With wildfires presently raging through Washington and Oregon states, and California and the rest of the country no stranger to devastation, Walt Disney Pictures’ newest animation release is timely and impactful.
Ridiculously thrilling and entertaining, Disney’s Planes: Fire and Rescue is a fantastic 3D computer-animated comedy/drama for the whole family to enjoy. A sequel to Planes — itself an offshoot of Pixar’s Cars — this story has a whole lot more at stake and, thanks to that, is far more gripping and engaging.
When world-famous air racer Dusty learns that his engine is damaged and he may never race again, he must shift gears and is launched into the world of aerial firefighting. Dusty joins forces with veteran fire and rescue helicopter Blade Ranger and his team, a bunch of all-terrain vehicles known as The Smokejumpers. Together, the fearless team battles a massive wildfire, and Dusty learns what it takes to become a true hero.
Credit must go to the cast of talented voice actors who bring these characters to life, investing them with humanity and encouraging our emotional connection. In addition to Dane Cook as Dusty Crophopper we have Ed Harris sternly voicing the helicopter instructor Blade Ranger, Wes Studi as the wise Windlifter and Hal Holbrook as Mayday. Julie Bowen is great as a stalker-esque superfan of Dusty and Brad Garrett, Teri Hatcher, Stacy Keach, Cedric the Entertainer and others lovingly reprise their roles from the previous movie.
We hear real-life married couple and comedians Jerry Stiller and Anne Meara as an aging pair of RVs returning to the site of their honeymoon many decades earlier as well as Erik Estrada in an in-joke role.
Of course, the genre of animation permits extended panoramic views of the woodlands and terrifying fires as well as sequences of the characters on the front lines battling the inferno.
When the crew leap into action for the first time, each in perfect synchronization and they kit up and head out, all set to a killer AC/DC rock track, it’s adrenaline pumping stuff!
Observant viewers will enjoy all the sight gags going on in the background. These clever animators never miss an opportunity to make a joke!
Planes: Fire and Rescue is currently screening at cinemas throughout Los Angeles.