FASTEN your seatbelts and settle into your seat, because this is one ride into the skies you will really enjoy.
Disney’s latest animated adventure is a spin-off from Pixar’s Cars series. Made by DisneyToon, Planes was oiginally due to be a straight-to-video release, but it was given the passport to fly onto the big screen after film bosses were impressed with the completed sequences.
The “classic underdog story” follows Dusty Crophopper (Dane Cook), a crop duster who applies fertiliser at a cornfield but harbours high hopes to soar and compete alongside his high-flying heroes in an international race.
Dusty decides to enter for qualifiers in the Wings Across The World competition under the moniker Strut Jetstream and, despite being mocked for his lack of racing ability, he makes it through to the race with his flight manoeuvres.
“Dusty, you’re going up against the best racers in the world,” says his mentor, reclusive war plane Skipper Riley (Stacy Keach).
“Well, he’s gonna die,” his forklift-mechanic friend Dottie (Teri Hatcher) adds.
After admitting he is scared of heights, Skipper trains Dusty to make the most of his speed and agility with his size, while Dottie ensures his parts are all up to speed for optimum performance.
“It ain’t how fast you fly, it’s how you fly it fast. You can fly a whole lot higher than you think,” advises Skipper.
At the start of the race, where “only the best of the best compete”, Dusty becomes friends with Mexican race-plane El Chupacabra (Carlos Alazraqui).
“We will have many adventures. We will laugh, we will cry, we will dance - probably not with each other,” says the crazy Chupacabra.
Attracted to Indian racer plane Ishani (Priyanka Chopra) and befriending British racer Bulldog (John Cleese), Dusty also finds a rival with three-time winner Ripslinger (Roger Craig Smith), who dismisses him as a “farmboy” and sets out to sabotage his chances of winning.
“You think you can beat me?” he laughs scornfully.
As the participants jet across the world from New York to Iceland, Shanghai and Mexico, Dusty has to overcome many obstacles as well as his fear of heights, while learning about the true meaning of friendship.
The plot may seem rather predictable and all-too-familiar unlike Cars, but with colourful animated aerial sequences and high-flying humour, Planes is a fun, family-friendly film with some laugh-out-loud and touching moments.
So take flight - there may be some bumpy moments and turbulence throughout the ride, but Planes touches down with a smooth landing.
My rating 8.5/10
Check you local cinema for show times.