MPAA Rated – G
It’s 1:56 Long
A Review by:
The Dude on the Right

Movie Stats & Links
Starring: The voices of: Bonnie Hunt, Cheech Marin, Paul Newman, Richard Petty, John Ratzenberger, Larry The Cable Guy, Owen Wilson
MPAA Rated: G
Released By: Pixar / Disney
Release Date: 2006
Kiddie Movie: Oh yea, it’s for them, and for adults as well.
Date Movie: Good for all boys and girls.
Gratuitous Sex: Cars can’t really get it on.
Gratuitous Violence: Some rubbing, but rubbing is racing.
Action: Race car racing type.
Laughs: Lots of chuckles and funniness abound.
Memorable Scene: I won’t say where, but the one I got weepy during.
Memorable Quote: Nothing totally stands out.
Directed By: John Lasseter

Alright, I’ll just get this out of the way so I can get along with this review. During “Cars,” in a scene near the end of the movie, I got a little weepy. Sure the characters were cars, but there was just something about that scene touched me a little bit and left me with a tear in my eye. Luckily I was able to pull myself together before the lights came up, so no one in the theater saw it, but there, I said it, “Cars” made me weepy. Let’s get to the story…
Lightning McQueen (voiced by Owen Wilson) is a rookie racecar set to win the Piston Cup. He’s cocky, thinks he can go it alone, won’t follow the advice of his pit crew, but the crowd loves him. In the final race of the season Lightning, Chick Hicks (Michael Keaton, the world’s greatest actor), and The King (Richard Petty), all tie so there is no clear-cut winner for the Piston Cup. So, what to do? Well, you have a three-car race-off to determine the champion. Our threesome now needs to make their way to California, and Lightning thinks he can get a leg up on the competition, and maybe a new sponsor, if he can get there first. So he convinces his truck/trailer driver, Mack (John Ratzenberger), to pull an all-nighter, but this doesn’t work too well for our would-be hero as some things go amuck and Lightning finds himself having to do some community service in the town of Radiator Springs. There he learns some lessons about life, and about racing, thanks to the likes of the townsfolk, but mostly because of Sally (Bonnie Hunt), a cute little Porsche, and Doc Hudson (Paul Newman), an older curmudgeon with a secret past. And for Lightning, he learns these lessons just in time for the Piston Cup finale.

I suppose that’s an easy enough synopsis of this movie because if you have kids, you will have to take them to see it, and if you don’t have kids but liked the other Pixar films, you will know that you should get decent story with some amazing animation. As a member of the latter, I got exactly what I was looking for. The story, although somewhat simplistic, and pretty easy to figure out where things would go, is a nice look at how a cocky rookie athlete can learn some lessons, namely that things aren’t always about him. As far as the animation I found it unbelievable. I think what helped this movie on the animation side was really the lack of human forms, because that usually takes you back to “yea, it’s a cartoon,” but for this movie, alright, other than the mouths and eyes on the cars, there were times you could probably take a scene from this movie with a couple of cars cruising down the road, put it side by side with a picture of a couple of cars cruising down a road, and you’d be hard pressed to tell which is the animation scene and which one is real. Pixar, though, does a couple of things better than a lot of animation companies, and that is to emphasize and get the facial expressions, and especially the eyes, perfect. This allows all of the cars to be able to translate exactly what they are feeling emotion-wise, even though they are, well, cars.

I really enjoyed “Cars,” and it seemed, so did all of the kids in the theater I was at. Some reviewers are complaining about Owen Wilson as the voice of Lightning, but I thought he was a great fit. Larry the Cable Guy was great as Mater, and who better than Cheech Marin voicing Ramone, an Impala low-rider. Maybe it doesn’t have the touchy-feely ness of some of the other Pixar movies because, well, cars don’t have arms so they can’t really hug, but they can snuggle, and the animator folks did a fabulous job of evoking emotions out of them. The credits were fun, also, especially with John Ratzenberger poking fun at himself and his Pixar movie history.

A decent story with fabulous animation, and that’s what I always like from a Pixar film. In the ranks of their movies, I would probably give “Cars” a solid four stars, but it did make me weepy, so I’ve got to add a ½ star. With that, “Cars” gets 4 ½ stars out of 5 from me. I was a little unsure if Pixar could truly show cars having feelings, but they pulled it off. A lot for the kids, a lot for the adults, so pay full price, buy a lot of popcorn and sodas, and enjoy.

That’s it for this one! I’m The Dude on the Right!! L8R!!!