Planes appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.78:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. Across the board, the movie looked great.
Sharpness looked immaculate. At all times, the flick seemed crisp and well-defined, with no notable instances of softness on display. Jaggies and shimmering remained absent, and I noticed no signs of edge haloes. Source flaws played no role here, as the film stayed clean and fresh.
Colors became a strength. Planes boasted a broad, dynamic palette and the hues always seemed solid. The various tones were consistently lively and really sumptuous. Blacks looked dark and tight, and shadows demonstrated good clarity and smoothness. I felt pleased with this terrific transfer.
The DTS-HD MA 7.1 soundtrack of Planes also soared. It came with a wide variety of sequences that gave us chances for vivid material, and it brought those out in a satisfying way. The movie used the many flight scenes to allow elements to zoom around the room, and quieter scenes still came with nice environmental material that seemed convincing. All of these combined in a lively manner that used the speakers to immerse us in the film.
Audio quality was solid. Music appeared vivid and rich, with good highs and warm lows. Speech was consistently distinctive and natural, while effects showed great range. Those elements appeared accurate and dynamic, as they packed a strong punch. Everything worked nicely here to form a strong soundtrack.
Don’t expect a ton of extras here. We open with an Exclusive Musical Scene. “Franz’s Song” runs three minutes, 18 seconds and opens with an intro from director Klay Hall and producer Traci Balthazor-Flynn. After they tell us a little about the scene, we see the production number with Dusty’s biggest fan. It’s short and cute but insubstantial.
Under Klay’s Flight Plan, we get a 15-minute, 31-second piece with Hall, Balthazor-Flynn, executive producer John Lasseter, writer Jeff Howard, and animation director Sheryl Sackett. We learn about the film’s roots and development, story areas, Hall’s affinity for planes, research and accuracy. “Plan” mixes Hall’s personal experiences with production details in a reasonably satisfying manner. It turns fluffy at times, but it still offers some good notes.
Two Deleted Scenes follow. After a 35-second intro from Hall and Balthazor-Flynn, we locate “Training Montage” (4:51) and “Taj Mahal” (2:43). (Note that the running times include additional lead-ins from Hall and Balthazor-Flynn.) The intros give us some good notes about why the sequences didn’t make the cut, while the actual segments are mildly interesting at best; neither offers much that would add to the tale.
Two more featurettes follow. Meet the Racers goes for five minutes, 38 seconds and provides notes about El Chu, Ripslinger, Dusty and Ishani. The Dusty segment is really a quick short, while Ishani’s is a music video. The other two give us narration from the characters and tell us a little more about them. All four offer some moderate amusement.
Finally, the five-minute, 53-second Top 10 Flyers includes narration from sports host Colin Cowherd. He tells us about the top 10 real-life – ie, non-cartoon – flyers of all-time. It’s a quick little educational piece; it doesn’t tell us a ton, but it’s a good entry point for kids.
The disc opens with ads for Planes: Fire & Rescue, Frozen and The Jungle Book. Sneak Peeks adds promos for the Planes video game, the Little Mermaid sequels, Iron Man and Hulk: Heroes United, Mary Poppins and The Pirate Fairy. No trailer for Planes appears here.
A second disc delivers a DVD copy of Planes. It includes “Klay’s Flight Plan” and “Meet the Racers” but omits any of the other extras.
No one will pick Planes as an animated classic, but it provides acceptable family fare. While it excels in no way, it delivers just enough entertainment to keep us with it across its 91 minutes. The Blu-ray boasts terrific picture and audio along with minor supplements. Nothing about Planes dazzles, but it’s a watchable little cartoon adventure.