Following the success of Cars in 2006, Disney released Planes in 2013, now on DVD. The colorful planes (and trucks and forklifts) are the characters in this children’s movie with nary a person in sight.
Planes follows the story of Dusty Crophopper, a crop duster with a big dream: He wants to fly in the Wings Around the Globe rally.
There is just one problem. Well, maybe two. Dusty wasn’t built for racing and he is afraid of heights.
No matter. With the help of his friends, he trains over the same fields he dusts, zipping across them and dodging silos and other obstacles. When Dusty qualifies for the rally, he enlists an old war plane to help him train for competition.
During the race, Dusty makes friends from around the world, pushes his own capabilities and learns that the reigning champion is not very nice.
In the end, Dusty is supported not only by friends, but also competitors and vehicles all over the world who dream of doing something more than they were built for.
This is a fun movie that draws kids in with its cute characters and simple storyline. It may be similar to many other children’s movies by way of plot but it adds a different element with its aerial acrobatics.
The overall message in this children’s movie has good intentions. It promotes reaching for your goals, overcoming your fears, working hard, never giving up and being helpful. However, ultimately Dusty must make a lot of physical changes to finish the race—something the younger kids may not pick up on but that critical adults may liken to plastic surgery. For the rest of the good messages presented, the physical changes can be addressed by talking with the birds about positive ways to get stronger (e.g., exercise, eat nutritious foods, practice favorite activities, etc.).
Planes isn’t as strong as Cars but it is entertaining. It’s a good choice for kids who like Cars the movie and for those who (like my son) are enthralled by cars, trucks, planes, helicopters . . . basically, all things vehicles.
Go in with low expectations and a child’s mindset, and you will enjoy it as much as the birds. Might I recommend stretching afterward with an arms out race around the living room or outside?
For more about the film, including photo galleries and video clips, visit Disney.com.
S.M. Hutchins is mom to a curious toddler and full-time stepmom to a teenager. She is a writer and copyeditor perpetually seeking the mystery, magic and wonder in everyday life. See more from S.M. Hutchins at www.livewonderstruck.com.