Paper Planes is a 2015 Australian 3D children's drama film directed by Robert Connolly which he co-wrote with Steve Worland and co-produced with Liz Kearney and Maggie Miles. The film stars Sam Worthington, David Wenham, Deborah Mailman and Ed Oxenbould. The film tells a story about Dylan, a young boy who lives in Australia who finds out that he has a talent for making paper planes and dreams of competing in the World Paper Plane Championships in Japan.
Shot in both country and metro Western Australia, but intended to be New South Wales (given they "drive down to Sydney"). Paper Planes was shot at an abandoned school in Gidgegannup, an old house in Baldivis, Challenge Stadium, Whiteman Park, the Perth Zoo and the Aviation Heritage Museum in Bull Creek.
It opened in Australian cinemas on 15 January 2015 on 253 screens by Roadshow Films. It grossed A$9.61 million at the Australian box office by the end of its run. The story is loosely inspired by an episode of Australian Story called "Fly With Me", and was the center of a second episode, "The Meaning of Life". Paper Planes was released on DVD and Blu-ray on June 24, 2015 by Roadshow Entertainment.
Sam Worthington as Jack Webber
Ed Oxenbould as Dylan Webber
Ena Imai as Kimi Muroyama
Nicholas Bakopoulos-Cooke as Jason Jones
Julian Dennison as Kevin
David Wenham as Patrick Jones
Deborah Mailman as Maureen Prescott
Peter Rowsthorn as Mr. Hickenlooper
Terry Norris as George "Grandpa" Webber
On 9 November 2013 it was announced that filming had begun in Perth, Western Australia and Tokyo with Robert Connolly directing. Sam Worthington, David Wenham, Julian Dennison and Ed Oxenbould star in the film. It was released on 15 January 2015.
Paper Planes was released on DVD and Blu-ray on June 24, 2015 by Roadshow Entertainment.
Critical response and box office
This film currently holds an 81% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. By the end of its run it had grossed A$9.61 million at the Australian box office. Simon Weaving of Screenwize called the film "a wholesome, feel good tale of a primary school under-dog who dreams of getting to the world paper plane championships in Japan." Jim Schembri of 3AW wrote in his review "In one of the great career gear shifts in recent memory, Melbourne director Robert Connolly, who gave us such searing dramas as The Bank, Three Dollars and Balibo, delivers an adorable family film that is uplifting, warm, winning and, most of all, funny." Fiona Williams of sbs.com.au says "there's a lot to like in Paper Planes' ideas about ingenuity and resilience, and that may bode well for getting bums off the beach and onto seats in the film's late summer school holiday release period."
While the film performed strongly at the box office domestically in Australia, it was less successful in its international debut (U.K./Ireland,) opening at #47 and earning £4,381 in its opening weekend (October 23–25, 2015.) The film was released in Spain on January 1, 2016 (the film's only European theatrical release as of February 2016) and opened at #29 with a gross of US$7,577 from 21 screens, for a per-theater average of $361.Paper Planes
Beauty In the World
Ready to Launch
My Journey Starts Here
A Bird That Cannot Fly
Take Your Positions
Do Emus Dream of Flying?
The Final Challenge
Is There a Movie on This Flight?
Tokyo by Night
For As Long As It Takes
Learn to Live
Steve Worland, who co-wrote Paper Planes, novelised the screenplay into a best selling book for young readers. It was published on 2 January 2015 through Puffin Books. It includes directions on how to fold a paper plane, photographs from the film and notes about the production.