We’re only a couple of days away from the release date of Disney’s Planes in theaters (August 9), and already, the early reviews aren’t painting a pretty picture. Directed by DisneyToon Studios veteran Klay Hall, the film has so far generated a low 23% rating on review compilation site rottentomatoes.com. Here is a sampling of trade reviews:
“While visually engaging, this production of Disneytoon Studios—it was originally slated to go direct-to-DVD —lacks the sort of character depth and dramatic scope normally associated with the Pixar brand. … Theatrically, given the crowded animated feature marketplace, Planes should do solid if unspectacular business — provided audiences don’t mind some overlapping plot and character similarities also shared with the recent Turbo and Despicable Me…As shameless an attempt by Disney to sell more bedspreads to the under-10s as Planes is, it nonetheless manages to be a minor lark that will at least mildly amuse anyone who ever thrust their arms outward and pretended to soar over the landscape.” — The Hollywood Reporter
“Planes is so overrun with broad cultural stereotypes that it should come with free ethnic-sensitivity training for especially impressionable kids.” — The Wrap
“Little ones will love the bright action scenes, but the lack of wit and humanity that makes exec producer John Lasseter’s best work so special will leave grown-ups feeling frustratingly grounded.” — Total Film
“Strangest is the film’s tendency toward racial stereotyping, which comes off as breezily silly at best and downright insensitive at worst (Cedric the Entertainer voices a Southern-accented laze-about biplane named Leadbottom). — Time Out New York
Directed by aviation enthusiast Klay Hall (King of the Hill, The Simpsons), and produced by Traci Balthazor-Flynn, Disney’s Planes features the voices of Dane Cook, Stacy Keach, Brad Garrett, Teri Hatcher, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Priyanka Chopra, John Cleese, Cedric the Entertainer, Carlos Alazraqui, Anthony Edwards, Val Kilmer, Sinbad and John Ratzenberger. The pic centers on Dusty Crophopper who dreams of competing as a high-flying racer.