The label "World of Cars" started appearing on toys tied to the Disney/Pixar movie so it's appropriate to see it at the beginning of "Planes," which feels more like a product than a movie.
In "Planes" (which, tellingly, does not carry Pixar's name in the marketing), Dusty Crophopper (voiced by Dane Cook) is a plucky cropduster with big dreams of racing in an around-the-world flying rally. He trains hard, working with Skipper (voiced by Stacy Keach), a battle-weary World War II-era P-39, to qualify. During the big race, Dusty must contend with the arrogant defending champion, Ripslinger (voiced by Roger Craig Smith), and a slew of international rivals. Director Klay Hall and writer Jeffrey M. Howard (veterans of Disney's Tinkerbell franchise) fly through the familiar landmarks of the "follow your dreams" animated playbook. There are some jarring tone shifts that are a bit much for the kiddie crowd, and why the movie earned a PG rating.
At the end of "Planes," you may wonder why it wasn't released straight to DVD, which is how I'd bet the promised sequel "Planes: Fire & Rescue" will be seen.
Opens Friday, Aug. 9, at theaters everywhere; rated PG for some mild action and rude humor; 92 minutes.