Why is Disney so successful with their movies? They start with a very good story. Then they do all the research about every aspect of their story and then they combine the two and translate that into animation. Last month, I sat down with Jeff Howard (co-writer) and Paul Gerrard (Director, Creative Development) to learn about the research that went into Planes Fire and Rescue.
To fully make a movie about forest fires and the people that put them out they had to actually go out and talk to them. Jeff and Paul actually traveled to Yosemite Park and Yellowstone Park, meeting with park rangers in order to make the park as realistic for the film as possible. While watching Planes: Fire & Rescue, you will see some familiar sites with any knowledge of either park. The Grand Fusel Lodge was inspired by Old Faithful Inn in Yellowstone National Park. Disney personnel actually went to Old Faithful Inn and did on-site research. There are many similar characteristics in the film.
They learned so much from these locations. CAL Fire was also a big resource for the film makers. They fight about 5,600 fires per year. So of course they were able to help Disney make sure they were using real words and phrases that fire fighters actually use. Jeff and Paul also participated in actual water drops on some fires. They even went as far as spending time with smoke jumpers for the US Forces!
People called dispatchers have to check constantly on lighting strikes and find out if any fires were started. So of course Disney put one in Planes Fire and Rescue.
Aerial firefighting planes can hold up to 16,000 gallons of water and can fill up in 12 seconds by skimming lakes, reservoirs and large rivers. Which I think is very impressive. The planes in Planes Fire and Rescue are based on actual planes used to fight fires, and Planes like Dusty were actually used to fight fires a long time ago!
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Disney’s PLANES FIRE AND RESCUE flies into theatres everywhere on July 18th!