Planes: Fire & Rescue Parent Guide
While Dusty and his friends teach some unmistakable lessons about responsibility and friendship, they just don't reach the kind of altitude we've come to expect from this studio.
Parent Movie Review
Firefighting is serious business. But battling wildfires in the backcountry of a national park poses some extra challenges. Dusty Crophopper (voice of Dane Cook) learns that when he joins a force of veteran firefighters led by rescue helicopter Blade Ranger (voice by Ed Harris).
Dusty is there because his racing career is done, thanks to a damaged gearbox. After throwing a bit of a tantrum over the news, Dusty accidentally causes a fire that shuts down the Propwash Junction landing strip. Now unless the town can make significant improvements to their response plan and find a second firefighter, the airport will remain closed for good. And that’s bad news for the large number of residents that are airplanes.
Stepping up to earn his certification as a firefighter is one of the few times Dusty takes responsibility for his actions in this story. It’s an eye-opening experience for the little propeller plane that has become used to the accolades and applause of the racing world. At this airstrip deep inside the park system, Dusty’s aeronautic accomplishments don’t mean a thing. Instead he has to prove he has what it takes to fly with this dedicated crew.
Along with Blade Ranger, he meets Lil’ Dipper (voice of Julie Bowen), Windlifter (voice of Wes Studi), Cabbie (voice of Dale Dye) and a crew of smokejumpers (voices of Regina King, Corri English, Bryan Callen, Danny Pardo and Matt Jones). Luckily for the movie’s merchandising department, this entire new cast also translates into more toys on store shelves.
In reality Dusty’s transformation isn’t that farfetched. During the 1950s crop dusters became some of the first planes adapted to aerial firefighting. The historical angle is interesting, as are depictions of some of the actual techniques use by these blaze extinguishers.
The problem is this film is aimed at the 5 to maybe 10-year-old age group that is still interested in playing with cartoon looking toys. The movie’s plot however is full of peril. During a huge forest fire, Dusty and Blade are forced to take shelter in an old mine shaft when they are stranded in the heart of the blaze. Another time Dusty defiantly disobeys orders and ends up in the river rapids. As a result of his disobedience, he puts his life and the life of his rescuer in serious danger. While the animated flames and explosive fireballs look impressive—especially on the big screen—they may be too intense for young viewers. These vehicles also spend some of their off in bars and have a tendency to use substitute swear words.
So while Dusty and his friends make incredibly cute play things and teach some unmistakable lessons about responsibility and friendship, they just don’t reach the kind of altitude we’ve come to expect from this animation studio.Directed by Roberts Gannaway, Peggy Holmes. Starring Dane Cook, Julie Bowen, Regina King. Running time: 83 minutes. Theatrical release July 18, 2014. Updated May 23, 2016
Planes: Fire & Rescue
Rating & Content Info
Why is Planes: Fire & Rescue rated PG? Planes: Fire & Rescue is rated PG by the MPAA for action and some peril.
Violence: While the movie doesn’t include any real violent interactions involving weapons, there are plenty of moments of peril. A character nearly crashes after his engine stalls. Later he makes a crash landing that results in a large explosion and fire. Numerous characters face peril when they are caught in a forest fire. A character’s disobedience threatens his life and the life of his rescuer. Characters discuss the death of others. A character is seriously injured after sacrificing himself to protect others. One characters makes a seemingly cannibalistic comment.
Sexual Content: The script contains several mild and usually veiled sexual innuendos, along with some vague sexual comments.
Language: The script includes some name-calling and numerous words substituted for swearing.
Alcohol / Drug Use: The characters hang out in a bar setting on a couple of occasions. They make references to alcohol and drink oil products that appear to be their form of liquor.
Other: The movie contains several potty humor jokes.
Page last updated May 23, 2016
Planes: Fire & Rescue Parents' Guide
How does Dusty’s disobedience endanger the safety of himself and Blade? Should there be consequences for people who knowingly disobey rules or put themselves in danger that ultimately threatens the lives of their rescuers? As a first responder, what kind of sacrifices does Blade make for his crew and the park visitors?
Why does Dusty offer to become a firefighter? Is it more difficult than he expected? What responsibility do campers, hikers and tourist have to protect the forests they are visiting?
How does this film use stereotypical depictions of various groups? Is the portrayal of a Native American helicopter a positive or negative one? What other ethic or cultural groups are portrayed? How is gender depicted?
Although Dusty causes some accidents and endangers the lives of others, does he receive any significant consequences for his actions? Should he?
The most recent home video release of Planes: Fire & Rescue movie is November 4, 2014. Here are some details…Home Video Notes: Planes: Fire & Rescue
Release Date: 4 November 2014
Planes: Fire & Rescue releases to home video (Blu-ray/DVD/Digital Copy) with the following supplements:
- Exclusive Animated Short: "Vitaminamulch: Air Spectacular"
- Welcome to Piston Peak! - This mockumentary promotional piece shows off all the highlights of the acclaimed Piston Peak National Park and its aerial firefighting team.
- CHoPs TV Promo - An in-world TV promo.
- Air Attack: Firefighters From The Sky - This high-energy, music-driven behind-the-scenes piece takes an inside look at the real smoke jumpers and firefighters who attack wildfires from the air as Director Roberts Gannaway and Producer Ferrell Barron take us through their journey in making the film.
- Spencer Lee Music Video: "Still I Fly"
- Deleted Scenes with Filmmaker Introductions
- Animated Shorts: Dipper & Smokejumpers
- DMA Discover Content: Animated Short: Blade Ranger & Animated Short: Piston Peak