The world of “Planes” is soaring above us and is scheduled to land on August 9th. During my Behind the Scenes visit at DisneyToon Studios, I got to catch up with two people that helped bring it all together: Director Klay Hall and Producer Traci Balthazor-Flynn. While I sincerely enjoyed screening the film and am excited to take my daughter to see it again, meeting these two film makers was definitely the highlight of #DisneyPlanesEvent. Little did I know that, as they welcomed our group to the pre-screening of the film, we were the first viewing of the final cut of Planes. How crazy is that! Later, Planes Director admitted that having “fresh eyes” on the finished film was kind of “nauseating”. That vulnerability is what, I think, makes this Disney movie extra special.
Meeting Disney Planes Director and Producer
The making of Planes took Disney a whopping four years, but Director Klay Hall has had a lifetime of appreciating the mechanics and beauty of them. Although he prefers trains best, being the son of a Navy pilot and having spent hours at airshows as a child, Klay Hall knows his way around a plane. To fully appreciate the experience that main character Dusty encounters in the film, Director Klay Harris and Producer Traci Balthazor-Flynn were flown out to the USS Carl Vinson where they were able to spend a couple of days with the men and women onboard. These filmmakers made every effort to ensure the movie retained authenticity to the experiences portrayed. It was a joy chatting with these two, as their enthusiasm and love for the project was evident.
Disney Planes Embraces Global Perspectives
With her soft spoken nature and henna covered wings, Indian plane Ishani was an instant favorite of mine. Planes’ main character, Dusty, was also quite smitten with her. Of course, I can’t wait to introduce SpanglishBaby readers to the wildly hilarious and equally charming, El Chupacabra – Dusty’s friend from Acapulco, Mexico. I have to admit, hearing his familiar accent with glimpses of Spanglish in a Disney film brought up many emotions. Hopefully characters like El Chu will continue to pop up on mainstream Disney films in the future!
However, what impressed me the most in our conversation with Planes filmmakers was their effort to “localize” Rochelle, the French- Canadian Plane (and El Chu’s romantic pursuit). This effort is the first of its kind for Disney studios, and one that I am excited to see done more of in future movies. Director Klay Harris explained the character of Rochelle was chosen because, although she is important to the storyline, her impact isn’t crucial to the outcome of movie. Filmmakers thought her character was perfect to “localize”, by changing her appearance and voice according to which country the film was being shown in. The concept of changing Rochelle’s colors is called “reskin” and well-known, local actresses were casted to voice her part. Rochelle will be “localized” in 8 different countries and I can’t wait to see the many versions of her!
My full review of Planes will be coming soon. I can’t wait to share more about this fun new Disney film! In the meantime, to learn more about the August 9th release of Disney’s Planes by liking Disney Planes on Facebook or by following on Twitter.
As a fan of “Cars” and as a former military aviator, I am just a bit excited to take my children to see this movie. Thinking of airplanes as having distinct personalities is something we did in the Air Force too, “Spook 50″ being one of my favorite. That plane was rumored to be haunted and strange, unexplainable things did seem to happen when flying in it….I want to encourage SpanglishBaby readers to take this moment when this movie debuts and causes millions of kids to get excited about aviation, to keep it going with books, especially books where women are the pilots and aircrew members. Seeing women flying the plane is important of course for girls; it’s equally critical for boys to see those images so they don’t one day tell a girl she can’t do that because she’s not a boy.
To help you keep their excitement going before or after you see the movie, here’s a brand new bilingual children’s book, starring the child of a Latina mommy who flies military airplanes, in English and Spanish! On July 5th, Roxana Soto published her review of “Good Night Captain Mama / Buenas Noches Capitán Mamá” [ISBN: 9780983476030] for Spanglish Baby. Here’s a part of what she wrote:
“The bilingual book, which has been impeccably translated to Spanish, tells the story of a little boy named Marco who is curious about seeing his mom in her uniform and decides to ask her a bunch of questions about why she wears it and the meaning of all the different patches she has. His mom goes through each one explaining their significance and even gives him a special one to hold onto as she leaves on a mission. I think this book is perfect not only for kids’ with family members in the military, but also for parents who want to teach their kids about those in uniform and the need to respect them and honor them for all they do.” Read the rest of her review here: http://spanglishbaby.com/2013/07/31-days-of-reading-in-spanish-buenas-noches-capitan-mama/
This is the first bilingual children’s picture book that shows young children (ages 3-8) why women and mommies wear military flight suits and serve. I’m happy to share details of my own military aviation career with our children in both languages, in a story inspired by my son’s curiosity. At the link below, you’ll see we’ve created Teacher Packs of Captain Mama books and embroidered military patches, perfect for classroom teachers to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month AND Veterans Day in November with a cool design project in the back and fresh, new, positive imagery of Latinas in military uniforms (and not maid uniforms.) I couldn’t resist!
Let’s take this opportunity Disney has created to excite our children with planes, with the magic and fun that is aviation and let’s really plant the seeds of curiosity about airplanes with books. After all, those who fly onboard airplanes for a living as I did after college, studied STEM subjects after loving math and science in school. What a great connection to make for them as we get ready to go back to school!
If you want a few more books with female aviator characters for kids, let me recommend “Pilot Mom” (on Amazon) and “Penelope Pilot” written by pilot Lynda Meeks and available through her non-profit organization Girls with Wings here: http://www.girlswithwings.com/Penelopebook.html Then, for a really cool book written by another woman military veteran, retired Navy aviator Linda Maloney, take a look at “Military Fly Moms,” a gorgeous collection of essays from military mommies and veterans, with color photos of their airplanes and their kids. The quotes from kids section at the end is worth the book’s price alone – precious!
See you at the theater this weekend to enjoy “Planes” and again, don’t forget to keep the excitement about airplanes going with books! I hope the four titles suggested here continue to spark your child’s interest in airplanes.
Chief Creative Officer, Publisher Gracefully Global Group LLC
Author of “Good Night Captain Mama / Buenas Noches Capitán Mamá”
What an awesome and interesting perspective you have, Graciela. I can’t wait to check out your book! Thank you so much for your comment, outlook and, more importantly, your service to this country!
Our embroidered products include custom embroidered patches, embroidered badges, embroidered emblems, embroidered appliques, embroidered epaulettes, and embroidered neckerchiefs. Hsin Ruey also provides a variety of printed products, such as printed patches, printed flags, printed banners and so on. Other products like woven labels, woven patches, neckerchiefs, keychains, coins, metal lapel pins and embroidery design service are also available.
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