Gender Stereotypes In Planes

Decent Essays
Released in August of 2013, “Planes” tells the story of an ambitious crop duster, Dusty Crophopper. Dusty’s dream is to soar alongside a group of renowned international competitors in the annual Wings Across the World race, but his lack of racing experience and his fear of heights are hindrances he must overcome. Despite the teachable lesson presented by the movie that an underdog can conquer his fears and realize his dreams with persistence and courage, the linguistic and ethnic stereotypes reaffirmed throughout the film are nothing short of offensive and cliché. Careful inspection of the characters’ stereotypical linguistic varieties, gender roles, and cultural features in “Planes” reveals that parents should reconsider before showing their…show more content…
Dusty is a Midwestern plane that must face his fear of heights to become the first crop duster in history to win the race across the globe. Despite his dream of victory, Dusty sacrifices his chances of winning to help his opponents. When British competitor Bulldog has engine troubles during the race, Dusty guides him to a safe landing: “I’m right here! I’ll fly right along side you! …Whut did I tell you matey? Every plane for himself! ---But where I come from, if you see someone falling from the sky--- This is a competish-ehhn. Now yor dead lahhst!” Moreover, Dusty offers love advice to competitor El Chupacabra, saying, “Hey El Chu? What’s the problem? Maybe you’re trying too hard. All you gotta do is go over, open your mouth, and say hello.” In these instances of selflessness, standard English speaking Dusty is always helping an afflicted, heavily accented foreign competitor. Setting his own needs aside, Dusty is portrayed as a kind-hearted, empathetic, and all around good guy, as compared to his foreign competitors, who, like Bulldog admits, would not have done the same for Dusty. By the end of the film, Dusty becomes the typical “zero to hero” character and against all odds, wins the race. Though Dusty logically should not have won (as he was in last place the entire race until miraculously at the end), Disney stresses that the all-American English speaking character must finish with a victory. Children watching “Planes” may assume that the fastest and most skillful plane should win, but in this case, Disney teaches kids that speakers of unaccented English are not only the “good” guys, but they are also the ones worthy of first place, even if the outcome is clearly improbable and
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