Planes: Fire & Rescue (Theatre) – Movie Review
Follow Genre: computer-animated comedy-adventure
Director: Roberts Gannaway
Producer: DisneyToon Studios
Distributor: Walt Disney Pictures

Planes: Fire & Rescue (Theatre) – Movie Review

Site Score
Good: Fun and engaging story, suited for people of all ages, animations look great
Bad: Could've used some more background on particular characters
User Score
(2 votes)
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Rating: 9.0/10 (2 votes cast)

Planes: Fire & Rescue is the second computer-animated movie of the Planes trilogy by DisneyToon studios. It’s set in the Cars-Univers, started by Pixar. Disney bought Pixar in 2006 but is still building on that same formula: a world wherein all humans are replaced by vehicles. The movie stars Dusty Crophopper, the leading plane from the first movie, and continues his story.


It’s been going well for Dusty, he has established himself as one of the best racing planes and travels across the globe to compete in the most renown races. It’s when returning to his home, Propwash Junction, that things go wrong. Dusty’s engine stalls during flight revealing a broken gearbox. Sadly the specific gearbox needed is no longer in production and very rare. Dusty is forced to give up racing, pushing his engine too far will cause him to crash. Struggling with the fact he has to give up his dream, he goes out flying one night trying to deal with it. He hits an electricity pole and is barely able to land at Propwash Junction. The rough landing causes a fire. The only fire truck there, Mayday, responds but only barely puts out the fire.

Inspection soon arrives at the scene revealing the lack of security at the airfield. Propwash is closed down until safety is guaranteed. Mayday needs to be upgraded to standards, it’s a very old truck, and a second firefighter has to be added. This is where Dusty sees his chance, of course feeling responsible for the fire and struggling with having to forfeit his racing career. Mayday has some friends in Piston Peak National Park where Dusty can get certified as a firefighter after getting proper training.


The Piston Peak fire and rescue team is leaded by Blade Ranger, who trains Dusty. There are also a bunch of other interesting team members including The Smokejumpers, a team of all-terrain vehicles. Disney has send out a crew to train with actual firefighters to learn about the real-world fire and rescue teams and does a very good job at creating a somewhat realistic team, of course simplifying it to make everything more accessible.

From there on the story evolves around Dusty in his training and the issues that exist within the National Park. Even without seeing the first Planes movie, you can jump right into this one without really missing anything. It’s more of a stand-alone adventure. Some characters do lack some depth. There are enough interesting vehicles, both in the fire & rescue team as in the rest of the story, but a lack of background on some of them does feel like a missed opportunity to maybe add some depth to the story and its surroundings.


As with the other movies in the Cars-universe, Planes: Fire & Rescue is computer-animated. Pixar has created some of the most visually-stunning movies in that genre and with most of the original team working still working for DisneyToon, it’s no surprise that the second Planes movie looks great. It was created with some of the most advanced technology available and it shows. The movie in 3D however doesn’t really add all that much. Maybe it’s the genre, 3D-effects tend to be more impressive with movies packed with special-effects. However when watching with kids, it might add to their experience just because of the fun factor.

Talking about children, while the movie may be focused at the younger audience, there’s a lot for an adult to see as well. There’s quite a bit of little gimmicks packed in Planes to make you smirk and appreciate the sense of detail. I found myself trying to figure out the real-life counterparts of the vehicles. Other little things include every animal being replaced by some sort of tractor, a hunting lodge with garages instead of rooms, beer being replaced by oil, and more. Characters with strong characteristics are represented by some special type of car which you would associate with them, like the self-centered head-ranger who is a luxury SUV.

Expect to hear some familiar voices. The movie was voice-acted by some well-known actors: the leading role was voiced by comedian Dane Cook and actor Ed Harris can be heard as Blade Ranger. Other voices you’ll hear: Julie Bowen (Modern Family), Brad Garret (Night At The Museum), Teri Hatcher (Lois & Clark), Wes Studi (Avatar),  Patrick Warburton (Family Guy) and many more.



Planes: Fire & Rescue is a fun movie for the whole family. Children will be amazed and enthralled by all the different vehicles and the story while adults will find enough funny little details to keep them engaged as well.



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Rating: 9.0/10 (2 votes cast)
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Planes: Fire & Rescue (Theatre) - Movie Review, 9.0 out of 10 based on 2 ratings

I'm currently studying software-development. My main hobbies are gaming (software/hardware) and music (jazz saxophone player). I game primarily on PC (and also love building them) but also play on PS3, iOS and Android.

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