Rainy Day Movie Fun with the Kids at #DisneyPlanes

PLANES Disney's Planes. Family Movie Night Animated movie Rainy Day Movie FunI’m a bit of a cheapskate when it comes to movies. I need to get my money’s worth out of a movie. In college I saw a bunch of movies each year thanks to a frequent punch discount card. I’ve bought movies tickets through Groupon or used the ones in those Entertainment books. I LOVE receiving a gift card to a movie for my birthday or Christmas.

From time to time, I’ll leave a movie and think “That was SO not worth $12.” In order to get my money’s worth if at all possible, I evaluate each movie using the following Q&As:

  1. Q: Is the movie a comedy, chick flick, or movie starring a comedian? A: Wait for the movie to come out on DVD.
  2. Q: Is the movie a thriller or espionage-type movie, like The Bourne Identity or James Bond? A: See in movie theater at an evening performance.
  3. Q: Is the movie a period drama or based on a novel that features women? A: Leave the husband at home and catch the movie while a kid is at sports practice.
  4. Q: Is the movie about super heroes, like Wolverine, the Avengers, Iron Man? A: Take the family to the movie theater for a family activity.
  5. Q: Is the movie animated? A: If the movie is from Disney or Dreamworks, take the kids to a matinee. If the movie is not from a well-known animated movie company, wait for the DVD.

My system works as I rarely leave a movie theater disappointed. The kids and husband are a bit less worried and given the chance will see any movie at the movie theater. They can’t get enough of movie popcorn and bottomless drinks!

Good ole British Bulldog voiced by John Cleese, of course!

Good ole British Bulldog voiced by John Cleese, of course!

As a blogger from time to time I get perks that others don’t. These “perks” might mean I can take my family to see the circus in exchange for running a giveaway for circus tickets. Or I can take my kids to a local children’s museum if I agree to Tweet/Instagram/Facebook while we are visiting.  Another perk is movie screenings. Probably once every two months I get a chance to go to a screening for a movie, mostly kids’ movies, but occasionally I get a chance to go to new drama or chick flick.

This week I took my younger children to see a screening of the new Disney movie, Planes. Back when Cars was first released, we saw that film several times in the theater, and watched the DVD an extraordinary number of times. In fact, we STILL quote from Cars.

  • Lizzie standing near a statue of an old, broken down car: Stanley! Where are you Stanley?
  • Sarge to Filmore: The 60s weren’t good to you, were they?
  • Mater explaining to Lightning McQueen why Red is sad: He’s just shy and he hates you for killing his flowers.

At one point my son had a Cars lunchbox AND a Cars backpack. I was so obsessed…uh…eager to get my son the entire Cars collection of Happy Meal toys that I may have driven from McDonalds to McDonalds asking one bewildered cashier after another “Do you have a Sarge that I can trade this Lightning McQueen for?” Not that I was obsessed or anything…but I did collect the entire set. Took me a while!

My son had hours of fun reenacting the movie, Disney’s Cars, while playing with the cars from the movie, while watching the movie…and he was probably wearing a Cars shirt, too!

And a World of Cars movie wouldn't be as good without a trusty sidekick. Think of him as Mater's long-lost, but more on-the-ball cousin, Chug

And a World of Cars movie wouldn’t be as good without a trusty sidekick. Think of him as Mater’s long-lost, but more on-the-ball cousin, Chug

Now that Disney’s Planes is out, I knew my kids would want to see it, so when invitation came for the screening I wasted no time RSVPing. I was so grateful to have the screening to go to, first, because it is one of those blogger perks that we love, and second, because my oldest and my husband were out of town for a few days. The younger kids and I were missing them. Days seem long when two family members are gone, you know?

On the day of the screening, we had a morning of playing, doing summer workbooks, and a little screen time. By late afternoon when we were thoroughly rested, we piled in to the ole minivan to head to the screening. In the Musings from Me Family, when we attend a blogger event everyone shares their thoughts on the experience. Helps me to write the review. But more importantly, we have a chance to discuss the experience as a family. So what did we think of the movie?

  • My daughter — the 14-year-old — liked the movie a lot. Liked the similarities to the Cars movies. Said that though the storyline of Planes was a bit predictable, she still enjoyed the movie. She’s quite a bit older than the target kid audience, but she loves watching cartoons and animated films with her brother and Dad Knows Better. I secretly love that she is OK seeing a kiddie film…like Mom!
  • Me — I liked the movie. I got a kick out of the aerial shots of the race/air course with all the cars, trucks, and now planes in the stands. I thought the story was less convoluted than Cars 2, which is a good thing since my youngest didn’t get a lot of the references to James Bond and spy movies he had never seen. The little ones around me were RIVETED. I was a bit worried about the family behind me as the kids were talking a mile a minute before the opening credits started to roll, but as soon as the lights were lowered and the kids put on their 3D glasses, I heard nary a peep from any of them. And that my friends is the sign of a good kids’ movie…silence from the kids!
  • My son loved the movie. He IS in the target audience. He watched with rapt attention. I think he ate his share of the popcorn BEFORE the movie so he could focus on the movie! I mentioned that I was a bit of a cheapskate, right? We always share an enormous “barrel” of popcorn! He loved the Army and aircraft carrier sequences. I don’t know about you but I would love to explore all the nooks and crannies of an at-sea, still-in-service aircraft carrier. He liked the aerial action sequences. I agree with him.

My only quibble with Disney’s Planes is that the graphics and animation weren’t nearly as good as Disney’s Cars. Of course compared to other animated kids’ films the graphics in Planes was pretty good. The storyline was not as multifaceted as Cars, which I was disappointed by, but I think younger kids will enjoy that Planes is mostly about the air race. What I found most intriguing about Cars was the attention to detail. In every frame of the movie, there was a photograph or a bumper sticker or a funny looking car in the background that showed the attention to detail of the Disney animator. All in all this movie was a good one for kids and a great movie to go to on days when kids are climbing the walls or it is raining cats and dogs!


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