When my daughters first saw the movie Cars they were confused by the whole concept. They thought the movie was about the twins that the camera pans over in the stands during the opening credits. They thought the twins were babies and couldn’t understand why they never came back onto the screen.
We shelved the movie for a while.
Of course it didn’t take too much longer for the attraction of animated cars and machines to make itself known and Cars rapidly became a family favorite. So, it’s no real surprise that we loved Planes, which is set “above the world of Cars.”
1) It’s not Cars in the air.
We walked out of the theater and my husband said “I feel like I just saw Cars again.” Which is ridiculous, first of all, because he’s never seen Cars in it’s entirety, and second of all, because it’s just not true.
Cars is about a hot shot racer who gets stranded in a backwater town and learns to be humble and in doing so becomes a better racer who also happens to be a good friend.
Planes is about a small town farmer who desperately wants to be a racer. See? Already different. He’s already an all around good guy who has to overcome adversity in order to achieve his dreams.
Yes, in each of the movies there’s a crotchety old guy who helps each of the racers achieve their goals, but really, aside from the imagery, which is similar because the movies are set in the same world, that’s the only parallel that can really be drawn.
2) Life lessons by the
boat plane load for kids and adults alike
My girls both loved the movie and walked away having learned that perseverance is the name of the game. They also learned that you can be who you want to be, even if no one else believes you can. The grown-ups in the room had a lot of laughs and also felt somewhat motivated by the movie’s underlying message: our pasts aren’t all perfect, but it doesn’t mean we can’t still be an asset to someone today.
3) It’s just
plane plain fun
There’s racing, jokes, friendship, suspense, good guys, bad guys, great scenery… basically everything you’d want in a fun family movie. I promise this isn’t a movie parents have to grit their teeth and tolerate for the sake of the children’s entertainment.
4) It’s a great conversation starter
As we were walking out I asked M and the kids what they had learned from the movie. Each had a different take-away and it lead to a great dinner conversation. Sometimes it’s nice to take a break from the tried-and-true “What were your highs and lows today?”
5) It’s still Cars Land
It’s a world of anthropomorphized vehicles. You’d think it would be challenging to suspend disbelief enough to get into the story, but oddly, it’s really not. I can’t get enough of it. They’re funny, and cute, and after you leave the movie theater you realize that all cars are designed to look like they’re smiling at you, and it’s really hard not to smile back.
In short, take your kids. You won’t regret it.
My only hang-up with the entire film? While a handful of characters were incredibly well developed, some were a little lacking in the fleshing out department. It would have been an even stronger movie if they’d all been equally rounded out.
Please note: I was not compensated for this review. We were treated to a pre-showing of the movie.