India, where at one point, Dusty and Ishani have a romantic fly around the area. Ishani knows that she has fans who are counting on her to win. She offers some advice to Dusty on flying through a tunnel for the next leg, which has the racers fly to Nepal. Dusty encounters a tunnel and almost collides head-on with a train. He blacks out for a while, landing in Nepal, initially thinking he is dead. Turns out he has managed to place first. The other racers come in, and Dusty notices that Ishani has a new propeller from Ripslinger, leading him to realize she was setting him up for a loss. Ripslinger himself is displeased when he learns that he is now second behind Dusty.
When the racers land in Shanghai, El Chup expresses to Dusty that he is having trouble winning over Rochelle. She is not impressed with his pompous attempts at winning her over. He tries to serenade her with an aggressive rendition of "Love Machine", but Dusty tells him to take it down a notch. Some cars pull in and play a softer version of the song with El Chup singing along. This gets Rochelle's attention.
On the way to the next location, El Chup comes to Dusty with multiple lipstick stains on his face, meaning he and Rochelle are now together. The racers take off over the Pacific Ocean. While Dusty is flying, Ripslinger has his two henchmen, Ned and Zed (Gabriel Iglesias), sabotage Dusty by taking out his navigation antenna, leaving him lost across the ocean. He begins to run low on fuel as he is picked up by a group of planes known as the Jolly Wrenches. They take him to their carrier ship, the USS Flysinhower, where he lands and is able to refuel. He spots a wall of famed flyers, and starts looking for Skipper. He spots him but is surprised to see he only has one badge from one mission. He gets in touch with Chug and Dottie, who tell him that they are going to meet him in Mexico since Chug and Skipper's forklift Sparky (Dan Mann) have sold a lot of Dusty-themed merchandise. Dusty tries to ask Skipper about why he only has one mission logged, but Skipper avoids answering. The Jolly Wrenches make him fly out of there to beat the oncoming storm.
While flying in the storm, Dusty is distracted when he thinks about Skipper and he crashes into the ocean. He is rescued and is met by his friends. However, he is badly damaged and is told he must pull out of the race. He confronts Skipper about the one mission, and it is revealed that on Skipper's first mission, his entire squadron was killed in an ambush from an enemy battleship. Dusty then considers dropping out of the race, but Chug and Dottie encourage him to continue. Additionally, the fellow racers (sans Ripslinger, of course) offer repair parts for Dusty so that he may continue to race alongside them. Dusty is fixed up and looking brand new, ready to re-enter.
On the final leg, Dusty manages to outfly the other racers, coming in behind Ripslinger and Ned & Zed. Ripslinger has his goons go sabotage Dusty again, but Skipper flies in to protect Dusty. He gets Ned and Zed away from him, leaving him to catch up with Ripslinger. Dusty starts losing power, forcing him to tackle his fear of heights and soar high above Ripslinger. When they make it to the end of the track, Ripslinger slows down to pose for cameras, giving Dusty the opportunity to fly past him and cross the finish line. In his surprise, Ripslinger flies into porta-potties, leaving him humiliated. Everybody celebrates Dusty's victory, including Ishani, El Chup, and the other racers.
Skipper rejoins the Navy, and Dusty is made an honorary Jolly Wrench. The two take off and race each other across the ocean.
- Rushed, poorly executed and seriously overused story.
- On that topic, it is also almost similar in structure to its predecessor, Cars.
- Unnecessary sideplots.
- Underdeveloped and unlikable characters (Besides Skipper)
- Blatant stereotypes.
- It's obviously trying to cash in on the Cars brand.
- Annoying voice acting.
- Good animation.
- Skipper is an actually well developed character unlike everyone else.
- The idea of making a vehicle film similar to Cars was pretty interesting.
- The action and some scenes are actually awesome.
- The sequel, Planes: Fire and Rescue, is better.
- Despite the acting being annoying, it’s still good.
The review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reported a 25% approval rating with an average rating of 4.6/10 based on 115 reviews. The website's consensus reads, "Planes has enough bright colors, goofy voices, and slick animation to distract some young viewers for 92 minutes -- and probably sell plenty of toys in the bargain -- but on nearly every other level, it's a Disney disappointment." Another review aggregator, Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 top reviews from mainstream critics, calculated a score of 39 based on 32 reviews, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews". However, the film earned an A− from audiences polled by CinemaScore.