Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Planes - Coming to Theaters - Are You Excited?

Next in line for aviators starving for anything related to flying is “Planes”, the movie.  “Planes” is an offshoot of the animated movie “Cars” which many of you may have seen.   Produced by Pixar, the original four wheeled animated movie did quite well.  Its sequel though took on the more typical Hollywood slant and a third has been hard to get rolling.  As for the upcoming movie “Planes”, it is important to note that Pixar, now owned by Disney, is the high quality, high budget, theatre quality side of Disney.  Unfortunately, Disney Toon Studios, the JV team of Disney’s animated productions, is producing “Planes”.
If haven’t heard of Disney Toon Studios, it’s because this team typically produces the half-witted straight to DVD sub-sequel films geared to people with simple minds and lower standards; translation, kids and pilots.  Originally intended to be a straight to DVD animation released in 2012, it has now been moved to 2013 and is receiving a face lift of new actors (voices).  All this is being done because it is to be released in theatres. 
Is this good?  Who knows?  It appears Disney is testing the waters with “Planes” to see how far they can take the animated machinery angle.  Already in the works is Planes 2, with other possibilities such as “Trains” being discussed.
So, is this aviation based offshoot something to get worked up over?  It’s hard to say.  Look at every poster image that is available and there are many subtle and not so subtle aviation messages hidden throughout.  In one poster alone I counted over ten aviation symbols or aircraft in the clouds alone.  Unfortunately, there are also many hidden Hollywood messages.  The most glaring example is the main character.
The studio has no qualms about creating a cute little talking crop-duster, named “Dusty”, which will appeal to kids and thus bring in revenue.  Yet while making money off the story of another underdog, they also randomly placed the symbol of poison (skull and cross-bones) on his cowling as nose-art.  This no doubt was a calculated nod and wink to their enviro-friends  intended to keep them off their backs while the creators make money from the animation.  Then, most likely when things are said and done, some of the bottom line will be fed, through donations, into those groups who are vehemently anti-crop-dusting and aviation.
Note the nose art.
So, what are you to do?  If you are among the large group of pilots who see anything with airplanes in it as a great film, then by all means go get your jollies.  I’m sure you’ll find this animated flick “incredible”, “likely to attract student pilots”, and possibly even “worthy of an Oscar”.  On the other hand, if you are the least bit discriminating, my guess is that you would be much happier spending the 40 dollars to crop-dust your area with several gallons worth of avgas exhaust.

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