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
Manny, Sid, and Diego discover that the Ice Age is coming to an end, and join everybody for a journey to higher ground. On the trip, they discover that Manny, in fact, is not the last of the wooly mammoths.
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
Fillmore is named after the famous Fillmore Auditorium or Fillmore West, a highly popular music venue from the 1960s and 1970s. It was the focal point of music and arts for the counterculture, or "hippie" movement. See more »
When Lightning McQueen wakes up in the impound yard, the boot is on the driver's side front tire. Mater hooks up to Lightning's rear to tow him in. He should have hooked to the front since one of front tires was incapacitated. 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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The credits contain a dedication and retrospective of characters voiced by Joe Ranft, a Pixar writer who died in 2005. 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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