Pixar is the wave of the
future when in comes to animation. Disney, the legendary studio which
pretty much created itself on paint and board animation has recently
shuttered their hand-drawn animation division. It's all done with
It's a shame, because while
they can do some amazing things with this sort of animation -- in fact this
movie proves this even more than any previous film -- the animation feels a
little soulless. While I respect all of the films that Pixar makes
(and some of the films by their competitors), it's rare that I really love
them in the same way that I did things like Beauty and the Beast or
Cars is pretty much
the same boat. I liked a lot of it. I was very impressed by the
technical work that was done. Can't say I was blown away by it though.
Actually, Cars plays
a weird place in the Pixar canon. While it is the most proficiently
formed vision of the studio's artistry, it is also the one that has the most
clichéd storyline. It has some cool ideas and fun characters and a
refreshingly nostalgic bent for such a state-of-the-art film. This has
always been Pixar's strongest point to me, they recognize the importance of
childhood symbols like toys and superheroes and boom towns.
However, it takes a while
for Cars to get to this mindset, and the parts leading up to it are
rather underwhelming. Owen Wilson plays the voice of a rookie race car
named Lightning McQueen (just the fact that the makers named the car McQueen
is a nice little nod) who is taking the racing world by storm. McQueen
is a bit full of himself and thinks he is better than a lot of the other
cars because he is a star. In a race he comes out in a three-way tie
with an evil car named Chips (Michael Keaton) and the legendary retiring car
(voice by real racer Richard Petty). Honestly, all of the race footage
is well done but ultimately pretty dull.
The movie starts coming
together when McQueen is driving across country and gets stranded in a small
country town off of old Route 66. Here he meets the old town doc (Paul
Newman), the big city lawyer who has moved to get away from the rat race
(Bonnie Hunt), the redneck towtruck (Larry the Cable Guy) and all of the
other eccentrics in the tiny town of Carburetor Springs.
By being with these normal
people and living an everyday life, Lightning McQueen becomes a better
teammate and a better car. It's not exactly an original storyline and
the movie occasionally drags, but in the long run Cars works well.
Kids will love Cars
and adults will probably get caught up in it too, even though they will know
they are being shamelessly manipulated.
Copyright ©2006 PopEntertainment.com. All rights reserved. Posted: June 10, 2006.