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Director: Roberts Gannaway
Writer: Jeffrey M. Howard
Cast: Dane Cook, Ed Harris, Julie Bowen, Hal Holbrook, Curtis Armstrong, Wes Studi
Studio: Disney

“Planes: Fire & Rescue” opens on Dusty learning that he may never race again. So, he decides to dedicate himself to the the service of others. Working as some sort of firefighting airlift service, Dusty finds new purpose and it works. That being said, this is the point where the plot vanishes and Disney hopes that the Pre-K set will be entertained by wisecracking rescue vehicles. While the first movie was originally meant to go DTV, this sequel makes those aspirations ever apparent.

Anthromorphic vehicles have been a Disney staple since Eisenhower was President. That being said, it’s an attempt to relay real world demands into a fashion that kids can understand. I mean, if you made a film about the crushing disappointment of handicaps and trying to secure work, kids will tune out. It also says insanely intense things about how Dusty ties purpose into his career. If anything, the entire world of “Cars” and “Planes” both suggest that your life is predetermined by the abilities found in your natural car form. If you don’t serve the greater community in some purpose, then you’re an invalid hunk of junk.

There is something to be said for the brutality of the subtext. But, I also demand a story that can hold my attention and actually not dissolve in the 3rd act. Some casual readers might state that I’m demanding too much out of an animated movie. Honestly, you can’t demand too much when it comes to anything. Telling a story has certain intellectual and structural demands that must be met in order to create something that satisfies an audience’s demands. While I didn’t like the first “Planes” movie, at least it had a plot that lasted for all three acts.


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