My opinion right after watching the film
Well, it has been two and a half years since I have watched this film, and my opinion still stands on it. I still think that it is boring and dry, with no substance whatsoever. I did not even notice the racial stereotypes when I watched it then, but I most certainly do now.
Chief creative officer John Lasseter was inspired by the concept of Cars, and created one based on Planes. The studio did not want to recreate the concept, world, and setting with Planes, so they interviewed a bunch of pilots. Apparently, John Cryer was supposed to voice Dusty, but he ended up being replaced by Dane Cook for some reason.
This is going to be very short because I do not want to spend much time summarizing a boring piece of crap like this. The crop duster Dusty (Dane Cook) has a day dream of racing with a bunch of other planes, only for reality to hit in that he is dusting crops. He is told by his mechanic Dottie (Teri Hatchet) that he has damaged his engine due to excessive speeds caused by racing, especially since cropdusters generally have low speeds. The Wings Across the Globe race’s qualifiers are coming up, so he decides to prepare for it. We instantly skip the character developing training montage, as he is assisted by Skipper (Stacy Keach), who was an all-time racer back in his day I believe. It pisses me off that they go right to the race, and they instantly skip out on a moment where we could have seen a bit more depth of the character, only to go right to the race, which takes up 3/4 of the film in the minimum.
Skipper tries to get Dusty to quit the race, but he refuses. There is another issue that Dusty is facing; he is afraid of heights, and dustcroppers only fly a few feet from the ground……. So a plane……. is afraid of heights……… but wants to be a racer……….. which involves flying varying speeds and varying heights…… Are you serious? This literally makes no sense. Anything for plot convenience I guess… His fear of heights causes him to fly low, which causes him to get last place in the first leg from New York to Iceland. It is around this time that he falls in love with the indian Ishani (Priyanka Chopra), meets a mexican El Chupacabra (Carlos Alazraqui), and ends up becoming a rival to the obvious villain Ripslinger (Roger Craig Smith), who is a 3-time winner. I have written an essay that race in animated films, and I also discussed how anthropomorphic characters often are tied to racial stereotypes, which evaluates why I dislike the racial stereotypes in this film. Dusty saves a british plane (who says he does not cry because he is british) named Bulldog (John Cleese), which is why he ends up being last, as well as flying slow.
After arriving in India, Ishani and Dusty fly together and bond over people expecting them to win, and blah, blah blah. During the next race to China, Ishani sets Dusty up to fly through the Himiyalas to get a new propeller from Ripslinger to do better, but everyone is shocked when he flies through the tunnel, and snatches first. Of course he is mad at her, and I do not feel bad, because I do not care, since these characters are so damn flat.
I don’t care anymore to describe this film. Dusty gets repaired, him and Skipper reunite and thwart Ripslinger’s plans of sabotage, and ends up winning due to the enemy slowing down to take pictures. Everyone congratulates Dusty, and he flies off with Skipper, since he can now fly. Wooo flipping hoo.
Flat, thin, nothing to care for, and are often racial stereotypes.
The animation is pretty good. The planes and stuff look like planes, the lighting hits them nicely, the backgrounds are decent, and the motion is good (though could be better). The one issue I have with it is that it could have used A LOT more detail. Just because this area is good, does not account for everything else to suck.
While the music is unmemorable, it is not really bad. When they travel to a different place, it switches to that type of music, like playing Indian music in India, and so on. It is soothing when it is just calm flying, and intense music when the flying scenes are getting crazy. Decent, but you wont remember it much.
Reception at Release
When the film was released on August 9th, 2013, it underperformed with a domestic total of $90,288,712, and $148,970,000 elsewhere, for a total of $239,258,712. I guess it made DisneyToons a bit of change.
It was critically panned for having the same quality of a typical DisneyToons cheapquel, but was still released in theaters, and also ripping off the mixed received Cars franchise from Pixar. Disney had the DAMN NERVE to greenlit a sequel to be released BEFORE THIS MOVIE WAS EVEN RELEASED.
From what I call, it is still close to being universally panned.
21/40 = 53%