Sun
Jun 17 2012 1:00pm

Cars: Don’t You Ever Just Go For A Drive?

Oh, Cars.

Right up front in this review, I should say: I love Cars. And I recognize that this is not a popular opinion.

A Doc-Hollywood-meets-NASCAR mashup in a world populated by anthropomorphic automobiles, Cars tells the story of a hotshot rookie racecar who gets arrested in a small town off the now defunct Route 66, and is forced to do community service when he should be out courting his dream of fame and fortune as the winner of the Piston Cup. Inevitably, he meets a beautiful girl—er, Porsche—, befriends a tow truck, discovers a missing racing legend, and learns the secret of living a happy life just in time to be rushed to his big race, where we see that he has become a much better racecar while learning humility and gratitude along the way.

Cars was the first film Pixar made that didn’t score absolutely stellar reviews, and that still draws a lot of criticism from fans of the studio. My experience is that the film, while carrying a few dedicated fans like myself, generally seems to provoke reactions among my peers ranging from “ehhhh,” to hatred. Here are three reasons I think this film doesn’t resonate well with them:

The world is flimsy.
So much of the wonder of Pixar films is in creating a window into a world that we can just see if only we turn our heads sideways and possibly hop on one leg. Our toys come to life while we’re out of the room. There really are monsters in our closets. Superheroes secretly live among us. The world of Cars, on the other hand, bears absolutely no scrutiny. How do cars grow up? Why do they have to sleep? How do they mate? How do they manage to build their own highways without opposable thumbs? I have no idea.

The subject is unappealing.
I could probably write a thousand words just on the cultural implications of scorning a movie based on NASCAR, but suffice it to say that the sport doesn’t carry a lot of popularity amongst my 20-and-30-something New York City movie nerd friends. I’m neutral on NASCAR personally, but we can’t pretend it isn’t a popular sport. The NASCAR fan base is second only to the NFL in American sports, and, despite the political rhetoric built up around the “NASCAR dad” demographic, the sport draws a fairly diverse crowd.

The nostalgia isn’t aimed at us.
A lot of the gut-punch nostalgia of Pixar films is aimed at people my age, who are no longer children but remember vividly what it was like to be a child. The nostalgia of Cars, however, aims a generation older than us, tied into sentimentality around Route 66, backcountry roads and an invitation to go for a lazy drive just for the fun of it, in a world where oil prices haven’t skyrocketed and that type of imagery is still personal.

And here three reasons why, despite what I’ve said above, I still really love this film:

It’s gorgeous and cleverly animated.
Cars really shows off Pixar’s ability to fill an enormous screen with pixel-perfect colors and images. The landscape of the film alone makes it worthy of our appreciation. But on top of that, I think the animation of Cars solves a number of technical challenges brilliantly—for example, how do you create an entire action-packed film about characters who don’t have hands?

It is full of charming, well-articulated characters, like any Pixar film.
Pixar does fantastic character work, and this shines through in Cars. Even the tiniest bit parts give an impression of an entire life off screen. They range from the easy charm of Mr. The King, the racing legend with a worrying wife and aspiring teenage son, to the mama-bear-type Flo, the Motorama show car keeping everybody topped off. There are too many great character moments in Cars to list them all, but I particularly love the cameo of the Car Talk hosts, Guido’s pit stop (maybe Guido has figured out the secret of opposable thumbs?) and the laugh-out-loud hilarity of Mack’s movie reviews, as voiced by the suddenly self-aware John Ratzenberger.

It tells a compelling story.
One of the common critiques of Cars is that it’s too long, but I find that it works; the density of the characters in combination with the beautiful animation invites you to give it the space it needs to tell several smaller stories within the main arc. It’s also critiqued as predictable. Now, let me be honest; I have a very high tolerance for predictable storylines. Bring me a fairy tale with a happy ending any day of the week. We all know exactly how Cars is going to end the minute it begins, but the film still does a very good job of surprising us along the way, and gives us a great ending sequence in which we’re still on the edge of our seats to find out who wins the race.

So why do we get so mad about Cars? I speculate that this movie is maligned by many of my peers because it is squarely placed within demographics we do not share. If you are mad that Pixar made this film, please consider this: you are mad at a children’s film company for making a movie aimed at children. Cars is beloved by children.

How can we tell? Merchandising. Cars may not have scored the soaring reviews we’ve come to expect from Pixar, but in the 5 years following its release, Pixar made 10 billion dollars in merchandising revenue off of the film. To put this in context: the Cars merchandising revenue stream is equivalent to that of Star Wars, Spider-man and Harry Potter.

This, incidentally, also sheds light on the “dreaded” sequel, Cars 2. (Full disclosure: haven’t seen it.) To not make a sequel based on such a successful franchise would be a very poor financial move on Pixar’s part. I’m not in full support of making sequels to films just to flog out additional advertising revenue, but if you’re looking for a reason why the Pixar reputation is supposedly besmirched by such a poor story extension, there it is. It’s because kids loved it, and it made them a lot of money.

But then again, I’ve read comments and interviews to suggest that Cars is John Lasseter’s baby, and that he loved making the films just as much as little kids love watching them. And I like that version of the story better; a director makes a fun, profitable, creative film, and keeps it going, despite a few mixed reviews, because it’s just so dear to his heart.

In my opinion, Cars suffers not because it is a bad film, but because it is a good film in the company of great ones. Cars suffers because it was made 10 years into Pixar’s string of breakout, blockbuster successes, and at that point we expect more from the studio than a solidly built storyline with charming bit characters and gorgeous animation. You’ve done that, Pixar. We know.
But I certainly don’t feel that impatience when I watch the film, and I have a whole lot of kids to back me up—and maybe some adults too. Watching Cars again for this review meant spending a lot of time saying, “wow,” and “awwwww,” and “yay!” at my screen. It made me laugh, and it made me happy. In the end, that’s what Pixar does best.

 


Sara Eileen Hames tells stories, organizes people, and runs a magazine. Sometimes she works in start-up consulting, sometimes she works as a writer, and sometimes (rarely) she doesn’t work at all.

38 comments
Carol Witt
1. carolwitt
The NASCAR fan base is second only to the NHL in American sports
I am pleased that my neighbours to the south finally appreciate hockey as it deserves, although I resent that the sport is being called American. Does TV still show the little comet trail behind the puck so people can find it?


:)
Lou Morgan
2. Lou Morgan
I've seen "Cars" more times than is, strictly speaking, healthy: I have a young son who is utterly car-mad, so this dvd gets some heavy usage in our house. And while I've now viewed it to the point of nausea every time I hear the words "Lightning" and "McQueen" in the same sentence, there's one thing that makes yet another repeat viewing bearable. It's the detail.

The landscape of the film is entirely designed to resemble cars. The plane-trails in the sky are tyre-tracks. We see flies buzzing around a light at one point: they're tiny blue cars with wings (bluebeetles?). Just as much love and thought has gone into the look of this film as every other Pixar film.

There are the cultural references, too: anyone who's ever been to a modified car show (or, come to think of it, seen "The Fast & the Furious") will recognise the comedy hotrods on the road. OK, that's not necessarily going to be an overwhelming majority of the audience - but when you compare this to the sequel (which was inevitably also going to find its way into our house. All I can say is that if you've not watched it - don't) it's obvious that "Cars" does still have an eye on the wider world. It's a shame that it gets such a bad rap: if you look for them, all the things which make us love Pixar are still there.
Lou Morgan
3. Alter S. Reiss
I've always thought that Cars was set in the universe of Zelazny's "Devil Car," after the cars win.
Lou Morgan
4. Tehanu
All I can say is, my 4-year-old grandson loves Cars so much that he has watched it on an endless loop literally for days on end -- and he obviously isn't into it for the nostalgia value. Next time I'm at their house I'll check out the flies and other detail -- thanks Lou for pointing that out.
Lou Morgan
5. sjwood
Seen it a good few times as my nephews loved it, so I've grown to appreciate just how well made a movie Cars is. It's a very easy watch and a very easy movie to keep watching even though you've seen it before and didn't actually intend on watching again but just find that you don't get off the couch to go and do that something else you originally intended on doing. And as far as story/narative structure goes, this movie has got it down. The zip and flash of those opening twenty minutes coupled with the epic tension of the fantastic climax are quite brilliant.
You may have a point about the aimed demographic because as much as find myself liking and even defending this movie, I would never sit down and choose to watch it.
The sequel sucks though and it dissapoints me no end that Pixar, a production company that were actually synonymous with art, would make that awful 2 hour long commercial for selling more toy cars. Kinda bridges the gap between them and the folks at DreamWorks.
Lou Morgan
6. Auto Matic
My take on the Cars universe? In the future, mankind bioengineered machine/biological hybrids. Cars and other technology aquired sentience then promptly overthrew their human masters and took over the world. If you opened the door on a "Car" it would be full of bioengineered goo and organs. Terrifying, no?
Lou Morgan
7. Bittersweet Fountain
Another bit thing Cars has going for it is that it's not scary. At all. In any way manner or form, and that's been a huge deal for my siblings and friends with small children. Finding Nemo is a pretty traumatic movie for a two-year-old. Scenes in many Pixar movies have to be fast forwarded through because they're scary for little kids. But Cars? There isn't even a villain. It's just about Lightening McQueen learning a lesson. And I don't know a single little kid who has been scared by it.

Wish I could say the same about many of the movies I watched as a little kid. I can't be the only one who had nightmares about the evil oil monster in Ferngully. lol
Lou Morgan
8. emeraldarcher
This is the perfect movie for grandfathers to see with grandchildren- aimed at both demographics, it hits them both perfectly. But that said I love this movie too, it looks fantastic and it's just a ton of fun. (It also helps that I pretend Cars 2 doesn't exist!)
Lou Morgan
9. JoeNotCharles
I just realized why I always immediately assumed this was not as well made as all the other Pixar films: those cars all have Dreamworks face!
Kate Keith-Fitzgerald
10. ceitfianna
I saw Cars when I was living abroad in New Zealand and it made me homesick. My mother loves this film and I do too, she's the car person in my family. She used to own a corvette and I've picked up on some of her love a beautiful car.

Cars isn't great but when I saw it, it made me cry for road trips around the country and those pleasures. In terms of demographics, when I saw it, I was clearly in the younger age range, I'm currently just over thirty.
Nicole Lowery
11. hestia
I'm not very plugged in to popular opinion on movies, so I wasn't really aware of the haters; I'm not disputing it, I just never noticed it. It took me a while to actually sit down and watch this movie with my kids, but when I finally did, I absolutely loved it.

I'm not a car enthusiast or NASCAR fan, but when I was a kid, my parents took us on long camping trips across the country, through places like Lost Springs, WY, Pop. 1. When Lightning McQueen pulled into Radiator Springs for the first time, I said "Hey, I've been there!"

That alone was good for a chuckle, but I thought the whole movie was funny and entertaining. Though I'll admit, I have a pretty juvenile sense of humor.

And I'm with Bittersweet Fountain #7 about the lack of scares. I have a son who's pretty sensitive to scary stuff, and it was nice to have a movie he could enjoy instead of wanting to run out of the room!
Lou Morgan
12. Liz Coleman
Cars is my least favorite of the Pixar movies, but I figure, it wasn't made for me.* I also love the idea that this is John Lasseter's baby. There is definitely passion in this movie, and I'm glad that the billion and one people out there who love cars can find their passion reflected on the big screen.

*I am definitely one of those people who thinks too much about the worldbuilding. I'm horrified by the implied caste structure of a society where you are literally built for a specific purpose. If there's a third movie, I hope it involves Mater deciding he wants to be a racecar.
Lou Morgan
13. JasonD
One element of the world-building that might have just been a throw-away line is where Lightning is found and all the media comes in and Mack the truck says "Thank the Manufacturer, you're alive!" I always wondered about that.

I wouldn't say that racecars being racecars and tow trucks being tow trucks implies a forced caste system. After all, Doc was a racecar that became a mechanic. Just like with people, not everyone is born with the aptitude to become a world-class athlete.

If there is a Cars 3, I think it should end with a little kid playing with a bunch of Matchbox cars, making all these wild scenarios about big races and James Bond-style adventures. The kid gets called down to lunch or something, and when the camera zooms out we see Woody on the bed next to a stuffed Sully and a little Wall-e, with a bedside lamp shaped like a bunch of balloons...
Lou Morgan
14. sjwood
God please, no Cars 3!
Lou Morgan
15. AlBrown
Cars is my least favorite of the Pixar films, probably because I am not a big car person, so the premise just doesn't click for me. But I don't hold that against it--the world has room in it for many things, some I like and some someone else likes. That doesn't mean I think Cars is a bad film, or predictable, or poorly made, or anything else. I wish everyone could see the difference between their own personal tastes, and quality, and accept the fact that not everything they dislike is bad. Life is not a zero sum game.
Lou Morgan
16. politeruin
#9 I just realized why I always immediately assumed this was not as well made as all the other Pixar films: those cars all have Dreamworks face!

http://www.geekinheels.com/2011/10/13/the-difference-between-pixar-and-dreamworks-animated-films.html

I agree, i'm sure you could make a good argument on quality of pixar films being dependent on the proportion of 'dreamworks face'. I avoided it for a long time and when i did eventually see it thought it was better than i had been expecting but the world makes no sense, it's somewhat creepy actually and i can't suspend my disbelief enough to enjoy it. Least enjoyable pixar film for me, until i see cars 2 i suppose. At the time it really felt like they'd passed their creative peak with this and ratatouille but those fears were thankfully unfounded.
Lou Morgan
17. Gardner Dozois
CARS was the only Pixar movie I saw with small children where the children fell asleep during the movie. I was bored too--the only Pixar movie I can say that about.
JS Bangs
18. jaspax
I hate Cars.

I don't think that the demographics is the key reason, though. While I'm not a fan of Nascar myself, I have plenty of friends who are, and the car-racing elements of the story are actually the best parts. The problem is everything else: the cliched, hackneyed plot, the stereotyped characters, and the abysmal pacing. (The visuals are fantastic.) This is the only Pixar movie that I ever sat through that bored me. Every plot movement was predictable, and was played out tediously by the rote cast of characters.

Oddly enough, I didn't mind Cars 2 at all. I went into it expecting a mediocre kiddie action flick and that's what I got. But I had expected something better from the original, and was disappointed.
Lou Morgan
19. Stefan Jones
My $.02: Cars is a really good kiddie movie, with just enough eye candy and sly winks (the Car Guys) to keep (most) adults from wanting to chew their legs off to escape.

I watched it twice, the second time for the frightfully clever graphic touches and Route 66 scenery. I don't think (as with ) I'd bother again.

Marketing horror: Flipping through the coupon circular in the Sunday paper, I flipped past an advert for toddler training pants. The "boy" version of the pants had the hero of Cars stamped on it. What an awful fate! I think this in an indicator of the core demographic the movie was aimed at.
James Whitehead
20. KatoCrossesTheCourtyard
Not a NASCAR fan and Cars definitely not my favourite Pixar movie but I did enjoy it. As far as I remember, however, Lasseter is a big NASCAR fan. Haven't seen Cares 2 either; my kids have & liked it.

Still think it had Pixar's masterful dialogue & wonderful voice choices for their characters. Can't say, however, that I see any 'caste system' in place. Or at least I wasn't looking for one.

Thought the story of the town left behind by the 'improved' highway system. Lots of small towns have had that happen & it was an interesting take on it.

Kato
Dominic Wellington
22. riotnrrd
I bought Cars for myself, and not just to fill out the Pixar shelf (yes, I have a shelf of their DVDs, including the old shorts). I loved it, not least because of the hyper-realistic treatment of the cars themselves - well, apart from the eyes and such, but I mean the engine notes and the matching of specific models to personality types.

My two-year-old son adores Cars, Cars 2, and Mater's Tall Tales (that last is a DVD of shorts set in the Cars universe and featuring Mater telling of some improbable experience of his). As with most young kids, he believes that things get better after the fortieth repetition or so, and I have to admit that I don't mind these at all. Another favourite of his for comparison is Barbapapa, which makes me want to claw my eyeballs out.

As parents, you know you've watched these too much when you start deconstrucing the plot after the Son&Heir has gone off to bed. However, I do think even the more exploitative sequels still show enough of the heart that Pixar put into everything they do to save some value.
Thomas Jeffries
23. thomstel
I'm also squarely in the "son loves it, seen it a million times" camp, with no notion of what's appealing to others about Nascar, but firmly in love with the notion of wanderlust and exploring the unknown frontier.

That being said, I can still watch this film with him. I know every line, studied the details and enjoyed the visuals. My son just loves the silly stuff, like the tipped tractor noises and the modded cars playing with a sleepy Mack the truck. We both are good with the film, even though it is easy to see the gap between this one and Pixar's other efforts.

Cars 2 however, comes off as too much a vehicle for the merchandising for me. Also, my son gets bored with it too quickly, and will run off to do other things before it's even halfway over. To me, that's the hard evidence that it's not what it should have been. I can look at it and see that Pixar likely was interested in telling a Bond-esque spy film (in the vein of The Incredibles being their superhero film), but deciding to latch that onto the Cars franchise did both concepts a disservice.

Had they taken the talent and setting of Ratatouille and put the spy film there, I think it would have worked. Had they taken a Cars 2 and made the plot into more of a buddy movie (ala Crosby & Hope's "Road to..." films) I think they could have struck the right chord with both efforts. Jamming them together just made it a big mess, although still a visually-stunning one. Also, after the second run of the Cars 2 spy theme music I was ready to tear my ears off; no idea how that got approved considering it's played like every three minutes of the film.
Lou Morgan
24. Angiportus
I'm well past adult and I liked both Cars movies. Even though I'm not that much into cars, and wish the background of the world was worked out so it would indeed hold up to scrutiny. Just so they put some brains into it, like they do with the details. Auto Matic, #6--there has been slash fiction done about the Cars characters. No I don't recall where I read it, it's been years....
And I gather Pixar is going to do one about planes.
Lou Morgan
25. GuruJ
I'm surprised by how many people have hang-ups about the Cars universe. The characters are simply mechanomorphized humans (apparently a real word -- go figure)! If you accept this, it makes just about all the problems with the universe go away.

This isn't some science-fiction alternate universe, it's just taking the conceit of having cars act like humans and running with it, like ... about 10,000 kms or so.

I don't hear readers of animal webcomics complaining about how mice and cats have evolved advanced civilisations given their lack of forebrain, after all.
John Mann
26. jcmnyu
I have a 5 year old son who has watched this movie hundreds of times. He has a collection of toys from the film, courtesy of his uncles, that is staggering in size. And to my surprise, he plays with them every day and has since he was 2. Something new comes along and grabs his attention, but he always goes back to his Cars toys. It's amazing.

For me, the reason why this movie resonates well with kids is that, at it's heart, it is a story about two friends. McQueen and Mater meet and become best friends. Every kid wants to be McQueen and wants a best friend like Mater. And that is what Cars 2 forgot. After one misunderstanding, that friendship is threatened for the sake of plot. And it is a stupid Bond knock off. But, I'm sure this series of reviews will get to that.
john mullen
27. johntheirishmongol
Cars is one of my fave Pixar movies. I happen to be a NASCAR fan and there is enough inside stuff with drivers and announcers that makes it very cool. Also, I am older and there is a lot of historical references that work too, in both the design and concept. I don't have any grandkids, yet, but I would have no hesitation is watching it with them. Some of the Pixar films tend to be a little propagandistic (Wall-E?), so they get to be annoying.
Rich Bennett
28. Neuralnet
I remember watching this movie the first time and thinking that it was just a rip off of Doc Hollywood, and i still can't beleive how popular the life is a highway song became... but it is definitely my kids favorite pixar movie. And I have to admit, I am a car guy and I could really appreciate how they made the light reflect off the cars and the little bits of rubber on the track. I think the real issue for this movie is the target audience... almost every little kid has a box of hot wheel cars that he/she plays with... the cars talk to each other and have adventures... that is why the kids love this movie. It is not really a movie for adults so much (wheras my kids really dont like Wall-E) unless you are really into the nostalga of cars. For me the highlight is Mater, whoever had the idea of casting Larry the Cable guy deserves a ton of credit... he is so funny and then all of the shorts they did later are hilarious. Probably the flat out funniest charcter in the Pixar stable IMHO.
Lou Morgan
29. glorbes
I expected to hate Cars, because of the massive critical pile-up on it. I did not see it in the theatres, and avoided it...until my son reached the age when he just might get something out of a movie. And you know what? I thought it was pretty good. I can't help but be moved by the ending every friggin' time, and my wife nearly bursts into tears whenever the Radiotor Springs retrospective comes on. Is it a sublime masterpiece like Wall-E or Ratatouille? No...but it is an exceptional kids movie that makes me care about the characters. How many movies accomplish that?
Chris Hawks
30. SaltManZ
There are just a handful of movies where, if the kids have it on when I walk in the room, I'll sit down for just a minute, only to find that I've watched it through to the end. My Neighbor Totoro is one of these; Cars is another. This from a 33-year-old guy who doesn't care a whit about NASCAR or actual cars.

I thought Cars 2 was fine; on par with a decent-but-not-great Dreamworks movie. So what?
Chuk Goodin
31. Chuk
Cars was at the time my least favourite Pixar, but I still enjoyed it. It's a good movie, and coming from any other production company/bunch of creators who didn't have Pixar's previous works as examples of what they could really do, I would have been very impressed. (But I didn't like that they used a cover of "Life is a Highway" instead of the original.)
My main problem with it is that I hate almost everything about Mater. I get that he's a 'good guy' and a loyal friend, but just about everything he says or does grates on me. He's like Jar-Jar.
Oh, and also it is so exactly like Doc Hollywood that it's scary.
Still, my youngest daughter is a fan (and loves her Hot Wheels toys), so I've seen it a fair few times. Compared to a lot of kids' movies, it's excellent.
Lou Morgan
32. cj_wildcat
I realize that I am in the minority, but when I left the theater after seeing Cars, I was walking on air. I absolutely ADORE this movie. I grew up in a small town not unlike Radiator Springs and I've always had a soft spot for that kind of Way Back When Americana (but I've never been able to get on the NASCAR bandwagon). The characters are wonderful. They remind me so much of the people I grew up around. I love that there is such a diversity of characters in Radiator Springs and that they're all like family, but they don't have to make a big deal about accepting everyone for who they are - it's just something they do. They have to depend on each other because no one else is going to help them. Even though McQueen initially treats them with disdain and disrespect, he learns to appreciate the small-town charm for what it is and even finds his own place within the community (and his own way of helping the community). Their problems and concerns are so realistic and true-to-life that I almost forget that they are anthropomorphized automobiles. And truly, there comes a point that I don't care what they are. It could have been a movie about walking and talking fruit and I wouldn't have minded one bit. I love the message of friendship and acceptance in the movie, I love the music, I love the humor and I love the story. And the landscape of Ornament Valley is some of the most gorgeous background animation that Pixar has come up with.

Personally, I would put this on par with The Incredibles and the Toy Story movies as one of the best Pixar films (there. I said it).
Lou Morgan
33. Lurking Canadian
I will always have a soft spot for Cars because one of the key moments in my son's growing ability to communicate with me was the moment I realized "Ligh-A-Queen" was "Lightning McQueen", which meant that the nonsense babbling he had been doing for the past five minutes was actually perfectly intelligible English.
Lou Morgan
34. Dennis McDonald
CARS is a movie I can always watch and enjoy. I love all the Pixar films and while I know that UP and WALL-E are superior artistically, CARS I just enjoy. It's fun and nostalgic. (My kids, who are 20-somethings now, both hate it).
Travis Butler
35. tbutler
Cars wasn't Pixar's best, no doubt about it; McQueen's attitude grates on me for the first half of the movie, and there's a certain smugness about the 'egoist-who-learns-to-care' plot that's irritating.

On the other hand... like a couple of other posters, there was a time in childhood where the family took a lot of long car trips and went through lots of small towns in Colorado, and Wyoming, and Utah, and the Dakotas... and Cars does a wonderful job of evoking that whole experience.

Another thing that grabbed me is that I'm a complete sucker for a good musical intro - an opening sequence set to music, where the music and action synch together and create an experience that grabs you and drags you in. To pull this off, the music has to be good, the action has to be good, and they have to click together; 'Real Gone' is a great song for this, and the director does a great job of matching the visuals to it. They pulled off another nice one with the 'Life is a Highway' travel montage. (And no, I didn't really mind the cover. :)

The ending race was also great, with some really nice moments. ('Pit Stop.') And while McQueen's moment of redemption could have been another hackneyed cliche, Pixar really pulled it out and made it special.
Travis Butler
36. tbutler
Oh, and quick note on Cars 2... maybe it's just because I'm something of a Bond fan, but it really came across to me as the Pixar team paying homage to all the Bond tropes. They do such a loving job of evoking them that it truly felt like them paying respect with a sense of fun, not ripping them off.
Lou Morgan
37. dav
I never hated it when it came out, but I did recognize that it was more simple and straightforward. That's not always a bad thing especially when done well (which it is). They stick to their story and their predictable plot points and they do it as well as they can. I love the animation. The light shining off chrome, the way McQueen gets all dirty after a few days in the desert. Also, it's one of Paul Newman's last roles and he is freaking great... how can you not have a soft spot for a movie like that.

Cars 2 on the other hand is a mess. Took my least favorite character from Cars and elevated him to the lead and then confused the hell out of us with the spy stuff. I would much rather have seen a spy movie riff with most of the same elements played in an Incredibles style universe. Oh, to see a suave Brad Bird designed Michael Caine globetrotting and infliltrating. I liked some of the ideas, but can't stand that Mater was the star. So, if Cars is Doc Hollywood, is Cars 2 supposed to be If Looks Could Kill?
Lou Morgan
38. WDHawt
Love it. It's the first movie I ask my daughter if she wants to watch whenever we do a movie night ;) Drives my wife nuts.
Lou Morgan
39. musical789gigi
I have no idea why everyone hates this movie! I am in my later teens, and I still love this movie, I love the adult jokes in it, and I love the nostaligia in the film, I live in a small town, I love randy newman, its an amazing score, Love the whole "goodbye" sequence and mcqueen&sally drive. I think it is under appreciated I love this movie, the animation, every detail and it is truly amazing people need to watch it again! Brad Paisley and the Find Yourself montage was amazing too! It was a great movie!

Cars 2...well Micheal Caine did great with Finn, but no randy newman compositions?!?! I am a band nerd, I perform all over and with orchestras and bands and I love a good score, and Cars 2 lacked that. Too complicated/violent for a kids movie.

Don't like Larry the Cable Guy much, but he does good with Mater!

I love Bonnie Hunt and Paul Newman, and it was a good film.

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