This movie was such a pleasure to pre-screen for the review. My 4 year old was practically dancing in his seat the whole way through.
And when they played ACDC's Thunderstruck at that perfect moment... Laughter rang out clear! Dusty Crophopper has gone from a simple crop dusting plane with dreams of racing, to being a world renowned racer. In the first Planes movie, he proved to the world that just because you are born and raised into something, doesn't mean you can't change your destiny and follow your dreams!
In this sequel, you see that he's racing and winning across the globe. He brings pride to his tiny home town. Until one race... He red lines and something breaks. Dottie checks him out and delivers the crushing news that his racing days might be over. A special part has busted. Without it, he can no longer reach top speeds. Dusty is devastated. Racing has become his life, his passion, his self-made destiny! To have it taken away... Just about crushes him. He gets into an accident when he pushes himself too hard. A fire breaks loose in the town. When the fire is doused in a rather sloppy way, the town is deemed unsafe and shut down. This all happens right before the towns Corn Festival. Everyone knows that every small town has their festivals and that its not just popular with the locals, but with those it draws in. Its a disappointment that everyone feels heavily. In order to be reopened, they have to make changes to prove they are ready for emergencies. One of those changes is to have a deputy fire fighter to serve alongside the fire truck, Mayday.
No one has been trained or certified. So what are they gonna do?? Dusty is faced with a choice. He's probably never going to be able to race again. So why not serve his town and help his old friend? He volunteers to go far from home to be trained by a great pro fire fighting helicopter. It takes a great deal of growing up for Dusty to see what's truly important in life. He meets some friends, including an air tanker who is obsessed with Dusty - Dipper.
His trainer has a hidden secret that leaves most baffled.
One day, while training, there's an accident. On that same day, one event leads to another and disaster strikes. Will Dusty rise to the occasion? Will he be the hero he needs to be and help his new friends?
There were some other lessons to be learned. Things like how lightning can cause fires. The lightning can send sparks flying. Those sparks can start one or more small fires that can grow quickly. Fires can combine to create a larger, more dangerous fire. And most of all, fires that are blown by the wind, can jump over cleared paths.
Its a great way to talk to kids about fires. They show how the aerial firefighting is possible. A friend of mine joined us and commented on how its so cool to see how the planes with pontoons can scoop up water from nearby bodies of water to dump on raging flames. Even if they are in cartoon form.