I grew up with all the Disney classics, and I can’t deny that I get excited when I hear about a new Disney movie, especially now that I have kids! I don’t miss an opportunity to take my little ones to the movies, and watch them in the comfort of our own home. It’s something that I look forward to with 4-year-old boys. Soon after Planes released, it was announced that a sequel was already in the making. I’m pretty sure I was more excited than my boys when I told them, but when they saw the trailers for Fire & Rescue, their big brown eyes were peeled open.
In Fire & Rescue, world famous champion, Dusty Crophopper, and his friends in Prop Wash Junction are coming to terms with the possibility that Dusty may never race again. If you have seen Planes, then you’ll know how dedicated and passionate Dusty is about racing. He struggles with accepting his life without racing. That is, until Prop Wash has a damaging fire, and the town is now faced with a fire safety stoppage. Dusty steps up to the plate to take on the responsibility of the fire and also figures out a way to keep the town running.
He travels to Piston Peak National Park and takes on the new heroic responsibility as a Single Engine Air Tanker, where he meets the Aerial Firefighters of Piston Peak. Over 2 dozen new characters are introduced to the world of Disney, all providing plenty of entertainment, including Blade Ranger (voiced by Ed Harris), Dipper (voiced by Julie Bowen) and the hilarious, fearless group called the Smokejumpers (voiced by Regina King, Corri English, Bryan Callen, Matt Jones and Danny Pardo).
Dusty gets a makeover, and is challenged as a trainee to earn the title of Aerial Firefighter. He learns how to identify fires and use team work to put fires out, something that Dusty is not used to. As a racer, he was a one-plane show, but in Fire & Rescue he is forced to learn how to communicate and be a team player, making him realize that he doesn’t need to be a racer to do important things. He has a second chance and a new purpose.
Taking on a new role isn’t the only thing going on in the movie. Piston Peak faces it’s own challenges with the park’s superintendent, Cad, who has relocated the funding of the park to his grand re-opening of a luxury lodge instead of the Aerial Firefighters. Because of the reallocation of funds for the park, the firefighters have limited resources and fire safety is no longer a priority for the park, which causes a lot of friction with the firefighters, especially Blade Ranger, and causes a threat to the safety of the park. Consequently, the team has to make due with what they have and conserve what is possible, including their own maintenance. When repairs are need, new parts are made out of old, used and remade parts. Enter: Maru. Maru is sarcastic and unforgiving. He is the handy man for the firefighers and the unspoken hero. What I loved about him is that he teaches the audience to look beyond what’s in front of us, use our imaginations and make something better than new. It’s my new favorite motto.
With all the action and rescuing going on, the comedic relief is perfectly timed with Dipper’s character, voiced by Modern Family’s, Julie Bowen. She’s quirky, random and becomes pretty obsessed with Dusty. She creates a romance with Dusty without him even knowing it. She reminded me of my teenager days when I would day dream over a crush. She says everything she’s thinking- no filter, and she’s hilarious. Casting her as Dipper was brilliant.
All in all, the sequel is, dare I say it? Probably better than Planes. It’s funnier, more creative, many relatable references and lots of kid-friendly action. I appreciate the fact that the creators are taking the opportunity not just make another kid’s movie, but also to teach safety and highlight our own local heroes. As a mom, teaching values and lessons is not only important to me, but I will make the extra effort to make sure my kids are exposed to it.
I know my boys are going to love Fire & Rescue, just as much as I did. As a Disney fan, I enjoyed learning more about the world of Planes and Cars, and can’t wait to see what else they have up their sleeves. Children 4+ will enjoy this movie. If you would like to view the film in 3D, I strongly recommend your children be 7+, especially if it’s their first time.
Airplanes: Fire & Rescue hits theaters on July 18th and is also available in 3D and IMAX. Fire and Rescue is rated PG for action and hazardous scenes.