Planes: Fire & Rescue

***

Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

"Surprisingly for a cartoon aimed at pre-teens, this is about aging"

Planes made Cars look imaginative. It was so overloaded with corn chips and soggy storylines that it never left the runway. At least the sequel takes off with higher octane fuel. It won't break records, or your heart, but it does ask questions.

Surprisingly for a cartoon aimed at pre-teens, this is about ageing and the need to accept it. Dusty Crophopper, who won the round the world race, still thinks he's the man/plane until his gearbox starts acting up and his mechanic/doctor tells him to slow down or he'll have a coronary/malfunction that could ground him forever. Wow! Is this real life talking?

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Instead of training for the next big race he becomes an apprentice to the firefighting unit at a National Park where, predictably, there is an arrogant motor mouth in charge who needs a boot up the exhaust pipe before a forest fire plays havoc with his inaugural bash at the fancy new lodge.

Dusty is bad at taking orders. He thinks he knows it all. Naturally, he screws up a couple of times before realising that he's not the star any more, just one of a team.

The animation is modern Disney, Frozen style, not Pixar Magico. There are more characters than before and an amusing script that stays a respectful distance from the treacle pot.

Your lesson today, children, is Be Safe. And when you grow up, join the fire service and do your bit for the community. Winning is all very well but it doesn't save a baby from a blazing building.

Reviewed on: 25 Jul 2014
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Planes: Fire & Rescue packshot
When Dusty learns that his engine is damaged and he may never race again, he joins a forest fire and rescue unit to be trained as a firefighter.
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