Not Quite Top Fun
Dusty Crophopper is an ambitious young crop-dusting plane who whether he is out spraying fertilizer or stuck in the hanger aspires to be a top racing plane. The trouble is that whilst Dusty may have some neat low level flying skills he is afraid of soaring high, a big issue he will have to over come if he is going to achieve his dreams. Fortunately in his corner there is Skipper Riley, a Corsair, with a successful past to mentor him and a ground crew of misfits to support him when eventually he enters a major flying competition.
There is a simple fact of business when it comes to movies; when a studio has a hit on their hands there is guaranteed to be a few similar movies. It is something which often happens in animations as at one point every animation was about talking animals, or at least it felt that way. So to be honest after the success of "Cars", a movie which turned a decent profit but also lead to bigger profits through merchandising, that someone would come up with another talking vehicle movie and so we got "Planes".
But "Planes" has issues and one of them is that too much of it feels like it is trying to deliver very similar quirky characters to "Cars" and that makes it feel too much of a copycat. Maybe the intention was to make it part of the same animated vehicular universe but unfortunately chirpy planes and gruff voiced mentors ends up as cliche as quirky back water town ground crew.
The thing is that "Planes" isn't actually a bad movie and for a young audience it delivers plenty of typical animated fun. On top of that whilst it is lacking some the visual creative detail of say "Cars" the actual animation work is nice as is the story. The trouble is that for grown ups it offers very little of the sort of things which makes it an animation which works on different levels for the family.
What this all boils sown to is that "Planes" whilst not a bad animation for a younger audience it doesn't offer a lot for a grown up audience. And truth be told "Planes" feels like a movie made to capitalize on the popularity of "Cars" with it ending up very similar but not as good.