The Cars's spinoff Planes just hit theaters last August, but already fans of Dusty Crophopper and his high-flying crew can look forward to a sequel. Planes: Fire & Rescue has Dusty leaving behind his racing ambitions to become a fire-fighting hero, putting out forest fires with some brave, rough and tumble planes. Dane Cook will once again lend his voice to Dusty, and Modern Family's Julie Bowen will play a new friend named Dipper. What other voice talent can you pick out in the trailer, courtesy of MovieFone?
"Every day they put their lives on the line. It takes honor, trust, and bravery to earn your wings," the voiceover growls as a new crew of planes and ground support are unveiled. Aside from showing off its new cast of characters--who will surely have toys in their likeness available for purchase--the trailer for Planes: Fire & Rescue also teases some action scenes that blend fire fighting with Dusty's impulsive nature and daredevil flying style. Plus, you get a hint of humor with the pick-up truck joke. Get it? Because he's trying to flirt with that pink car?
The creation of a sequel speaks to the success of Planes, which made $206 million worldwide. That's an impressive number on it's own, but even more so when you remember that the family comedy inspired from the world of Pixar's Cars was originally intended to be a straight-to-DVD release. Instead, Disney ditched Jon Cryer for Dane Cook, aimed high, and scored big…well, with audiences anyway. Planes was generally scorned by critics, who understandably saw it as a Cars knock-off. Our own Katey Rich said in her review, "The only audiences who will be surprised by Planes are those for whom its intended-- children who may have never seen a movie before, period."
It seems that instead of pulling inspiration from Cars' plotline this time around, Planes: Fire and Rescue will be finding some ideas in the lesser-known Steven Spielberg drama Always, which starred Richard Dreyfuss as a reckless fire-fighting daredevil. Though I'm guessing Planes 2 won't go the ghost/guardian route.
For those of you worrying about the legacy of Pixar being sullied by these shameless spinoffs, fear not. Neither Planes nor Planes: Fire and Rescue are made by Pixar. Instead, Disney, who bought Pixar in 2006, has handed these projects off to their DisneyToon Studios, which mainly produces straight-to-home-video releases like The Lion King 1 ½, Lilo & Stitch 2: Stitch Has a Glitch and Cinderella III: A Twist In Time.
Planes: Fire and Rescue will open on July 18th, 2014.