Entertainment » Movies

Planes: Fire & Rescue

by Michael  Cox
EDGE Media Network Contributor
Thursday Nov 13, 2014
Planes: Fire & Rescue

Air-racing superstar Dusty Crophopper (voiced by Dane Cook) has the equivalent of a near death experience in "Planes: Fire & Rescue." He encounters engine failure while charging through the air, and he learns that the gear box he needs to be a racer is no longer being manufactured. Facing his own mortality, this plane decides to devote himself to saving lives (of vehicles) rather that pursuing his own celebrity.

In the splendor of Piston Peak National Park, Dusty teams up with the shaman-esque, heavy-duty copter Windlifter (Wes Studi), the former TV star turned altruistic leader Blade Ranger (Ed Harris), and many others to uncover his true heroism.

Along the way he deals with the problems caused by Cad Spinner (hilariously played by John Michael Higgins), a "luxury" sport utility vehicle. And he shyly avoids the desperately flirtatious air tanker with a full pair of propellers Lil' Dipper (Julie Bowen), because when things get hot, she's the last one to pull out the flame retardant.

Dusty shyly avoids the desperately flirtatious air tanker with a full pair of propellers Lil' Dipper (Julie Bowen), because when things get hot she's the last one to pull out the retardant.

Remember what a great movie "Cars" was? A stirring story, charming performances (Owen Wilson, Paul Newman), lovely animation, music by Randy Newman and Academy Award nominations. Well, now "Cars" is a franchise, spinning off into three sequels (two of which feature planes in addition to cars), and -- you know -- it shows. "Planes: Fire & Rescue" can't help coming across as more of a product and less of a movie.

As far as products go, it's pretty cool. Spectacular animation flies you in, out and through forests and canyons. There are brave adventure sequences (which are awesome for six-year-olds) and there's some corny humor (that will make adults smile). Moreover, the special features in this deluxe Blu-ray/DVD/Digital HD combo pack are genuinely as interesting as the feature. But as you're watching the movie, you think less about the story and more about what an amazing video game this would be. (By the way, it exists. It's published by Little Orbit for Wii, Nintendo DS, Nintendo 3DS, and Wii U.)

Highlights from the special features include the appealing Exclusive Short - "Vitaminamulch: Air Spectacular" and the informative "Air Attack: Firefighters from the Sky." (Did you know that this story -- about cute little planes with eyeballs and mouths who talk to each other like human beings -- is grounded in the important, realistic details of actual aerial firefighting?)


"Planes: Fire & Rescue"
Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD
Rated PG / 84 min.
disneybluray.com

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