I was fortunate enough to catch a very advanced screening of Planes at the magical place it was created, DisneyToon Studios. I went behind the scenes and learned so much about what it took to put this animated adventure together. Disney’s magic and plenty of pixie dust are sprinkled throughout this high-flying, family-friendly adventure.
Dusty (voice of Dane Cook) is a crop duster from Propwash Junction, he has high hopes – literally. Dusty is a single-prop crop duster with big dreams. He sees himself soaring through the skies along side some of his high-flying heroes in an international race, high in the sky. Dusty has an unusual fear, for a plane; he’s afraid of heights, but his determination and willingness to pursue his dreams won’t keep Dusty flying low for very long.
Dane Cook, who was called on to provide the voice of Dusty, also sees a connection with his character. “As a kid, it took me a lot of years to find my place, my voice,” says Cook. “I couldn’t even speak in class—I was afraid to put my hand up and yet I wanted to entertain the world. My journey—much like Dusty’s—was one of digging down deep and finding something inside myself that would help me to exceed my own expectations.”
Look, I am more than just a crop duster.
- Dusty, “Disney’s Planes“
With help from Dusty’s trusty fork-list mechanic, Dottie (voice of Teri Hatcher) and a reclusive old Navy Corsair, Skipper Riley (voice of Stacy Keach). Dusty is pushed above his comfort zone, in more ways than one.
It’s not how fast you fly, it is how you fly fast.
-Skipper, – “Disney’s Planes“
Skipper was an instructor of the famed Jolly Wrenches squadron, up until an unfortunate accident grounded him indefinitely. Skipper, who has never really come to terms with his unfortunate past—finds that he has some things to learn, too, and while coaching Dusty to fly faster and smarter, the teacher somehow becomes the student. It’s an impressive evolution.
As Skipper teaches Dusty to learn to fly above 1,000 ft., Dusty trains to become the fastest air racer in the world. Dusty becomes more than what he was built for, and encounters many diverse personalities along the way; some aren’t as friendly as others. But everyone he encounters teaches him something valuable and Dusty is taught some valuable lessons. Disney’s Planes is a real underdog story, one that will encourage you to overcome your fears or to climb over obstacles in your own life.
Planes is chock-full of hard to forget characters, but one of my favorite characters, by far, was the intensely charming El Chupacabra (voice of Carlos Alazraqui). I got to sit down with the voice of El Chupacabra; watch for that post next week. El Chu is a legend in Mexico. According to Art Hernandez, story artist for the film, “El Chu is over the top. He’s big, he’s got a lot of bravado and—it’s not that he’s full of himself, exactly—he’s definitely confident. He’s a star of telenovelas and a recording artist. His face is on lunchboxes across Mexico. He’s the indoor racing champion of the world.” El Chupacabra quickly turned into one of my favorite characters. You’ll see why when you watch. El Chu is a true friend, funny, and full of himself.
Disney’s Planes is a high-flying good time for the entire family. We are taking our 2-year old and our nearly 6-year old to see this animated adventure. Planes is rated PG, but I didn’t see anything in it that I would think could be scary for my two young children. My husband and I even invited his parents to go with us. My father-in-law was in the AirForce, and I know he’ll enjoy the military tributes weaved throughout this film.
I highly recommend Planes for all ages. Everyone will love this all-new big-screen adventure. Buckle up and enjoy because you and your family will take a high-flying ride around the world. You’ll visit majestic India and fly over the Taj Mahal, soar over Iceland and Germany, you’ll even visit Mexico, where El Chupacabra is from.
Disney’s Planes has landed in theaters nationwide. See it in 3D today!
More Disney’s Planes posts:
- Meeting a Disney’s PLANES animator.
- Peek inside Disney’s PLANES recording booth.
- Q&A with Director Klay Hall & Producer Traci Balthazor-Flynn for Disney’s PLANES.