Today’s Prayer Focus

Planes: Fire and Rescue

also known as “Planes 2: Fire & Rescue”
MPA Rating: PG-Rating (MPA) for action and some peril.

Reviewed by: Samuel Chetty—first time reviewer

Moral Rating: Better than Average
Moviemaking Quality:
Primary Audience: Kids Family
Genre: Animation Action Kids Family Comedy Sequel
Length: 1 hr. 23 min.
Year of Release: 2014
USA Release: July 18, 2014 (wide—3,826 theaters)
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Relevant Issues
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fire in the Bible

courage, bravery

being a hero / helping those in danger

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the importance of teamwork

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importance of heeding the wisdom and orders of those who are more experienced than you

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discovering a new purpose in life when doors close

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FEAR, Anxiety and Worry—What does the Bible say? Answer

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Featuring Dane CookDusty Crophopper (voice)
Ed HarrisBlade Ranger (voice)
Hal HolbrookMayday (voice)
Teri HatcherDottie (voice)
Patrick WarburtonPulaski (voice)
Stacy KeachSkipper (voice)
Cedric the Entertainer … Leadbottom (voice)
Fred WillardSecretary Of The Interior (voice)
Wes StudiWindlifter (voice)
René AuberjonoisConcierge (voice)
See all »
Director Roberts Gannaway
Producer DisneyToon Studios
Prana Studios
Walt Disney Pictures

Prequel: “Disney's Planes” (2013)

“Planes: Fire and Rescue” is a nice sequel to the first movie. I like it when sequels present very different subject matter from the original, so I was glad to see that this is not another movie focused on racing. This movie’s story opens shortly after the first movie ends. Dusty Crophopper (Dane Cook) is now famous, having won the race around the world. Unfortunately, though, he has some mechanical problems.

Dusty’s gearbox has some issues that could cause him to crash if he flies too fast, and his particular type of gearbox is no longer manufactured. One night, he pushes his limits too much and stalls. He tries to land at an airport but crashes into something which causes a fire at the airport. The airport firefighters are not well equipped to put out the fire, so as a desperate response they knock over a water tower.

The airport’s inability to properly handle the emergency causes it to lose its certification, meaning that an air racing festival to be held there would have to be postponed unless two competent firefighters could be certified. Dusty feels guilty that the airport lost its certification because of a fire he started and feels that he can take on the task of firefighting, so he begins receiving training from a team that extinguishes wildfires.

From an entertainment standpoint, I think this movie is stronger than the first one. The plot feels better paced, and the firefighting scenes are very exciting. The scenery and fires look quite realistic for an animated movie, and the dramatic music fits wonderfully. The fire scenes’ intensity and realism might be a little scary for very young kids. There are scenes of planes surrounded by fires, and a couple times planes crash and are damaged badly, but they survive and are repaired.

From a moral perspective, this is the cleanest modern movie I have seen. There are just a few comments that parents might want to know about. A character mentions kicking someone’s “Aston Martin,” and someone says “Oh Chevy!”. A character mentions a movie’s “lawbreaking love” as though she’s fascinated by it. There is also a short bar scene where beer is served, and there is one comment that might have been a lie.

The movie has a positive message about moving forward in life and finding a new direction, rather than dwelling on the past and the things you cannot do anymore. This could be a reminder of how God always gives us something valuable that we can do, regardless of what stage of our lives we are in.

Another element worth discussion is Dusty’s tendency to go against the advice of his trainers. He means well and wants to maximize his effectiveness as a firefighter, but he misjudges his abilities at times. Over the course of the movie, his reliance on his own judgment has both good and bad results. Obviously, this matter is connected to a much bigger debate about the role of authority that has many views from both a Biblical and philosophical standpoint. Nonetheless, the common denominator we can agree on is that we have weaknesses that we cannot fully comprehend, so we should not lightly disregard the perspective of those with more experience.

I think this second installment to the “Planes” series is quite satisfactory and more enjoyable than I expected. It is not groundbreaking, but the quality of the flight action and music succeeds in making a movie that’s basically average in storytelling and character design feel somewhat better than average. If you’re interested in the movie, I would recommend seeing it while it is in theaters, as some flight scenes are more fascinating to watch on the huge screen.

I give this “Planes” installment a positive recommendation as a family movie. For teenagers or adults looking for something to watch themselves or with friends, I give it a neutral recommendation. I can’t give them strong assurance that they will like it, but they may think it is fun enough to be worth an hour and a half.

Violence: Mild to moderate / Profanity: Minor / Sex/Nudity: Minor

See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.

Viewer CommentsSend your comments
Positive—After my husband read the official review here, our family went to the theater to see this film. Going to the theater is a rare event in these days of so many inappropriate movies! We went into this movie having never seen a trailer, and I did not read the on-line review, so I did not even know much about the premise. I think that I actually enjoyed this sequel more than the original, which had been so focused on Dusty “proving himself” by winning the race and how he was constantly seeking a sense of self worth above what he had been designed to do.

In this sequel, Dusty does get himself into some situations which only came about because of his own pride and refusal to obey those who were wiser than himself… but in every instance of this he must face the consequences and see how his selfish actions hurt others. This almost never happens in children’s movies, and I appreciated it so much! Dusty was humbled in these situations, and it steered him to becoming a more heroic and selfless individual who began to accept his limitations. See all »
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 4
Shawna, age 36 (USA)
Positive—Our family generally enjoyed the first “Planes” movie, but certainly felt it wasn’t in the same league as “Cars.” This second “Planes” movie was better than the first, with more humor, more action, and a pretty exciting story. From a morality perspective, I can think of nothing that was objectionable. Just a good clean movie that the kids should really enjoy, and the parents should find entertaining as well.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 5
Jason, age 40 (USA)
Positive—I have watched this a few times. …The first bar scene before Dusty goes flying at night, the truck mentions how his lady left him and “he didn’t even get some”. I missed this the first time, but that put me off a bit. Depending on how strict you are on music, the first fire scene is to “Thunderstrike” an ACDC song—and, because it’s catchy one, is likely to “sing-along” not knowing that the song is about getting lucky. Other than that, it is a good movie.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
Rochelle, age 28 (South Africa)
Comments from young people
Negative—Wow, what a shocker—just as dull and regurgitated as the first one. It’s “Cars” with planes, nothing different or better. Glad I rented it for free. If your kid really wants a good film, let him see “Big Hero 6” or “The Croods” or “Bolt.”
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: ½
Matthew, age 14 (USA)

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