Dusty Crophopper is a young single-prop agriculture plane that lives in the small town of Propwash Junction. Dusty dreams of competing alongside his high-flying heroes in the ‘Wings Around the Globe’ Rally, but suffers from a crippling fear of heights. His mentor Skipper is convinced that Dusty has the engine to compete with the best, and helps encourage him to pursue his lifelong dreams. But if Dusty wants to make his dreams a reality, he’ll need to face his fears and push himself further than he ever imagined.Planes is a Spin-Off film based on the Disney/Pixar franchise Cars, produced by DisneyToon Studios, the studio behind the Tinkerbell film series. The film is directed by Klay Hall and is under the creative leadership of John Lasseter, who also directed both of the Cars films.Planes, originally planned for a Direct-to-DVD release in Spring 2013, was released theatrically instead on August 9, 2013. A sequel, called Planes 2: Fire and Rescue, is in development as well. A message about Fire & Rescue appears at the end of Planes.The in-progress character sheet can be found here.
Coming In Hot: Dusty helps Bulldog pull out of his death dive, and then guides him to the runway. It costs him though in that he's dead last for the second leg in a row.
At one point, Dusty gets lost over the Pacific ocean and has to land on a moving aircraft carrier. Their procedure on the ship follows the opening description of the trope almost verbatim.
Conjoined Twins: There is an in-Universe rumor that Ned and Zed were originally this, but were literally separated at birth. Neither confirmed, nor denied.
Cool Plane: The trailer features a pair of jet fighters who appear to be major characters, as well as a stealth bomber. One of Dusty's friends (El Chupacabra) is based off of one of the most famous racing planes of all time, the Gee Bee Sportster.
Ripslinger is based mostly off of the Sharp Nemesis NXT, with his underlings at least partially based on the original Nemesis racer.
Skipper is one of the great Cool Planes: the Vought F 4 U Corsair.
Covered in Kisses: El Chupacabra, as seen the day after his serenade to Rochelle, which worked a little too well...
Dusty has his sprayer removed to reduce his drag. While off-screen, we hear him yelp and complain about the cold tools and procedure, hoping it's reversible. He reappears sprayer-less, complete with (rather Mickey Mouse sounding) Instant Soprano before he clears his throat.
Drowning My Sorrows: El Chu, while being rejected by Rochelle, drinks oil (which seems to equate to alcohol in their universe) to drown his sorrows. Notable in the German bar with a few empty cans and later in China, his hanger is filled with them!
Lampshaded by the bartender: "You sad! You drink!"
Fade to White: Happens when Dusty closes his eyes and narrowly misses crashing into a train. Afterwards, Dusty meets some monks whose cryptic answer to where he is makes him think he's dead, and the audience could reasonably think the same.
Helicopter Blender: During the final leg of the race, Ripslinger uses his propellers to clip Skipper's tailfin. Ripslinger then explains that his brand of propellers are called "skyslicers" for precisely that reason.
Punny Name: The USS Flysenhower, which is a clear pun on CVN-69, the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower.
Product Placement: Trippnote both a Punny Name and nod to Juan Trippe, the founder of Pan Am, an American Airlines 777 makes a cameo appearance and is featured in promotional materials. Probably one of the more not bad cases of product placement in recent memory since it works perfectly in the context of the movie's universe.
Seldom Seen Species: A variation: air racing is not well-known outside of certain circles, particularly the pylon-type races.
Sequel Hook: Disney has already confirmed a sequel titled Planes 2: Fire and Rescue.
Serenade Your Lover: El Chu to Rochelle. The song is "Love Machine." Subverted at first, when he tries a more upbeat version with a boombox. Dusty stops him and calls in a mariachi band for a more romantic atmosphere.
Shell-Shocked Veteran: Skipper, who, after witnessing his entire squadron killed by enemy fire in his first mission, is torn by guilt to the point that he cannot fly again.
Shout-Out: To two legendary United States fighter groups.
Skipper's squadron, VF-17, aka "The Jolly Wrenches", is directly based on the real VF-17 squadron (Now VFA-103), "The Jolly Rogers".
Judge Davis is explicitly mentioned to be a "Red Tail" P-51 Mustang, which makes him a member of the 332nd Fighter Group, better known as the Tuskegee Airmen.
Another is to Top Gun, when the two Navy jets do a flyby of the Flysenhower, disturbing the Air Boss's coffee. Made more of a shoutout by the identity of the actors voicing the two jets.
In Skipper's World War II flashback, his squadron is using the callsign "Jigsaw," a reference to the old John Wayne movie Flying Leathernecks.
Stalker with a Crush: El Chupacabra toward Rochelle. At least until his successful serenade (assisted by Dusty) helps win Rochelle's heart.
Strange Salute: Since they have no hands, the forklifts salute with their forks and the military planes salute by folding up their wingtips. Corsairs like Skipper and F-18 Super Hornets like Bravo and Echo can actually do this. It looks like the American Military Salute.
Touché: When El Chu criticizes the identity issues of Franz Fliegenhosen, who switches personalities based on which mode he's in, Franz counters that El Chu is wearing a mask. "Touché," he says simply.