If my family had to choose one movie series to take on a deserted island with which to entertain our kids and not drive us adults insane in the process, it would be DisneyŸŸ and Pixar’s Cars and Cars 2.

Noah, at only two and a half, can name every character in either movie, and quote chunks of each movie by memory. His character collection is immense, and he can often be seen clutching a suffocating Mater or Frank in his fist.

Ali, despite her grand collection of Princess movies and shows, also adores Cars and Cars 2.

In my early teens, I spent three years in a row riding for five days from Alabama to California with all of my family in a truck, so I can relate to the scenery and characters in Cars. Plus, my Dad was the navigator in a China-to-Paris race when I was a teenager, so Cars 2 also has many familiarities.

(I even bought the Greek overdubbed version of Cars for my parents when we were in Tarpon Springs. I assure you – nothing is better than hearing the Greek-Redneck version of Mater.)

So needless to say, my entire extended family is excited for Disney’s Planes, a new film inspired by the World of Cars, to be released later this summer. Although I haven’t gotten to see the whole movie yet (dang it), I did get a sneak peek at the characters and plot of the movie.

It’s going to be fantastic.

Dusty, a crop duster, decides to enter an international race, but he has a small problem – he’s afraid of heights. He has big dreams, but lacks the courage to achieve them, which sounds just like my daughter. She’s got fantastic abilities and big dreams, but, much like I was as a child, doesn’t want to try anything new unless she knows she can do it perfectly.

(I, for instance, never learned how to dive. Because there’s no way to practice diving without the entire pool full of people seeing you fail first.)

In the movie, Dusty has several friends and coaches who use different approaches to help him achieve his dreams.

Dottie uses tough love.

Chug takes him under his wing and helps him train, perhaps being too soft on him.

Skipper barks at him like a football coach, telling him that if he’s going to do this race, he needs to do it right.

With Ali, I’m definitely a Chug. I don’t push too hard, I try to give her the tools she needs to succeed, and I back off if I can tell she’s getting panicked. Although this keeps us from having epic emotional events, she sometimes needs someone with a little more tough love to help her achieve her goals. I also use the strategy of acting nonchalant when she expresses interest in trying something that I know will intimidate her if she thinks about it too long – and wait until AFTER she’s completed it to tell her how impressed I was with her. This strategy worked perfectly on her first ever driving experience:

I just knew she was going to panic when she got in the car, but I said nothing. And when she got her car stuck, I still kept my mouth shut, even though I wanted to run out on the course and rescue her before she had a six-year-old panic attack. But I couldn’t, I didn’t, and she surprised me with her ability to figure it out and conquer her goal on her own.

I think that Ali is going to feel a connection to Dusty, and I hope that she can be inspired by his courage to try things – even if they’re scary.

Disney’s Planes comes out in the theaters on August 9th, and we will definitely be there to experience it on the big screen. If you would like to take your family, I have a $100 Fandango Gift Card to give to one of you! Just leave a comment telling me how you encourage your kids to achieve their goals. 

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181 thoughts on “Disney Planes Takes Off! {Giveaway}

  1. I encourage mine to achieve their goals by pushing them to do a little more than they would have. They get discouraged and want to give up, so I stick around to make them give it one more try.

  2. I have three children and I try to remind them each day that when they try, they can accomplish anything they set their mind too! Sometimes I think they may take me a little too literally, and try to accomplish something that is wild or crazy! :)

  3. We’re looking forward to this one too! I think we have the entire cast of Cars in our toy box. Lol

  4. My kids are a little older than yours. I think your methods of encouragement morph over time. Right now, probably the biggest way I encourage them is to remind them that I don’t expect perfection, but a good attitude and to always do their best. It gives them permission to fail, sort of. But, of course, they won’t fail if they enter into it with a positive attitude and wanting to do their best ;0)

  5. This would be amazing! Jackson wants to give up sometimes when things get a little difficult. It’s hard as a parent to push him out of his comfort zone by encouraging him to keep going,, but that’s what I try to gently do. Not always easy, but that’s what I do.

  6. Levi is 4 and like your Ali refuses to try anything he isn’t sure to master immediately (at a year old he would lift his walker over thresholds and toys but would not try to walk without it). My husband and I sometimes play good cop bad cop if we know he can do something but isn’t willing to try then celebrate like mad men when he is even marginally successful. We also just try to let him work some things out on his own. I’ve watched him try to write something and have an epic meltdown and go through 4 million pieces of paper but finally get it. If you try to talk to him he will flat out tell you to just leave him alone. LOL! It is definitely a balancing act with our little perfectionist between helping him experience new things and letting him work things out on his own.

  7. We encourage our children by creating an atmosphere of unonditional love and acceptance. In addition I encourage them to just TRY new things. ie. to try swimming underwater without plugging her nose, and after she tries it I take a break on it for a while, then we come back to it!

  8. Awesome! I mostly encourage my daughter to try new things by not shutting her down, and by not making a big deal if she fails. I have to bite my tongue SO OFTEN because she’s a bit of a daredevil, but I think it’s important to not instill fear in her. So far it’s only backfired once (tumble onto a tile floor) but she’s still in one piece, so I think it’s going okay.

  9. I saw the preview for Planes last week and was not just unimpressed but disappointed at how it looked. I hope you are right because my kids love planes and cars and vehicles of every kind so it would be a great addition to our small selection of “movies Mom can stand”. I didn’t buy Cars 2 for that reason.

    I saw the preview when I saw Monsters University and I WILL be buying that. It was Awesome!!

  10. I encourage my kids by telling them that anything is possible. Regardless of their goal, it is theirs and no one can take that from them. Also showing them love and support even when things don’t go as planned is a huge part of our encouragement. :-)

  11. I don’t have any kids, therefore, I can’t tell you how I encourage them. I do tell my dog Ramsay, “Good boy” when he poops in the yard and not in the house.

    However, I did want to say that I’m dying to see this movie as well. I loved both of the Cars movies, even though people were so down on Cars 2 (39% on Rotten Tomatoes, which I totally disagree with), and I think Planes will be just as good. My wife is cautiously optimistic, but I have yet to see anything that tells me it will be a bad movie.

    There’s just something about Planes that taps into that “excited little boy” part of me, much like Cars did. I have memories of watching Top Gun in the theater 8 times as a kid, and the wonder and excitement I felt. This movie looks like it’s going to tap into that same wonder and excitement.

    Either way, I’ll be seeing it the weekend it comes out.

  12. My oldest is a perfectionist, so I have to step back and wait for him to be comfortable, then gently nudge him towards whatever it is. My second is super confident and a risk taker, so I just try to direct her towards goals that are safe, since she’s 4 and would love tight ropr walk the Grand Canyon…

  13. Well, I don’t have any kids, but I do teach children at church and am also around my best friend’s kids a lot and I just try to encourage them through positive words and a lot, of yes, you cans!

  14. I remember when Cars came out, xD
    I love watching movies but I can’t watch them again and again, unfortunately I had no control over what my younger brother (younger by 10 years) decides to watch. He would play Cars so many times that we actually ended up having to buy a new DVD because the old one started skipping. My family also enjoyed Cars 2, especially because Mater was the center of attention. We are all exciting for Planes. I believe the reason I enjoy watching these movies are because they give life and a personality to something that in real life just sits there because it has no soul, no expression. This is why I also enjoyed Pixar’s short animated series “The Blue Umbrella” in the beginning of Monsters University and “Paperman” in the beginning of Wreck It Ralph.

    I don’t have children yet but right now I’m more like Dottie, tough love.
    My own mother was a Dottie, but I am hoping or maybe wishing I could be more like Chug when my kids start coming.

    twitter public post:

  15. I give praises and tell them how much I enjoy watching them do whatever it is I’m trying to encourage. Parenting is an everyday learning experience!

  16. I love to see my children trying new things and I try not to let them see how nervous I am for them! We try to let our kids know that we are always a safe place to talk about their dreams and that it’s always good to be able to laugh at yourself when things don’t quite turn out as planned

  17. I love this post. And Disney! My 8 year old is in that phase of wanting to try anything and everything but gets nervous or shy. I always encourage her to try anything by telling her that I want her to be having fun and be happy. Even if it’s hard and you fail. If you are having fun, then it was worth the risk. I always tell her she can do/be anything she wants and we will be there to support her.

  18. What worked well for me this year was to remind my son that everything goes faster and feels easier when you are smiling. Even if you have to fake it at first. :) We had frequent knock-knock joke time-outs during homework time and slowly but surely the block he had against writing sentences faded away, and by the end of the year he was thinking up and writing them without any of the debilitating fear and frustration that he suffered during the beginning of the year.

  19. I’m going to buy Cars & Cars2 for my house for my nieces now!! The older one is super outgoing, fearless, & athletic, …so with her I try to encourage a wide variety of experiences and opportunities to try new things. Waiting to see what activities she is going to excel at & enjoy and connect to the most. The younger one is more insecure and cautious. So I try to make her feel safe and always working to build her confidence. After your blog post, I can’t wait to take them to see Planes….and also Smurf 2 this summer just because we saw the first movie together. Love your posts! -Jamie

  20. My daughter is 3-1/2 and often relies on us to do things for her that she is perfectly capable of. Recently, I broke my foot and it had really allowed her to “grow up” a bit. She has learned that if she needs something, she can either do it herself, or she will have to wait until someone is able to help her. It’s been a joy to see all the things she is capable of and she’s really learning to be more independent.

  21. While Anderman is too little to communicate his dreams, I encourage him to walk, climb, go up & down stairs by giving him space & room to fail. I like to think this is teaching him his own limits & consqequences for his actions {good & bad}. I’m not sure what this will look like as he gets older but hopefully giving him a little space to figure things out will be successful. It will definitely be harder for me than for him!

    Also, so glad I’m not the only person who doesn’t know to dive!!

  22. The best trick with my little lady is to do things with her the first time. If she knows im right there with her, then she’s brave as can be! Thanks for the giveaway!

  23. I’m an encourager, so I give lots of positive feedback and praise when my little one does try something new. I don’t ever try to push or be too rough when it comes to something that doesn’t feel comfortable from the get-go. And I’m a total softie, just like Chug is described by you!

  24. I don’t have kids, but if I do, I’ll encourage them and tell them they can be anything they want as long as they work hard.

  25. My kids are still very young but I will encourage them the same way my parents encouraged me. I will tell them to never give up. If you fall, get up and try again.

  26. I have always told my 4 children when they were younger to follow their dreams. Even if it means they have to go far from home. I am very proud of all four of them.

  27. I encourage my children to follow their passions for art and music. My 8 year old is a budding artist, my 10 year old plays guitar and drums, and my 3 year old daughter takes ballet. I applaud their accomplishments and motivate them to keep doing their best.

    mami2jcn at gmail dot com

  28. I try to encourage my son to try new things. When he is leery about trying something, I try it to show him!
    reklaw422 at Hotmail dot com

  29. I encourage by children by giving them positive reinforcement and singing their praises to our family.

  30. I try not to be the Tiger Mom with my kids, but I do expect them to do well with their studies. Fortunately, they are good students, but when they “fail” at something, I let them know that I appreciate their effort and that I support whatever they need in order to get better. I expect effort and commitment.

  31. I try to involve my kids in sports or activities that interest them. I also practice with them and encourage then to try their best to achieve their goals.

  32. My kids have many interests and I keep them interested by keeping them involved. For example, my son has a huge fascination with computers, so I set him up with a summer programming camp at our local university!

  33. We tell our girls that they have to try something once and if they don’t like it that’s fine and they don’t have to do it again. It works pretty well for us. They always give something a try, sometimes with a little extra encouragement, but they do it!

    My girls have never seen either of the Cars movies! I’ve been meaning to show it to them, but I keep forgetting as we watch Rapunzel for the 200th time. :) I’ll have to show it to them so we can see Planes in the theater.

  34. We try to encourage each child in their own strengths and to push themselves in things they struggle with.

  35. We don’t have children, but I can relate what my parents did to encourage my brother and me.
    They always told us we wouldn’t accomplish anything if we didn’t try and if we failed, we
    would learn something from our failure.

  36. By leading by example and having them see me reach my goals – or at least make the valiant attempt!

  37. My little guy (3 1/2) has had a hard time trying new things, or things that were just outside his comfort zone. My tactic has mostly been to get right in there with him the first time (or two), and then gradually back off as he realizes that, yes, he CAN do it alone (and it’s actually kind of fun). We’ve also started talking about why he doesn’t need to be scared, basically going (gently) into the worse case scenario, then backing up into why even THAT wouldn’t be the end of the world. (Example: Him: “I don’t like the beach because the waves might get me.” Me: “Ok, but even if they did get you, you have your life jacket, mommy and daddy right here, and that nice man in the red shorts up in that chair ready to help you.” And then we go conquer the waves, and I wax poetic about how much fun it was.)

    Slides at the playground, waves at the beach, the pool, those crazy high ladders on the jungle gym, all scared him just a few months ago. But he’s getting braver everyday, and I’m so proud of him!

  38. Thanks for the opportunity! My family is really looking forward to Planes! It is tough to know how to provide the perfect balance in supporting each of our kiddos in trying new things. I guess I try to trust and understand their hesitation, while at the same time providing lots of different experiences and support in trying new things together. When something is fun and we feel empowered we are more likely to take a leap of faith. I am still learning how to overcome my nerves as an adult in new situations!

  39. I have no kids. I would let me just play and learn about interacting with others in sport and fun

  40. We try to lead by example. We also use baby steps and positive words. When they say they can’t do something (“can’t” being a word we don’t “allow” in this house), we break it into smaller tasks that they CAN do, and which they know they can do. But mostly, we ask lots of questions and are always enthusiastic about “isn’t that exciting?” and “won’t it be an adventure?!”

  41. I encourage my daughter to try new things–types of sports or activities and when I see she is really interested in something I push her to do the best she can at it and constantly be supportive of her in any decision she makes!

  42. I don’t have any kids, but I have two little cousins who I try to help guide in the right direction. I try to present them with new opportunities and activities when I see them. I want to show them the many possibilities that are out there. I want them to reach for the stars.

  43. I have two nieces and I don’t try to encourage them the way a parent would. However, I do try to inspire them and open them up to new interests by taking them on day trips to local museums, concerts, and storytelling events at the library. We participate in arts and crafts classes once a month and bake together. I spend every Saturday morning and afternoon with them while my brother and his wife work so we try to make it a fun experience and I always applaud their efforts! Hopefully they feel comfortable enough to get excited over trying new things at other times! :)

  44. I encourage and support them to experience all they like, enjoy the process of trial and error. It was not always pleasant and smooth, however I do believe you got to give them chances to grow.
    tcarolinep at gmail dot com

  45. I tell them I’m proud of them. Encourage them to spend their time doing things at which they feel competent and valued

  46. HI Rachel… while nothing may be cuter sounding than a greek dubbed redneck tow truck… there is nothing cuter to SEE than watching a group of our kids out here (the orphan group and their grannies) squeal in delight when Mater comes on the screen.. why??? Because, as they explained to me…. “He looks just like us!!!” …. yes. They think the buck toothed, rusted tow truck is the hero of the story bc he looks like them (their words not mine). Sweet mercy- sometimes I just have to laugh, I love the kids I work with!
    I encourage Tendai to do new things by trying not to convey my fears to her. Its hard because I am, as my mother in law calls me, a “Safety Bear”. I can think of five worst case scenarios for pretty much every activity. But I am learning to put my fears aside bc seeing her joy at mastering a new skill is always such a wonderful sight to see! She struggles to try new things that look hard, if she has to try more than once to accomplish something she would rather give up – but each time she learns one new thing she is so excited that it helps us encourage her for the next “adventure”.

  47. i think the key is to have them try many things, whether it’s in the arts, sports, or intellectual pursuits, and see what they spark to or are good at–even if it’s not necessarily what you desire. it’s best that they find something that they’re passionate about, not what they feel pushed into doing!

    kolpin4680 at gmail dot com

  48. I challenge my children to follow their dreams by giving positive reinforcement, motivating them often, and enrolling them in classes or teams that help make those dreams become more a reality. Thanks.

  49. My kid is almost 2, so I just make sure to not scare him. And there is a lot of pushing or pulling to get him into new situations. But it’s pretty easy at this point.

  50. I don’t have my own children, but I encourage my kindergarten students daily that they are capable and can achieve whatever they set their mind to!

  51. I try to encourage my son by letting him know we are always there for him regardless of what happens he can always count on us for unconditional love and support. We will always be there for him and whatever goals he sets.

  52. We encourage them by finding out together what they like to do and enjoy doing and make sure they get the chance to explore their talents.

  53. I encourage them to try new things and to be different and find better way of doing things. It makes them more confidence in themselves and they love playing pretend but being very realistic in their play knowing exactly who they want to be. Following dreams is easy for kids.

  54. My kids are older, so the encouragement frequently consists of being a sounding board as they think out pros and cons, ins and outs of different things. I sometimes point out things they don’t seem to have considered, but it is pretty self-directed by now.

  55. I sit with my kids once a month to make a schedule, and I love when they have tons of feedback! IT’s something to look forward to every month, even if it is as small as a trip to the library or learning a new sport!

  56. I encourage my kids by being their biggest and loudest cheerleader! I always let them know that anything can be accomplished if you work hard enough at it and I support them every step of they way!!

  57. I try to encourage my kids to try new things to see what they really like. And I tell them if they want something, they have to work towards that goal, but anything is possible.
    Digicats {at} Sbcglobal {dot} Net

  58. We set little goals for them to complete and make sure they take effort. Even to get a special toy they have to earn it but they can see how they are making progress and get excited to reach the goal. I think it;s important to show them you need to work for goals

  59. i do not have kids but i live when my nephew learn somehing new and trying to find his way in the world

  60. My children are adults now but I always tried to find ways to let them achieve small steps on the way to a big goal.

  61. I let them know they can accomplish anything they set their mind to. I also let them know I am here to help in any way they need.

  62. I encourage them by letting them know that they have the ability to do whatever they want if they set their mind to it.
    Michelle Tucker
    michelletucker at baconnation dot net

  63. I make sure I tell my daughter that she can be anyone she wants to be. Dont let anyone bring her down

    winz135 at gmail.com

  64. I try to encourage my 3 girls to reach their goals by encouraging them to overcome their fears & along the way celebrating successes & being there for failures

  65. I encourage my children to achieve their goals by supporting them and by encouraging creativity and confidence

  66. I encourage my kids to reach their goals by reminding them of ones they’ve already reached and the benefits they’ve received by doing so. I really believe that at my boys’ ages (4 and 6) the confidence to keep going is the number one factor in their completing most of their goals :)

  67. We encourage our kids by helping them develop a rich relationship with the Lord. With Jesus, they can accomplish anything!

  68. I encourage our kids to reach for their goals by asking them how they are doing, what they want to do and how they plan to do it!

  69. I don’t have kids but if I did I would encourage them to be themselves, work hard and no matter what I will always be proud of them,

  70. My daughter is only 4 so we do not push too hard but to achieve goals we encourage her to just do her best and as long as she gave it her best effort that we are happy with her performance. She pushes her self more than I do but she is a perfectionist.

  71. I always tell them to believe in themselves and I’m always there for them to listen when they need me

  72. We encourage our boys to try whatever they think they would like to do. Sometimes they realize it’s not for them. As in the case with karate. But sometimes it’s something that becomes a passion, like baseball. As long as they find something they really care about it and give it their all, we are happy.

  73. I tell them that they can do whatever they set their mind to. Don’t listen to any negative people, stay focused, and keep your eye on your goals.

  74. I make sure that my children know how important what they do is to me. They know that I support them no matter what and We talk about everything and have trust in one another.

  75. I just tell both of my boys to do their best, and treat others the way they would like to be treated!

  76. I love to interrupt their tv time with a trip outside or a walk or a trip to the park, I don’t care too much for tv time unless its positive :)

  77. I encourage him to reach goals by exposing him to many new things – granted he’s only 8 months, but new book, new toys, new textures, rain on his skin, puddles after the warm summer storms, sandy beaches etc

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