Cars 2: A Review of our Annual Theater Movie

We have been Pixar fans since the very beginning with “Toy Story”.  They give a good, fun story with rich characters; throw in some things the adults can appreciate (like all the old toys in that movie, and the answer to your childhood suspicions about your toys — hey, I know I left that toy over here… how’d it get over there?); put it all in beautiful, highly detailed animation; and (usually) leave out stuff like politics and environmentalism.  (Hey, I said “usually” — don’t get on me about “WALL-E”, which, in spite of the environmentalism, was a very cute movie.)

So, for some time now, we’ve closed our eyes and plunked down the money once every year or so to take the whole family (6 of us now, with my uncle) to the theater.  Last year, our only choice was 3-D, unless we wanted to go way out of town.  This year, we had the option of either version, but went with 3-D anyway, for the sake of the kids.

So we went to see “Cars 2″, and got in almost late.  The theater was way busier that day than we had ever seen it before.  We had seen the previews, and the kids had even collected codes from Kellogg cereals to get points for language translators that were being offered (among other things).  We ordered the translators just the other day.  For once, I participated in one of these things, figuring if they wanted language translators, that was not a bad thing.

Hopefully, the translators (when they get here sometime in the next 90 days) won’t be a disappointment, because, for once, the Pixar movie was.

Don’t get me wrong, “Cars 2″ was a cute movie.  But that’s really all I can say about the story itself.  It was not what we’ve come to expect from Pixar.

Toy Story 1, 2, and 3 — A Bug’s Life — Monsters, Inc. — Finding Nemo — The Incredibles — Cars — Ratatouille — WALL-E — Up — What made these movies so good?  Brilliant graphics and amazing detail in abundance, yes, but what made them excellent was character development, plausibility (yes, even in a movie about talking fish), and well-thought-out themes of friendship, family, endurance, overcoming adversity, and fighting evil.  All this, with no vulgarity.  The occasional girl-boy stuff is fleeting and non-sexual.

So what went wrong with “Cars 2″?

It had the brilliant graphics and amazing detail a good bit of the time.  We struggled with some blurriness in a good bit of it.  I saw someone else’s comments on it that stated that they had watched the 2-D version, and had the blurriness there, too.  I thought it was just a sloppy 3-D job, but apparently not.  The character development was nearly non-existent.  Plausibility was pretty much zero, which I already had figured out from the previews, but I was willing to give them that in exchange for all the other stuff that makes an excellent movie.  It’s a James Bond movie done with talking cars, and Mater as an accidental spy.  You’re plausibility’s automatically gone.  LOL

Unfortunately, there was very little to exchange the lack of plausibility for.  There was a weak lesson in friendship, and not expecting a friend to be something they aren’t.  Other than that, it was action, action, action, and Mater’s social blunders… and Sally’s fixation with an Italian car’s open wheels.  The movie seemed geared more toward the adults than to the kids.  It contained many things that were main themes, that were things pretty much only adults would get.  Lemon cars, like Gremlins, Pacers, and Yugos… kids aren’t going to remember these (I even needed help from Shay).  The lemons were a big theme, but only the adults will get it.  The oil/alternative theme was big, too.  I’m guessing more of the kids got this one, with all the environmentalism they are taught in public schools.

The result?  Other than an occasional chuckle, not much laughter from the audience.  The absence of children’s laughter was telling.  They didn’t enjoy this movie like they had previous Pixar movies, and it was obvious.

Such a shame.  I hope Pixar realizes and corrects their mistakes before releasing their next offering to the theaters.


Cars 2: A Review of our Annual Theater Movie — 6 Comments

  1. hmmm…. our experience was different than yours.

    I have a six year old boy playing out the cars 2 movie over and over in his room. did he miss alot of it? yes, but he generally does. did he enjoy the movie? Yes, and he’s also asked a ton of questions as well. which broadens his understanding of the movie.

    We enjoyed it. Mr. Popper’s Penguins was overall a better story as that’s the other we’ve taken the lad to.

    • I have a good friend who completely disagrees with me about the movie, too. I did say somewhere up there that it was a cute movie, though. :) Our kids enjoyed it, but not as much as the other movies. We adults were more disappointed with it than they were.

      The lack of laughter was theater-wide, though. It just didn’t go over as well as the previous Pixar movies.

      I haven’t heard of the penguin movie. I’ll have to look it up. :D

    • No, I haven’t looked into it yet. I ended up spending much of the week fighting off a hacking of my PayPal debit card. Apparently, somebody was probably just running numbers on their computer until they found one that worked. Grrrrrr…

      I’m getting my money back, thankfully. PayPal put a stop to the whole thing within minutes. Unfortunately, it took only minutes for them to steal about $125 out of my account, but it would have been much, much worse if PayPal hadn’t started just denying everything. They contacted me, and asked me if I had initiated this activity, and we went from there.

      I’ll get to the penguin movie. Please feel free to remind me again. :D

    • It certainly has been annoying. PayPal went ahead and gave me my money back… though they could take it back again if they decide after their investigation that I was responsible. They don’t sound like that’s very likely, though, thankfully.

      I hope for a quick conclusion to the whole thing, and I hope they get the guy who hacked my account!

      At least Bunny-Wan Kenobi and ILoveBunnies got a tour of the police substation out of it. :)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>