Director: Klay Hall
Cast: Dane Cook, Stacy Keach, Carlos Alazraqui, Priyanka Chopra
Disney’s new 3D animation Planes has everything to entertain the kids right from colourful planes, to swanky races and aerial action over swirling oceans and impressive landscapes. Although the plot is predictable and involves the triumph of the protagonist against all odds, the animation is replete with the message that a fair and just competition can also be friendly competition and need not involve jealousy and sabotage.
While Planes seems to fall short of Disney’s previous venture Cars and has been hailed as a rip off by many, it does not fail to entertain. Comedian Dane Cook infuses life into the lead character of Dusty, a crop duster plane that dreams of being in the big league and racing across the globe in spite of his fear of heights. With help from a WW2 veteran plane Skipper and friends Chug (Brad Garrett) and mechanic Dottie (Teri Hatcher), Dusty participates in the international flying race Wings around the Globe to compete against planes from all over the world.
While the more powerful planes fly high, Dusty flies low over the ocean and takes the railway route instead of taking on the Himalayas because of his fear of heights. With breathtaking visuals and Dusty’s unrelenting spirit, this film is sure to win the hearts of the young audiences although it does not entirely capitalize on 3D.
The addition of international planes brings a motley group of characters to the film from the British Bulldog (John Cleese) to the smitten Mexican El Chupacabra (Carlos Alazraqui) and our very own Priyanka Chopra as the Indian Ishani among others. While Priyanka’s accent is not stereotypically Indian, the film strategically uses a repetitive sitar strain to mark her entry and also regales the Indian audience with an aerial scene over the Taj Mahal with Rehman’s Tere Bina from Guru in the background. Incidentally, Priyanka has also lent her voice for the song ‘Fly High’.
In the end, Dusty is not just the farm boy or the underdog who triumphs against all odds and cunning, but also the plane that achieves more than what ‘he is built for’. While the film encourages its viewers to not be deterred by skepticism in following their dreams, it also emphasizes the importance of empathy over a selfish victory.