In one of the early sequences in the new Disney film Plans; Fire & Rescue, the animated characters watch their favorite tv show starring NICK “LOOPIN’” LOPEZ (voice of Erik
Estrada) as America’s favorite helicopter cop featured on TV’s CHoPs, a show about two California Helicopter Patrol choppers. Sound familiar? It should. It was a direct homage to the popular 70’s hit TV shows CHiPS staring Estrada himself as Ponch. In Planes: Fire & Rescue, Estrada’s Nick is the troublemaking macho young officer, got the nickname “Loopin’” from his signature inside loop, which no other helicopter could perform. It is this early scene that we are reminded how popular actor Estrada was during his tenure with CHIPS. In town to share his excitement about the new film, Estrada was colorful, electric and honest as we discussed his career, life and his experience Disney’s “Planes: Fire & Rescue.”
“I love doing animation, and this was not my first, having done numerous other animated projects in the past. “It was a blast doing it, and I enjoyed the fact that they put that sequence in there. Estrada mentioned that the response during the screening was stunning because there were so many people in the audience that recognized the sequence and his voice. “I loved the movie. It’s an animated action film that reached me. I was able to co0nnect with it and get pulled in. It was fun” said Estrada.
“Disney’s “Planes: Fire & Rescue” features a dynamic crew of elite firefighting aircraft devoted to protecting historic Piston Peak National Park from raging wildfire. When world famous air racer Dusty (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 aerial firefighting. Dusty joins a fearless team that battles a massive wildfire and in the process, Dusty learns what it takes to become a true hero. Directed by Bobs Gannaway (“Secret of the Wings”), “Planes: Fire & Rescue” hits theaters in 3D on July 18, 2014.
Planes: Fire & Rescue is notable because of its dynamic, larger than life cast of characters and a script that is sharp, smart, funny and fast-moving. The kids and adults alike will certainly enjoy the action sequences, including the flying stunts, training scenes and rescues were loads of fun to watch, especially in 3D. Don’t be surprised if the kids start picking out their favorite characters, who happen to be planes, trucks, and helicopters that make up the fire and rescue team members.
Estrada said the experience with Disney animation project was unforgettable. “Disney knows how to do these kinds of stories and they are the best at it. As voice actors, all we had to do was come in and have fun doing it.” Besides sharing his excitement for the movie, Estrada talked about his road to success in the TV and film industry. It is a career that spans from American television, to films to telenovelas and of course, animation.