Blu-ray Review “Planes: Fire & Rescue”

Starring: Dane Cook, Julie Bowen, Ed Harris, Curtis Armstrong, John Michael Higgins, Hal Holbrook
Director: Roberts Gannaway
Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Studio: Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment
Release Date: November 4, 2014
Run Time: 83 minutes

Film: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Blu-ray: 4 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3.5 out of 5 stars

When I saw “Disney’s Planes”, I enjoyed the film but it was hardy very memorable and not a favorite for sure. I really wasn’t running into the very quickly released sequel with any high expectations at all. I was surprised though that the sequel is quite better than the first film. It is action packed and very funny. If you enjoy the world of “Cars”, I mean what little boy doesn’t this should certainly keep them entertained and glued to the screen and parents can get a few laughs and enjoy as well. This film is another one that Disney has neglected to release on 3D Blu-ray after it’s 3D successful theatrical release. This would really look much cooler at home with that added dimension.

Official Premise: Bring home the thrill of a lifetime with Disney’s “Planes: Fire & Rescue”. This heart-pumping comedy-adventure features a dynamic crew of elite aircraft devoted to protecting historic Piston Peak National Park from raging wildfires. When world-famous air racer Dusty learns that he may never race again, he must shift gears and is launched into the world of aerial firefighting. Dusty joins forces with a team of veteran firefighters; together, they battle a massive fire, and Dusty learns what it takes to be a true hero.

This sequel includes a solid voice cast including Dane Cook (“Planes”) as Dusty, Julie Bowen (“Modern Family”) as Dipper, Ed Harris (“Gravity”) as Blade Ranger, Captain Dale Dye (“Saving Private Ryan”) as Cabbie, Cedric the Entertainer (“Ice Age”) as Leadbottom, Erik Estrada (“CHiPs”) as Nick “Loopin” Lopez, Brad Garrett (“Everybody Loves Raymond”) as Chug, Teri Hatcher (“Desperate Housewives”) as Dottie, John Michael Higgins (“Pitch Perfect”) as Cad, Hal Holbrook (“Into the Wild”) as Mayday, Stacy Keach (“Planes”) as Skipper, Regina King (“Ray”) as Dynamite, Anne Meara (“Night at the Museum) as Winnie, Jerry Stiller (“The King of Queens”) as Harvey and Wes Studi (“Avatar”) as Windlifter…whew…deep breath!

Disney is releasing this film as a combo pack with a Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD including Disney Movies Anywhere. I have been enjoying the Disney Movies Anywhere site but they need to get their asses in gear and get on board with Android systems. The 1080p transfer is very impressive. The colors are amazing and the animation is very crisp and sharp. Like I said, this would have been a lot better in 3D but we got to work with what we got. The The DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 also sores high and really works great with the film and the films solid animated action throughout.

The special features are also a score for this release. There is a new exclusive animated short “Vitaminamulch: Air Spectacular”. as well as other shorts “Dipper” and “Smokejumpers”. There is a fun mockumentary called “Welcome to Piston Peak!” looking at the Piston Peak National Park and its aerial firefighting team. There is a funny “CHoPs” TV Promo. “Air Attack: Firefighters From The Sky” is a fun and entertaining behind-the-scene look at the real life inspiration for the film with Director Roberts Gannaway and Producer Ferrell Barron talking about the making of. There is a music video for Spencer Lee’s “Still I Fly”. Lastly, there are two deleted scenes included with filmmaker introductions.

Book Review “The Art of Planes”

Author: Tracey Miller-Zarneke
Hardcover: 176 pages
Publisher: Chronicle Books
Release Date: July 1, 2014

Our Score: 3 out of 5 stars

Disney’s “Planes” is an interesting topic, since it was never really made originally be a big theatrical series. It was originally set for direct to video release to cash in on the success of “Cars”. Of course, it got some traction and took off into theaters and did fairly well. I do not think anyone was really dying to see a sequel thought, especially barely a year later. Personally, I haven’t even seen “Fire and Rescue” yet. Nonetheless, these are still very pretty films and I am sure a lot of work went into making them, so if you enjoy the films though, the book is a decent companion.

Official Film Premise: In Disney’s Planes and Planes: Fire and Rescue, the big-hearted crop duster Dusty Crophopper is full of dreams. In the first film, he overcomes his fear of heights to win the Wings Around The Globe Rally. In the second, Dusty learns his damaged engine will keep him from racing, but he finds the true hero within himself working alongside firefighting aircraft on a courageous wildfire air attack team.

Even though this film is not made by Pixar, it still has that certain look but doesn’t have the same heart. The book “The Art of Planes” looks into some of the concept art from the development of these two films. There is some focus on colorscripts, storyboards, character studies, sculpts, background art, and more. I would have liked to see a little more focus on the characters and a little less on the environments. There is also insider insights from the films’ artists and filmmakers. There is a nice preface included from the film’s directors Bobs Gannaway and Klay Hall. Of course, there is a foreword from the man himself, Chief Creative Officer John Lasseter, who gives insight into the creation of these films.


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Book Review “Planes: Fire & Rescue – Dusty’s Big Job”

Age Range: 3 – 5 years
Grade Level: Preschool – Kindergarten
Series: Planes
Board book: 24 pages
Publisher: Disney Press
Release Date: June 3, 2014

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

Today I have completed three reviews on various new releases all focusing around “Cars” and “Planes”. I know that I love this franchise because I could easily do ten more! “Planes: Fire & Rescue – Dusty’s Big Job” is a dive into the new film in the series, which comes out this July in theaters. This hardcover book is only 24 pages but it is still a great read for kids, who love the series.

The pages have that hard stock, so it is great for little flyers as well without worries of ripping the pages. This book follows the thrilling adventures of Dusty Crophopper and all his pals. Also includes with this release is the “Planes” Storybook Deluxe app for iPhone and iPad! I love how Disney includes these bonus app because they are really nice addition and make the book only more worth wild to pick up.

Book Review “Cars / Planes: Fly-and-Drive – Read-Along Storybook”

Age Range: 6 – 8 years
Grade Level: 1 – 3
Series: Read-Along Storybook and CD
Hardcover: 136 pages
Publisher: Disney Press (June 3, 2014)

Our Score: 5 out of 5 stars

The World of “Cars” is such a vast world created by Disney and Pixar. When “Cars” was released, I do not think that anyone knew how popular this franchise would be well beyond the films itself. When they expanded that world into the sky with “Planes”, I guess you can quote the saying “The sky was the limit” but in this case it really wasn’t. “Cars / Planes: Fly-and-Drive” is a combo of the two franchises into one Read-Along Storybook and CD.

This action-packed set includes four thrilling stories narrated with sound effects and character voices: “Cars”, “Cars 2”, “Air Mater”, and “Planes”. These stories are fun and if your kids love “Cars” and “Planes”, they are doing to love this book for sure. I do not think that I can get enough of these two franchises right now. Plus with the release of “Planes: Fire & Rescue” coming this July, I say keep it coming! As an added bonus, you also get a new eBook for “Planes: Fire and Rescue” includes as well.

Book Review “Disney’s Planes: Meet the Planes”

Age Range: 6 – 8 years
Grade Level: 1 – 3
Series: Storybook Classic
Hardcover: 128 pages
Publisher: Disney Press
Release Date: June 3, 2014

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

I know some people aren’t the biggest fans of the “Planes” movie in terms quality. But it is a really fun movie for the kids and a merchandise beast for Disney. Like the “Cars” franchise, kids have been eating this series up and Disney has a gold mine on their hands for sure. With “Planes: Fire & Rescue” coming to theaters this July, there is “Planes” merchandise everywhere you turn in Disney. “Meet The Planes” is the latest book release and a very impressive one at that. If your kids love the characters of “Planes” or just being introduced to them, this is a great book for kids!

This book comes with a really sharp jacketed hardcover that introduces the reader to the characters from the “Planes” franchise. Everyone is showcased here from Dusty to El Chu to Skipper. “Meet the Planes” also gives detailed descriptions of each planes along with fun trivia and facts on more than 100 characters. I had no idea there were that many characters to be honest. This book is fun to either flip through and take your time and dive into this next work of characters. Plus as an added bonus the book jacket reverses to reveal a poster of all the characters. Must have for any “Cars” or “Planes” fan…or any young boy in general 😉


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Book Review “Planes: Fire & Rescue (Read-Along Storybook & CD​)”

Age Range: 6 – 8 years
Grade Level: 1 – 3
Series: Read-Along Storybook and CD
Paperback: 32 pages
Publisher: Disney Press
Release Date: June 3, 2014

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

I remember Read-Along Storybook releases but they were not on CD. I had a few when I was a very little kid on Vinyl and then after that cassette tape. I remember having “Mickey’s Christmas Carol” and “The Little Mermaid”. Now with a daughter of my own, who is starting to start reading, I am able help her read and at the same time have fun. “Planes: Fire & Rescue (Read-Along Storybook & CD​)” follows the thrilling adventures of Dusty Crophopper and all his pals. It is action packed with with music, sound effects, and character voices. Now only did my daughter love this but it was a real treat for daddy as well.

My daughter has watched the first “Planes” many times already now and she has a Dusty plane toy as well, so she is quite familiar with the characters. This was not only my first experience with Read-Along Storybook & CD since I was a kid but also my daughters. She really enjoyed listening to the book and being able to follow along. The character voices also help out a lot because she kept calling out “Dusty” when listening and following along. This was such a great experience and I am sure we will be revisiting this quite often over the next few month before we see the new film “Planes: Fire & Rescue” in theaters this Summer!

Disney’s “Planes” Blu-ray™ Combo Pack Giveaway [ENDED]


© 2013 Disney

Lands on Blu-ray™, DVD, Digital HD and On-Demand on November 19, 2013

To celebrate the release of Disney’s “Planes”, Media Mikes would like to giveaway 5 copies of the Blu-ray™ Combo Pack (1 Blu-ray™ + 1 DVD + Digital Copy). If you would like to enter for your chance to win one of these great prizes, please leave us a comment below or send us an email indicating your favorite character from Disney’s “Planes”. This giveaway will remain open until December 6th at Noon, Eastern Time. This is open to residents of the United States only. One entry per person, per household. All other entries will be considered invalid. Media Mikes will randomly select winners. Winners will be alerted via email.

Disney’s heartwarming family comedy, “PLANES,” revved up with high-flying action and adventure, lands in homes and mass retailers nationwide on November 19th.  This endearing underdog story about a crop dusting plane named Dusty with sky-high dreams touches down on Blu-ray™, DVD, Digital HD and On-Demand featuring a cargo hold full of exciting bonus features. Guaranteeing hours of fun, “PLANES” is the perfect gift for “ladies and gentle-planes” of all ages this holiday season.

After spreading its wings in theaters, “PLANES” soars to glorious new heights on Blu-ray™, featuring wondrous high definition picture and sound and never-before-seen bonus features, including musical number “Franz’s Song,” deleted scenes, a behind-the-scenes featurette that follows Director Klay Hall’s personal journey during the making of the film, a look at the ten greatest aviators in history hosted by ESPN’s Colin Cowherd, and more.

Directed by Klay Hall (“King of the Hill,” “The Simpsons”), produced by Traci Balthazor-Flynn (“Return to Never Land,” “Bambi II,” “The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Beginning”) and written by Jeffrey M. Howard (“Tinker Bell,” “Tinker Bell and the Great Fairy Rescue”), “PLANES” flew to the top of the U.S. box office this summer, holding altitude as the #1 family movie in America four weekends in a row.

“PLANES” is propelled by a star-studded voice cast that includes Dane Cook (“Louie,” “My Best Friend’s Girl,” “Dan in Real Life”) as Dusty, Stacy Keach (“The Bourne Legacy,” “Nebraska”) as Navy Corsair Skipper, Teri Hatcher (ABC’s “Desperate Housewives,” “Coraline”) as say-it-like-it-is mechanic Dottie, Julia Louis-Dreyfus (“Veep,” “The New Adventures of Old Christine,” “Seinfeld”) as Rochelle, Priyanka Chopra (“Barfi!”) as Ishani, John Cleese (Monty Python, “A Fish Called Wanda”) as Bulldog, Carlos Alazraqui (James Garcia on Comedy Central’s “Reno 911”) as El Chupacabra, Roger Craig Smith (Captain America in Disney XD’s “Marvel’s Avengers Assemble,” voice of Sonic The Hedgehog in “Wreck-It Ralph”) as the world champion racer Ripslinger, Val Kilmer (“Batman Forever,” “Top Gun”) as Bravo and Anthony Edwards (TV’s “ER,” “Top Gun”) as Echo.


(Blu-ray™, DVD and Select Digital Retailers)

Exclusive Franz’s Song (approx. 1:40) – Blu-ray™ & Select Digital Retailers

Produced exclusively for Blu-ray™ and HD Digital, this never-before-seen completely finished animated song features the German mini-car, Franz Fliegenhosen, who encourages Dusty on his flight.

Klay’s Flight Plan (approx. 15:00) Blu-ray™, DVD & Select Digital Retailers

Follow Director Klay Hall’s personal journey during the making of “Planes” and discover why his family connection to aviation made “Planes” his perfect project.  Fly along with Klay as he lands on a working aircraft carrier to get first-hand experience on the flight deck.

Deleted Scenes (approx.. 3:46) Blu-ray™ & Select Digital Retailers

Director Klay Hall and Producer Traci Balthazor-Flynn introduce deleted scenes from the movie.

1. Training Montage (approx. 2:38)

2. Taj Mahal (approx. 1:08)

Meet the Racers (approx.. 5:50) Blu-ray™, DVD & Select Digital Retailers

Featurettes introducing racers El Chupacabra (1:15), Ripslinger (1:15), Dusty (:90), and Ishani (:90).

Top 10 Flyers (approx. 8:00) Blu-ray™ & Select Digital Retailers

ESPN’s Colin Cowherd hosts a fun, fast-paced countdown of the greatest aviators in history.


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Film Synopsis:

The world of Cars takes flight in Planes, Disney’s high-flying animated comedy revved up with action and adventure.  Join Dusty, a crop duster with sky-high dreams and a once-in-a-lifetime chance to take on the world’s fastest flyers in the greatest air race ever. Dusty has a huge heart but two big problems…he’s not exactly built for speed, plus he’s afraid of heights.  His courage is put to the ultimate test as this unlikely hero aims higher than he ever imagined. With a little help from his friends, Dusty finds the courage to be more than he was built for—and the inspiration to soar.

Check out a full 8-minute sneak peek of the film:


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3D Blu-ray Review “Planes”

Actors: Dane Cook, Stacy Keach, Priyanka Chopra, Cedric the Entertainer, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and John Cleese
Directed by: Klay Hall
Number of discs: 3
Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Studio: Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment
Release Date: November 19, 2013
Run Time: 92 minutes

Film: 4 out of 5 stars
3D: 4 out of 5 stars
Extras: 2.5 out of 5 stars

“Planes” is the first theatrically film for DisneyToon Studios since 2005’s “Pooh’s Heffalump Movie”. In fact, this film was originally supposed to come out on Blu-ray but was decided to head into theaters to take advantage of the fact that it was a spin-off from Pixar’s “Cars” series. The film includes the voice talents of Dane Cook, Stacy Keach, Priyanka Chopra, Cedric the Entertainer, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and John Cleese. This is the first film in a now planned “Planes” trilogy. It’s sequel, titled “Planes: Fire & Rescue” is arelady scheduled for theatrical release on July 18, 2014. So Disney made a smart move here and expect a lot from this series. The film was a ton of fun, action packed and super funny. Plus my 17 month old daughter is obsessed with planes and was totally digging this film, I might be to get another copy since this one will be worn out by the end of the year.

Official Premise: The world of Cars takes flight in Planes, an animated comedy revved up with action and adventure. Join Dusty (Cook), a crop duster with sky-high dreams and a once-in-a-lifetime chance to take on the world’s fastest flyers in the greatest air race ever. Dusty has a huge heart but two big problems: he’s not exactly built for speed, and he’s afraid of heights. His courage is put to the ultimate test, though, as this unlikely hero aims higher than he ever imagined. With a little help from his friends, Dusty finds the courage to be more than he was built for, and the inspiration to soar.

Disney delivered this film in a fantastic three-disc combo pack with a 3D Blu-ray + Blu-ray + DVD and Digital Copy. “Planes” looks amazing with its 1080p transfer. I have no idea how this film was heading direct-to-video since it is so epic and really looks amazing. The colors really pop off the TV, especially with the 3D transfer. In fact, I really enjoyed the 3D in this film. With the planes flying right at you, it features a great in-your-face moments and adds some great depth.  The DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 surround track is also quite impressive. From every propeller to the planes soaring through the skies, the track is so impressive.

The special features are ok but nothing special at all for this film but I would have loved to see a commentary track. There is an Exclusive Franz’s Song, which was produced exclusively for Blu-ray and is a never-before-seen completely finished animated song features the German mini-car, Franz Fliegenhosen. “Klay’s Flight Plan” features Klay Hall chatting about his journey to bringing this film to life. There are two deleted scenes including introductions from Director Klay Hall and Producer Traci Balthazor-Flynn. “Top 10 Flyers” features ESPN’s Colin Cowherd counting down of the greatest aviators in history. Lastly “Meet the Racers” includes featurettes on the following racers El Chupacabra, Ripslinger, Dusty and Ishani.


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Blu-ray Review “Planes, Trains and Automobiles”

Actors: Steve Martin, John Candy, Laila Robins, Michael McKean, Kevin Bacon
Directors: John Hughes
Rated: R (Restricted)
Studio: Paramount
Release Date: November 6, 2012
Run Time: 93 minutes

Film: 4 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3.5 out of 5 stars

This year “Planes, Trains and Automobiles” is celebrating its 25th anniversary. Paramount is delivering this classic hilarious comedy to Blu-ray for the first time. John Hughes was one of the best writers/directors in the business.  This film is a laugh-a-minute raunchy comedy that delivers something new every time you watch it. Steve Martin and John Candy delivered some of their best performances.  I mean if you have never seen this, just watch the opening scene and you will be hooked. So, if you do not own this film, this might be the time to change that!

“Written and directed by the incomparable John Hughes and starring comedy greats Steve Martin and John Candy, the uproarious classic follows a businessman (Martin) who is struggling to get home for Thanksgiving, but burdened by one travel mishap after another, as well as the company of an annoying traveling salesman (Candy). Filled with outrageously funny situations and a generous helping of warmth, the film also features appearances by Michael McKean, Edie McClurg and Kevin Bacon.”

Alright let’s get to the 1080p high definition transfer, which is decent so to say but it actually looks its age and shows quite a bit of noise. Though it is still a major upgrade from the previous DVD and should be a must for any fan. The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 tracks works well with the dialogue but like with most comedies are not completely challenged. Blu-ray score: 3.5 out of 5 stars.

The special features are worth the purpose alone just for the new “John Hughes: Life Moves Pretty Fast” feature. It is presented in high-def 1080p and is a two-parter with “John Hughes: The Voice of a Generation” and “Heartbreak and Triumph: The Legacy of John Hughes”, totally around an hour. “Getting There is Half the Fun: The Story of Planes, Trains and Automobiles” is a fun vintage press chat with John Hughes, Steve Martin, and John Candy (def not for kiddies). “John Hughes for Adults” is a look into this mature film rather than his teen-aimed films. “A Tribute to John Candy” is a look into his work in the film, as an actor and a person. Lastly, there is a deleted scenes in HD called “Airplane Food”. Overall great features for a great movie.