IMDb > Cars 2 (2011)
Cars 2
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Cars 2 (2011) More at IMDbPro »

Photos (See all 101 | slideshow) Videos (see all 25)
Cars 2 -- A clip from Cars 2
Cars 2 -- A clip from Cars 2
Cars 2 -- A featurette on the spy cars from Cars 2
Cars 2 -- Owen Wilson and Eddie Izzard talk about lending their voices to the new Pixar film Cars 2.
Cars 2 -- A parody from Cars 2


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Down 30% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
John Lasseter
Brad Lewis (co-director)
John Lasseter (original story by) and
Brad Lewis (original story by) ...
View company contact information for Cars 2 on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
24 June 2011 (USA) See more »
Going where no car has gone before.
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. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Nominated for Golden Globe. Another 1 win & 17 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
How the Mighty have Fallen See more (274 total) »


  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Larry the Cable Guy ... Mater (voice)

Owen Wilson ... Lightning McQueen (voice)

Michael Caine ... Finn McMissile (voice)

Emily Mortimer ... Holley Shiftwell (voice)

Eddie Izzard ... Sir Miles Axlerod (voice)

John Turturro ... Francesco Bernoulli (voice)

Brent Musburger ... Brent Mustangburger (voice)

Joe Mantegna ... Grem (voice)

Thomas Kretschmann ... Professor Z (voice)

Peter Jacobson ... Acer (voice)

Bonnie Hunt ... Sally (voice)
Darrell Waltrip ... Darrell Cartrip (voice)

Franco Nero ... Uncle Topolino (voice)
David Hobbs ... David Hobbscap (voice)
Patrick Walker ... Mel Dorado (voice)

Tony Shalhoub ... Luigi (voice)

Jeff Garlin ... Otis (voice)
Michel Michelis ... Tomber (voice)

Jason Isaacs ... Siddeley / Leland Turbo (voice)
Lloyd Sherr ... Fillmore / Combat Ship (voice)

Bruce Campbell ... Rod 'Torque' Redline (voice)
Teresa Gallagher ... Mater's Computer (voice)

Jenifer Lewis ... Flo (voice)

Stanley Townsend ... Victor Hugo / Vladimir Trunkov / Ivan the Tow Truck (voice)

Velibor Topic ... Alexander Hugo (voice)

Sig Hansen ... Crabby (voice)
Guido Quaroni ... Guido (voice)

Vanessa Redgrave ... The Queen / Mama Topolino (voice)

John Mainieri ... J. Curby Gremlin (voice)
Brad Lewis ... Tubbs Pacer (voice)

Cheech Marin ... Ramone (voice)

Jeff Gordon ... Jeff Gorvette (voice)
Lewis Hamilton ... Lewis Hamilton (voice)

Paul Dooley ... Sarge (voice)

Edie McClurg ... Minny (voice)

Richard Kind ... Van (voice)

Katherine Helmond ... Lizzie (voice)

John Ratzenberger ... Mack (voice)
Michael Wallis ... Sheriff (voice)
Catherine Bolt ... Additional Voices (voice)
Gillian Bolt ... Additional Voices (voice)
Jess Fulton ... Additional Voices (voice)
Sonoko Konishi ... Additional Voices (voice)

John Lasseter ... Additional Voices (voice)
Daisuke 'Dice' Tsutsumi ... Additional Voices (voice) (as Dice Tsutsumi)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Fernando Alonso ... Fernando Alonso (voice: Spanish release)
Jan Nilsson ... Flash (voice: Swedish release)
Vitaly Petrov ... Vitaly Petrov (voice: Russian release)
Memo Rojas ... Memo Rojas (voice: Latin American release)
Sebastian Vettel ... Sebastian Schnell (voice: German release)
Jacques Villeneuve ... Jacques Villeneuve (voice: French release)
Mark Winterbottom ... Frosty (voice: Australian release)

Jess Harnell ... Additional Voices (voice) (uncredited)

Junichi Kajioka ... Additional Voices (voice) (uncredited)

Barbara Kottmeier ... Additional Voices (voice) (uncredited)

Colleen O'Shaughnessey ... Additional Voices (voice) (uncredited)
Daniel Okeefe ... Additional Voices (voice) (uncredited)

Directed by
John Lasseter 
Brad Lewis (co-director)
Writing credits
John Lasseter (original story by) and
Brad Lewis (original story by) and
Dan Fogelman (original story by)

Ben Queen (screenplay)

Produced by
Mark Nielsen .... associate producer
Denise Ream .... producer
Original Music by
Michael Giacchino 
Film Editing by
Stephen Schaffer 
Casting by
Natalie Lyon 
Kevin Reher 
Production Design by
Harley Jessup 
Art Direction by
Bert Berry 
Jay Shuster 
Production Management
Joshua Hollander .... director of 3D production
Art Department
Marty Baumann .... graphic artist
Erik Benson .... storyboard artist
Daniel Chong .... storyboard artist
Josh Cooley .... storyboard artist
Brian Fee .... storyboard artist
Craig Foster .... graphic designer
Piper Freeman .... production coordinator
Christy Gray .... graphics intern
Mark Cordell Holmes .... graphic artist
Ellen Moon Lee .... graphic designer
Jason Merck .... artist
Laura Meyer .... graphic artist
Scott Morse .... storyboard artist
Becky Neiman .... art department manager
Ernesto Nemesio .... matte painter
Kevin O'Brien .... storyboard artist
Bill Presing .... storyboard artist
Cassandra Smolcic .... graphic artist
Nick Sung .... storyboard artist
Derek Lee Thompson .... storyboard artist
Alexander Woo .... storyboard artist
Jack Chang .... sketch artist (uncredited)
Sound Department
Benjamin A. Burtt .... sound effects recordist (as Benny Burtt)
Vince Caro .... original dialogue mixer
Frank Clary .... assistant sound designer
Simon Diggins .... adr recordist
Teresa Eckton .... sound effects editor
Sean England .... foley recordist
Pascal Garneau .... supervising foley editor
David C. Hughes .... sound effects editor
Doc Kane .... original dialogue mixer
Noah Katz .... digital audio engineer
Michael Miller .... original dialogue mixer
Tom Myers .... sound designer
Tom Myers .... sound re-recording mixer
Al Nelson .... sound effects editor
Justin Pearson .... additional sound services
Ronald G. Roumas .... recordist
Michael Semanick .... sound re-recording mixer
Michael Silvers .... supervising sound editor
Steve Slanec .... adr editor
Mac Smith .... assistant supervising sound editor
Dennie Thorpe .... foley artist
Corey Tyler .... foley recordist
Jana Vance .... foley artist
Andrew Vernon .... additional sound services
Christopher Cleator .... adr recordist (uncredited)
Pascal Garneau .... additional sound re-recording mixer (uncredited)
Tom Myers .... supervising sound editor (uncredited)
Robert Shoup .... sound effects editor (uncredited)
Visual Effects by
Adel Abada .... lighting technical director
Amy L. Allen .... digital artist
Eric Andraos .... sets materials lead
Mimia Arbelaez .... lighting techical director
Amit Baadkar .... effects technical director
Nick Bartone .... lighting technical director
Alec Bartsch .... sets shading lead
Jeffrey Benedict .... lighting technical director: uncredited
Lloyd Bernberg .... master lighting lead
Max Bickley .... lighting technical director (as Maxwell Bickley)
Jeremy Birn .... lighting artist
Brian Boyd .... master lighting artist
Gary Bruins .... effects supervisor
Don Bui .... shot lighting artist
Alfonso Caparrini .... shot lighting artist
Charu Clark .... lighting artist
Justine Codron .... lighting technical director
Trent Crow .... shading technical artist
Francisco DeLaTorre .... sets shading artist
Jared Fong .... character modeler/rigger
Susan Fisher Fong .... lightspeed technical director (as Susan Fisher)
Maël François .... lighting techical director
Carl N. Frederick .... lightspeed technical director
Michael Frederickson .... matte paint technical
Eric Froemling .... visual effects artist
Michael Fu .... motion graphic effects supervisor
Sally Garbarini .... lighting manager
Christina Garcia Weiland .... sets dressing artist (as Christina Garcia)
Tolga Goktekin .... visual effects artist
Ralph Gootee .... rendering engineer
Robert Graf .... rendering & optimization artist
Dave Hale .... effects artist
Jim Cody Harrington .... fx technical director
Levi Harrison .... character modeler/rigger
Allen Hemberger .... fx technical director
Michael Honsel .... character modeler/rigger
Chris Horne .... lightspeed technical director
Tiffany Erickson Houghton .... motion graphics artist
Wen-Chin Hsu .... lighting technical director: Pixar
Katherine Ipjian .... lighting artist
Steven James .... lighting artist
Yibing Jiang .... shading technical director
Andrew Jimenez .... visual effects artist
Sungyeon Joh .... master lighting artist
Jason Johnston .... visual effects artist
Thidaratana Annee Jonjai .... character shading artist
Eduardo Martin Julve .... lighting technical director
Terry Kaleas .... global tech
Chris King .... visual effects artist
Mitch Kopelman .... master lighting artist
Tanja Krampfert .... character modeler/rigger
Matt Kuruc .... sets technical development
Dominik P. Käser .... software research & development
Josée Lajoie .... shot lighting artist
David Lally .... crowds artist
Ken Lao .... master lighting artist
Sherrie Law .... sets shading & paint artist
Andy Lin .... lighting artist
Holly Lloyd .... digital artist
Holly Lloyd .... visual effects producer
Hsiao-Hsien Lo .... crowds artist
Jenny Macy .... shading technical director
Alex Marino .... shading technical artist
Salvatore Melluso .... character modeler/rigger
Fatima Mojaddidy .... systems administrator: Pixar
David Munier .... sets shading artist
Nicholas Naugle .... lighting artist
Ashok Nayar .... rendering intern
Marcus Ng .... sets modeling intern
Paul Oakley .... lighting technical director
Hendrik Panz .... digital effects artist
Leslie Pao .... rendering coordinator
Burt Peng .... lighting technical director
Jonathan D. Penney .... stereoscopic rendering
Nick Pitera .... sets modeling artist
Konstantin Promokhov .... effects technical director
José Luis Ramos .... lighting technical director
Kyle Ranson-Walsh .... rendering manager (as Kate Ranson-Walsh)
Farhez Rayani .... lighting artist: Pixar Animation Studios
Jordan Rempel .... master lighting artist
Dawn Rivers .... lighting technical director
Michael Rutter .... sets dressing artist
Afonso Salcedo .... lighting artist
Reid Sandros .... stereoscopic technical director
Laura Savidge .... image mastering engineer
Julien Schreyer .... master lighting artist
Alex Seiden .... global tech
Vincent Serritella .... effects animation technical director
Apurva Shah .... visual effects supervisor
Philip Shoebottom .... shot lighting artist
Nadim Sinno .... rendering & optimization artist
Ian Steplowski .... character modeling and articulation artist
Stephanie Strickland .... rendering technical director
Sonja Struben .... lighting technical director
Joseph Suen .... character modeler
Joseph Suen .... sets modeler
Kenneth Sullivan .... lighting technical director (as Ken Sullivan)
Eunkyoung Lee Swearingen .... lighting td
Lan Tang .... sets shading & paint artist
Najeeb Tarazi .... sets technical development
Cameron Taylor .... shading technical director
Kelli Townley .... rendering & optimization artist: technical director
Nancy Tsang .... sets modeler
Bill Watral .... effects artist
Jesse Weglein .... lighting technical director
Bob Whitehill .... stereoscopic supervisor
Jane Yen .... crowds artist
Camera and Electrical Department
Jeremy Lasky .... director of photography: camera
Animation Department
Mahyar Abousaeedi .... lead layout artist
Simon Allen .... animator
Lindsay Andrus .... animator (as Lindsay VanderGalien)
Josh Anon .... layout artist
Jude Brownbill .... animator
Adam Burke .... animator
Andrew Cadelago .... layout artist
Guillaume Chartier .... crowd animator
Kevin Chesnos .... animator
Andrew Coats .... animator
Brett Coderre .... animator
Josh Cooley .... additional story supervisior
Don Crum .... animator
Carolina López Dau .... crowd animator
Eric S. Degner .... production animator: dvd & promo
Robb Denovan .... animator
Doug Dooley .... animator
Arik Ehle .... crowd animation supervisor
Curran W. Giddens .... animator
Andy Grisdale .... layout artist
Adam Habib .... layout artist
Chiwook Han .... fix and additional animator
Aaron J. Hartline .... animator
Neil Helm .... animator
Catherine Hicks .... animator
Tsung-Yin Hsieh .... crowd animator
David Janssen .... camera and staging artist
Courtney Casper Kent .... animation technical coordinator (as Courtney Casper)
Ken Kim .... animator
Vladimir Kooperman .... animator
Aaron Koressel .... animator
Shawn Krause .... supervising animator
Todd Krish .... animation shot support technician
Bruce Kuei .... animator
Wendell Lee .... animator
Holger Leihe .... animator
Tingting Liu .... fix animator
Ramiro Lopez Dau .... animator
Michal Makarewicz .... directing animator
Daniel Mason .... animator
Steve Mason .... animator
Rich McKain .... animator
Louaye Moulayess .... fix animator
Javier Moya Alonso .... animator
Dave Mullins .... supervising animator
Victor Navone .... animation director
Neth Nom .... fix and additional animator
Erick Oh .... fix animator
Michelle Ohana .... animator
Sukwon Park .... layout artist
Jayson Price .... animator
Andreas Procopiou .... animator
Charlie Ramos .... layout artist
Jay Rennie .... crowd animator
Max Sachar .... animation coordinator
Mark Sanford .... layout artist
Michael Sauls .... fix animator
Andy Schmidt .... animator
Brett Schulz .... animator
Bob Scott .... animator
Doug Sheppeck .... animator
Terry Song .... crowd animator
Matthew Strangio .... animator
Benjamin Su .... animator
Raphael Suter .... animator
Rob Duquette Thompson .... animator
Saschka Unseld .... layout artist
Kristoff Vergne .... animator
Carlo Vogele .... animator
Bastian Wartenberg .... layout artist
Royce Wesley .... animator
Ricky Wight .... fix animator
Anthony Ho Wong .... animator
Stephen L. Wong .... animator
Casting Department
Brendan Donnison .... adr voice casting
Brendan Donnison .... voice casting
Editorial Department
Colin Bohrer .... editorial manager
Jason Brodkey .... second assistant editor
Susan Brunig .... color grading operator
Mark Dinicola .... colorist
Jess Fulton .... second assistant editor
Jason Hudak .... associate editor
Bill Kinder .... director of editorial and post-production
Meghan Kraft .... editorial assistant
Richard Pinkham .... media control transfer operator
Katherine Ringgold .... second editor
Amera Rizk .... second assistant editor
Jose Rosa .... post-production assistant
Kevin Rose-Williams .... first assistant editor
Robert Tachoires .... media control manager
Serena Warner .... additional editor
Christine Wilcock .... management assistant
Erick Ziegler .... post-production coordinator
Christopher Zuber .... creative film services editorial
Shane Lefler .... colorist (uncredited)
Shane Lefler .... on-line editor (uncredited)
Jim Passon .... color timer (uncredited)
Music Department
Christopher Anderson-Bazzoli .... music preparation
Peter Boyer .... orchestrator
Ashley Chafin .... music production coordinator
Donna Cole-Brule .... music business affairs
Andrea Datzman .... orchestrator
Andrea Datzman .... score coordinator
Stephen M. Davis .... music editor
Brad Dechter .... orchestrator
George Doering .... musician
Mark Gasbarro .... orchestrator
Tom Hardisty .... score recordist
Ira Hearshen .... orchestrator
Mark LeVang .... musician: keyboards
Norman Ludwin .... musician
Norman Ludwin .... musician: bass
Tom MacDougall .... music supervisor
Aaron Meyer .... music preparation
Chris Montan .... executive music producer
Andrew Page .... music production director
Cameron Patrick .... orchestrator
Justin Pearson .... production music editor
Tim Simonec .... conductor
Tim Simonec .... lead orchestrator
Dan Wallin .... music scoring mixer
Dan Wallin .... score recordist
Dave Wells .... music copyist
Booker White .... head of music preparation
Reggie Wilson .... music contractor
Michael Aarvold .... score engineer assistant (uncredited)
Frank Macchia .... music preparation (uncredited)
Transportation Department
LeighAnna Frostad .... driver: cast
Other crew
Erik Anderson .... laser camera operator
Bryan Bird .... moose wrangler
Malcolm Blanchard .... software engineer
Kelly Bonbright .... consumer products
Susan Bradley .... title designer (as Susan Mason Bradley)
John Broadhead .... tools
Shaun Brown .... data management group: Pixar studio team
Joel Bruck .... desktop and infrastructure: Pixar studio team
Eoin Bullock .... assistant to the producers (as Eoin Convery Bullock)
Alden Chew .... software engineer
Per Christensen .... RenderMan development
Jeremy Cowles .... software engineer
Miscellaneous Crew .... DVD and promo production: Pixar Studio Team
Lars R. Damerow .... technical lead: systems
Ross Dickinson .... systems administrator
Paul Edmondson .... production engineer
Masha Ellsworth .... technical director
Mike Estes .... assistant: Bruce Campbell
Edwin Fabian .... HR coordinator
Tyler Fazakerley .... desktop and infrastructure: Pixar studio team
Heather Feng .... executive manager: John Lasseter (as Heather Feng-Yanu)
Julian Fong .... RenderMan development: Pixar studio team
Erik Forman .... desktop and infrastructure
Craig Foster .... title designer
Joseph Frost .... technical lead: storage
Remy Galang .... desktop and infrastructure
Grant Gatzke .... a/v engineer
Dominic Glynn .... lead engineer
Joanna Goldfarb .... dvd and promo production: Pixar Studio Team
Joanna Goldfarb .... dvd and promo production: Pixar studio team
Jonathan Hadden .... desktop and infrastructure (as Jon Hadden)
Robert Hamrick .... desktop and infrastructure
John Hazelton .... senior projectionist: Image Mastering
Kitt Hirasaki .... software design
Michael Hitson .... operations coordinator
Katelin C. Holloway .... story department coordinator
Shawn Hovis .... systems administrator and support
Ling Hsu .... systems analyst
Jason 'Jayfish' Hull .... desktop and infrastructure
Jose Ignacio .... desktop and infrastructure
Ron S. Jong .... infrastructure
Catherine Kelly .... title designer (as Catherine M. Kelly)
Jason Kim .... software engineer
Laurie Kim .... software engineer
Jacob Kuenzel .... production engineer
Erik Langley .... scheduling manager
Chris Lasell .... lead systems administrator
Marty Lew .... systems administrator
Matthew Lindahl .... desktop and infrastructure
John Robert Loy .... software developer (as John Loy)
Edward Luong .... software engineer
Corey Mayne .... creative film services technical director
Jodi S. Miller .... project manager
Rachel Kate Miller .... production coordinator
Tamsen Mitchell .... project manager
Fatima Mojaddidy .... systems administrator: Pixar studio team
Lauren Montuori .... production coordinator
Michelle Moretta .... assistant: John Lasseter (as Michelle Moretta Lightner)
BoB 'Naked BoB' Morgan .... desktop and infrastructure
Daniella Muller .... production assistant
Allison W. Nelson .... production coordinator: sweatbox
Catherine Obuhoff .... systems administrator
Adrian Ochoa .... layout department manager
Tanya Oskanian .... assistant: John Lasseter
Silvia Palara .... creative services
Luigi Passalacqua .... craft service
Kirsten Peterson .... additional production support
Rebecca Pigg .... human resources
Nick Pitera .... creative film services technical director
Peter Plackowski .... systems administrator
Kyle Ranson-Walsh .... story manager (as Kate Ranson-Walsh)
Eric Rosales .... production coordinator
Rob Rowe .... interactive production
Susan Salituro .... infrastructure engineer
Donald Schmidt .... production engineer
Liz Seibert .... production assistant
Burton Siu .... software test engineer
Nelson Siu .... unix systems administrator
Michelle 'shelley' Smith .... production assistant
David Sotnick .... technical lead: network
Sean Stephenson .... unix systems administrator
Sean Michael Stephenson .... unix administrator
Laurel Stout .... assistant: the co-director
Mike Sundy .... systems administrator
Tiffany Taira .... video production
Andy Thomas .... systems administrator
Grace Thompson .... development associate
Erick Tryzelaar .... team: rendering pipeline group
Dirk Van Gelder .... software team lead
Rudy Vucelich .... desktop and infrastructure
Jay Ward .... automotive consultant
Jay Weiland .... desktop and infrastructure
Ian Westcott .... systems administrator
Wayne Wooten .... RenderMan development
Shiqi Yang .... software engineer
David Yu .... studio tools design and engineering (as David G. Yu)
Timothy Zohr .... marketing
Julie Adams .... dialect coach (uncredited)
Jeffrey Benedict .... lighting technical director dvd and promo production: Pixar studio team (uncredited )
Thomas V. Thompson II .... technology support: XGen (uncredited)
Darla K. Anderson .... special thanks
Tricia Andres .... special thanks
Cassandra Barbour .... special thanks
Kevin Cresswell .... special thanks
Steve Jobs .... special thanks
Japeth Pieper .... in loving memory of
Gary Rydstrom .... special thanks
Andy Witkin .... in loving memory of

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
USA:106 min
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Argentina:ATP (CR) | Brazil:Livre | Canada:G (all jurisdictions) | Denmark:7 | Finland:K-3 | Finland:K-7/5 (self applied) | Germany:o.Al. | Ireland:G | Japan:G | Malaysia:U | Netherlands:6 | Peru:PT | Philippines:G (MTRCB) | Portugal:M/6 | Singapore:G | South Korea:All | Spain:T/i | Sweden:Btl | Switzerland:7 (canton of Geneva) | Switzerland:7 (canton of Vaud) | UK:U | USA:G (certificate #46807)

Did You Know?

In England, the cars pass under the Admiralty Arch. The Latin motto on the real arch reads: ANNO DECIMO EDWARDI SEPTIMI REGIS VICTORIÆ REGINÆ CIVES GRATISSIMI MDCCCCX which translates as "In the tenth year of King Edward VII, to Queen Victoria, from most grateful citizens, 1910." The same arch in the movie replaces REGINÆ with CORONÆ and CIVES with a word that is obscured by a flag but "AUTO" followed by either "E" or "C", other letters, then "TA" is most likely AUTOCESTA. So, the motto re-translated is now "In the tenth year of King Edward VII, to Crown Victoria, from most grateful highways, 1910." Crown Victoria being a Ford model car.See more »
Continuity: In the talk-show scene before Sir Miles Alexrod comes on screen, a car which appears to be Lightning McQueen very briefly appears on the WGP graphics. The incorrect car is used, as the "trails" seem to correspond to the cars country, and the trails with Spanish flag colours (red and yellow) have what seems to be Lightning McQueen on them.See more »
[first lines]
Leland Turbo:[speaking into a video recorder] This is agent Leeland Turbo. I have a flash transmission for agent Finn McMissile. Finn, my cover's been compromised. Everything's gone pear-shaped. You won't believe what I've found out here. This is bigger than anything we've ever seen. And no one even knows it exists. Finn, I need backup. But don't call the cavalry, it could blow the operation. And be careful! It's not safe out here!
[sees something offscreen, gets alarmed]
Leland Turbo:Transmitting my coords now. Good luck!
See more »
Movie Connections:


Was Cars 2 made in Stereoscopic 3-D?
What Is the short that accompanies 'Cars 2'?
What model of cars are the various characters?
See more »
160 out of 248 people found the following review useful.
How the Mighty have Fallen, 24 June 2011
Author: ARTaylor from United States

We hoped it would never happen, but no one is perfect. Even the best can stumble. This had to happen eventually. Even the string of terrific Disney's classic films and the 90s Disney Renaissance didn't last forever. I'm afraid that, yes, Pixar has made a bad film.

Cars 1 was their least ambitious film. The story was predictable and character development obvious making it their most mediocre film. It was good but it lacked that little extra touch that made their films great. However, they had some great side characters, a heart, and wonderful scenes that elevated it up beyond most other films. But ever since this film's announcement I always wondered why. McQueen had his story and there's not much else to tell. Like Finding Nemo, where else is there to go? And I'd rather see sequels to better movies like The Incredibles, even Bug's Life seems to have more potential. It's easy to see why they made a sequel to it, since all you need to do is go to Disneyland or any Disney Store and see it covered in McQueen and Mater, which happened to be two my of three year-old cousin's first words. Off all the Pixar films, Cars made the most with the merchandise.

The biggest problem is the story. Cars 1, while predictable, was touching. Cars 2 has almost no heart or character development. The focus shifts from McQueen to Mater. McQueen had his story in the first and there's little to tell here. He has one character moment that's essentially the same realization as the first film's. The problem with Mater is that he's such a simple character. Everything about him is on the surface for all to see. He's the same person throughout the movie, with one predictable realization which goes no where, that he doesn't warrant his own film. He's like Kronk from The Emperor's New Groove. They're both terrific side characters but lack enough complexity for a full story. And Larry the Cable Guy has always been better with the other Blue Collar guys rather than on his own.

While Cars 1's highlight was its side characters, this movie almost abandons them. They do nothing. McMissile is a moving plot device and little more. Shiftwell is supposed to be a love interest but lacks any interesting moments. The rest of Radiator Springs basically sit back while McQueen and Mater have all the fun. Their stories and character are pushed aside so Larry can have fun being Mater. Because of this, there are almost no funny little side scenes where characters just have fun being themselves. Instead, most of the humor is derived from seeing Mater do silly things.

The look is impressive but not more than anything else Pixar's done. With each movie, the studio has pushed the graphics into new levels. Each movie has had some wow moment where audiences can't help but be amazed by what they're seeing. There were times in Cars 1 when it looked almost real. Cars 2 lacks any wow factor. One of the most impressive sets, Tokyo, were already spoiled by the Tokyo Mater short. This more than anything makes me wonder if Pixar was even trying to up the ante or if they were just using what they had to make a movie a year.

Spies and Cars seems to work well together. After all, any Bond or Bourne film will easily demonstrate why the two go together. Indeed, the opening scene on the drilling platform is easily the best with the fast chase and cool gadgets. But they weren't able to properly combine the racing and spy elements, almost as if you're watching two movies at once. There's too much spy stuff for the racing to be interesting, which becomes pointless against the overpowering and overly clichéd spy story. Perhaps Pixar should have set it as simply a spy movie set in the Cars universe and had McQueen and his friends in cameos or as a background story.

Another lousy spot is the music. Cars 1 had a terrific soundtrack with excellent uses of popular songs like Life is a Highway and Route 66. But there's not one memorable song or music cue in this movie. Giacchino usually does terrific work like with The Incredibles, Ratatouille, and Up. But he too fumbles the ball here. Perhaps he was just uninspired by what he had to work with.

Cars is Lasseter's pet project. But I think he's too close to it. He's got that Lucas Star Wars prequel trilogy problem. The people around him either were in awe of the man who made Pixar and Toy Story or they were afraid to hurt his feelings since he loves the Cars franchise so much. Pixar efforts have been so well done because they were collaborative efforts, each fixing each other's problems to make a better project. But with Lasseter off working more directly with Disney, he really should have had a co-director or perhaps given the reins to someone else like he did with Toy Story 3.

I almost rated this movie higher. It is fun while you're watching it, even if as soon as it's over it becomes too easy to pick apart the problems. But this is Pixar. They've dominated the animation market since Toy Story and have been pushing the boundaries at the Academy Awards ever since. To see them stumble with a not-so-great film would be one thing. But they're coming off from two Best Picture nominees to a movie that's simply flashy but with little substance. Kids will love the bright colors and silly antics, but parents will hate having to then buy twelve new Mater toys. Cars 2 is stalled and in need of a tune-up.

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