Film Review: Planes: Fire & Rescue

Sunday 9 November 2014 by

Planes: Fire & Rescue (2014)

Planes: Fire & Rescue, Film, Disney

Following on from the original Planes movie, Planes: Fire and Rescue joins Dusty Crophopper and his friends in the peak of the racing season – it is coming up to Propwash Junction’s corn festival and the town is buzzing with excitement.

Then Dusty receives some bad news after stalling on a training flight with Skipper – his gear box is failing and they went out of production years ago, meaning there is no way to repair or replace it. The only way for Dusty to carry on flying at all is to pull back, slow down and give up the racing. Forever.

After an accident at Propwash Junction, the airfield is closed due to unsatisfactory fire safety precautions so Dusty volunteers to go train as a S.E.A.T (Single Engine Air Tanker) to make up the deficit, whilst Dottie and co upgrade Mayday to the appropriate standard.

The rest of the story follows Dusty as he trains under the wings of Blade Ranger and his team in Piston Peak National Park and culminates in them fighting a massive forest fire in the Park which tests even the most experienced members of the team to their limits.

I will confess, I was dubious about this return to the world of Planes and Cars – I wasn’t a massive fan of the original Planes movie and was afraid this one was going to be more of the same – but I gave in to the pleading of Tori (5) and Arthur (3) who had walked past the poster every day on the way to school for the last couple of months!

Luckily for me, it turned out that this second instalment of high-flying adventure is even better than the first. Dedicated to all members of the Fire Service, who put their lives on the line for the sake of others at every turn, Planes: Fire and Rescue is exciting and dramatic and has enough layers to entertain both the children and adults in the audience.

The setting of Piston Peak National Park and the sky-high perspective of the characters meant there were plenty of stunning aerial shots of the landscape – mountains, forests, rivers, waterfalls. It was amazing to watch and very well animated. The fire scenes were spectacular too. Atmospheric and cleverly done to show the reality of the smoke and heat but not in a way that made it too scary for the little ones to handle. Arthur did climb into my lap at one point but I’m not sure if that was because he was scared or if he was just tired.

The characters in the film were good fun and there were plenty of laugh out loud moments which broke the tension nicely and helped to keep the kids’ attention. My particular favourite character was Dipper, one of the Piston Peak Fire Team, who had a bit of a crush on Dusty which bordered on the obsessive/stalker level in a very amusing way.

The soundtrack was fantastic, it has become a favourite on my Spotify ever since, with tracks from Brad Paisley, Spencer Lee and AC/DC complimenting the work of Mark Mancina who also composed the soundtrack for the original Planes movie.  The music carried the film and added another dimension to many of the big dramatic scenes – it was by far my favourite thing about the movie and worth the ticket price by itself!

Overall, I enjoyed Planes: Fire and Rescue a lot more than I expected to and Tori and Arthur loved it. It was an exciting adventure that managed to highlight the dangers of fires, especially forest fires, very cleverly without being preachy or beating you round the head with the environmental fallout like some films recently seem to have done. It got the message across without you even noticing it was being done which is the way it should be done.

Well done, Disney!

You can follow Carole on Twitter: @caroleheidi

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