Thursday, November 21 2013 00:26

Disney's PLANES (Blu-ray Review)

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PLANESWhen Disney sent us a copy of their movie PLANES on Blu-ray, the whole family was excited since this was a situation where we've actually had many of the toys from Mattel for several months (I previously did a big feature on them here), but we hadn't yet seen the movie (theater-going is a new thing for my oldest, and FROZEN will be her first big-screen Disney experience). Being big fans of Disney•Pixar's CARS, seeing "The World above CARS" was something we'd been eagerly-awaiting since it was teased in the short film AIR MATER on the CARS 2 Blu-ray.

Produced by DisneyToon Studios and outside of the Pixar umbrella with an original plan of a direct-to-DVD release, the reaction to PLANES by critics and some online friends was really mixed upon it's theatrical run this summer. After watching it twice with the girls, I tend to think that a lot of people will unfairly harsh on it, for the simple reason that it's not a Pixar film, despite being a spin-off of something that they created.

planesreview2The animation is sharp, the sound design bold, and the film itself the pretty entertaining tale of Dusty Crophopper - a cropduster that aspires to be a lot more. In terms of story, there's a lot borrowed from the previous CARS films with Stacy Keach's Skipper recalling Paul Newman's Doc Hudson, and the entire Wings Around the Globe race feeling a lot like the World Grand Prix from CARS 2. For the film purists, those elements are likely points of contention, and very much in line with the familiar approach that a lot of direct-to-dvd titles tend to have. But it's not a bad thing here, as I look at things from a parental perspective these days: It's a story about friendship, being good to others and oneself, and the kids love it, and that's what really counts. And I dig it, too. So much that I'm already looking forward to next year's PLANES: FIRE & RESCUE, and my kids don't understand the concept of a "sequel" yet.


The Rock Father Rating: 4/5 Stars

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James Zahn

James Zahn is best-known as The Rock Father™, a media personality, commentator, adventurer and raconteur. He is the Owner, Publisher, and Editor-in-Chief of THE ROCK FATHER™ Magazine. In January, 2019, after nearly a decade of publishing The Rock Father™ Magazine, he joined Adventure Media and Events as Senior Editor of The Toy Book—the leading trade publication for the toy industry since 1984, as well as The Pop Insider — a destination for all things pop culture, and The Toy Insider — the leading consumer guide for toys and games. He is also editor of The Toy Report, a weekly newsletter published by The Toy Book each Thursday. Zahn has over 27 years of experience in the entertainment, retail and publishing industries.

He regularly serves as a Brand Ambassador and spokesperson for several Globally-recognized pop culture and lifestyle brands in addition to consulting for a number of toy manufacturers. 

Creatively, James has directed/edited music videos, lyric videos, and album trailers for bands such as FEAR FACTORY, has appeared as an actor in feature films and commercials, written comic books, and performed in bands. He currently serves as an artist manager and video director for PRODUCT OF HATE, whose debut album was released by Napalm Records in 2016, distributed by ADA/Warner Music in the U.S. with Universal Music handling global. A new album has been completed and is set for release this year.

Zahn and/or his work have been featured in/on CNN, NBC, ABC, WGN, CBS, GCTN, G4, The Chicago Tribune, Forbes, MarketWatch, Reuters, BusinessWire, Fangoria, Starlog and more. He's appeared as a music expert on CNN's AC360 alongside Anderson Cooper, and has been interviewed by Larry King. In the past he served as a writer for the Netflix Stream Team,  Fandango Family and PBS KIDS, penned articles for Sprout and PopSugar, and was a contributor to Chicago Parent.

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