My girls were so excited when we had family movie time and got a chance to watch Disney Planes. We are big Disney fans in our house and there is nothing we love better than cuddling up together for some quality family time. In addition to providing laughs and popcorn, Planes also provided a chance to have a family discussion about courage.
Planes tells the story of Dusty Crophopper who dreams of being a racing champion despite being a crop duster. This fact causes him a fair amount of ridicule but he is undeterred as he and his friends work together to help make his dream come true. Along the way, Dusty faces many challenges he must overcome. He learns how to show true courage in the face of obstacles which leads to a happy ending that our audience loved.
For me, any good kid’s movie sparks a discussion afterward. Planes is no exception. It touches upon some themes, values, and lessons that I want to teach my kids. When the movie ended, I talked to my kids about courage, specifically how Dusty displayed courage in the movie. Each of my girls has a few things they have been scared to do or try. By thinking about the ways Dusty was courageous, we might find some ideas we can use as well.
I asked my kids to think about some ways that Dusty exhibited courage in the movie. Here is what they came up with:
- Dusty overcame his fear of heights.
- He flies through a scary storm.
- Dusty stands up for himself when bullied by another plane.
- Dusty is not afraid to help another plane in trouble even if it means he finishes last himself.
- Dusty follows his dream even though he was teased.
As you can see, these are great values that many parents want their children to learn. But how can we take values displayed in a movie and make them personal for our kids? I tried to relate the values to something that was going on in their lives. When we talked about how Dusty was afraid of heights, I asked my kids if there was anything they were afraid to do. One of my twins has been feeling anxiety about an upcoming trip to a theme park because she was scared to go on a roller coaster. She was afraid it would go too fast and too high, but she did want to go with her dad and other sister. When the day came to visit the theme park, she decided to try the roller coaster. She pronounced it as “mostly good but a little bad.” She was very proud of herself and we all congratulated her for being courageous like Dusty.
Dusty did not allow himself to be pushed around by a bully and this sparked an interesting discussion about what my kids can do if someone is being mean to them. They came up with some great suggestions like tell parents or a teacher, but I wanted to arm them with tools they could use on their own if they needed to. We talked about how they can say in a loud voice, “STOP it, I don’t like it,” and then walk away. We practiced role playing on each other until the kids felt confident using those words.
Sometimes the most courageous thing you can do is to be yourself and follow your dreams even when others are telling you to be something else or give up your dreams. Since my kids are 5 and 3 they don’t have dreams yet about what they want to do. What they do have are interests and ideas that might not fall in line with what their peers are doing. We talked about how everyone has different personalities and interests. Many kids in their class play soccer. This does not happen to be interesting to my kids. They are, however, very interested in art, books, and swimming. We talked about how they can be proud of their interests and not have to feel pressured to do something because it seems like everyone else is doing it.
As you can see, Planes is not only an entertaining family movie, but a springboard for deeper discussion with kids. You can own it on Blu-ray Combo Pack & Digital HD on November 19!