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5 Reasons You Should Take Your Kids To See Disney’s Planes

standard August 8, 2013 Leave a response

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.”

5 Reasons You Should Take Your Kids to See Disney’s Planes

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.

Game of Your Life review – Family Movie Night

standard November 30, 2011 7 responses

We’ve finally reached a wonderful age in our house. The age where both girls can sit through a full length feature movie without getting up to wander away, bored, halfway through. Sure they’re not exactly ready for Steel Magnolias, but that’s fine with me, because, little known secret, I’m a sucker for kid and young adult movies.

That’s right, I’ll totally sit up late at night watching teeny-bopper movies by myself. In fact, I can’t wait for the girls to be old enough to watch them with me. In the meantime we enjoy true kids’ movies, which is just fine by me.

NBC has launched a great program that totally fits into my vision of spending at least one evening a week enjoying a movie with the kids. Family Movie Night, aptly named, features family friendly movies broadcasted for free on network TV.

This Friday’s movie, Game of Your Life, is a great pick, and I’m not just saying that because Lea Thompson is in it. (I’ve had a soft spot for her since Space Camp. Yes, I’m a geek.) The movie features Zack, computer game designer, who is headed to a prestigious computer game college program.

The movie covers family issues – Zach is desperate to help his dad save their family home, friendship issues – Zach and his team are competing in a tough contest and he’s dropping the ball, going away to college, balancing school work and personal issues, as well as a host of other topics that are sure to open the door for a great post-movie family discussion. As an added bonus it paints college as a really fun place where true passions can be followed!

The plot was entertaining, the conflict believable, and while the dialogue wasn’t always as well written as it could have been, the movie definitely passes muster for an in-home evening of entertainment.

Catch the movie this Friday, December 2nd on NBC at 8pm ET/7pm CT and chat with other viewers on the official Family Movie Night Facebook page!

Please note: I wrote this review while participating in a campaign by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of P&G. I have been compensated for my time, but the opinions and thoughts contained in this post are mine and mine alone.

Tinker Bell, critique by a literary snob

standard December 8, 2008 5 responses

The Tinker Bell I got to know back in English Lit class was a vindictive little jealous bitch who was always out to get Wendy. Of all the books I studied in all the classes I took for my Masters in Children’s literature, Peter Pan was one of my favorites. I loved the story, but more importantly I loved the characters, including bitchy little Tink.

Disney has a bit of a history of taking great literary works and turning them into simpering cartoons. (The Hunchback of Notre Dame or Beauty and the Beast anyone?) So I will admit that I cringed a bit when I saw that not only were they creating a movie based on Tinker Bell, but that they were essentially creating a whole world around her. I was worried that they would turn my feisty little competitive fairy into a sickly sweet magical sweetheart. I don’t think I would have handled that very well.

Had it just been all about me I would have gladly avoided anything to do with the disneyfied fairy. But it’s no longer just about me. Noooo, now it’s all about my darling children, and the 3-year-old, she loves her some Disney girlie stuff, namely princesses and fairies. So, when I saw that Tinker Bell was on TV the other night, even though I was sure I would hate it, I recorded the movie because I knew C would be thrilled. You know, despite the fact that I was pretty sure that we’d be watching it over and over and over and over again.

I was right about watching it a lot, I was wrong about hating it.

It pains me to say it, but Disney did a great job of building on a great literary work. Despite a cutesie little nod to the original story at the very end, Tinker Bell is actually a good movie. The characters are well developed, the story is good, and the message is one I can endorse and which I’m glad C is drinking in. After all, who can’t use the reminder that we’re all good at some things and we should work hard at perfecting those talents rather than being envious of everyone else’s?

Beyond a good (original) story, a well constructed world, and some interesting characters, the animation is amazing and the music is lovely. C is entranced by the movie and already knows it by heart and yet, I’m still considering putting it on our holiday wishlist. No joke. It’s that good. And that’s high praise coming from this literature snob.