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Cars (2006)

June. 09,2006
| Adventure Animation Comedy Family

Lightning McQueen, a hotshot rookie race car driven to succeed, discovers that life is about the journey, not the finish line, when he finds himself unexpectedly detoured in the sleepy Route 66 town of Radiator Springs. On route across the country to the big Piston Cup Championship in California to compete against two seasoned pros, McQueen gets to know the town's offbeat characters.


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In alternate reality the world is much like ours but there are no people; instead there are sentient vehicles! This film tells the story of Lightning McQueen; an arrogant race car who is challenging to be the first car to will the prestigious Piston Cup in his rookie year. He throws away a clear victory after ignoring the advice of his pit crew and is involved in a three way tie with the current champ and his long-time rival. To decide the winner there will be a three car race in California in a week's time. Wanting to get there first Lightning pushes his support truck to drive through the night despite his exhaustion. A run in with some street racers leaves Lightning on the road with no idea where he is. He leaves the interstate, gets more lost and as he speeds along the old Route 66 is chased by the police; this leads to a crash and his arrest in the town of Radiator Springs. Here is told he must help fix the road before he can leave. As one might expect he is not happy with this but gradually befriends the locals and learns a lot about how to treat others; he also falls for a Porsche and experiences the joys of just driving. Naturally these lessons will help him in the big race but will he win?Having watched and enjoyed most Pixar films I put of watching any of the 'Cars' films as I'd heard they were a little disappointing; having watched the first I can say it turned out better than expected. It opens well enough with some exciting race scenes. There are some problems with such an arrogant protagonist even if most viewers will appreciate that he has to be flawed if we are to get the character development and life-lessons later on. The film picks up once Lightning gets to Radiator Springs and we meet a variety of interesting characters. The most notable of these are Matey, a rusty old breakdown truck; Sally, the love-interest Porsche and Doc Hudson; an old race car who keeps quiet about his past. There are also fun side characters such as the Italian Fiat 500 who is obsessed with Ferraris and a hippy VW camper. The story contains some fun action scenes and some good laughs before the final race which enables Lightning to show everybody what he learnt; both about racing and about both accepting help and helping others himself. Overall I'd say that this certainly isn't among Pixar's best films it is still a lot fun; Pixar has still not disappointed me.


Of all the films made about racing, or NASCAR in general, this is one of the best, if not the best. Even though it is animated, the story is incredibly moving and well paced. The actors who voice the cars, Paul Newman, Owen Wilson, Bonnie Hunt and Larry the Cable Guy do a spectacular job.The studio that created this film, PIXAR, has come long way. No one thought that films about Cars and Toys wold be this great, but they really are. In the eleven years since this films release, it is now a trilogy and one of the best franchises Disney has to offer.Paul Newman, having starred in this film, is a great parallel to his real life self being a racecar driver. And the film is a great parody/homage to Doc Hollywood, as it has been compared. Two major stars of this film have passed since its release, Paul Newman and George Carlin. However, they wrote Newman's character of Doc Hudson out of the sequels, but not Carlin's character of Fillmore. It is the start of a great trilogy!!


"Cars" was never one of my favorite PIXAR movies, even back in the days when I was an ardent fanboy. But before I say anything else about it, the animation is resplendent, above reproach and characteristic of the studio's reputed craft.It's everything else that isn't. This movie lacks the heart of the studio's other titles (say, "Toy Story" or . . . hell, any of them) and it grinds down to a halt once the story moves away from the race track. From there, it's lots of Larry the Cable Guy, awkward gags, and awful cover songs. It's completely fair to say that Michael Keaton - in his few minutes' worth of presence - steals this thing.But it's shocking to learn that this "Doc Hollywood" rip-off was a passion project for John Lasseter.It's not good.5/10


Cars is an animated film produced by Pixar, and a great, and kind of underrated one as well.The Bad: NothingThe Good: 1. Great characters like Lightning McQueen, who transforms as a character. There are also good characters that conserve their qualities rather than transform, like Belle from Beauty and the Beast, for example. My view is that when it comes to characters that transform and conserve, get the best of both worlds, because transformation and conservation are interdependent opposing forces. There are also likable characters in this movie like Mater, who is funny, Chick Hicks, who is hilarious because he is like a toned down version of Trey Parker characters, which I can't stand and I especially hate Eric Cartman, who is an especially annoying character, Chick Hicks is an arrogant character in a reasonably over-the-top way without being annoying. 2. The animation is beautifully colourful. 3. The voice acting comprising of Owen Wilson as Lightning McQueen, Michael Keaton as Chick Hicks, Larry the Cable Guy as Mater, Bonnie Hunt as Sally Carrera, Paul Newman as Doc Hudson, Richard Petty as The King, Tony Shalhoub as Luigi, Cheech Marin as Ramone, Jenifer Lewis as Flo, George Carlin as Filmore, Michael Wallis as The Sheriff, Guido Quaroni as Guido, Paul Dooley as Sarge, Katherine Helmond as Lizzie, John Ratzenberger as Mack, Joe Ranft as Red and Jeremy Piven as Harv, is superb. The English language complements it by adding a necessary balance to the acting itself, because the English language plays a vital role to Pixar films, and a balance between the two makes a great American film, does not matter if it is live action or animation. 5. The story is fairly simple, but it is an effective one nonetheless.Cars is a fantastic and underrated animated film courtesy of Pixar, which definitely deserve a reputation for excellence in American animation, alongside Walt Disney Animation Studios.