A familiar but enjoyable flight-path

Disney's latest 3D animated adventure, Planes, will be in cinemas from August 16, 2013. (S)
Disney's latest 3D animated adventure, Planes, will be in cinemas from August 16, 2013. (S)

If you were looking for the ideal children’s in-flight entertainment you’d be hard-pressed to find anything that fitted the bill better than Disney’s summer offering, Planes – in 3D.

Which is why British Airways have bagged it and are already showing it on board scheduled flights ahead its UK general release on Friday, August 16.

The follow-up to Cars and Cars II, its characters are different – these are, after all, planes, not cars – but the format is tried and tested and the plots are not exactly a long-haul flight apart.

Here we meet Dusty, a backwater crop-duster who dreams of becoming a champion aerial racer. Burdened by surplus equipment and an unhelpful fear of heights (well, he never has to fly high in his job, does he?), the odds are stacked against him.

But he turns to an old hand for advice and is soon on his way to showing the world what an underdog like him can achieve with honesty and determination.

And along the way, there’s love interest, a despicable baddie, a has-been who becomes a still-is, and at least one uplifting message for the children.

It doesn’t matter if it all seems familiar – it’s not made with you in mind!

That said, there are a few in-jokes for the enjoyment of accompanying adults – the aircraft-carrier is called the USS Flysinhower, for example – and Dusty’s friend, the Mexican plane El Chupacabra, has some great moments of impassioned pique.

Voices by high-calibre star turns such as Stacy Keach and John Cleese also give it lift.

Planes is fast, fun, and – in RealD 3D format – fantastically vivid.

If you’re looking for a sure-fire way to keep the kids amused for a couple of hours, grab your popcorn, strap in and enjoy the flight.