A Toddler's First Movie: A Review of Disney PlanesBeth Anne Ballance
I can’t remember exactly when I first heard about Disney Planes, just that I knew Harrison would love it. Like, we were going to go broke buying merchandise & we’d have the movie memorized after the tenth time watching it. That’s how we rolled in our house with Cars & Cars 2, so it’s not like I didn’t know what I was up against. Oh, Disney. You money-making machine, you.
At almost-four, it would be the perfect time introduce Harry to movie theater popcorn. Through the long hot days of summer & the release of Monsters University & Turbo, we waited. We held up fingers to count the weeks until Planes every time Harrison asked how much longer. He squealed every time a preview came on television or we passed the toy aisle at Target. We checked movie times & discussed the best approach to having a happy kid that wouldn’t disrupt the other movie-goers.
In the 1980’s, our parents took us to a movie & we ate smuggled snacks from home. In 2013, we created a life event for our kid. I even made e a pinnable image to go along with the self-centered blog post about taking my kid to the movies. Go figure.
On Sunday, as a way to wrench the emo preschooler from his post-vacation blues, we told him it was finally time. He put on his new airplane shirt & his eyes were big as saucers when we walked into the theater lobby, full of popcorn smells & 10-foot posters. He sat criss-cross-apple-sauce in the too-big seat & ate popcorn until he was stuffed. As expected, he adored Dusty on a borderline unhealthy level & when the movie was over, he was totally pissed that we had to leave.
Drumroll…the review of Disney Planes!
The movie: Dusty the crop duster is determined to be more than average & has some super-duper friends to help achieve his dreams, while learning lessons about honesty & believing in yourself. Many of the characters are carbon copies of Cars characters – the former champion mentor & the mildly stupid BFF & the hot high-end love interest.
Things you will like: there is no violence & no real bad guy. The villain is like Chick Hicks from Cars – obnoxious & rough, but no worse than the bully on the playground. There are some cute jokes & I found myself cheering for Dusty in the end. El Chupacabra is the endearing new Mater, only with a swishy cape & a strong libido.
Things you will dislike: it’s not a Pixar movie. I repeat – IT IS NOT A PIXAR MOVIE. If you go into Planes thinking it’s going to have the graphics, wit, & musical score of Tangled or Finding Nemo, you will be sorely disappointed. Planes was intended to be a straight-to-DVD film made by DisneyToon, which handles the majority of the Disney sequels.
Verdict: for us, it was the experience of taking Harry to the theater for a movie he’d been excited to see. If you have an extra $20 & a boring afternoon with kids under the age of six, it’s a solid choice.
p.s. harry is currently asleep upstairs with dusty the plane held tightly in his little hand. he would tell your to get your tail to the theater asap.
p.p.s. planes 2 is already in the works & slated to be released next year. oh, disney.