Thoughts on the Movie Planes

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Like many of you, we have been counting down the weeks/days until the Disney movie Planes came out! We are big fans of many of these types of Disney movies, and obviously we are big fans of planes in general. To be honest, I was even excited about all the Planes memorabilia that would inevitably make its way into our house. So, we made a date with another family and bought tickets to opening night at a local theater that also serves food…and beer (the best combo for movies!). The day finally arrived, and last night we took two very excited 3 1/2 year old girls to see Planes!


Since I know many of you will be doing the same, here are a few thoughts:

  • Not surprisingly, it is very much like the movie Cars. In fact, a few minor characters from Cars make appearances in this movie. If your kiddo liked Cars, there is a good chance they will like this one.
  • There is a bunch of flying/racing in this movie. Again, this isn’t surprising, but I think some of the younger crew can start to get a little bored while the planes are just flying around in the clouds.
  • Our kids filled some of that flying time by “flying” their own die-cast Planes characters during the race scenes, so consider bringing a Planes toy or two if you have them.
  • Some planes do get shot down during a memory of WWII, so just be aware if that will upset your kiddos.
  • Get popcorn. Popcorn works magic to keep little mouths quiet and keep kids occupied during slow parts.
  • Even on opening night at a theater that also serves beer, almost all in attendance had kids with them, so don’t worry too much if your kid isn’t 100% silent during the movie, you won’t be the only one.
  • Here are some more tips for taking young kids to see movies from a post I wrote after C saw her very first movie a few years ago.

I though the lead character, a crop-duster named Dusty, was cute. I also liked his mentor, a WWII F4U Corsair fighter aircraft named Skipper. However, though I wanted to love the movie, it is just okay. It was originally supposed to be direct to DVD, and while I’m glad they brought it to the “big screen” since we did have a ton of fun going to see it last night, it isn’t near as good of a movie as Cars. The characters just aren’t as developed, the story line isn’t as interesting, and it never really drew you in. Of course, we are talking about a kid’s cartoon here, so it really is okay that it wasn’t amazing.

If you like planes and your kid wants to see the movie, then I would go and have a good time. It is visually impressive and it wasn’t terrible, it just wasn’t that great. It was kind of like Cars 2, but without you already being somewhat invested in the characters from Cars. We’ll still get some of the toys because planes themselves are awesome, but I recommend going into the movie with appropriate expectations. Have fun!

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  1. The 3D version of the movie is shown only once daily at my neighborhood theater, at a very-early 9:40 AM time. Strange.

    Interesting that the trailer shows very brief shots of various locations, including (I believe) Istanbul, NYC and Utah(?). Probably more, but I didn’t go back to count them.

    And, the trailer has not a single spoken word.

  2. MP, that movie was … not very good, and I usually like anything. I also noticed the heavy dose of one world airlines.

  3. Not seen this yet and will probably end up watching it on a plane. Cars wasn’t anyhting more than just okay as it was such a blatant rip off of the Michael J Fox movie Doc Hollywood.

  4. A 25% rotten rating on Rotten Tomatoes, no thanks. While technically not a Pixar film, that studio has gone downhill since Steve Jobs sold them to Disney.

  5. I had to take my 2 boys since they’ve been dreaming about this movie since they saw the trailer. However, I was expecting much more. They tried to copy the movie Cars with a very similar story but something was missing. Also, the original Cars movie was 116 minutes long while Planes is only 92 minutes clearly showing they ran out of ideas while making this movie. Now is wait and see for the next “Cars wanna be movies”: Boats? Trucks? Bikes? I hope they start being a little more creative.

  6. Why dont kids (and yes adults too) ever just try to sneak snacks into the movies and then actually want them instead of what they sell there?
    Planes–My kids had to be only ones on the block–in the town, in the state, world, etc to just not care about the movie, Cars. Seems everybody else, even in other countries, did. Nothing against it, it just didn’t appeal to them. Who knows why. I know it was a creative film and every kid has a T-shirt or a toy from it. We even have the DVD but they only ever got half way through.
    But when Planes came out Aug 9, daddy took them both to go see it. Somehow it looked better and offered a second chance… Gotta see if it was just an age thing. Besides we fly enough so why not.
    $55 later, with oversized drinks loaded with so much sugar that they probably lead to obesity and popcorn so costly it’s a good thing they took MasterCard, we put on our 3-D glasses to watch.
    We don’t really go to the movies at all (above economics and health issues are mainly why) -we can watch things at home and actually use the money saved to fly somewhere neat– but why not this one time! Why not be one of the families to see a new Disney film on the day of its release in our area. It had been raining anyway so we took in the not crowded 5:30pm showing.
    3-D makes it cool and both kids recalled being in the theater in Disney World watching the 3-D presentation there. Here, the theater lets you keep the glasses and well, kids like stuff.
    The story line was easy to follow–a crop duster plane dreams to become a race plane and soon tries out for a round the world competition. The graphics and sounds were pretty cool, and while I’ve always been more a fan of old school cartooning, the computer generated animation was spot on, as expected. Big screen with great sound helped.
    Our hero, Dusty the crop duster gets help from his ground crew of vehicles and an old war plane that teaches him all the tricks of flight. During his journey in the race he meets many planes from all over the world. There’s romance between male and female planes from different countries (in a cute way) and of course, a villain who tries to sabotage Dusty, our underdog.
    I do think the movie, while animated to the liking of 4 and above, appealed more to say 8-10 year olds. Like so many Disney films since Toy Story, it had lots of humorous bits that subtly apply to adults too. My kids are 5&7 and they liked it but they actually haven’t been buzzing around the back yard pretending to fly ever since. Even at the beach the other day when a bi plane was flying above the water doing flips and tricks, it was me who had to remind them that was like Planes, not the other way around. If anything, it’s possible I liked the film more than they did.
    The best part about the movie is that there are both planes AND cars in it–so if you didn’t see Cars now you kinda don’t have to.
    With lots of action that got going right away, no scary bits, and a great message for how to be in life while doing what you enjoy, I give it a 7 out of 10.

  7. FYI- Our local Sunday paper did not give this movie a very good rating. In fact, it called it a 90 minute commercial for “Plane toys”. YMMV —–

  8. This (Sunday) morning I attended our local 940 AM showing. There were only 3 people in the audience.

    Interesting that the shot of Istanbul in the trailer was not included in the version of the movie that I saw.

    Also that the dramatic landscape of Monument Valley / Utah evidently is located somewhere between Yucatan(?) and New York City.

    And, great circle map routes don’t exist in movies for children, only straight-line routes.

    For adults, even FTer adults, this is a skippable movie.

  9. Totally agree with the sentiment that this movie is probably not worth going to the theater to see for adults…with kids it can still be fun even without being fantastic. It wasn’t amazing, but we did still all have a great time.

  10. Saw it over the weekend with my 4 year old daughter and she was pretty bored. And she LOVES all things aviation-related most of the time and generally loves going to the movies. It just wasn’t a great film. Luckily, we only paid a matinee price!

  11. Just wondering if you can use Bluebird to PAY your taxes. Here’s the idea don’t have any federal or state taxes withheld from wages but, instead, pay them each month using Bluebird. Great churn opportunity IF it works. Anyone know if you can pay your federal income taxes, state income taxes, property taxes, etc. with it?

  12. Hello, I really loved your advice about taking small kids to movies…we have a 2.5 year old and we have never tried watching movie with her. We might try this…do you have similar advise about taking our 2.5 year old on a 7 day cruise. and what should we do to keep her happy and busy and have a good time for us as well…

    • Nick, I have never been on a cruise myself, but I know that many cruise ships offer lots of activities for younger kids. I would try to focus on those ships and then there should be a huge amount of activities for the kiddos to stay happy. Swimming, coloring, children’s centers (aka kid’s club), and more. Disney has some cruises that would be perfect, but other cruise lines have kid activities as well.

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