As with Cloudy With a Chance of Meat Balls 2, Planes is targeted only at children. If my five-year-old is representative, there is enough in the way of bright colors and quirky characters to entertain its target audience.
But that’s about all it has going for it.
Even the lead character, Dusty, has little personality. His path is too predictable to hold much attention, and the relationships he develops all come too easily, after just one or two actions.
Then there are the side characters. A clunky romance never gets off the ground, as it were, and a bitter rival, Ripslinger, needs more treatment to generate interest. Although, in Ripslinger’s defense, I suppose, he is the least frightening antagonist I can ever remember seeing in an animated feature.
The characters are all bland. So is the predictable plot that mostly mirrors Cars (2005), except that it lacks the original’s charm.
And the lessons are all easy, cookie cutter, obvious from the moment the movie opens to the moment it ends.
So it is that I imagine Planes will be a film preschoolers can enjoy when they’re young. When they’re older and they watch it again out of nostalgia, they’ll wonder, “How did I ever like this?”