Planes is a 2013 theatrical spin-off of the 2006 Disney/Pixar animated film, Cars and its two sequels, Cars 2 (2011) and Cars 3 (2017), and the first film in the Planes duology. Pixar Animation Studios, the production team of the Cars movies, however, did not produce the film. Instead, it was produced by Disneytoon Studios. It was set to be released by Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment on DVD and Blu-ray in fall 2013, but it instead had a theatrical release by Walt Disney Pictures on August 9, 2013. It is the first Disneytoon Studios film released theatrically in North America since Pooh's Heffalump Movie, which was released 8½ years earlier in 2005.
The movie starts with two jets soaring through the sky. From below comes a young crop duster named Dusty Crophopper (Dane Cook). He challenges the two to a race, but they ignore him and fly away. He then zooms right past them to their amazement, though he wakes up from this fantasy, and it is shown he is just crop dusting a field with his employer Leadbottom (Cedric the Entertainer). Dusty expresses his dream to enter the Wings Across the Globe Rally, an air racing competition where planes fly all around the world, but Leadbottom thinks he's better off where he's at.
Dusty meets up with his best friend, a fuel truck named Chug (Brad Garrett). Together, they practice flying for the race, but Dusty accidentally burns himself out. Their forklift friend Dottie (Teri Hatcher) knows what he has been doing, and she thinks Dusty is gonna get himself killed if he tries to race. Chug suggests asking an older war veteran plane, Skipper Riley (Stacy Keach), to help Dusty practice. They go see Skipper, but he almost instantly turns Dusty away.
The next day, Dusty, Chug, and Dottie go to the qualifiers to enter Dusty. There, they spot reigning champion Ripslinger (Roger Craig Smith), showing off for his fans. When Dusty steps up to qualify, he is mocked for being a crop duster and coming from a farm. He surprises nearly everybody as he flies through the course with well-practiced maneuvers, but he only ends up placing sixth. He and his friends leave disappointed.
Forklift commentator Roper (Sinbad) visits Dusty the next day to tell him that one of the racers, Fonzarelli, has been disqualified for using illegal fuel, putting Dusty in the race. Skipper finds Dusty and tries to talk him out of racing, due to the fact that he wasn't built to race, but Dusty insists that he wants to prove that he is more than just a crop duster. This convinces Skipper to train him. They spend some time together practicing, which starts out awful. Although Dusty starts improving, it goes sour when Skipper tries to get him to fly above 1000 feet. Dusty gets dizzy when he looks down, and confesses that he is afraid of heights. Skipper is baffled, but they continue practicing anyway.
The time comes for the race, with the first leg starting in New York going to Iceland. Dusty meets the eccentric Mexican plane El Chupacabra (Carlos Alazraqui; "El Chu" for short), who quickly becomes friends with Dusty. Dusty also becomes smitten by a plane from India named Ishani (Priyanka Chopra), while El Chu falls for French-Canadian Rochelle (Julia Louis-Dreyfus). The racers fly off to Iceland, but since Dusty refuses to fly high with everybody else, he is last.
The second leg has the racers fly to Germany. A British plane named Bulldog (John Cleese) is blinded when oil from his propellers squirts in his eye. Dusty guides him down to safety, which earns him Bulldog's respect, but he is still in the last place. The third leg takes them to India, where at one point, Dusty and Ishani have a romantic fly around the area. Ishani knows that she has fans who are counting on her to win. She offers some advice to Dusty on flying through a tunnel for the next leg, which has the racers fly to Nepal. Dusty encounters a tunnel and almost collides head-on with a train. He blacks out for a while, landing in Nepal, initially thinking he is dead. Turns out he has managed to place first. The other racers come in, and Dusty notices that Ishani has a new propeller from Ripslinger, leading him to realize she was setting him up for a loss and almost killing him. Ripslinger himself is displeased when he learns that he is now second behind Dusty.
When the racers land in Shanghai, El Chu expresses to Dusty that he is having trouble winning over Rochelle. She is not impressed with his pompous attempts at winning her over. He tries to serenade her with an aggressive rendition of "Love Machine", but Dusty tells him to take it down a notch. Some forklifts pull in and play a softer version of the song with El Chu singing along. This gets Rochelle's attention.
El Chu comes to Dusty with multiple lipstick stains on his face on the way to the next location, meaning he and Rochelle are now together, and the plan worked a little too well. The racers take off over the Pacific Ocean. While Dusty is flying, Ripslinger has his two New Zealand teammates and henchmen, Ned and Zed (Gabriel Iglesias), sabotage Dusty by taking out his navigation antenna, leaving him lost across the ocean. He begins to run low on fuel as he is picked up by a group of planes known as the Jolly Wrenches. They take him to their carrier ship, the USS Dwight D. Flysenhower, where he lands and is able to refuel. He spots a wall of famed flyers and starts looking for Skipper. He spots him but is surprised to see he only has one badge from one mission, realizing that Skipper lied to him about his war record. He gets in touch with Chug and Dottie, who tell him that they will meet him in Mexico since Chug and Skipper's forklift Sparky (Danny Mann) have sold a lot of Dusty-themed merchandise. Dusty tries to ask Skipper about why he only has one mission logged, but Skipper avoids answering. The Jolly Wrenches make him fly out of there to beat the oncoming storm. In Mexico, Ripslinger was asked by the press about Dusty's disappearance and started to make insulting comments about Dusty. Ishani and El Chu, knowing that Ripslinger had something to do with Dusty's disappearance, calls him out by telling him that Dusty has ten times the engine and integrity he does.
While flying in the storm, Dusty is distracted when he thinks about Skipper and crashes into the ocean. He is rescued and is met by his friends. However, he is badly damaged and is told that he must pull out of the race. When Dusty demands an answer from Skipper about why he had lied to him in the first place, Skipper reveals that his entire squadron was killed in action against an enemy battleship on his first mission, as he was the only one who survived. Dusty then considers dropping out of the race, but Chug and Dottie encourage him to continue. Additionally, the friendly racers offer repair parts for Dusty to continue to race alongside them. Dusty is fixed up and looking brand new, ready to re-enter.
Dusty manages to outfly the other racers on the final leg, coming in behind Ripslinger, Ned, and Zed. Ripslinger has his goons go sabotage Dusty again, but Skipper flies in to protect Dusty. He gets Ned and Zed away from him (at the cost of getting his Vertical Stabilizer damaged by Ripslinger) and tells Dusty to continue flying and forget about him, leaving him to catch up with Ripslinger. Dusty starts losing power, forcing him to tackle his fear of heights and soar high above Ripslinger. When they make it to the end of the track, Ripslinger slows down to pose for cameras, allowing Dusty to fly past him and cross the finish line. To his surprise, Ripslinger flies into some portable toilets, leaving him humiliated by being covered in oil slop. Everybody celebrates Dusty's victory, including Ishani, El Chu, and the other racers. Skipper rejoins the Navy, and Dusty is made an honorary Jolly Wrench. The two take off and race each other across the ocean.
- Dane Cook as Dusty Crophopper, a crop duster. Jon Cryer was originally cast, but dropped out. He was inspired by the Air Tractor AT-502, Cessna, and the PZL-Mielec M-18 Dromader.
- Stacy Keach as Skipper Riley, a Chance Vought F4U-1 Corsair and Dusty's mentor
- Brad Garrett as Chug, a fuel truck
- Teri Hatcher as Dottie, a forklift
- Danny Mann as Sparky, a forklift. Danny also plays Sky Cam 1, a red helicopter filming the race over Germany. In the United Kingdom version, he is voiced by Barney Harwood.
- Carlos Alazraqui as El Chupacabra, a Gee Bee Model R. Carlos also provides additional voices.
- Priyanka Chopra as Ishani, India's best plane racer and Dusty's love interest. She is based on the AeroCad AeroCanard.
- Roger Craig Smith as Ripslinger, a custom-built carbon-fiber plane and Dusty's rival. Roger also provides additional voices.
- Gabriel Iglesias as Ned and Zed
- John Cleese as Bulldog, a de Havilland DH.88 Comet
- Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Rochelle, El Chupacabra's love interest. Originally from Quebec, her flag and paint job are localized in 11 countries.
- Cedric the Entertainer as Leadbottom, a biplane
- Sinbad as Roper, the WATG official
- Anthony Edwards as Echo, a Boeing F/A-18E Super Hornet
- Val Kilmer as Bravo, a Boeing F/A-18E Super Hornet
- Colin Cowherd as Colin Cowling, a blimp
- Brent Musburger as Brent Mustangburger, a 1964½ Ford Mustang
- Oliver Kalkofe as Franz aka Von Fliegenhozen, a German Aerocar. Oliver Kalkofe also voices Franz in the German version.
- John Ratzenberger as Harland, a jet tug
- Emerson Tenney as a reporter pitty
- David Croft as Lofty Crofty (UK version)
- Filip Watermann as Grimm
- Mark Allan Stewart as Tripp
- Richard Pearce as Little King
- Jonathan Adams as Judge Davis, a P-51A Mustang and air racing official.
- Jessica Marais as Australian Rochelle (Australian and New Zealand versions)
- Roopashree Jeevaji as an Indian reporter
- Grey DeLisle as an additional voice
- Rob Paulsen as an additional voice
- Dave Wittenberg as an additional voice
- Jeff Bennett as an additional voice
- Klay Hall as an additional voice
- Fred Tatasciore as an additional voice
- Kari Wahlgren as an additional voice
- Jaswant Dev Shresta as Nepali / Indian Reporter
- Niyanta Acharya as Reporter
- Roma Chugani as Reporter
- Ahmed Lucan as Additional Indian characters
Planes is based on a concept created by John Lasseter. Although Pixar did not produce the film, Lasseter, being chief creative officer of both Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios, and director of Cars and Cars 2, was also the executive producer of the film. The writers made a conscious effort to not remake Cars in a new setting, rejecting ideas that were too close to ideas in Cars. The team also conducted research by interviewing several pilots of plane types that were included in the movie.
Lasseter had this to say about the film:
- “We had such a great time exploring the world of Cars over the course of two films, so it seemed only natural for us to see where our imaginations would take us in a film where planes were the main characters. By expanding the Cars world, Planes gave us a whole new set of fun-filled situations and a great opportunity to introduce some fantastic new characters. The team at DisneyToon Studios has done such an amazing job creating a heartfelt story filled with great comedy, adventure, and emotion. I know audiences are going to love taking off into the wild blue yonder with these daredevil characters, as they experience a whole new kind of animated adventure.”
- ―John Lasseter
On August 20, 2011 at the D23 Expo, it was announced that Jon Cryer would be the voice of the protagonist Dusty. However, Cryer dropped out of production and was replaced by Dane Cook. On February 27, 2013, the teaser trailer was re-released with dialogue from Cook instead of Cryer. Jon Cryer did however receive credit for "additional story material" for the film, along with Bobs Gannaway.
A new promo video was released on May 16, 2013.
The film was first announced to be released in direct-to-video on DVD and Blu-ray in the Spring of 2013. Disney subsequently pushed it back to Fall 2013, while it was confirmed it would have a theatrical release in Europe. However, completed sequences impressed Disney enough to instead plan the movie for a theatrical release on August 9, 2013, and it then was also screened at the D23 Expo, a biennial convention for Disney fans. It was released in the United Kingdom on August 16, 2013. The film had its premiere on August 2, 2013, at a special screening at the The Fly-In Theater at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh, an annual gathering of aviation enthusiasts in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. Along with the special screening of the movie, Disney brought a real life Dusty to be part of the activities. The real life version of Dusty was an Air Tractor AT-400A piloted and owned by agriculture pilot Rusty Lindeman.
Planes received mostly unfavorable to negative reviews from critics. The review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reported a 25% approval rating with an average rating of 4.6/10 based on 116 reviews. The website's consensus reads, "Planes has enough bright colors, goofy voices, and slick animation to distract some young viewers for 92 minutes -- and probably sell plenty of toys in the bargain -- but on nearly every other level, it's a Disney disappointment." Another review aggregator, Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 top reviews from mainstream critics, calculated a score of 39 based on 32 reviews, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews". However, the film earned an A− from audiences polled by CinemaScore.
Peter Hartlaub of the San Francisco Chronicle gave the film two and half stars out of four, saying, "Many will enter theaters thinking this is a Pixar film, with the raised expectations that accompany that mistake. But even cynical animation fans will see there's quality here. After a little turbulence, Planes comes in for a nice landing." Alonso Duralde of The Wrap gave the film a positive review, saying, "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." Justin Chang of Variety gave the film a negative review, saying, "Planes is so overrun with broad cultural stereotypes that it should come with free ethnic-sensitivity training for especially impressionable kids." James Rocchi of MSN Movies gave the film one out of five stars, saying, "Planes borrows a world from Cars, but even compared to that soulless exercise in well-merchandised animated automotive adventure, Planes is dead in its big, googly eyes and hollow inside." Michael Rechtshaffen gave the film a negative review, saying, "Despite the more aerodynamic setting, this Cars 3D offshoot emerges as an uninspired retread." Jordan Hoffman gave the film one out of five stars, saying, "The jokes in Planes are runway flat, and parents will likely reach for the air-sickness bag."
Bill Goodykoontz of The Arizona Republic gave the film two out of five stars, saying, "Planes was originally scheduled to be released straight to video. Although the smallest children might like bits and pieces of it, there's nothing in the movie that suggests why Disney strayed from its original plan." David Hiltbrand of The Philadelphia Inquirer gave the film one out of four stars, saying, "The animated film has all the hallmarks of a straight-to-DVD project - inferior plot, dull writing, cheap drawing - perhaps because it was intended for the bargain bin at Target, Walmart, and Costco." Jen Chaney of The Washington Post gave the film one and a half stars out of four, saying, "This film is 100 percent devoid of surprises. It's the story of an underestimated underdog that's like every other kid-friendly, life-coachy story about an underestimated underdog." Rafer Guzman of Newsday gave the film one and a half stars out of four, saying, "If Planes were a reasonably priced download, you'd gladly use it to sedate your kids during a long car ride. As a theatrical, 3-D release, however, Planes will sedate you, too." Neil Genzlinger of The New York Times gave the film two out of five stars, saying, Planes is for the most part content to imitate rather than innovate, presumably hoping to reap a respectable fraction of the box office numbers of Cars and Cars 2, which together made hundreds of millions of dollars."
Lou Lumenick of the New York Post gave the film two and a half stars out of four, saying, "Often less really is more, and that's why I can recommend Planes, a charmingly modest low-budget spin-off from Pixar's Cars that provides more thrills and laughs for young children and their parents than many of its more elaborate brethren." Bruce Demara of the Toronto Star gave the film two and a half stars out of four, saying, "While the plotting is rather pedestrian, the humour mostly lame, what makes Planes a stand-out experience - not surprisingly, based on Disney's vast and impressive history of animated classics - is the visuals." Claudia Puig of USA Today gave the film two out of four stars, saying, "It's engaging enough, driving home the familiar message of following one's dreams and the less hackneyed theme of facing one's fears. But it feels far too familiar." Betsy Sharkey of the Los Angeles Times gave the film two and a half stars out of four, saying, "As with Cars, the world of Planes feels safe. A little too safe, perhaps." Richard Roeper of the Chicago Sun-Times gave the film a C, saying "Planes moves along quickly at a running time of 92 minutes, occasionally taking flight with some pretty nifty flight sequences. The animation is first-rate, and the Corningware colors are soothing eye candy."
Tom Keogh of The Seattle Times gave the film two and a half stars out of four, saying, "Though not officially a Pixar production, the new Planes — released by the beloved animation studio’s parent company, Disney — has the look and feel of Pixar's 2006 hit, Cars, if not the latter's charm or strong story." Stephen Whitty of the Newark Star-Ledger gave the film two out of four stars, saying, "It's strictly by the numbers, from the believe-in-yourself moral to the purely predictable ending." Owen Gleiberman of Entertainment Weekly gave the film a B, saying, "What Planes lacks in novelty, it makes up for with eye-popping aerial sequences and a high-flying comic spirit." A. A. Dowd of The A.V. Club gave the film a D+, saying, "Planes cuts corners at every turn, a strategy that leaves it feeling like the skeletal framework of an incomplete Pixar project." R. Kurt Osenlund of Slant Magazine gave the film one out of four stars, saying, "The film feels second-rate in every sense, from the quality of its animation to its C-list voice cast." Dave Calhoun of Time Out gave the film three out of five stars, saying "Planes isn't a Pixar film, even if it's related to one (Disney bought Pixar in 2006), and there’s nothing groundbreaking about the animation or script. That said, the characters and story still offer low-key charms."
Most people said that the film made Cars 2 look like a masterpiece in comparison.
Planes, despite negative reception, grossed $90,288,712 in the United States and Canada, and $148,970,000 in other countries, for a worldwide total of $239,258,712, and was a box office success.  The film opened to #3 in its first weekend, with $22,232,291, behind Elysium and We're the Millers. In its second weekend, the film dropped to #4, grossing an additional $13,388,534. In its third weekend, the film dropped to number five, grossing $8,575,214. In its fourth weekend, the film stayed at number five, grossing $7,751,705.
Planes is rated PG by the MPAA "for some mild action and rude humor", making it the first film in the Cars franchise to get this rating. It is also DisneyToon's second (and first theatrical) movie to get a PG rating, after Lilo & Stitch 2: Stitch Has a Glitch.
Unlike in America, Planes had received a lighter rating in other countries. In the United Kingdom, the film has received a U rating by the BBFC. In Ireland and Canada, the film is rated G. The rating is rather shocking when compared to Cars 2, which was more action-packed, had a ruder sense of humor, and having a large body count of destroyed vehicles.
- These are minor characters that do not have their own pages.
LJH 86 Special
The LJH 86 Special is a racing plane.
He attempts to be part of the WATG Rally, but did not make it into the Top 5 to compete.
He also strangely appears in Sun Wing's tent when Dusty was commenting about Ishani's propeller while in the pit row at John F. Kennedy International Airport. However, he does not appear in there again after that.
- He is modeled after an Extra EA-300.
- His die-cast packaging refers to him as "86 LJH Special".
- He is also a plane version of Chuck Armstrong from Cars.
Antonio is one of the planes competing in the Wings Around the Globe Rally.
He is seen in many shots of the racers throughout the movie, including in the pit row at John F. Kennedy International Airport. However, he strangely does not appear with the other racers to give Dusty parts.
He is also a plane version of Dirkson D'Agostino from Cars.
Arturo is an Italian racing plane.
He is a legendary champion in the history of air racing, known for victories in his home country of Italy. He is number 3 in the Wings Around the Globe racing competition.
He is seen in many shots of the racers throughout the movie, including in the pit row at John F. Kennedy International Airport. When Dusty is broken and needs repairs, Arturo gives him supplies.
He is also a plane version of Ponchy Wipeout from Cars.
Tsubasa (翼) is a racing competitor in the Wings Around the Globe rally as racer #23.
The Japanese Racer, Tsubasa, is known as "The Ninja" because competitors never see or hear him coming! With his slick airframe, he slices past them like an invisible Warrior.
In Planes, he sets the second fastest time in the qualifier round for the Wings Around the Globe and competes in the rally.
He is then seen in many shots of the racers throughout the movie. He is strangely not seen in the Wings Around the Globe pit row at John F. Kennedy International Airport along with his tent, although it could be that he was somewhere else at the time.
When Dusty is broken and needs repairs, Tsubasa gives him supplies.
- Tsubasa seems to have some resemblance to an Extra EA-300.
- In Japanese, "Tsubasa" means wing.
- He is also a plane version of Kevin Racingtire from Cars.
Dwight "Yorkie" D. Flysenhower
Dwight D. Flysenhower is a Nimitz-Class Aircraft Carrier in the United States Navy.
Dwight D. Flysenhower carries many F/A-18E Super Hornet fighter jets, including Bravo and Echo. He also carries many Navy helicopters and Navy pitties who do various jobs, such as helping planes land, directing them to take off or land, or command the other pitties.
Flysenhower is equipped with two forward-facing catapults for helping planes to take off quickly, and has a lare net on his flight deck to help planes to land safely. His flight deck is large, and can carry fighter jets which are not taking off or landing. Flysenhower also has three elevators on the sides of his flight deck which allow planes on the flight deck to be carried to the lower decks.
In Planes, Dusty Crophopper was on the second-last leg of the Wings Around the Globe rally, where he needed to fly from China to Mexico. However, Ned and Zed broke off Dusty's GPS antenna, causing him to get lost in a storm. Running low on fuel, Dusty attempted to get to Hawaii but ended up 375 miles south of where he needed to go. Luckily, Bravo and Echo found Dusty and were able to bring him back to Flysenhower for fuel.
Inside Flysenhower's hangar, Dusty sees the Jolly Wrenches Wall of Fame. However, he notices that Skipper had only flown one mission in World War Two, contrary to the many stories he had told Dusty earlier.
- Dwight is named after Dwight D. Eisenhower, the thirty-fourth president of the United States, who was previously a five-star general in the US army during World War II.
- Dwight is also named after and based on the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69) aircraft carrier, the second of the Nimitz class aircraft carriers to enter service. Since commissioning, Dwight D. Eisenhower has participated in deployments including Operation Eagle Claw during the Iran hostage crisis in 1980, as well as the Gulf War in the 1990s, and more recently in support of US military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. It is still in active service, and shall remain so until replaced around 2025 by the new Gerald R. Ford-class carrier USS Enterprise (CVN-80).
- A similar-looking aircraft carrier resembling Dwight D. Flysenhower shows up near the end of the Cars Toons episode Moon Mater, when Mater and Lightning McQueen land in the Atlantic Ocean after rescuing Impala XIII from being stranded on the Moon. It's unknown if this carrier is really Dwight or not.
- Although he is silent in the film, he seems to speak in the video game.
Sun Wing (孫榮) is a racing plane from China who takes part in the WATG Rally as Racer #8.
She is seen in many shots of the racers throughout the movie, including in the pit row at John F. Kennedy International Airport. When Dusty is broken and needs repairs, Sun Wing gives him supplies.
She is also a plane version of Misti Motorkrass from Cars.
Joey Dundee is a racing plane from Australia who competes in the WATG Rally after obtaining a spot in the qualifier round.
He is seen in a few shots of the racers throughout the movie. He is strangely not seen in the Wings Around the Globe pit row at John F. Kennedy International Airport despite his tent appearing there, although it could be that he was somewhere else at the time.
- Joey seems to have some resemblance to an Extra EA-300.
- His nationality can be confused to be German due to his main orange paint joining the red and black lines on his tailfin in the same pattern as Germany's flag.
- He is also a plane version of Billy Oilchanger from Cars.
(voice unknown) Miguel is a Brazilian racer competing in the Wings Around the Globe.
In Planes, Miguel first appears at the Wings Around the Globe pit row. While there, he asks if El Chupacabra's name is the monster that "siphons fuel from small vehicles" (the car equivalent of the legendary monster sucking blood from small animals). El Chu then answers that it is just a stage name designed to strike fear into the hearts of his opponents. Miguel is then seen in many shots of the racers throughout the movie. He gives Dusty a starter generator when he got damaged during a storm over the Pacific Ocean.
- Miguel is modeled after an Extra EA-300.
- He is also a plane version of Johnny Blamer from Cars.
(voice unknown) Jan Kowalski is a racing competitor in the Wings Around the Globe racing competition.
He is seen in many shots of the racers throughout the movie, including in the pit row at John F. Kennedy International Airport. In New York, his tent was between Bulldog (to the right) and Yellow Bird (to the left).
At the start of the New York-Iceland leg, he was in ninth place before getting to fifth place during the race.
During the Germany-India leg, he was in ninth place between Sun Wing and Little King until Dusty Crophopper overtook him.
When Dusty is broken and needs repairs, Kowalski gives him supplies and says that it is honor to fly with him.
- Kowalski is modeled after an Extra EA-300.
- Gordon, a Polish plane who tried to qualify for the Wings Around the Globe, also has the number 15.
- His name is well known in Poland, being the same name as the first Minister Generalis (Minister General) of the order of the Mariavites. Director Klay Hall probably granted him by using his name for the character (one of the Polish pilots was also called Jan Kowalski).
- His wings have white and red squares. This the symbol of the Polish Air Force.
- He appears in the Blu-ray exclusive animation for the song "Ein Crop Duster Can Race".
- He is also a plane version of Claude Scruggs from Cars.
(voice unknown) Yellow Bird is a competitor in the Wings Around the Globe Rally.
Yellow Bird is a racing plane from the US, taking part in the WATG Rally as racer #1/17.
In Planes, he sets the fastest time in the qualifier round for the Wings Around the Globe and competes in the rally.
He is then seen in many shots of the racers throughout the movie, including in the pit row at John F. Kennedy International Airport.
He strangely does not appear with the other racers to give Dusty parts, although he is seen saying that Dusty is back after he was rebuilt.
- Yellow Bird is modeled after an Extra EA-300.
- His racing number is actually different in some parts of the movie. The qualifier leaderboard and Yellow Bird's tent as well as his appearance in the Germany to India leg show his number as 17. In New York and on the leaderboard at the start of the China to Mexico leg, his number is 1.
- He is also a plane version of Slider Petrolski from Cars.
Van Der Bird
Van Der Bird is a racing plane from the Netherlands taking part in the WATG Rally.
He is seen in many shots of the racers throughout the movie. He is strangely not seen in the Wings Around the Globe pit row at John F. Kennedy International Airport despite his tent appearing there, although it could be that he was somewhere else at the time. When Dusty is broken and needs repairs, Van Der Bird gives him supplies.
- The name "Van Der Bird" could be a possible reference to the Formula One driver Giedo van der Garde, who is also from the Netherlands.
- He is also a plane version of Sage VanDerSpin from Cars.
Gunnar Viking is a Swedish racing plane in the WATG Rally. His racing number is #12.
Scandinavian racer Gunnar Viking started out as an air ambulance. When a sports reporter noticed his speedy flying times, he traded his sirens for racing stripes.
In Planes, he appears as one of the racers of the Wings Around the Globe. He got disqualified in the Germany to India leg for flying too high in that race.
- Fonzarelli and Gunnar Viking seem to have the same color scheme.
- He appears in the Blu-ray exclusive animation for the song "Ein Crop Duster Can Race".
- He is also a plane version of Ralph Carlow from Cars.
(voice of Mark Allen Stewart) Tripp is a passenger plane.
Tripp is an airplane that carries cars to and from any location in the world.
In Planes, he appears at John F. Kennedy International Airport with Harland. Dusty Crophopper tries to ask them for directions to the pit row of the Wings Around the Globe. Harland tries to help by telling a long description of the navigation, before Tripp stops him and tells Dusty to just go straight ahead and to the right. Dusty then leaves, saying that Tripp has a nice paint job. Harland thought Dusty was talking to him, and thanks Dusty, only that Tripp then corrects him on who Dusty was talking to.
(voice of John Ratzenberger) Harland is Tripp's jet tug.
In Planes, he appears at John F. Kennedy International Airport with Tripp. Dusty Crophopper tries to ask them for directions to the pit row of the Wings Around the Globe. Harland tries to help by telling a long description of the navigation, before Tripp stops him and tells Dusty to just go straight ahead and to the right. Dusty then leaves, saying that Tripp has a nice paint job. Harland thought Dusty was talking to him, and thanks Dusty, only that Tripp then corrects him on who Dusty was talking to.
To create a transition between Cars and Planes, Disney launched a product collection called "Cars Take Flight", which focuses on releasing merchandise for Cars Toons episodes Moon Mater and Air Mater. The line features die-cast, race tracks, games, and books. A "Cars Take Flight" event was held on September 14, 2012 at the Chicagoland Speedway. A "Cars Take Flight" official website launched a contest whose prize was a vacation to Cars Land.
Mattel has also started a Planes die-cast line which was displayed at the San Diego Comic-Con 2013.
To celebrate the release of the film in the United Kingdom, the 2013 Camp Bestival featured a world record attempt for the most paper aeroplanes flying at once. Also, David Croft (the voice of Lofty Crofty in the UK version) and Gabz (from Britain's Got Talent) promote the film by flying in planes with the movie logo, with Croft also showing some of his recording for the film. Pre Skool and Nu Sxool were also invited to the premier of Planes in Leicester Square. They were asked to make a dance routine to one of the songs from the film called "The Planes Dance". The video is a great success.
- Main article: Planes (soundtrack)
- Nothing Can Stop Me Now - Mark Holman
- You Don't Stop - NYC - Chris Classic and Alana D
- Fly - Jon Stevens of The Dead Daisies
- Planes (score)
- Crop Duster (score)
- Last Contestant (score)
- Hello Lincoln/Sixth Place (score)
- Show Me What You Got (score)
- Dusty Steps Into History (score)
- Start Your Engines (score)
- Leg 2/Bulldog Thanks Dusty (score)
- Skipper Tries to Fly (score)
- Dusty & Ishani (score)
- The Tunnel (score)
- Running on Fumes (score)
- Get Above the Storm (score)
- Dusty Has to Ditch (score)
- Skipper's Story (score)
- You’re a Racer (score)
- Leg 7 (score)
- Skipper to the Rescue (score)
- Dusty Soars (score)
- 1st Place (score)
- A True Victory (score)
- Honorary Jolly Wrench (score)
- Skipper's Theme (Volo Pro Veritas) (score)
- Love Machine - Carlos Alazraqui and Antonio Sol
- Ein Crop Duster Can Race - Dave Wittenberg
- Armadillo (score)
In 2012, a sequel called Planes: Fire & Rescue was revealed to be in development. It was also confirmed by Carlos Alazraqui that the Planes series was intended to be a trilogy. A Disney staff member also stated that Planes 3 was in story development. Instead of publishing an Art of book for the first film, Chronicle Books published The Art of Planes 1 & 2 to coincide with the release of Planes: Fire & Rescue. The sequel was originally titled with the "2", but it was removed from the title on June 13, 2013. It was theatrically released on July 18, 2014. The third Planes film was cancelled after the closure of Disneytoon Studios on June 28, 2018.
Besides the Planes series, Disneytoon was considering making more spin-offs that would feature other vehicles like boats and trains prior to the studio's closure in 2018. John Lasseter said: "I kept thinking about—I'm a big train fanatic. I love trains. And I started thinking about trains, and boats and airplanes. And I kept wanting to have more and more of those type of characters. [...] It's one of the ideas, that there will be an ongoing series. It almost starts getting into this thing where we fall in love with these plane characters, we want to see more and more stories with them. And then you start doing other vehicles and stuff like that. Yeah. So it kind of is a bigger idea that can keep expanding."
- This movie also had a bunch of rip-offs/copycats of this movie which are Wings (Ot Vinta 3D) a 2013 Russian rip-off of it, it even had another rip-off of it called Sky Force, Althoigh it was titled Wings: Sky Force Heroes (2014), Being a rip-off of Planes: Fire & Rescue, Another one called The Adventures Of Petey & Friends (2016) and Planes With Brains (2018).
- The Cars Toons episode Air Mater introduced elements of Planes, including Propwash Junction, Dusty's hometown; Skipper, his mentor; and Sparky, Skipper's assistant. Mater drops an allusion to Planes at the end of the short as he says that "They oughta make a whole movie about planes" and looks directly at the camera, presumably breaking the fourth wall.
- Planes takes on some of Pixar's traditions. Like both of the installments of the Cars franchise, it features reporters of the Racing Sports Network covering its sportive event. It also includes a cameo of John Ratzenberger, who has had a voicing role in all of Pixar's films.
- While the film is focusing on planes, there are cars involved in the movie, and some can be seen in the stands of one of the races as well as watching the races on television.
- This is the first Disneytoon film to be a successor to a Pixar film. Previous productions focused on mainly Disney properties.
- This is the only film in the Cars franchise not to involve Brad Paisley.
- This film marks the last theatrical DisneyToon Studios film to be produced in a 1.85:1 aspect ratio. This is also the only theatrical film in the Cars franchise to be produced in that aspect ratio, since all of the other films (including the sequel) are produced in the 2.35:1 aspect ratio.
- On July 14, 2013, Disney Channel held a "Night of Flight" event, featuring sneak peeks at new characters from the movie, during its "Night of Premieres" lineup, which included all-new episodes of its programs.
- When Dusty explains to Skipper about wanting to prove of being more than just a crop duster, one of the Cars 2 Porto Corsa vintage artworks can be seen on the wall.
- The missions flown by the Jolly Wrenches are: Alameda Ridge, The Aleutians, Assault on Kunming, Assault at Olive Ridge, Attack of Tujunga Harbor, Battle of Airway, Battle of Balthazor Straights, Battle of Buena Vista, Battle of Draper Straits, Battle over Wake Island, Bridges of River Bradford, Campaign at Coral Sea, Campaign at Grandview Pass, Glendal Canal, Kenneth Canal Campaign, Raid of Howard Harbor, Raid on Milton Mountain, and Skirmish at Sonora Canal.
- In the Brazilian version, El Chupacabra's love interest is different from the other versions. Instead, she is Carolina Santos, a Brazilian racer voiced by Brazilian singer Ivete Sangalo.
- This is also the second Disneytoon film to be scored by Mark Mancina after Tarzan II. Ironically, Mancina previously composed the music scores for two Walt Disney Animation Studios films (Tarzan and Brother Bear) and the two Disney live-action films Man of the House and The Haunted Mansion.
- This is the third and final Disneytoon film where mild language is used after the both G-rated A Goofy Movie (in which Max Goof says "spaz" once) and Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas (in which Forte mentions "hell" during his song Don't Fall in Love); Chug once says "freaking" profanely when Dusty is accepted to the race. This is another reason for the film's PG rating.
- The second Disneytoon Studios film to be rated PG by the MPAA, after Lilo & Stitch 2: Stitch Has a Glitch.
- Cedric the Entertainer and John Cleese both starred in Charlotte’s Web.
- In one of the stories in the World of Cars book, the Statue of Liberty is a Ford Model T. However, in this film, it is a forklift.
- The designs of the world landmarks (such as the Taj Mahal - ताज महल, and the Great Wall of China - 万里长城) do not resemble how they do in the credits at the end of Cars 2, as they were car-ified in that film. But here, they are plane-ified.
- Yellow Bird seems to have his number changed in different parts. The qualifier leaderboard and Yellow Bird's tent as well as his appearance in the Germany to India leg show his number as 17. In New York and on the leaderboard at the start of the China to Mexico leg, his number is 1.
- When Dusty and Ripslinger are talking to each other at the pit row in New York, Little King is seen behind Dusty. When Dusty explains to the racers about El Chupacabra, Little King is in his tent. However, it could be that Little King drove to his tent during the close-ups of El Chu.
- When Dusty explains to El Chupacabra about Rochelle before the New York to Iceland leg begins, the "D7" and Jolly Wrenches insignia on Dusty are missing.
- When Dusty is escorted by Bravo and Echo to Dwight D. Flysenhower, his GPS antenna that Zed broke off is back on. It then disappears after they reach the Flysenhower.
- When the camera moves around the Flysenhower at the end of the film, there is a barrier fully surrounding the aircraft elevator/lift with Dusty and Skipper. In the close-up (when the elevator reaches the flight deck), the barrier has disappeared. The barrier should only retract into the deck of the lift once it reaches the flight deck (and not before), as it is to stop people and aircraft going over the edge.
- When El Chupacabra gives Dusty new wings, both of them have a #7 painted on them. But when Dusty passes Ripslinger, the viewers can see that only one wing has the #7.
- When Dusty was commenting about Ishani's propeller while in the pit row at John F. Kennedy International Airport, LJH 86 Special can be seen in Sun Wing's tent. However, he does not appear in there again after that and is replaced by Sun Wing.
- When the planes are getting ready before the race starts, Bulldog, El Chupacabra, and Ishani can be seen with their propellers spinning in the long shots but a few scenes later, they start spinning them in close-up.
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