Parents' Guide to

Planes

By Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 5+

Airborne adventure is OK for a few laughs; some stereotypes.

Movie PG 2013 92 minutes
Planes Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 5+

Based on 10 parent reviews

age 4+

Boring and misogynistic

Nope. In the opening scene where two male planes are insulted by our ‘hero’ calling them Ladies, i was immediately out off this movie. We persevered because my 4 year old is interested in Planes. He became bores very quickly. It’s a lad culture film. The only females in the movie are romantic interests or the token ‘feisty female’ a mechanic in this case, who is in the story purely to service the male heavy cast. I want my son to see all genders doing cool stuff and being complex beings, can do without the cultural stereotypes and un-funny insults too.
age 5+

A lot of eye rolling

Ugh, the movie focuses on bro-culture (excuse me ladies to two male planes—why is that supposed to be funny?), stereotypes, and is so predictable that even my kids got bored with it. Halfway through they were barely watching. Female characters only exist as romantic figures except for Dottie, the whatever mechanic thing she’s supposed to be. Beyond the unfunny jokes and uncreative characters, there is a war scene that is pretty dramatic for a kids movie. To be honest, I am not a fan of the Cars world and have a hard time getting over existential puzzles like, can death and birth and amorous relationships really exist in that world? In a world without people, why would a crop duster be necessary? In a world without people, why was there war? Plus I am so over the underdog trope. Briefly, I am not the best audience member for this film. But even so, there are elements in this one that aren’t great messages for kids.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (10 ):
Kids say (32 ):

There are definitely a few laugh-aloud moments in Planes, but that's basically all there is -- several disconnected moments in which one-liners hit their mark. The rest is made up of amusing but formulaic story strands that are strung together by the "vehicles as people and animals" theme. The tried-and-true underdog story is so predictable that even the youngest viewers will be able to figure out the outcome long before the end of the big race.

Of course, that does not mean that kids won't laugh and cheer Dusty on or that parents will want to fall asleep. This is Disney, after all, so the movie is well animated, watchable, and passably amusing; it's just not nearly as good as it could be. The absurd number of cultural stereotypes mined for laughs is fine at first (hardy har har, Brits don't cry; Mexicans love lucha libre and mariachi), but after a while it's major overkill. Kids -- especially those who love planes or vehicles of any kind -- will love Planes, but it's definitely worth reminding them when it's over that not all people from Mexico, England, India, Quebec, the South, etc. are the way they were depicted in the movie.

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