Family Movietime: Planes Fire & Rescue
Last year Planes was added to the Cars franchise. It was clearly geared to the 6 and under crowd which made for bored parents and even some bored kids. Now we have Planes Fire & Rescue which continues the story and lets you know what new adventures Dusty Crophopper is up to.
Since the end of Planes Dusty (Dane Cook) has been a star racer. Back in his old town as he prepares for the upcoming Corn Festival is when trouble enters. After problems with his gearbox which could end his racing career he accidentally causes a fire. The Emergency services team to come in and shut down the town unless it gets a 2nd firefighter. Dusty begins his venture in training to become a firefighter. For those that remember the cast of the previous Planes most of those characters do not return. Chug (Brad Garrett) and Dottie (Teri Hatcher) are back but they have a very limited role. Dusty has to go to a new town for training so we are introduced to a completely different, and honestly more interesting cast.
The leader is the well respected Blade Ranger (Ed Harris). He runs point and is the one who has to certify Dusty. The fire crew consists of a team of all-terrain vehicles led by Dynamite (Regina King) that do the ground work called the Smokejumpers. Dipper (Julie Bowen) is taken with Dusty and spends the whole film in a 1-sided relationship with him. Its played for laughs and definitely spoke to the parents more than the confused kids. Windlifter (Wes Studi) is the sage 2nd in command who can predict what is going to happen with nature. The mechanic there is Maru (Curtis Armstrong) who knows the history behind everyone. Planes Fire & Rescue does a better job of weaving in parents with ChoPs. Yes its exactly what you think it is with Erik Estrada!
Planes Fire & Rescue other main storyline is about a hunting lodge run but Superintendent Spinner (John Michael Higgins) an SUV. He’s taken funding from the fire department to fund building the lodge to impress the Secretary of the Interior(Fred Willard). He has his one fire truck Pulaski (Patrick Warburton) and Park Ranger Ol Jammer (Barry Corbin) but he sees them as useless peons and doesn’t listen to them. His disregard for fire safety, and the warnings of his staff cause many problems for the fire crew.
Planes Fire & Rescue is definitely more entertaining than Planes. Several of the kids that were near me seemed confused at parts so parents of the younger crowd be prepared for lots of questions. Disney seemed to figure out that the target age needed to be a tad older so that the parents wouldn’t be bored and to grabs the 5-9 group who were also not impressed with Planes. It also clock is about 10 minutes shorter.
My Rating: Matinee
Worth the upcharge: Nope
Director: Roberts Gannaway
Studio: Walt Disney Animation
Release Date: July 18, 2014
Run time: 83 minutes
MPAA Rating: PG