Thursday, August 8, 2013
Critics Watch: "Planes" Is Grounded
Looks like Planes, DisneyToon Studios' spin-off of the Cars franchise, doesn't soar at all...
It's not much of a surprise, though early test screenings did yield some unexpectedly decent results (my comrades over at The Rotoscopers liked what they saw), Planes is a critical dud. It currently sits at 24% on Rotten Tomatoes and 36 on Metacritic, with the most positive reviews (there's very few of them) saying it's just fun. Most of the reviews single out the barebones story, the lame jokes and just the whole plastic, toy commercial feel of it. John Lasseter was supposedly heavily involved in this?
I would assume that Lasseter would've gotten DisneyToon to make a serviceable spin-off (not that I was planning to see it, I wasn't) that wasn't terrible, after all the Tinker Bell films got some praise and we're considered better than the Disney direct-to-video garbage from the Eisner era. Then again, maybe critics were ready to dislike this since it was obviously going to be unspectacular in addition to the fact that most of them already have an aversion to the world of Cars... It also doesn't help that this is a spin-off of a film series from a beloved studio... Well, I don't know if they're beloved anymore given how so many people just turned their backs on them in the recent years. (Don't get me started on this, haha!)
But I see things in the reviews like the international characters being one-dimensional stereotypes, characters such as Mexican racer plane El Chupacabra. (The name alone makes me cringe a bit) I have to ask, why? How much is Lasseter involved? Or is this series truly his weakness? Does Lasseter just let the flaws slide because it's Cars? Or should I say Autos? I don't know, but he doesn't seem to be plugging this film as much as one would expect. That being said, it's bound to at least cover its low production budget easily at the box office. I can't judge, I have not seen it... But the negative reception may speak volumes. I wouldn't be surprised if it did.
... And Disney won't ever do this, but they better opt for releasing Planes: Fire and Rescue straight-to-video and whatever comes next. The Cars spin-offs, as I've said many times before, should not be theatrical by any means. Like we need anymore confusion and not-so-great quality animation in theaters. C'mon Disney.