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'Planes' doesn't reach the creative heights of a Pixar movie

( PG ) ( Monitor Movie Guide )

'Planes,' which was produced by Disney, has an all-too-predictable plot.

Disney Enterprises, Inc./AP
Planes Bulldog (l.) and Ishani (r.) are voiced by John Cleese and Priyanka Chopra.

“Planes” is an animated 3-D feature from Disney, but it’s not produced by Pixar, and therein lies the rub. Although Pixar itself has been on a creative slide as of late, you could always count on them for a fairly high level of wit and vroom and sometimes for a lot more than that.

“Planes,” directed by Klay Hall, is a modest little squiggle about Dusty, a crop-duster who yearns to be a high-flying air racer. He finds the courage to succeed, which should surprise no one – not even the toddlers in the audience (most of whom, at the screening I attended, were pretty stone-faced throughout). Maybe Disney, and Pixar, too, for that matter – remember “Cars 2”? – should stay away from vehicular vehicles on all future projects. Grade: C+ (Rated PG for some mild action and rude humor.)

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