Planes: Fire & Rescue : Movie Review

"Planes: Fire & Rescue" was in production before 2013's creatively starved "Planes" had officially opened—quite a sign of faith for a Pixar-less aeronautical spin-off of 2006's lyrically beautiful "Cars" and 2011's offensively misguided "Cars 2." Though a mid-sized hit upon release, "Planes" was but a derivative, faded shadow of John Lasseter's auto-centric original. When it was over, it was all but forgotten. In building a hastily produced sequel, somehow director Bobs Gannaway and writer Jeffrey M. Howard (2014's "The Pirate Fairy") must have had the wise foresight to work harder and improve upon all the things that were about to fail in their predecessor. The story's message isn't yet another retread of the "be yourself" adage, the tone and pacing are gentle and never forced, the computer animation is more detailed in all the light puns, sight gags and Easter eggs littered throughout, and the characters—including hero Dusty—are endearing and better focused. It's still a wispy entertainment in the long run, but at 83 minutes (76 not including end credits) it doesn't overstay its welcome and should play well for younger children and Disney enthusiasts.

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Author : Dustin Putman