Planes: Fire and Rescue appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.39:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. Like the first film, Rescue presented excellent visuals.
At all times, the movie displayed strong sharpness. If any softness materialized, I didn’t see it, as I thought this was a tight, distinctive image. No signs of shimmering or jagged edges occurred, and the presentation lacked edge haloes. Print flaws also failed to mar the image.
Because the first movie offered a wider variety of settings, it came with a broader palette. Nonetheless, the colors of Rescue looked terrific; they gave us an earthy feel with consistently rich, full tones. Blacks appeared deep and dense, and low-light shots seemed smooth and clear. I found an impressive transfer here.
The DTS-HD MA 7.1 soundtrack of Rescue soared. It came with a wide variety of sequences that gave us chances for vivid material, and it brought those out in a satisfying way. The movie used the many flight scenes to allow elements to zoom around the room, and quieter scenes still came with nice environmental material that seemed convincing. All of these combined in a lively manner that used the speakers to immerse us in the film.
Audio quality was solid. Music appeared vivid and rich, with good highs and warm lows. Speech was consistently distinctive and natural, while effects showed great range. Those elements appeared accurate and dynamic, as they packed a strong punch. Everything worked nicely here to form a strong soundtrack.
When we shift to the set’s extras, we open with a new animated short called Vitaminamulch: Air Spectacular. It runs five minutes, 55 seconds and features a show in which Dusty impersonates a famous daredevil. Nothing great emerges but the piece offers minor amusement.
Welcome to Piston Peak! fills two minutes, 49 seconds. This reel displays a fake 1950s-style ad for the tourist attraction. It becomes another cute, enjoyable addition.
With the CHoPs TV Promo, we find a 45-second clip that promotes the 1970s series mentioned in the movie. Like the last two elements, this one seems enjoyable enough.
During the four-minute, 47-second Air Attack: Firefighters from the Sky, we find notes from director Bobs Gannaway, producer Ferrell Barron, Smoke Jumpers Ops Manager Luis Gomez, CAL FIRE battalion chief Travis Alexander and aerobatic helicopter pilot Chuck Aaron. They talk about research for the movie as well as the real-life exploits of the rescue workers who acted as influences for the story. Expect a fluffy tribute without much content.
Two Deleted Scenes appear; including filmmaker introductions, they occupy a total of four minutes, 32 seconds. We see “Honkers” (2:28) and “Dusty’s Dream No More” (1:51). Both come fairly early in the film, as they precede Dusty’s decision to become a fire and rescue worker. Both seem watchable but they don’t contribute any material of real value.
In their intros, Gannaway and Barron give us a little background. They set up the sequences and provide decent thoughts about them.
A music video appears for Spencer Lee’s “Still I Fly”. It mixes recording studio footage of Lee with shots from the movie. Both the song and the video seem dishwater dull.
Finally, we get two animated shorts. This area includes Dipper (1:45) and Smoke Jumpers (1:44). I hoped this domain would provide classic Disney cartoons with themes connected to Rescue, but instead, these two are direct extensions of the film’s universe. “Dipper” features that character’s online dating profile – and her unlikely match – while “Jumpers” shows an adventure with those personalities. Both seem moderately entertaining.
The disc opens with ads for Big Hero 6 and the Frozen Sing-Along Edition. Sneak Peeks adds promos for Disney Stores, Star Wars: Rebels and Maleficent. No trailer for Rescue pops up here.
The package also provides a DVD copy of Rescue. It includes “Vitaminamulch” and the music video but lacks the other extras.
Like its predecessor, Planes: Fire and Rescue seems watchable but forgettable. The sequel comes across more like a platform for toy sales than anything else, so whatever entertainment it produces seems semi-incidental. The Blu-ray boasts excellent picture and audio as well as a smattering of decent bonus materials. Kids will probably enjoy this colorful adventure but adult animation fans should look elsewhere.