I knew that Planes was in the same vein as Cars and Cars 2 before I saw it, but I didn't know it was in the same "universe" as those movies as well - there's many cars in the movie, some of which I believe were from the other movies, and the landscape/background is the same. I liked Planes a lot more than Cars 2, but unfortunately it's one of those Disney movies that was just "okay," even though I will say that the 3D in it was incredible, and maybe the best I've ever seen.
Dusty Crophopper (voiced by Dane Cook) is bored with his job as a crop duster; his real passion is racing. He decides to enter the prelims for a racing competition, even though he's made fun of by the other planes for being a crop duster, and he's bummed when he comes in 6th, as only the top five get to continue on to the finals. He and his friends soon find out that the 5th place winner had been taking some "illegal fuel injections" (read: steroids ... ha!), and he now gets to be included in the race. There's only one problem, though: the race is a worldwide journey, and he's afraid of heights. With the help of his friends Skipper (Stacy Keach), Chug (Brad Garrett), and Dottie (Terri Hatcher), he will train for the race as best he can, and have a shot at winning the entire thing.
The voice cast in this movie is very varied, and a bit hard to place while you're listening to them. I was thinking that Skyler Astin was the voice of Dusty, but it's actually Dane Cook. Brad Garrett (Everybody Loves Raymond), Terri Hatcher, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, John Cleese, Cedric the Entertainer, Sinbad, Val Kilmer ... the list goes on. I also loved how some of the jokes in the movie were ones that the kids will laugh at, but are more made for adults - for example, when the British race plane is first shown, its sidekick/fuel helper is drinking a cup of tea while they talk (something that is a very British thing to do). Disney has always been very good at that, and this movie is no exception.
Yes, see this movie, but be aware it has my lowest Yes rating (3 out of 5 stars). It was very cute, but not the best Disney movie I have seen - and, surprisingly, Pixar had no involvement with this movie. I will say to definitely see it in 3D, though, as the aerial shots were amazing in 3D - it almost felt like I was on a roller coaster at times, and it might be some of the best 3D I've ever seen, although the aerial scenes easily lend themselves to greatness in 3D. Planes is good for a cute summer "popcorn flick," but it's probably not one I will rewatch, even though the story was interesting enough.
Planes is in theaters August 9th, and is rated PG with a runtime of 92 minutes. 3 stars out of 5.