Planes: Fire & Rescue soars into theaters a year after Disney took a gamble on doing a spin-off of Cars that took to the air. They cast Dane Cook as Dusty, a crop duster with dreams of being a high-flying air racer. Not only did Dusty achieve his dreams, but Planes became an international smash.
Now, Dusty and Disney are back with Planes: Fire & Rescue. It greatly expands the world seen in the first film. It’s a stronger, more powerful, touching and intense piece of filmmaking, and all involved should be quite proud.
Dusty has conquered the world and become an international racing superstar. But, like so many who have soared high, he is forced to face a challenge that may end his dream career. Out one night trying to prove the naysayers wrong, he pushes it too far and almost burns down his entire home airport. The government steps in and says that old fire truck Mayday (Hal Holden) is too old to man the facility alone.
Unless they get another firefighter, it will be shut down.
Teased in the Planes: Fire & Rescue trailer, our hero heads out to get certified by the best and become a firefighting aircraft. It is there that we get to meet a whole new crew of characters, led by Ed Harris’ Blade Ranger, Julie Bowen as Lil’ Dipper and Wes Studi’s Windlifter. They head out into the forest to fight fires when others are running away to safety.
The lessons abound in Planes: Fire & Rescue, even more than in the first film. The virtue of believing in yourself and that you are capable of more than what you’re currently doing was espoused in Planes.
Then there’s what is presented in the sequel -- which is the need for using our gifts to selflessly help others. What a fantastic thing for children to hear. Also, parents will delight in much more than witnessing their children’s joy in watching the film while being exposed to moral growth -- courtesy of the latest from Disney.
There are action sequences and some may be a little scary for the littlest of audience members. The fire sequences in particular are harrowing, but truly paint a picture of the real life heroes who fight fires. And that is something that filmmakers are seeking to salute from the film’s opening moment. Before a shot of the film is seen, there is a note that this film is a tribute to those who risk their lives every day to ensure our safety.
Our Planes: Fire & Rescue review is not necessarily sure this is Best Animated Feature at the Oscars material. But, for a summer movie with a strong message for all who see it, it flies pretty high.
New to the world of the Cars spin-off? Watch Planes online and get caught up!