“Planes: Fire & Rescue” Fun for Kids on Blu-ray (Video Review)

PLANES boxart


Flying into home entertainment the animated comedy adventure Planes: Fire & Rescue delivers a fun film for the whole family.  The film features some of the characters from the original and a whole lot of new ones.  Brightly animated, fine direction and with a new storyline, the film has several good values including heroism and friendship.

In this episode we find Dusty Crophopper returning from his around the world racing tour and about to participate in annual Corn Festival.  During a practice run with his flight instructor Skipper the gearbox in Dusty’s airplane gets damaged.  Not having another gearbox because the model is out of production, Dusty finds himself having to slow down.  Following a fire he caused, Dusty volunteers as a firefighter.

New characters Blade Ranger, Dipper, Dusty, Windlifter

New characters Blade Ranger, Dipper, Dusty, Windlifter

The film continues showing his training and later his heroism during a huge forest fire that threatens a vacation lodge. Director Roberts Gannaway keeps his film exciting and interesting showing how the different planes and ground firefighters work together to fight fires.  Introducing many new characters including Dipper an airplane that drops water from the air onto fires, Blade a helicopter that guides the aircraft to the fire, Windlifter who carries the ground crew and the Jumpers a group of vehicles that clear trees to stop the fires from spreading.   The film shows the heroism of the characters, their self-sacrifice and the importance of training to do the job right in order to save lives.

Dusty flies into danger with his fellow firefighters

Dusty flies into danger with his fellow firefighters

I found the sequel better than the first outing for Planes.  The situations, adventure and story are more fascinating and the characters out of the ordinary.  The children will like the quest that Dusty has to make in spite of his injury and his narrow escapes from danger.  Adults should find the film adventurous as well with heartwarming lifesaving scenes and some adult inferences that are hilarious.


There are several excellent bonus features for both kids and adults.
“Vitaminamulch: Air Spectacular” an animated short where Dusty has to impersonate another airplane so the show can go on.
“Dipper” an animated short featuring the airplane that dips into the lakes to get water to fight fires.
“Smoke Jumpers” an animated short featuring the vehicles that get dropped into the fire zone to fight fires
“Welcome to Piston Peak!” an animated travelogue of the area where Dusty lives.
“CHoPs TV Promo is a funny takeoff on the helicopter characters in the film.
“Air Attack: Firefighters from the Sky” is a live action feature on actual firefighters and how the animators went to see them to develop their characters.
“Deleted Scenes” There are 3 deleted scenes from the film.
“Still I Fly” a music video by Spencer Lee.
Plus digital download and Disney Movies Anywhere

Dipper dives in for water to fight the fire

Dipper dives in for water to fight the fire

The clarity and color of this digitally mastered film is superb and transferred from the screen with no distortion whatsoever.  The widescreen letterbox shows the whole film with no film loss from each side.  The water scenes look like live action and the fires are very realistic.

The sound quality using the digital Master Audio 7.1 comes across clean and clear through my television speakers.  I ramped up the sound with my upgraded system and there was no distortion detected.

Planes: Fire & Rescue has been rated PG by the MPAA for action and some peril.  Immature youngsters should watch the film with a parent as a scene or two finds Dusty in danger of being burned by the forest fire and he does crash his plane while saving lives.

FINAL ANALYSIS: A very good film for the whole family, especially the kiddies. (B+)

Specifications and additional video information:
Voice Cast: Dane Cook, Julie Bowen, Ed Harris, Captain Dale Dye, Cedric the Entertainer, Erik Estrada, Brad Garrett
Director: Roberts Gannaway
MPAA Rating: PG for action and some peril
Genre: Animation, Family
Running Time: 1 hr 23 min    
Video Release Date: November 4, 2014
Original Film Release Date: July 18, 2014
Language: English (also changeable to Spanish and French)
Format: Blu-ray/DVD
Audio: Blu-ray- English DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1, DVD- Dolby Digital 5.1
Video: Widescreen, Letterbox with an Aspect Ratio of 2.39:1
Subtitles: English SDH, English Descriptive Audio, English, Spanish, French
Number of Discs: Blu-ray Combo has 2 Discs + Digital Download
Distributed by: Buena Vista Home Entertainment

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