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Disney's Planes (2013) - Movie Review for Parents

About.com Rating 3.5 Star Rating


Photo © Disney

Bottom line: Disney's Planes does not fly as high as other more original Pixar films, but the movie has a nice message for kids and plenty of kid-friendly action.

MPAA Rating: PG, for some mild action and rude humor
Guide age recommendation: 4+
Genre: Animation/Adventure
Runtime: Approx. 92 minutes
Release Date: August 9, 2013

Disney's Planes - Overview

As Dusty faithfully goes about his job dusting crops, flying low over endless fields of growing things, he dreams about being a world class air racer. Dusty wasn't built for racing, of course, but that doesn't stop him from trying. Encouraged by his best friend Chug, a good-natured fuel truck, Dusty spends his spare time practicing and pretending.

Dottie, the forklift and ace mechanic who usually ends up fixing up Dusty when his racing taxes his engine, does not approve of his attempts to be something he wasn't built for. So when she finds out that he actually plans to try out for a world wide racing competition, she is not a fan of the idea. Still determined, Dusty convinces Skipper, an ex-Navy Corsair fighter jet who has been grounded for years, to be his coach.

Surprisingly, Dusty the single-prop crop plane qualifies for the race and embarks on the demanding journey around the world. His friends, even Dottie, pull together to support him. But Dusty finds out that racing is about a lot more than just speed. While he masterfully uses the skills Skipper taught him, he finds out that some of the big-time racers don't play fair, and other times his choices to do what's right over winning put him in the "nice guys finish last" position. But despite all of his challenges, Dusty has never been one to give up.

Disney's Planes - Guide Review for Parents

Disney's Planes tells a solid, though predictable, story and has a nice message for kids. While parents may find the movie to be a bit of a yawn, they will appreciate Dusty's willingness to help others in danger despite the fact that his good deeds might cost him the race. The old golden rule is upheld when Dusty's friends come to his aid when he needs it most. The interesting characters of the Planes world, exciting race action and some really beautiful animated moments come together to support the story and add charm to the film.

The movie contains some violence and suspenseful scenes. Some planes try to cheat by sabotaging other planes, obviously, and the resulting crashes result in some bumps and bruises for the planes. The not so sportsmanlike competitive nature of some racers also includes the lobbing of some mild insults and threats. Some rude words like "moron" are used, and some plays on words get close to offensive phrases, such as saying a plane "kicked Aston Martin." For more detailed information about the content in this film, please see the overview below.

Disney's Planes - Content Overview

*May contain spoilers.

  • Violence (Medium): While this movie contains plane-related violence throughout, none of the violence involves humans, and it doesn't even come close to the violence shown in the G-rated Cars 2. The most intense scenes in the movie involve plane crashes in which planes sustain varying degrees of damage. A flashback shows a war-time scene in which several planes are shot down by the enemy and we learn only one survived. Some of these scenes could be intense for very young viewers. But, while the planes find themselves in peril or with different injuries, they aren't shown to be in intense pain and the main character planes are fixed up and able to fly again.
  • Scary Scenes (Medium): Some very young viewers may find the Planes' perilous situations a bit scary or suspenseful.
  • Sex/Nudity (Low): El Chupacabra, the plane from Mexico, falls in love with a girl racer plane and hits on her with cheesy pick-up lines throughout the movie. She eventually falls for him as well, and they flirt with each other constantly.
  • Drugs and Alcohol (None)
  • Language (Low): A few rude words such as "moron" and "punk" are used throughout the film. Some play on words are used that sound like colorful phrases, like "he kicked Aston Martin."
  • Disrespectful/Imitative Behavior (Extreme): Some racers lie, misrepresent, sabotage other racers and act snobbish or rude. One main character embellishes stories about his past and jeopardizes his friendship with another plane. Big time racers make fun of Dusty because of what he is and where he's from.

  • Sad/Unsettling Scenes (Medium): Scenes about Skipper's war past, where he loses all of his team in a recon mission gone bad, could be sad or unsettling to young kids.
  • Movie Topics Kids Might Have Questions About: sportsmanship, doing the right thing even if it means you won't win, cheating, sabotage, bullying, wars, competition
Disclosure: The studio provided a free screening of this movie for review purposes. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.
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