Did Disney’s Planes ‘Copy’ Themes From Another Book?

I DON’T KNOW if it was intentional and I don’t know if it’s just me but there seems to be a parallel between the themes of this new Disney® blockbuster movie hit, “PLANES®” and a favorite line in a book I read a long time ago. Now, before I move on further and illustrate examples, I have to warn those who haven’t watched the movie that this post has spoiler content so do not read further if you would like to watch the movie first and come back to this blog later. That might be more better.

Ready, amigo? Here we go! I’ll highlight some movie scenes as examples then I will conclude in a while.

Dusty talks to Bulldog

Dusty and Bulldog engage in some friendly conversation

First, when Bulldog suffered engine problems and lost his sight, Dusty immediately went to help without becoming ‘Hero-like’ in that segment? How? As this very fast night-scene went, the movie’s director chose an extreme wide shot/EWS to show two planes darting down an extreme angle showing not one but two planes that seem to be plunging to their end.

Immediately, Bulldog was shown with Dusty in that scene that put the protagonist in harms way. He started shouting instructions to the sightless British competitor while zooming past building structures and rough mountain terrains and on to Finish line.

In a now or never scene, Ripslinger and Ned are about to show Dusty the exit

In a now or never scene, Ripslinger and Ned are about to show Dusty the exit

As an afterthought, I realized Klay Hall, the director of the animation, showed moviegoers how Dusty’s innate character is to help.  Hall didn’t put any emphasis on our hero and his action where he needed to think first and react after to demonstrate how he “needed” to be out of the race in order to help someone. In an instant, Dusty just dove in and helped a contender who was in need. And yes Dusty finished last in that race but he gained a friend in Bulldog.

Second, twin planes, Ned and Zed, and their hostile leader, Ripslinger, didn’t make it easy (and almost for caused Dusty his demise) for our Dust Cropper main character to stay in contention in the race. The protagonists, cheated, bribed, and disabled our central character that got him crippled in the process but he  just won’t give up in the face of adversities and in the end friends — his fellow competitors — helped out. Awesome display of determination, cooperation, and friendship in the face of competition.

Dusty confronted Skipper, a vintage, World War II fighter plane, after learning that he wasn’t the bemedalled hero plane that he said he was. Dusty showed his relentless pursuit for truth when he drilled his ‘Wingman’ about his background and got the truth he wanted to hear from Skip. It’s the most dramatic scenes in the movie for me but yes, Dusty forgave him in the end but he never showed bitterness.

Dusty intervened and El Chupacabra finally got Rochelle's heart

Dusty intervened and El Chupacabra finally got Rochelle’s heart

In every melo-dramatic movie I’ve seen, there’s always that comic-relief character and that is Mexico’s chosen challenger, El Chupacabra. In the scenes that will flow through the story, you will see the Mexican funnyman zoom his way, trying to win the Canadian racer, Rochelle’s, heart. Now, in one scene Dusty intervened already in El Chupacabra’s ways to pursue his ‘love’ and that outcome was, for me, very ‘For The Win’-like (FTW-like). The moment he stepped in and helped his Mexican contender how to properly court a female counterpart is something other men should emulate. Dusty’s formula: “Nice and Slow”

The way Dusty honored Dottie’ was admirable. I really felt that Dusty gave it all to  his mechanic friend is a demonstration of giving honor where honor is due. This is something I see more and more in themes of Disney movies.

Bond of brothers, Dusty and El Chupacabra

Bond of brothers, Dusty and El Chupacabra

Now to tie these all off to where I am going with this, there is this line in the book I read a long time ago that says, “But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control…” After listing down the things Dusty did and how he behave in all the scenes of the movie I realized that those examples are something awfully familiar with this Biblical passage. The protagonist’s role is impeccable and I truly admire movies like this that show characters in a different light and one that doesn’t become preachy. It truly speaks well to the kind of life Dusty lived and one can almost say his virtues are Christian-based. Sorry for the bias in this comment.

And another thing I admired in the movie is that there is never a scene as far as I can remember where Dusty is all wrapped up, consumed, and obsessed in becoming a top winner. If he was then nothing in what I mentioned above happened and all he could probably teach us and teach my kids is the “beauty of winning” — at all cost. By the way, that kind of character in this movie is the race’s three-time champion Ripslinger – the overly-consumed character opposite to Dusty.

The movie’s plot need no space for redemption value unlike many movies we watch whose leader character started out on the wrong foot only to correct their malady in the end of the flick.  For parents who are looking to help their kids learn about God’s Will and how they can execute and parallel their life through all the challenges a person might encounter then this movie is it!

Great job, Disneytoons, its producers, its screenwriters, and its Director for a refreshing movie and character like Dusty! This is one movie who is not telling me that it’s all fairytale but being good through and through in character is possible and achievable.

Endearing Character, perfect for family-viewing

Endearing Character, perfect for family-viewing

Galatians 5:22-23 / New Living Translation (NLT)
But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!

Galatians 5:22-24 / The Message (MSG)
But what happens when we live God’s way? He brings gifts into our lives, much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard—things like affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity. We develop a willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people. We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments, not needing to force our way in life, able to marshal and direct our energies wisely.
Legalism is helpless in bringing this about; it only gets in the way. Among those who belong to Christ, everything connected with getting our own way and mindlessly responding to what everyone else calls necessities is killed off for good—crucified.


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