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Western Animation / Planes

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Planes is a Spin-Off film based on the Disney/Pixar franchise Cars, produced by Disneytoon Studios, the studio behind the Tinker Bell film series. The film is directed by Klay Hall and is under the creative leadership of John Lasseter, who also directed Cars and Cars 2.

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, originally planned for a Direct-to-DVD release in Spring 2013, was released theatrically instead on August 9, 2013. A sequel, called Planes: Fire & Rescue, was released July 18, 2014.


The character sheet can be found here.


  • Acrophobic Plane: Dusty. Skipper, too.
  • Adorkable: Dusty.
    • Franz Fliegenhosen. A tiny Messerschmitt Tiger/Aerocar hybrid with Split Personality, who befriends Dusty.
  • All Is Well That Ends Well: Not a single one of Dusty's fellow racers is bothered at all about the fact that they handed him the victory by giving him parts, making all of them finish one position back from where they would have if Dusty wouldn't have flown. Given that he earned earned the respect and friendship of a good many of them during the race, and that he helped dethrone a real Jerkass of a competitor and his lackeys, it's fairly understandable.
  • Ascended Fanboy: Dusty to the racing circuit and to the Jolly Wrenches in the end, though it's only an "honorary" position.
  • Berserk Button: Chug nearly tears Ned and Zed a new one when they refer to him as a "leaky old fuel truck".
    Chug: "Who are you callin' leaky?! I'll leak on you if you don't watch your intake!"
  • Advertisement:
  • Big Bad: Ripslinger, the defending champion.
  • Big "NO!": Ripslinger when he is about to crash following Dusty's win.
  • The Big Race: The Wings Around the Globe Rally.
  • Big "WHAT?!": By Ripslinger when Dusty overtakes him before the finish. Followed by a...
  • Big "YES!": By Dusty when he wins the race.
  • Bland-Name Product: skyPad and FlewTube, got it?
  • Broken Aesop: Dusty Crophopper, dreams of competing against his heroes in a race around the world. Unfortunately, being a crop duster, he's not built for speed and must compensate with his considerable skill, setting up a lesson about how hard work and talent aren't as important as dedicated practice and perseverance. And then the rest of the cast donates new, superior parts to him so he can compete in the finale, to the point that by the time he's upgraded and ready to fly, he's not actually a crop duster anymore. Guess you can't be a winner unless you're built to win after all. Then again, he did fly the majority of the race as a stock cropduster and managed to get pretty far, and the only reason he got a major upgrade is because he suffered a near-fatal crash in the final legs of the race that left him no longer flightworthy. Those who donated the parts were people that he either helped out along the way, or those whom Dusty had gained the respect of through his perseverance and selfless actions. So really, the Aesop wasn't so much broken as it was derailed into one about how being a kind underdog is better than being a naturally talented jerkass.
  • Broken Pedestal:
    • Skipper when Dusty learned he exaggerated his accomplishments.
    • Dusty used to idolize Ripslinger, but by the time of the tryouts, he's angered when he begins insulting him, and becomes his main rival for the race.
  • The Cameo:
    • Brent Mustangburger from Cars 2 appears as the announcer for the race.
    • Van (or his character model) can be spotted in the crowd of photographers. Also two of the Tokyo party chef forklifts from Cars 2 can be spotted during a montage.
    • Despite not a Pixar movie, John Ratzenberger voiced a one-scene cameo, Harland. Harland is a somewhat-ditzy and Motor Mouth jet tug that Dusty asked the direction to the pit row, and he told Dusty the long and complicated description of the navigation until Tripp, the boeing plane he accompanied, told Dusty to just go straight ahead and to the right.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The tailwind.
  • Clueless Aesop: The movie falls into the same trap as The Emoji Movie by having the main character embrace who he truly wants to be in a world of anthropomorphized vehicles, where everyone is created for a very specific purpose.
  • 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 F4U Corsair.
    • Bulldog is one of the greatest racers, and mail planes, of the inter war years, the de Havilland DH.88 Comet, most famous for having an all wooden construction, and being a sort of technological demonstrator, mostly the wooden construction, for one of the most successful, versatile (had every imaginable role except day-fighter, too sluggish for that, and heavy bomber, too light) and fastest allied planes of WWII the de Havilland DH.98 Mosquito.
  • Covered in Kisses: El Chupacabra, as seen the day after his serenade to Rochelle, which worked a little too well...
  • Covers Always Lie: The soundtrack cover of the movie features Ripslinger taking most space on it, and Dusty shifted inches away from him, and El Chupacabra far, far away in the front right corner, whereas on the poster, Dusty and El Chupacabra are way at the bottom. Ripslinger is actually not the hero...
  • Cultural Translation: Rochelle is a different nationality depending on which country you're in.
  • Darker and Edgier: Cars 1 was a very cheerful movie where the worst that happened to anyone was to get banged up during a race. Cars 2 upped the ante by showing guns, missiles and explosions, and at least one implied - but not directly shown - death. Planes got even darker, with a military confrontation resulting in several planes getting blown out of the sky or shot down in full flaming detail.
  • Dick Dastardly Stops to Cheat: Ripslinger stops to teach Dusty a lesson on the final leg. By how close it ends up at the end, those few seconds could have won in the race fairly.
  • Disqualification-Induced Victory: Dusty competes in a test race deciding which planes will get into the big "Wings Around the Globe" race. He manages to get to the sixth place, just below the winner planes. He comes back home depressed, but a day or so later, a guy arrives to tell him that one of the winner planes was using an illegal fuel, and therefore Dusty got in after all.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Dusty gets into the race when one of the planes that timed better than him is found to have used an illegal formula in his fuel.
    • 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 re-appears 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!"
  • Dub Name Change: Repeatedly with Rochelle, accompanied by a Palette Swap each time. In the North American and UK versions she's Canadian with a Quebec accent and a Maple Leaf paint scheme, but most export releases change her nationality, paint scheme and usually name to suit the home audience. In the Australian and French versions she's still named Rochelle, but her name gets changed to Azzurra in Italy, Carolina in Latin America, Heidi in Germany, Sakura in Japan, Tanya in Russia and Yun Yan Fei in China.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Skipper, Sparky and all of Propwash Junction appeared in the short Air Mater.
  • Emergency Transformation: Dusty gets one after his near-fatal dive into the ocean. Most of the other racers pitch in by donating parts allow Dusty to fly in the final leg of the race. Also doubles as an 11th-Hour Superpower, as most of Dusty's donated parts are far superior to what he was previously working with, including the ability to retract his landing gear to decrease drag.
  • Everything Sounds Sexier in French: Rochelle sometimes speaks Canadian-French.
  • 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.
  • Family-Unfriendly Death: Skipper's entire squadron is shot down on-screen during their attack on the enemy fleet.
  • Flight of Romance: Ishani takes Dusty on one to see the Taj Mahal. Subverted in that her real purpose is to tell him a "shortcut" that is supposed to put him behind, but nearly winds up killing him.
  • Fly-at-the-Camera Ending: As expected from a movie about planes.
  • Foreshadowing: During the German bar scene, Ripslinger can briefly be seen talking to Ishani, convincing her to trick Dusty into following the railroad during the Himalayan leg of the race.
  • Furry Confusion: There are "human" airplanes and "bird" airplanes (perhaps drones?) in the movie's universe.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: El Chu and Rochelle's first conversation is loaded with this, in particular the bit about breaking through ice.
  • Grease Monkey: Skipper's righthand forklift Sparky.
  • Helicopter Blender: During the final leg of the race, Ripslinger uses his propellers to clip Skipper's rudder. Ripslinger then explains that his brand of propellers are called "skyslicers" for precisely that reason.
  • Ironic Fear: See Irony.
  • Irony: Dusty is a plane who's afraid of heights.
  • The Kiddie Ride: From Cogan, we have Dusty himself. The ride features music, sound effects and lights.
  • Lampshaded Double Entendre: When Dusty had just arrived in airport near pit rows for the racers, he saw two female forklifts were gossiping. One of them said: "He's way too much baggage, if you know what I mean."
  • Latin Lover: El Chu.
  • Lucky Seven: Dusty's racing number is 7, he wins.
    • Skipper also has a 7 on his hull. Skipper was the only one of his squad to come out alive.
  • Male Gaze: Parodied when El Chu gets his first look at Rochelle.
    • Dusty takes a long look at Ishani's rear propeller when he first meets her.
  • Military Salute: The forklifts and planes on the aircraft carrier. See Strange Salute below.
  • Never Trust a Trailer: Trailers suggested a plane dropping outhouses made a commentator describe it as disgusting. The commentator was describing a previous scene where a plane spits on the floor.
  • Nice Guy: Dusty helps out whenever he can, which pays off when he's severely damaged and the other racers donate new parts to keep him in the race.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: Dusty is tricked by Ripslinger into following the train tracks through the Himalayas, which end at a tunnel through the mountain. Too scared to fly above and too determined not to proceed, he decides to fly through, allowing him to advance to first place. He even taunts Ripslinger to this effect.
  • Nose Art: In spades. Only types A and C.
  • Overcrank: The scene where the flagman drops the flag to signal the start of the race and Dusty managing to beat Ripslinger are shown in dramatic slow motion.
  • Palette Swap: Rochelle's Canadian paint scheme from the versions released in North America and Britain gets changed in most export versions along with her nationality and usually her name. She has completely different Australian, Brazilian, Chinese, German, Italian, Japanese and Russian color schemes, while the French version of Rochelle is essentially her default Canadian paint job with the maple leaves removed and a subtle hue shift to a more magenta base color.
  • Parodies For Dummies: Chug briefly reads Air Racing for Dummies at the beginning.
  • Punny Name: The USS Flysenhower, which is a clear pun on CVN-69, the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower.
  • Product Placement: Tripp note , 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.
    • Chug is shown reading a book called Air Racing for Dummies.
    • Chug selling all the Dusty memoralia can be seen as in-universe parody of the trope.
  • Recycled In Space: Cars WITH PLANES!
  • Rewatch Bonus: Eagle-eyed viewers will notice Ripslinger leaning to the side as he crosses the finish during Colin's description of his 3-time win, foreshadowing Dusty's winning tactic.
  • 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: Fire & 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, one of whom was Benjamin O. Davis, Jr., a pilot who ultimately became a United States Air Force General.
    • 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.
  • Stiff Upper Lip: Bulldog doesn't cry, he's British.
  • 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.
  • Theme Twin Naming: Ned and Zed.
  • 13 Is Unlucky: Ripslinger's racing number is 13, he loses. But that was pretty much a Foregone Conclusion, anyway.
  • Those Two Guys: The two jet fighters.
  • 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.
  • Toilet Humor: At the end of the race, Ripslinger crashes into some portable toilets and oil is splattered all over.
  • Triumphant Reprise: The first time "Nothing Can Stop Me Now" is heard, it is during Dusty's daydream and sounds quite ironic, since he's afraid of heights. Then when he finally gets over his fear near the end, the song plays again in the end credits and becomes unironic, since there's literally nothing that can stop him.
  • Underdogs Never Lose: Naturally.
  • Vertigo Effect: Whenever Dusty flies higher than he's accustomed to before he overcomes his Acrophobia.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Because Ripslinger wants to become the first four-time champion of the Wings Around the Globe and gets upset when the attention of the press turns to Dusty. He really snaps when Dusty takes first place after Ishani's trick to get the crop duster killed by a train goes wrong. It's then when decides to cheat during the race so that he can win. He gets worse after losing to Dusty and has to endure a Humiliation Conga.
  • We Can Rebuild Him: Using all the parts that the other racers donated to Dusty, Dottie and a few other pitties repair Dusty and turn him into Military Mashup Machine with a crop duster's body, a pair of wings from a T-33 Shooting Star, and a fourbladed Sky Slycer prop.
  • World Tour: The big race.