Family Movies News

Where There's Smoke, There Are Superheroes (and We Don't Mean Spider-Man)

The world loves superheroes. No matter how many superhero films hit the theaters, moviegoers show up in droves. We love superheroes because they demonstrate bravery, quick thinking, intelligence, master skills, and have awesome tools and vehicles. My three-year-old, Tate, who has yet to see a live-action Avengers, X-Men or Spider-Man movie, is fascinated with them all and loves to dress up in their costumes, sling webs and use mind control to stop imaginary bad guys.

But with all this love for superheroes, it seems Hollywood temporarily forgot about our real-life superheroes: firefighters. We haven’t had a fireman movie for kids since 2007’s Firehouse Dog. Disney Animation remedies this situation, though, with this weekend’s Planes: Fire and Rescue.

By following racing champ Dusty Crophopper as he trains to become one of the Smokejumpers, young viewers are able to see that firefighters are just as exciting, courageous, smart and skilled as Spider-Man. Like superheroes, they wear a costume of sorts that help keep them safe in dangerous situations and have cool gadgets to destroy their supervillain: a blazing inferno. Of course, firefighters one-up superheroes – the lives and structures they save are real.

Planes: Fire and Rescue is all adrenaline and adventure and my little boy was completely caught up in the action. This morning, Tate put on his fire-chief hat to keep the villains at bay, and it made me smile: if you ask me, that’s the real Captain America. 

Here are three other movies to see with your family this weekend:

Earth to Echo. Four kids follow clues on their cell phones and find an adorable alien and the adventure of a lifetime.

How to Train Your Dragon 2. Hiccup, now 20, starts to see how he fits into the world as he takes on a rogue assembling a dragon army.

Edge of Tomorrow. What? You and your teen still haven’t seen this Tom Cruise sci-fi mind trip? It’s just like playing a video game except So. Much. Better.

To read Tara’s parent reviews, go to To read movie reviews by kids, go to

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