REVIEW: Cars [2006]

Score: 8/10 | ★ ★ ★

Rating: G | Runtime: 117 minutes | Release Date: June 9th, 2006 (USA)
Studio: Pixar Animation Studios / Walt Disney Pictures / Buena Vista Pictures
Director(s): John Lasseter / Joe Ranft (co-director)
Writer(s): Dan Fogelman, John Lasseter, Joe Ranft and Kiel Murray & Phil Lorin and Jorgen Klubien /
John Lasseter, Joe Ranft & Jorgen Klubien (story)

I’m not quite sure why people are speaking of Cars as the worst Pixar movie to date, as being the one that had nothing original to bring to the table. I must totally disagree as I found the film to be highly enjoyable. Besides an overly sappy “better-days” flashback scored to a James Taylor led song, the film was funny, smart, and amazing to behold graphically. The animation is the best Pixar and Disney has done. Reflections, glares, textures, and materials are as real as possible. Some overhead shots of scenery could have been reality shots with animation characters overlaid, they were that good.

The acting was top-notch and the story, with few exceptions, was a winner. Contemporary pop-culture abounded with Larry the Cable Guy’s Mater doing his catchphrase “getter done” and a great cameo by Jeremy Piven doing his best impersonation of his own agent character Ari Gold from HBO’s “Entourage.” I do have to say, however, that the movie was more for the adult crowd than the children. Usually Pixar does a good job of making kid movies with an abundance of jokes that the adult crowd can take with it. With Cars, it was the other way around. While when first hearing of the project, I thought of Hot Wheels cars, we are actually given a real world of automobiles, both recreational and Nascar circuit. With a very poignant almost personal story, we are shown a heartfelt movie with an abundance of broad humor for the kids.

Details are what shine in Cars. Besides the brilliant animation of the cars themselves, we are treated with living backgrounds. Little things like the headlight wave in the Nascar crowd and the mountains of classic cars in the desert, (by this I mean mounds in the shape of cars not abandoned cars in mounds), are great to behold. Even the flies shooting around near bright lights are little VW Bugs; everything was taken to the nth degree and that is why it succeeded for me. Other parts to look for are the scared SUV’s who’ve never gone off-road before and the tongue-in-cheek sequence during the credits with John Ratzenberger’s Mack Truck. Also, look during the opening sequence of the final race towards the end of the movie. I recall seeing two cars looking over the balcony in the nosebleeds when the camera is panning in to the stadium. The one strangely looked as though it emitted something over the rails, not sure if this was a joke of it spitting over the side, or what; it was definitely intriguing. Stay after the credits as well to see a nice progression in the plot of a couple brief side characters from the middle of the film.

[1] Chick Hicks (voiced by Michael Keaton) and McQueen (voiced by Owen Wilson) in Buena Vista Pictures Distribution’s Cars – 2006

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.