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Cars (Widescreen Edition) (2006)

A Pixar movie directed by John Lasseter

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Slick Movie With Lots of Heart

  • Nov 15, 2006
My son and I watched Cars on the big screen and I LOVED it! The songs were perfect--especially Real Gone and Life is a Highway.

I've just watched the movie again, twice, on DVD. Unfortunately, my 25 inch TV screen doesn't do this movie justice! (It's one of those movies that pack a wallop when watched on the big screen...)

The realism achieved in this movie is amazing, especially with Lightning's shiny red paint job and the "fumes" rising from the drag cars. The writing is especially clever, too. (Look for the shapes in the rocky background at Radiator Springs.) For example, Harv, Lightning's fast-talking publicist/agent admonishes his client to get out of "Radiation Stinks" (you gotta hear it to appreciate it.)

Every single time I watch this movie, I choke up twice during the last race. There are some critics who say that Cars doesn't have "heart" like Toy Story or other Pixar features. I can't help but wonder if we're talking about the same movie! I feel that Cars has more heart than ANY Pixar movie thus far--especially as it shows that winning isn't everything and that dignity is found in much more than an "empty cup" (like the Piston Cup).

The voices in this movie are perfect, especially Owen Wilson as Lightning and Larry the Cable Guy as Mater. (Gosh, what a scene stealer that Mater is! And the funny thing is, if you watch the 16-minute "Inspiration for Cars" clip, you'll see the actual Mater--who sounds a lot like the character!)

Speaking of the 16 minute Inspiration clip, I'm surprised that this DVD didn't have more extras--not even a commentary or movie video or sample story boards or anything! That was a disappointment, I admit. (I'm used to Disney packing the extras on there! Heck, I found out neat trivia bits--like why number 96 was chosen for Lightning's car--but I didn't find this out from the DVD!)

However, the 16-minute clip was quite touching, especially hearing how the director was inspired for Cars. Turns out that he has several boys and his wife said to him one day: "You know, we supported you through Toy Story 1 and 2 and your other projects...but one day, you'll wake up to find that your little boys are now off to college."

This sobering realization spurred him to take an entire summer off with his wife and kids--a road trip in a motor home. He said it was the best time of his life. Alas, he combined the two loves of his parents (his mother was an artist and his Dad was a car buff) to create the wonderful movie Cars, which also reflects his newfound wisdom: you can push, push, push for that next accomplishment, and one day realize that you're friendless or perhaps alone.

There's also some great laughs in this movie; I LOVE the tractor-tipping scene with Mater and Lightning! (OMG--and that Frank is scary!)

As I said, the extras are slim pickins:

--New animated short Mater and the Ghostlight (Amusing. Fans of Mater will *especially* love this short!)
--Academy Award-nominated animated short: One Man Band (This was the cute short about two deuling musicians fighting for a coin that a girl wants to throw into a fountain. It's the same short shown at the theater before the Cars movie.)
--John Lasseter's inspiration for Cars (Very good. Inspirational in its own right.)
--Ratatouille teaser trailer (A movie about a mouse in France with expensive tastes)
--Deleted scenes

This is an exceptional movie in terms of script, voice acting, music, authenticity, and animation. Car and racing lovers will no doubt love it, as will fans of Pixar. (Personally, I can't STAND car racing--or country music--but I loved both the soundtrack and the plot! Goes to show that one doesn't HAVE to be into cars to enjoy this movie.)

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More Cars (2006) reviews
review by . August 31, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Still Charming Half a Decade Later
   I don’t know about you but when I think of Pixar’s “classics” rarely is Cars the first to come to mind.  The Toy Story(s) perhaps, Monsters Inc. maybe, even Finding Nemo for those so inclined and yet it took a under-whelming sequel followed by a revisit to the DVD I thought I knew well to realize that the first Cars is the epitome of all that Pixar has come to mean to modern animation. In the event that you’ve been living in a cave these past six …
review by . August 20, 2008
posted in Movie Hype
Cars was the 7th feature film created by Pixar studios and it kept up the trend of excellent Pixar productions. Managing to win Pixar its 3rd consecutive best Animated Feature Academy award, there was no denying how good this film was. The story is cliché but the concept is still as fresh as Toy Story was back in the day. Its colourful and detailed environments, cars and sequences are put together brilliantly. Pixar makes its movies with this confidence in their own abilities. They seem to never …
review by . September 18, 2007
posted in Movie Hype
Pros: Amusing story line, solid animation. Great soundtrack with Sheryl Crow singing the song "Real Gone"     Cons: Can't wait to see Cars II     The Bottom Line: A solid family film. Funny yet a movie with a heart about discovering real values such as love and friendship.     Plot Details: This opinion reveals minor details about the movie''s plot. My son is two and he loves cars. We received this DVD as a gift and currently we have watched …
review by . November 08, 2006
posted in Movie Hype
'Cars' relies on such a beautiful personification, we forget the characters are really cars. The whole human world has been transfigured, as "Braking News" comes on television, and cars watch their fellow heroes in Nascar-type races in the stands. Playfully, we enter into the world of "Lightning McQueen" (Owen Wilson) who is trying to win his first "Piston Cup". He is full of himself and not just engine oil, so he lazily creates a three-way tie with two other prima dona cars. The tie-breaker takes …
review by . October 23, 2006
Criticism of this movie is a mystery to me. My kids has so far place this movie on there top ten mini lists. I have yet to see a bad Pixar film (even "A Bug's Life" is still entertaining, for kids anyway) and the only reason that I can think of is how difficult it is to follow a film of such real quality like "The Incredibles". I'm honestly struggling to think of a fault with this film which is bright, colourful, noisy and funny - perfect for the younger members of your family. But there is also …
review by . August 15, 2006
In Pixar's CARS, directed by TOY STORY director John Lasseter, the world is populated entirely by - you guessed it - cars. So it's only natural that the biggest event in the entire car world is the Piston Cup, the world's most popular race (inspired by the ever-popular NASCAR racing). This year, the public's rooting for Lightning McQueen (voiced by Owen Wilson), an immensely-talented albeit egotistic rookie. While traveling to California to prepare for the Piston Cup, Lightning's driver, Mack (John …
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There's an extra coat of hot wax on Pixar's vibrant, NASCAR-influenced comedy about a world populated entirely by cars. Lightning McQueen (voiced by Owen Wilson) is the slick rookie taking the Piston Cup series by storm when the last race of the season (the film's high-octane opening) ends in a three-way tie. On the way to the tie-breaker race in California, Lightning loses his way off Route 66 in the Southwest desert and is taught to stop and smell the roses by the forgotten citizens of Radiator Springs. It's odd to have such a slim story from the whizzes of Pixar, and the film pales a bit from their other films (though can that be a fair comparison?). Nonetheless,Carsis another gleaming ride with Pixar founder John Lasseter, who's directing for the first time sinceToy Story 2. There's the usual spectrum of excellent characters teamed with appropriate voice talent, loads of smooth humor for kids and parents alike, knockout visuals, and a colorful array of sidekicks, including a scene-stealing baby blue forklift named Guido. Lightning's plight is changed with the help of former big-city lawyer Sally Carrera (Pixar veteran Bonnie Hunt), the town's patriarch Doc Hudson (Paul Newman), and kooky tow truck Mater (Larry the Cable Guy).The Incredibleswas the first Pixar film to break the 100-minute barrier, but had enough story not to suffer;Cars, at 116 minutes (including some must-see end credit footage), is not as fortunate, plus it never pierces ...
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Director: Joe Ranft
Genre: Animation, Comedy, Family
DVD Release Date: November 7, 2006
Runtime: 116 minutes
Studio: Walt Disney Video
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