Star race car Lightning McQueen and his pal Mater head overseas to compete in the World Grand Prix race. But the road to the championship becomes rocky as Mater gets caught up in an intriguing adventure of his own: international espionage.
Larry the Cable Guy,
Spoiled by their upbringing with no idea what wild life is really like, four animals from New York Central Zoo escape, unwittingly assisted by four absconding penguins, and find themselves in Madagascar, among a bunch of merry lemurs
While traveling to California for the dispute of the final race of the Piston Cup against The King and Chick Hicks, the famous Lightning McQueen accidentally damages the road of the small town Radiator Springs and is sentenced to repair it. Lightning McQueen has to work hard and finds friendship and love in the simple locals, changing its values during his stay in the small town and becoming a true winner. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
The model for Ramone's shop is an actual old-time Conoca Service Station in Shamrock, Texas, on the old Route 66. See more »
As the mini-van with the mattress passes Mack on the interstate, it has it's left turn signal on, when in fact it goes right, toward the exit ramp. This appears to be intentional. The mini-van appears to have an implied "dopey" character - adding to the novelty that the little mini-van has somehow bested Mac in traveling. See more »
Okay, here we go. Focus. Speed. I am speed. One winner, forty-two losers. I eat losers for breakfast. Breakfast? Maybe I should have had breakfast? Brekkie could be good for me. No, no, no, focus. Speed. Faster than fast, quicker than quick. I am Lightning.
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During credits, Mack (John Ratzenberger) watches car-versions of earlier Pixar hits, commenting on the fine actor in each scene before realizing it's the same actor (John Ratzenberger) playing different characters in each movie. There is an additional scene at end of credits, as with last year's Chronicles Of Narnia. See more »
Written by Brad Paisley
Performed by Brad Paisley
Produced by Frank Rogers
Recorded by Richard Barrow and Brian David Willis
Mixed by Justin Niebank
Brad Paisley appears courtesy of Arista Nashville See more »
"It's kind of nice to slow down every once in a while."
"Cars didn't ride on it to make great time; they rode on it to have a great time."
It's not hard to make a successful movie. It's simple, really. Exceed my expectations. Make me feel. Force me to care. Deliver a somewhat clichéd message, but deliver it in such a way that the meaning resounds. Teach me the same lessons that your characters learn. And above all, entertain.
Pretty easy, right? Well, at least Pixar makes it look that way because with Cars they have once again succeeded.
I'll be honest; I had my doubts about the movie. How would they be able to take a story featuring nothing but vehicles, with nary a human in sight, and keep my interest for a full two hours? Animals are one thing, but could Pixar successfully master the personification of modes of transportation?
Yes, they could, and they did.
Thanks to Director Lasseter's strong attention to detail, going so far as to insist that the vehicles bend and gesture in ways that were true to their construction, every car and truck truly becomes a unique character and personality. And along with those characters and personalities comes a story which yes, contains a well-traveled theme, but it comes with so much charm that even Grouchy McKilljoy's hard little heart can't help but be warmed.
Don't worry if you're not a racing fan; I assure you it's not a requirement to enjoy the movie. I love watching muscle cars race the quarter mile (ask me about my '69 Camaro), but NASCAR doesn't do it for me. That's another aspect about the film that gave me pause. I once fell asleep at a NASCAR qualifying race, despite the 90-degree heat and ear-splitting decibel levels, so would Cars keep me awake and interested? Within five minutes my worries began to slowly subside as I happily settled in for the ride.
Animation should be about bringing imagination to life. Give us something that can't be done in live action. Cars does this so effectively that it almost seems a redundancy to comment on how Pixar continues to raise the CGI bar. The scenery on screen is awe-inducing to the point that it's getting harder to distinguish the real from the created. The filmmakers have gone so far as to perfect reflections in the cars and to pay careful attention to weeds growing out of cracks in the sidewalk. I don't see any way you could not be visually stunned.
But impressive visuals are little comfort if I'm not presented with a story that I care to follow. No problems there. If you're the kind of person who loves to go "awwwww" at movies then prepare to be satisfied. What I appreciate the most is that, at the risk of causing some youngsters to become restless, time and attention has been given to character and story development. Lasseter and his team stood their ground and resisted any pressure to trim this to a runtime more suitable to those with limited attention spans, and I thank them for it.
As I said earlier, Cars hit the starting line with a disadvantage. I didn't greet it with a warm smile. I crossed my arms, furrowed my brow, and dared it to prove my preconceived notions wrong.
It proceeded to exceed my expectations. It made me feel for its characters and forced me to care about McQueen's journey, both to California and to a different viewpoint on life. Sure, the "slow down and enjoy the scenery" message may seem a little routine, but it's a message I took to heart.
Immediately following the movie I was on the Internet looking up information regarding Route 66. I'm now ready for a road trip void of interstates and efforts to beat my best time. I feel like slowing down a bit and exploring the unknown. Give me the scenic route, and give me more finely-tuned, detailed movies like Cars. That's all I ask. Two hours of entertainment that make me care, even if briefly, about something other than myself and what goal has to be accomplished next.
See? It was simple, really. At least Pixar made it look that way.
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