Anthony's Film Review
Though not Pixar's best, talking cars prove that there is still no slowing down...
The first thing about Pixar's Cars is that there are no humans anywhere in the film. When you have a film that centers around people's main mode of transportation, you expect to see cars plus their drivers. As the opening racing scene shows, there aren't any. Auto racing in this movie is the equivalent of humans and their races on foot. The cars are living things of their own with no creature within controlling them. You will also notice that the spectators, announcers, pit stop crew, and everyone else at the race track are cars themselves. Basically, it's another world where man-made objects are given life, just like the characters in the Toy Story films.
Pixar's other trademark is found here as well: a touching and funny story with lessons about life. Hotshot race car Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson) is one of three winners involved in a three-way tie for the Piston Cup. A race in California a week later would break the tie and determine the winner. However, when Lightning accidentally gets sidetracked from his cross-country tow, he ends up in the rustic town of Radiator Springs. He has to stay there and pave the road as punishment for literally crashing into town. From here, it becomes a story about a self-centered car who slowly learns the true meaning of friendship.
The other major theme explored is nostalgia. For some of you, you may have stories and memories about good times in your earlier years that are now long gone and replaced by different pleasures for a new generation. The culture of cars and the legendary Route 66 are no exception. Lightning McQueen, after dreaming of glory and fame all of his life, learns about life in the past that he never experienced himself. With his time spent in Radiator Springs, he learns that there's more to life than racing and being in the fast lane.
In real life, many people like to think of their own cars as extensions of their personality. I just love how this film takes it further by putting real personality into the cars. It's not just the clever anthropomorphism from how cars can already look like faces. It's how the film chooses the right kind of car model for each character. There's the fun-loving bucktoothed rusty tow truck Tow Mater (Larry the Cable Guy), the old-timer classic car Doc Hudson (Paul Newman), and the pretty and quick little car Sally Carrera (Bonnie Hunt). The same goes for the sheriff car, the little Italian cars who work as mechanics, and the tractors who are the automobile version of cows. You just can't help but love all the characters you see.
I don't need to go into too much detail about what's great about the film if you've seen most of Pixar's other feature-length animated films already. Cars is another great addition to this collection of masterpiece animated films. It has lovable characters, a wonderful and creative story, and humor. Pixar has proved to us that you can really trust them for good quality animation.
I'll conclude with one suggestion if you haven't seen the movie yet. Be sure to stay during the closing credits of this film. The last part of it has a funny tribute to previous Pixar films, which is appropriate considering Pixar's 20th anniversary, a great milestone for a great animation studio.
For more information about Cars, visit the Internet Movie Database.
In addition, check out my review of Cars 2.