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Pictured above: Big Damn Heroes
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When world famous air racer Dusty Crophopper (voice of Dane Cook) learns that his engine is damaged and he may never race again, he must shift gears and is launched into the world of wildfire air attack. Dusty joins forces with veteran fire and rescue helicopter Blade Ranger (voice of Ed Harris) and his courageous air attack team.

A sequel to Disneytoon Studios' Planes, a Spin-Off of Pixar's Cars franchise.


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  • All There in the Manual: A lot of character back stories, especially the Smokejumpers and the stories behind their names.
  • "Awesome McCool" Name: Blazin' Blade Ranger, that is all.
  • Big Damn Heroes: When Dusty is using the waterfall to reload his tank and save Harvey & Winnie, a couple of old RVs trapped on the bridge, it seems like he's not going to make it, as Winnie is close to falling off the bridge. Then, out of the smoke, Blade Ranger swoops in and uses his hoist to keep Winnie from falling, thus enabling Dusty to save the couple.
    • The movie is built on this Trope. Aside from the above we have Wind Lifter leading the team out at night, flying through the fire to save everyone from the lodge. The Dusty knowing his gear box is busted and that he will most likely crash and die saves the RV's.
  • Borrowed Catchphrase: Mayday borrows Lightning McQueen's "Ka-chow!".
  • Call-Back:
    • Like in the first film, Dusty goes to a bar while his friends give him comfort and support him.
    • Also, this isn't the first time that Dusty was carried back to safety and rebuilt after crashing.
    • Dusty's gearbox being damaged by his racing is one to the beginning of the first film, where Dottie warns that his engine was not built for the extreme rigors of racing, and says that overworking it can cause an engine failure.
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  • Catch-Phrase: Maru's repairs and rebuilds are always "Better than new!"
  • Classified Information: Cabbie's answer when Dusty asked why Blade, a former TV star, becomes a firefighter.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Lil' Dipper can be off at times, including one notable instance of acting like her teammates are Dusty's friends when she thinks they're going to the lodge as a couple.
  • Dangerous Forbidden Technique:
    • Once his gearbox is damaged, Dusty running his engine in the red becomes this.
    • The team never flies at night, on account of this being a terrible idea in a heavily forested canyon. They're ultimately forced to in the climax.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Blade Ranger has one involving his days as Blazin' Blade Ranger on the TV show "CHoPs" and the untimely death of his co-star Nick “Loop'n” Lopez.
  • Dark Reprise: On the soundtrack: The scores “Out of Production”, “Nobody Has Your Gear Box", and “Saving Dusty” all have a sad-sounding reprise of the familiar “Planes” melody.
  • Deadpan Snarker: The Smokejumpers, as they exit their carrier plane.
    Cabbie: I will never understand why you want to jump out of a perfectly good airplane!
    Dynamite: We're not; we're jumping out of you!
  • Department of Redundancy Department:
    Drip: It's a mysterious mystery!
  • Disney Death: Dusty's gearbox fails completely and his engine explodes, as a result of his Heroic Sacrifice to save the campers. He nearly dies from such, but is fixed by Maru and awakens five days after the accident.
  • Emergency Services: Fire and rescue units in this case.
  • Emergency Squad Scramble: Set to the music of AC/DC's Thunderstruck no less.
    • Bowdlerize: They had to cut quite a few verses from Thunderstruck to make it family-friendly.
  • Eureka Moment: Dusty has one when Mayday explains the picture of the S.E.A.T., getting the idea to get himself fire-fighter certification to give Propwash Junction the second firefighter it needs.
  • For Want of a Nail: The movie's plot wouldn't have occurred in the first place had not Dusty's reduction gearbox start to fail.
  • Game-Breaking Injury: Dusty's gearbox goes bad from all the stress he puts it through, and his model has been discontinued so there's no spare gearbox they can order to replace it. As such, he's warned never to redline his engine lest it fail completely. In the end, he gets a custom-made replacement after destroying the old one in a heroic rescue.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: Much like its predecessor, this film gets a lot of mileage of innuendo-laden plane puns. The best is perhaps the The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas shout out.
  • Guilt Complex: Blade Ranger, who has a serious case of Survivor Guilt (see above).
  • Heroic Sacrifice:
    • When they're stuck in the middle of a fire and have to hide in a mine shaft, Blade shields Dusty from the heat, doing a number on his engine in the process.
    • Dusty's climatic move to save the day, knowing that his damaged engine will never be able to take the strain.
  • Homage: CHoPs, the in-universe version of C Hi Ps (with helicopters!). Blade Ranger used to be the star of the show until his co-star, Nick "Loopin'" Lopez, was killed in a freak accident.
  • Hypocritical Humor: The Park Superintendent accusing the ranger of brown-nosing.
  • I Don't Like the Sound of That Place: Auger-In Canyon. "Auger in" is aviation slang for a fatal crash.
  • Magical Native American: Windlifter, one with nature who seems to be able to read the weather.
    • Lost Aesop: Windlifter's "toast" at the Fuse-Lodge is an In-Universe retelling of the story of Coyote. Dusty and Maru sum it up nicely.
    Dusty: You had me up until the part where he eats his own tires.
    Maru: Best. Toast. Ever, Wind. Cheers!
  • Laser-Guided Karma: As a result of Cad Spinner's brown-nosing and his attempt to save the lodge by rediverting the water main to the lodge's water sprinklers, the Secretary of the Interior fires him, has him relocated to Death Valley to manage a sauna there, and gives the SUV's old job to the tour guide Ol' Jammer.
  • Mean Boss: Cad Spinner, the Park Superintendent, who diverted most of the fire and rescue budget into the building of the palatial Fuse-Lodge. His It's All About Me attitude and shameless brown-nosing of the Secretary of the Interior do not endear him to his subordinates.
  • Mood Whiplash:
    • At the beginning, Dusty is shown winning several races then goes out on a practice run with Skipper... then his reduction gearbox fails and he is forced to return to base, kicking off the plot of the film.
    • In the climax, Dusty redlines his engine to save a pair of old campers trapped on a bridge. He's successful and everything seems good... then his engine explodes.
  • Mr. Fixit: Maru.
  • No Indoor Voice: Avalanche, one of the Smokejumpers. He swears he was no where near that snow bank...
  • No OSHA Compliance: Used as a plot point. After the fire at Propwash Junction reveals that their firefighting equipment is outdated and falling apart, its runway privileges are revoked until the place is brought up to code, one of which requires Dusty to go get certified as a fire fighter since Propwash Junction needs at least two.
  • Poor Communication Kills: Dusty is reluctant to admit his gearbox problem to Blade, and as such makes a number of goofs out of necessity that Blade criticizes him for. When Dusty finally does admit it, Blade gives him a Dare to Be Badass speech.
  • Punny Name: The Fusel-Lodge ("fuselage").
  • Reassigned to Antarctica: A scene during the credits reveals that Cad is now a ranger in Death Valley. He's not taking it too well, but most people wouldn't if they had to work at the lowest point on Earth.
  • Recognition Failure: Upon first meeting Dusty, Cad mistakes him for Ripslinger.
  • Running Gag: Dusty's warning light going off, forcing him to slow down and reduce power.
  • Scenery Gorn: The collapse of the burning bridge at the film's climax is nothing short of terrifyingly beautiful. The scenes of the canyon aflame at the end are also contenders.
  • Scenery Porn: The backgrounds are absolutely gorgeous, perfectly capturing the splendor and beauty of the American West.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: André, the concierge pitty at the Fuse-Lodge, pulls this when Cad decides to reroute the water main to the lodge's sprinklers after giving the SUV a “Screw you”, refusing to do it because the firefighters need the water to make the fire retardant.
  • Shout-Out: The "301" on Blade's fuselage is a hat tip to Helitack 301 of the California Department of Forestry & Fire Protection. Helitack 301 and the other CalFire units at Hemet Ryan Air Attack Base served as technical advisers.
    • The Memorial Wall in the Piston Peak hangar has a picture of a Grumman S-2 Tracker of the California Department of Forestry & Fire Protection (formerly abbreviated as "CDF," abbreviated as "CalFire" since 2007) with "87" marked on the tail. Tanker-87 was lost in a midair collision with another CDF S-2, Tanker-92, over a fire near Ukiah, California in 2001. Both pilots were killed.
  • Shown Their Work: The movie gives a remarkably accurate depiction of wildland fire suppression tactics and terminology.
  • So Last Season: At the beginning of the film, Dusty's design is a mashup of his turbo design from the first film's climax and his racing colors and three-bladed propeller from his pre-Turbo form. When he gets to Piston Peak National Park as a trainee, he gets a new look based on that of the Air Tractor AT-402F Fire Boss.
    • Mayday, after Propwash Junction gets shut down due to him having outdated firefighting gear and the airport not having a minimum of 2 firefighters, gets an upgrade from Dottie with a modern siren and emergency lights as well as a new water nozzle and hose and a new windshield that allows him to see clearly without his glasses.
  • Stalker with a Crush: Lil' Dipper, who was a big fan of Dusty's before he came to Piston Peak. And now that he's in such close proximity, well...
  • Take That!: "Howard the Truck? You invite me here to watch it?"
  • Tiny Guy, Huge Girl: Dusty to the not-so Lil' Dipper.
  • Triumphant Reprise: On the soundtrack, the track “Propwash” features an orchestrated reprise of Skipper's theme from the first movie.
    • The tracks “Dusty Saves the Day” and “You Had Us Worried” also feature a number of reprises. Both of them have a reprise of the familiar melody from the track “Planes: Fire & Rescue - Main Title”; the latter features a reprise of “Propwash” along with a part of the melody of “An All New Mayday” and “Pontoons”.
      • “Pontoons” is a playful and bumbling reprise of the 1940s military-esque melody from “An All New Mayday.”
  • Verbal Tic: Ryker, who rolls a few odd consonants in his speech.
  • We Can Rebuild Him: After his Heroic Sacrifice, Dusty is brought back to base and repaired by Maru, who gives him a custom-built gearbox in the process.
  • You Are in Command Now: After Blade crashes due to the fire causing his engine to overheat while protecting Dusty, Windlifter temporarily takes command and leads the team on their night run to put out the fire and save the evacuating tourists.

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