Dusty Crophopper (voice of Dane Cook) has become a well-known racing legend around the world but when he is told by Dottie (voice of Teri Hatcher), Mayday (voice of Hal Holbrook) and the rest of his crew at Pop Wash Junction that his gear box is broken and that he may never race again he is left with finding a new way of life. Dusty’s gear box is out of production and without it Dusty cannot reach the speeds needed to win races.
When a fire breaks out at Pop Wash and Mayday and the crew are left with no immediate means to extinguish it the TMST informs them all that something needs to change. That change happens to be Dusty. Since he can no longer race he has decided to attend the firefighter’s academy outside Piston Peak National Park to get his certification from Blade Ranger (voice of Ed Harris). Yet when a wildfire breaks out and is headed towards the lodge Dusty once again takes to the air only to discover that a hero is not one that wins races but is one that risks his life to save others. This day Dusty becomes a hero but he knows in his engine that his true love is racing yet without the gear box there is nothing he can do. Five days later after returning to Pop Wash all tattered and torn Dusty receives the news that he’s been waiting for once again making him the hit of the corn fest.
The film is very well directed and written although I thought some of the humor gets lost within the characters as cars, trucks or planes rather than people or animals. There are some all-terrain vehicles known as The Smokejumpers that are quite interesting but I found them to be similar in a distant way to that of the little yellow Minions in Despicable Me. Any way they accomplish their goals in the film adding a touch of adventure and intrigue with humor into the mix. The 3D works well in this story and the animation is perfect but once again even though this is better than the first story this plane just did not totally take off for me although my guest for the night 8 year Haley loved it. As for the voices I thought they all did a great job and were very well cast for the characters and their personalities. In the end I enjoyed this film but still can’t rank it close to so many other Disney animated films but either way I do give it two and half paws out four. I’m Jon Patch.