I figure that since we went as a family on opening weekend to see Disney’s Planes that it’s about time I gave the flick my famous Jesskel & Ebert review.
We basically loved it.
I’m not even bias about that opinion as the mother of a Cars obsessed little boy. He gets really jazzed about all things car because, frankly, if he didn’t, he’d probably be voted out of the family. And more recently he’s been crazed about space so I was a bit hesitant that he wouldn’t be such a huge fan of what lies in between the two.
There were parts where Steve and I found ourselves guffawing loudly (because, thank god, Disney gets what it’s like to be a parent who will undoubtedly sit through 9,475,209 viewings of one of their “kid’s” films in the course of a single week) and parts we found Dylan losing his marbles. As East-coasters by birth, we both found it unsurprisingly refreshing that this was the line Dylan walked away with, repeating it to anyone, who was willing to listen, about “dat Planes movie”:
“Go back to Jersey, you bum!”
Now I do want to chat a little about some of the buzz I started to hear around this and another film that came out near the same time. A lot of people were wondering if we’re “giving our children the wrong idea about being able to do whatever they want”…yep. You read that right.
Surely this opinion is coming out of context and I just gave you such a snippet up for (mis)interpretation, but this is my thought about movies that encourage or send the message to our children that they can be whatever it is that they want.
I had an amazing senior English teacher, Mrs. Smith. She was the one teacher I had in all of my schooling who enabled my constant desire to ninja kick down all four sides of the box, never to be or think within one again. This is the teacher who made us write our own eulogies, as high school seniors, and instead of that assignment being something dark and morbid and crippling, it proved to be one of the most introspective moments of self-discovery for every single student to whom she’d assigned the task. This woman, she would say, “I knew I could be anything I wanted to be when I grew up, except for a Chinese farmer.” That was true. Mrs. Smith was a fair-featured, white woman, who taught English in Arizona and would never be a Chinese farmer. A lesson that resonated to me that I could be anything I wanted to be when I grew up, if it wasn’t completely impossible. For example, I could never grow up to be a crop-duster turned award-winning aerial racer. Because I’m a human lady person and not a machine.
All this to say, that if we encourage our children to become whatever it is they want to become with the understanding of the impossible, it’s possible that these “feel good films” won’t totally destroy them or give them a false sense of reality.
I know you’ll be spending a good deal of time wiping the brain matter off of your monitor now that your mind has exploded, but it’s true. Movies are meant for entertaining and parenthood is meant for educating. Oh shit, I hope you were sitting down for that last part. My bad.
Well, once you’re done with your unexpected housekeeping, take your kids (or just yourself if you haven’t made any kids) to catch a showing of Disney Planes over the holiday weekend.
Sticky seats and popcorn treats!