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Disney Planes is entertaining but shallow add-on to film

In Disney Planes, players take control of several

In Disney Planes, players take control of several popular characters to compete in races, perform tricks and earn medals. (Credit: Handout)

With a simple flick of the wrist, Dusty Crophopper spins gracefully through the air and soars through a checkpoint, as several other planes race closely behind him. Dusty dodges a giant snowball and speeds ahead of the pack, finishing the race in a burst of confetti as the announcers go crazy in the background.

Wii players eager to take to the skies can experience this highflying action for themselves in Disney Planes, the video game based on the new animated film. In the game, players take control of Dusty and other characters from the movie to compete in races, take photographs, pop balloons, and participate in a host of other kid-friendly activities.

While the game captures the look and humor of Disney’s newest flick, it never gives players much to do outside of collecting items in several locations from the movie and racing with friends in Mario Kart-style arenas.

The game is definitely geared toward younger players.  There no possibility of losing in the story mode, and the game also never even forces players to start a mission over. In fact, the only indication of how well a player performs comes in the form of different medals earned at the end of each level. Medals help players achieve new pilot ranks, which unlock additional game modes, characters and locations.

Disney Planes is bound to be entertaining for fans of the film, as it features the notable characters -- such as Dusty, El Chu and Ripslinger -- and trademark silliness of its big-screen counterpart. Flight controls and tricks are easy to learn, allowing even the youngest pilot to pull off flips and turns with the Wii remote. And the game allows a second player to join in at any time with a drop-in, dropout co-op mode, making it perfect for playing with a sibling or a friend.

But parents, be prepared to hear the same corny one-liners and quips over and over throughout the game’s short five hour playtime. Even though the cast of the movie reprises roles for the game, players are treated to the same lines of dialogue in all levels. That can become grating very quickly. After a few minutes, you may be glad that the game only lasts a bit longer than the film itself.

Bottom Line: Disney Planes is an acceptable holdover for young fans looking for more highflying action, but don’t expect the fun to last for long.

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