Planes: Fire & Rescue logoYou may expect us to review the latest “super hero” movie, but how about a movie with real heroes?  Not real-live heroes, obviously; this movie is animated.  But the language they use and the dedication to firefighters during the opening credits makes me think the creators had a purpose for this movie that was much more than to simply entertain.

What I loved about Planes: Fire & Rescue is how it shows the risks and sacrifices that the characters make to protect property and save lives.  On the surface it may look like a generic rip-off of a much better franchise, but it’s really about the “special kind of plane” who is willing to risk it all for someone who doesn’t even know his name.  Yes, these are animated characters, but they are making real decisions that real heroes make every day in the real world.

This movie picks up about where the first Planes movie left off.  Dusty has returned home after having won his race around the world.  After receiving some bad news, a defiant Dusty makes a careless mistake in a moment of weakness that threatens the success of the upcoming Corn Festival.  Now this crop duster turned world famous racing plane must become a certified aerial firefighter to save the day.

Unfortunately, Planes: Fire & Rescue is not a great movie.  This should be no surprise considering that it’s produced by DisneyToon Studios, Disney’s direct-to-video animation studio.  Perhaps its most obvious flaws are the uninspired dialog and unsuccessful attempts to be funny.  They even try to cash in on some famous jokes from “Cars” such as Flo’s “I’ve got gas” line.  Other lines are right on the mark, however, and I did have some genuine LOL moments.  I’m not quite sure how I feel about the honky-tonk bar scene with the square dancing forklifts…

While most of the movie is ho-hum, the animation, and particularly the action scenes and the flames from the fires, were near Pixar quality.  The voice actors are all A-list talent and they all deliver their lines, such as they are, very well.  The female lead and love interest for Dusty is downright creepy, though, and several times can be seen peering through the window watching him sleep like some kind of stalker.

Both my kids, ages 7 and 11, say they liked it.  But my 7 year old boy seemed bored and restless about half way in and started bouncing around in his seat.  He shows more interest in a rerun of “Dog with a Blog” so I really can’t give you his recommendation.  I can give you my recommendation, though, which is this:  watch this movie with your kids so they can get a glimpse of what it’s like to be a real hero.  The movie will be forgotten, a presence on IMDB and footnote on a Wikipedia page, but perhaps the subject matter will inspire a young child to grow up and become a real firefighting super hero.

UGeek’s Final Verdict: 7/10

 

External Links

Official Movie Site:  http://movies.disney.com/planes-fire-and-rescue
DisneyToon Studios (Wikipedia): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DisneyToon_Studios