What Audiences Can Expect From "Planes: Fire & Rescue"
The 2013 Disney adventure "Planes," a spin-off of the wildly successful "Cars" by Pixar, captivated young audiences everywhere with a colorful cast of anthropomorphic aircraft led by a cropduster named Dusty. On July 18, 2014, the adventures continue with "Planes: Fire & Rescue." Although this highly anticipated sequel offers the same child-friendly humor and inspiring tone as the first film, there are plenty of other interesting film elements that audiences of all ages can expect.
All New Adventures for Dusty Crophopper
The first "Planes" film follows Dusty, a plane with a fear of heights, as he dreams of becoming a racer and eventually competes in one of the world's biggest aerial races. In the sequel, however, Dusty discovers that his engine has been damaged, and he must quit his racing career. He is sent to Piston Peak where he shifts gears to become part of the Piston Peak Air Attack, a fire-and-rescue group led by a brave helicopter named Blade Ranger.
Although Dusty is demoralized at the beginning of his new experience, he soon discovers the incredible value and purpose in firefighting. Dusty begins learning the ropes and making new friends, and when a massive wildfire threatens a large group of tourists visiting the nearby lodge, he must find his true courage to become the hero he never thought he could be.
A Fresh Set of Characters With a Talented Voice Cast
The lovable Dusty is voiced once again by the charismatic Dane Cook. However, most characters and voices featured in the sequel are completely new. Blade Ranger is a veteran fire-and-rescue helicopter with a burdensome past, and he is voiced by Ed Harris. Although he is not excited about training the big-time racer Dusty, he is soon inspired by the little plane's spunk and willpower. Lil' Dipper is an outgoing super scooper whose job is to scoop water from nearby bodies of water to help douse fires. Julie Bowen voices this fun plane who happens to be a big fan of Dusty.
At the forefront of the firefighting team are The Smokejumpers, a team of grounded machines that attempt to stomp out fires. They are voiced by Regina King, Corri English, Bryan Callen, Danny Pardo and Matt Jones. Other characters include the old firetruck Mayday (Hal Holbrook), heavy-lift helicopter Windlifter (Wes Study) and the luxury SUV Cad Spinner (John Michael Higgins).
Beautiful Visuals and a Story for the Young Tots
"Planes: Fire & Rescue" may not be a Disney Pixar film, instead being created by DisneyToon Studios, but it boast just as much visual charm as any work of Pixar. Audiences are drawn into the film's setting, and the aircraft and vehicles have a realistic feel. The airborne story and remote location of this new film offer the perfect opportunity for breathtaking scenery and sweeping visuals, and it delivers on every level. The fictional Piston Peak National Park is a visual combination of the most beautiful locations in the American West, and the wildfires are perfectly animated.
If viewers are hoping for a deep, unique story, however, they may come away from the film disappointed. The plot is straightforward and formulaic, exploring the progression of main character Dusty as he discovers that he can be a hero after all. On the other hand, children are sure to be inspired and delighted by this simple story, so it is perfectly suitable for a children's film.
A Realistic Portrayal of Aerial Firefighting
Factual accuracy is generally not the first thing that comes to mind when audiences think of children's movies, but filmmakers went to great length to ensure "Planes: Fire & Rescue" portrays the profession with accuracy. More than a year of research was completed before production of the film began, and firefighting consultants were present during production to ensure everything was portrayed correctly. This even included minute details such as the behavior of flame retardant being dropped onto a wildfire. The production team worked closely with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, and they sent groups to attend smoke jumper training exercises to get a better idea of how they operate.
"Planes: Fire & Rescue" is a promising installment 4 years in the making, and it is sure to appeal to fans of "Planes" as well as those who enjoyed the "Cars" films. Although the trailers suggest that it will be a bit more dramatic than the first film, it promises plenty of humor and excitement. Even the soundtrack should have a similar feel thanks to returning composer Mark Mancina. Kids and parents alike are sure to have a blast when this Disney sequel hits theaters.