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"It's kind of nice to slow down every once in a while."
TheMovieMark9 June 2006
"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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Exquisite and fun. Visuals steal the show.
randomStuff10124 June 2006
Pixar again shows us their superior skills in 3D animation and to a lesser extent this time, the storytelling. There is so much attention to detail, that you are left gazing at the screen in awe. The 2 hours races by, and afterwards you are left with the satisfaction of having just seen something quite unique and surreal.

It's a kids film of course, so there is little need to point out the predictable story elements - which exist in Cars more so than previous Pixar films such as The Incredibles. Cars is less daring, is safer in its approach. There are no surprising or wild deviations on the fairly straight road the story follows. But nevertheless, it's all very cool stuff, and the story is entertaining enough. Cars is a must see Pixar film - even if the visuals steal the show.
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Nice ride
Jay_Exiomo8 June 2006
As usual, you've gotta hand it to Pixar.

In "Cars," their latest film, they show why they are still the cream of the crop when it comes to the field they revolutionized more than a decade ago. Well, yeah, it doesn't have the sophistication and cleverness of "The Incredibles," nor the universal appeal of both "Toy Stories" and "Finding Nemo." And I have to admit that the idea of animated cars was the least riveting as far as Pixar film premises are concerned. But as with its predecessors, beneath those excellently rendered 3D images is the soul that sets Pixar apart from what has become of most animated films nowadays.

Up-and-coming rookie race car Lightning McQueen (voiced by Owen Wilson), is about to win the prestigious Piston Cup. The championship ends with Lightning finishing in a tie with legendary "The King" (Richard Petty), who is in his final race, and Chick Hicks (Michael Keaton); thus, a tie-breaking race is set in California.

But a road mishap leads Lightning to the forgotten town of Radiator Springs, a part of what was once Route 66, a place that once basked in glory, but has since been thrust into oblivion. There he meets an array of other cars - including Doc Hudson (Paul Newman!), Mater (Larry the Cable Guy), and Sally (Bonnie Hunt) - who teach him that "life isn't about the destination but about the journey."

First of all, Pixar's animation is first-rate. It's that sort of greatness among their artists I can only geek about and dream of grasping while in my 3D animation classes. The cars have a definite realistic look, especially with the rendering (man, the reflections!). The film is also vibrantly colored, making use of a whole variety of shades of dark colors during the race, and warm ones whenever the scenes shift to Radiator Springs. Even the old, vintage car models have that chic look that brings some of the essential charm of this film. There are lots to be admired on this film just for the brilliance in animation. But among those that stand out are the race itself, and when Doc Hudson gets to bring back his good old days. Somehow, it's like watching NASCAR on IMAX again, albeit minus the über-big screen and the 3-D effect.

But what's really nice about this film is how director John Lasseter and the writers effectively tell the story and how they pump up the visual feast with humor and sincere emotions. It still all boils down to the story and how it is told - the very essence of cinema. Granted, when it comes to the standards set by previous Pixar films, it isn't quite up there with it's predecessors; but considering how lofty the bar has reached and the mediocrity that has become of the genre in general, "Cars" more than gets the job done.

As for the voice cast, Wilson brings that sort of cockiness to the protagonist of the story and it fits with his smug humor. Larry the Cable Guy gives Mater an amusingly disoriented state without being irritatingly so. You can't help but care about him and arguably, he's the nicest member of the cast. Newman lends an authoritative quality to Doc Hudson. (During the end credits, there's an in-joke about John Ratzenberger, who has his voice featured in all Pixar films thus far.) However, ultimately, the cast is somewhat unmemorable and lacking in diversity. The rest of the voice talents are also underused. Keaton's Chick Hicks is a formulaic one-dimensional villain, which could have utilized his voice more with a little more motivation for the car's part. But then again, that may be beside the movie's point.

All in all, "Cars" is a visual feast outside and an effective storytelling inside. When it comes to the basis of their appeal, it doesn't keep up with the rest of Pixar films which have sped up far ahead and this may yet be their first underachiever. But for what it is and what it achieves, it's a nice ride.
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Pixar keep the good line
Rectangular_businessman14 January 2007
I found this movie to be enjoyable enough: Even when it is true that it wasn't at the same level than some of previous Pixar films (Such as "Toy Story" and "The Incredibles") it was a good film anyway, with an entertaining story and likable characters.

Despite the strangeness of the premise of a world inhabited by living cars, the execution is fairly convincing, with a neat character development and many funny and heartwarming moments.

Without being perfect, it managed to be something totally worth-watching from beginning to end, and in many ways this could be easily considered one of the best animated films from the year 2006 (Which was a terrible year, in my opinion)

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Perfect for the Kid Who Loves Matchbox Racers - His Parents, Less So
drqshadow-reviews18 July 2011
There's really nothing wrong with this; it fits the mold as a smart kid's movie with enough subtle nudges and winks to keep the adults happy, a formula that Pixar has mined extremely well over the past decade and a half. It's even got that one weighty central topic, the moment the entire picture balances upon, when the collective audience presumably takes a sharp breath of air and has some sort of mini-epiphany in connecting it to their own lives. The major pieces are all there, truly, so why didn't I find this picture as rewarding as the rest of the animation house's legendary catalog? It's got something to do with the moments in-between. Usually, it's precisely those instants off the beaten path that Pixar absolutely swallows up, enveloping the screen with tiny jokes, dazzling visual wizardry and deep, circumstantial character development. In Cars, for whatever reason, the power in such moments is lacking. The studio goes through the motions, which makes for a more-than-decent facsimile, but in the end it doesn't feel as complete and engaging as their other masterworks. I would've loved it as a kid, and plan to share it with mine some day, but as an adult I'd rather throw in Toy Story or The Incredibles.

Revised thoughts, nearly three years later:

My boys are absolutely bonkers for Lightning McQueen and Tow Mater right now, but had never actually seen the movie. Needless to say, they loved it, and I discovered that my own opinion has softened over time. Of course, it still can't hold a torch to the innocent humor of Toy Story, the sentimentality of Monsters, Inc. or the pulse-pounding twists of The Incredibles, but it fits in snugly on the second tier alongside A Bug's Life and Ratatouille. The theme may have seemed transparently concocted to sell merchandise, but as a product of the era when Pixar didn't do anything they didn't believe in, it still resonates with thoughtful care and well-placed emotion. Perhaps unfairly cast aside at first, it's a well-made, lovingly executed film that tugs shamelessly at the heart strings when its points bubble to the surface. I'd upgrade my score from 7 to 8/10.
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Truly Moving Picture
tollini31 May 2006
I saw this film on May 31st, 2006 in Indianapolis. I am one of the judges for the Heartland Film Festival's Truly Moving Picture Award. A Truly Moving Picture "…explores the human journey by artistically expressing hope and respect for the positive values of life." Heartland gave that award to this film.

The most famous streak in sports is probably Joe DiMaggio's 56 game hitting streak. The most famous hit streak in film entertainment is probably Pixar's feature film animation streak. With "Cars", it's seven in row for outstanding storytelling that is well executed and is (or will be) rewarded with blockbuster box office grosses. "Toy Story", "Toy Story 2", "Monsters, Inc.", "Finding Nemo", "The Incredibles", and "A Bug's Life" are the other six gems.

The story is about Lightning McQueen a rookie NASCAR-type racer. Of course, he is a car and not a human; or, he is a human in the form of the car. Take your pick. Either way, he is not an attractive persona. He is selfish, unappreciative, greedy, two-faced and has no real friends. But, he is a great driver and is tied for The Piston (read Winston) Cup annual championship with two other drivers. On the way to the runoff race in California, he accidentally gets off in a sleepy and forgotten town on Route 66 named Radiator Springs.

In this hillbilly hell of a town, he is punished for speeding and tearing up the road by the sheriff. As he serves his sentence with community work, he discovers the town is inhabited by rejects and misfits, who all have hearts of gold. Can they change Lightning and make him over to have positive traits like honesty, integrity, respect, honor, sacrifice, humility, and compassion? That's the drama that unfolds. Lightning is a hard case, and the outcome is always in doubt.

The cars/people are incredible. Shortly into the movie you forget that the people are cars or the cars are people, you suspend disbelief, and you just begin to watch an engaging story about real people. The windshields are their eyes, and the grilles are their mouths, and they display emotions as well as any human actor. The story is serious and light-hearted at the same time. The puns are too numerous to catch. And this is a must-see-twice-to-get-it-all movie.

FYI – There is a Truly Moving Pictures web site where there is a listing of past Truly Moving Picture Award winners that are now either at the theater or available on video.
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Can't Say Enough Good Things About This Animated Gem
ccthemovieman-124 January 2007
Wow, this was fantastic! As I was watching it, I asked myself, "Is this the best animated movie I've ever seen?' I think the answer is "yes."

After watching "The Polar Express" last year and seeing the most beautiful visuals and fabulous sound, I thought it might be awhile before anything topped that, but this movie beats it. That's because it's equally beautiful, color-wise, and more entertaining because of the excellent humor. The humor isn't just a bunch of funny lines; it's also funny sights on screen from the cars' "faces" to a lot of clever material in the background. There is so much to see that multiple viewings, I'm sure, would catch new things each time.

For me, watching an animated film for two hours is usually asking way too much but not with this film. It's so much fun to see and there are no boring lulls, yet the action after the first 10 minutes is light. The characters are varied and the kind you care about, or want to find out more about, all of which translates into scenes which continually keep your interest.

At times, the colors in here astounded me, especially with the nighttime scenes. The sound also is excellent, especially in the opening and closing race scenes. With surround speakers, it's almost like being at the track.

The message is a nice one, too, and not delivered in any heavy-handed manner, either. Having a team to work with, people to be there to help and be helped, is better than going alone in life. Thy didn't beat us to death with it, but that is the unmistakable message in this story.

I can't say enough about this film. It's really good stuff for anyone of any age. I was extremely impressed. Oh, and as a final note: don't turn this off when it's over; stay with the ending credits because there are some really funny comments, mostly by John Ratzenberger .
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This movie is great
thejoshualee10 June 2006
But WHY is it great?

1. Visually. From the very first moments of the film, my mouth was hanging open. I mean, what the hell? Nothing looks this good. I have no idea how they made the cars look so much like real cars, and STILL make them look so much like characters. And the settings? Having grown up and traveled all over the South West United States (including more than one pilgrimage down Route 66) They captured, not only the visuals, but the atmosphere and character America's Main Street Perfectly. Frankly, if you put real actors in many of the scenes, you wouldn't realize it was computer generated… you know, if the landscape wasn't made up of old car parts.

2. Creativity. Talking animals. Every cartoon HAS to have talking animals. Only so many cartoons can be about talking animals trying to bamboozle around with humans. Thank goodness for Cars. They create an entirely believable world populated by machines, with tractor cows, and somehow they still have George Jones and Hendrix. The story IS quite predictable, but it's still quite creative. With this level of creative juice flowing in one of John's babies, I can't wait to see what he has in store for further feature animation and theme parks.

3. Characters. I have a beef with Hollywood. They have no idea what life in a small town is like. They either try and stuff their ideals and attitude into a western shirt, or else fill America's heartland with dolts, "we don't like outsiders" sheriffs, or crazed murderers. Thankfully, Pixar did their homework and featured small town folk as they really are: eclectic, eccentric, loyal, creative with their fun, friendly with visitors, and really worth while. The subtle touches, such as the lovable rivalry between the Hippie van and the Army truck, or the crazy old Model T talking to the memorial of her dead husband (very touching), gives a complex and wonderfully, realistically diverse view off small town life. The same is true with the racing world. Wilson and Newman are, of course, fantastic. It's funny how the gravel in Newman's voice fits perfectly with the rumble of his engine, likewise Wilson's distinct voice sounds just like the high-tuned growl of a race car. Every voice is so paired. Bottom line, you leave loving virtually every character in the movie.

4. Story. A little bit A Christmas Carol, a little bit The Sting. The story starts out fast and exciting, like the race it portrayed. The big second act meanders lazily from one fantastic story point to the next, just like Route 66 drives from one landmark to another. I can see why some may say it can get slow, but, as is one of the points of the story, the joy is in the ride. And again, the third act flows quickly and furiously like, well, another race.

I give it a score of 10 out of 10. I can't wait to see it again.
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All time classic of Gen Z childhood. Amazing.
pickle-9264228 July 2021
This is EASILY the movie I've watched most in my life. Back when I was young, I would have this on repeat. My parents said I used to HAVE to watch this movie every day for a certain period of time or I would get mad. Well, until now, I hadn't seen it in like 6 years until now. It was just as I remember, and extremely nostalgic. I can't be bothered to wonder why this movie gets the hate that it does. In fact, it's one of the best Pixar films. Idk if the nostalgia is blinding me, but for me this was (so far) one of the better Pixar films. A great character arc for Lightning McQueen, an amazing redemption for Radiator Springs, just a magical movie. I will forever hold this movie close to me and never let go. Imo, this is one of THE movies.

Fun fact: I own all 36 original car action figures from the race at the beginning.
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best Pixar movie since Toy Story
bosscain10 June 2006
upon entering the theater I wasn't expecting anything wow and big from pixar since the last few movies they made really didn't hit it off with me. But I Love "Cars"!! its the best movie that pixar has created in a long long time. Not since the early days of "Toy Story" have I enjoyed a Pixar movie so much that I wanted to write a comment about it. This movie is fantastic! It has everything you could ever want in a movie plus a whole lot more. The team over at Pixar really went over and beyond with this movie and all that hard work really shows.although the gags references and storyline are more for the adults than the kids, I still would recommend this movie to absolutely everybody. 10++++
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Pixar has done it again.
theblabbershow24 May 2006
I had my doubts. I knew that Pixar would fail this time around. No way were they going to pull this off for a seventh time.

I was very, very wrong.

I went to see a special screening of "Cars" a few weeks ago, and this movie blew me away. The animation is gorgeous, the story brings a smile to your face, and you can't help falling in love with all of the colorful characters. It definitely has that genuine Pixar "heart" that you rarely see in any other CGI film. At first I thought the movie would be centered around a lot of NASCAR-like racing, but it really wasn't, much to my surprise (and pleasure). This movie is definite Pixar gold. I absolutely loved it.

Although I don't want to give any spoilers away, I will say that my favorite scene would have to be when Mater drags McQueen out to do a bit of "Tractor Tipping". The whole theater was filled with laughter. Heck, it even got some laughs out of me, which is rare when it comes to a kid's movie.

Be there on opening night. This is movie is worth all of your time and money.
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Pixar does it again
av663728 June 2006
Pixar just keeps hitting them out of the park. Larry the cable guy was a great cast as Mater. Owen Wilson as Lightining was another great decision for the makers of Cars. There is never a dull moment while watching this film. I guess that is obvious by the overwhelming success at the box office. Working at a movie theater I get to see the reactions of our patrons after seeing each film we show; Cars is a must see this summer. There are very few genuine family movies released now a days, this is a clean movie that families can come together and enjoy without worrying about having to screen the film before bringing the kids. I recommend everyone go see this film and then go see it again.
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A visual treasure hunt in a heartwarming storyline
laviniacg11 June 2006
I read a write-up about Cars several months ago, so I was vaguely aware of it when a friend suggested we go see it today. I had no idea where the plot would lead, but figured a Pixar film was a good bet.

The film was marvelously rendered; several times I could have sworn I was watching real film footage instead of animation, especially scenes showing passing landscapes.

The characters were also cleverly drawn, with subtle touches viewers might or might not notice, such as goatees, mustaches, horns, and udders (I'll say no more about that - you'll have to find out for yourself) represented by various car or tractor parts.

Finally, the "Monument Valley" sort of landscape where the majority of the story takes place was a car lover's dream, where you could pick out parts of Tuckers, Deusenbergs, Packards, and Rolls Royces, carburetor filters, hood ornaments, and other automotive goodies.

Even if you're not a motor-head, the story is heartwarming, the characters are entertaining, and the humor keeps coming at you at all levels - kids to adults. I'll be getting the DVD because I know I'll have to watch it over and over to catch all the puns and "in" references.

I look forward to it already.
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Eerily prescient of the Urban, Rural divide that drove much of the zeitgeist in the 2010's
CubsandCulture1 January 2021
I think if this film was released today it would have done better with the critics. It didn't do badly in 2006 but there was a lot of people complaining that it was Pixar's first flawed film and that it was a little bet too rote. That was my original impression as well. The film plays like a family version of Doc Hollywood mixed with a sports coming of age story. What the story is doing is rather basic, conventional but it does it do it well. The animation is very beautiful and the film really captures American Car culture c. 1955 and Old Route 66. The characters are a collection of stock characters-Mater is a hick, Fillmore a hippie, etc.-but they are fully realized stock characters with a perfect voice cast. I can understand why someone would be rather cool on the film. I was back in 2006.

But the film is a pretty insightful piece of populism in which rural, small town Americana is celebrated instead of marginalized and in a sense degraded. Radiator Springs can stand for a whole bunch of "forgotten" men, women because technology, i.e. the highway system, leading to "American carnage." I am not saying the film is overtly political but it does celebrate a the small town American experience and longs for a past that was simpler, slower. The nostalgia googles the film places on America car culture feeds a need a lot of people share. McQueen-like a lot of people-need to get back to the roots of society. We all could learn to slow down and appreciate the dainty and dumpy. To often the national conversation is centered on the cosmopolitan experience when quaint charm is more meaningful for a lot of people.

I think this film strikes at something very real and very important that has happened in America. I enjoy it very much as a simple family film but the text links up with reality in striking ways.
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Cars is great!
dirtygordy13 June 2006
I'm a man (71). I took my son (40) and my granddaughter (10) to see "Cars". It was wonderful exciting entertainment for all our ages. I grew up with the old cars and have traveled Route 66 a few times so I was able to relate to the story and talk about the old times after the movie with the younger kids. My son and his daughter love NASCAR so they got a lot from the movie. The scenery though computer modified and generated was beautiful and true to the area portrayed. There is so much going on that this is one movie I want to see again. I have more grandkids, I think I'll have a valid excuse to go once more. Please!, if you see this movie remain seated until the very end of the credits, you are in for a treat.
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Not a classic, but I still like it...
jluis19848 July 2006
when Pixar announced their idea for "Cars" (a world exactly like our own but inhabited by living cars instead of humans), I thought that the film was going to be an instant failure. Then, as the images of the new graphics and the plot outlines started to came out I was still unimpressed by them, seeing at how unoriginal the plot was and how everything seemed to be aiming for showing off their technical progress, my hopes for "Cars" were really low. I guess that's why I ended up liking it so much.

"Cars" is the story of a cocky, arrogant and very ambitious young racer named Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson) who has become the new sensation in the racing circuit. During the trip towards the final race of the circuit (a race that would give him the Cup if he wins), he gets lost and accidentally ends up in a small forgotten town on Route 66 named "Radiator Springs". Without knowing how to return to the Highway and forced to repair the damage caused by his arrival, McQueen will discover the simple way of life of this quiet town and its inhabitants.

Visually, the film is perfect; the computer animation has reached a point where it seems that the only limit is to create a human being, and I bet that Pixar is not too far from it. Light effects, water effects, reflection, chrome and other phenomena are represented with great detail surpassing everything Pixar had done before. However, this tale of a young and ambitious car living in the fast urban world and his clash with the simple and slower life of rural U.S. is nothing really new or original, and this is where the directors/writers John Lasseter and the late Joe Ranft make a difference.

"Cars" is a new version of a familiar old story. Sure, it is by no means an original story and it is very predictable, but the details added by the writers are what makes the film different. The lovable and different characters give soul to the apparently lifeless "Cars", and they make the difference in what otherwise would be a dull boring and predictable film. every character has been carefully detailed, not only visually, but also in their personalities, antics and voices. This care in the characterization department is what made "Toy Story" or Fox's "Ice Age" different among other animated films.

The voice actors are very good, and it is noticeable the care taken in assembling the cast. Owen Wilson makes a very good McQueen, making him an arrogant, ambitious city boy; Paul Newman brings his experience and makes a wonderful Doc Hudson, Radiator Springs' mayor. Bonnie Hunt and Larry the Cable guy complete the cast and all of them are equally competent in their jobs. Their performances give the final touch to the film.

As written above, the film has only one big detail that may turn off some viewers. Its plot is nothing really new or unseen, and it could be said that it is one of their least funny scripts. Sure, it touches an important subject, but a few more laughs could had helped the final product. However, credit must go to the writers, who have crafted a movie that will keep the kids interested even when it is not a laugh riot.

"Cars" may not be have a multi-awarded script or even an original plot, but it has a lot of heart, and it shows how much Lasseter and Ranft cared for the story. Despite its troubles, it is a fine film to take the children. If you keep the expectations low and relax a bit it will be a nice ride.
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awesome movie
solsetimo28 May 2006
I thought the story looked very lame from previews, and the concept didn't appeal to me. But when I saw an early screening I was surprised, it was well written and well executed. They didn't overload the movie with automotive jokes, which I think would have hurt the story and character development. Owen Wilson's voice is great for his role. Overall, it's on par with other Pixar films, even if it may not be their best so far. The animation is superb, definitely the best they've done. Giving something like cars distinct personality and characterization seems like it would be pretty tough, and they do a great job with it. See this movie the day it opens.
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the best pixar movie to me
cinemamoviecars14 September 2021
Being a petrolhead, this pixar movie is perfect. Is emotional, is about enjoy the ride and at the same time about nascar. Yes, car people will like more.
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Try turning right to go left!
Anonymous_Maxine10 July 2006
With as many phenomenal films on their resume as Pixar has, it is hard to believe that they can keep up the level of quality one film after another, and if you are waiting to see what will be the film that will be the first stumble from them, keep waiting because Cars is not it. Just when you think they must be running out of ideas by now, they come out with something like this and it blows me away every time. I watched Cars having never heard anything about it beyond the not very informative billboards that are plastered all over Los Angeles.

The thing that I kept thinking to myself as I watched this movie is that if you took someone from, say, 1985, and showed them this movie, they would be absolutely astounded at how far animation has come. If you took someone from 1950 and showed them this movie I don't think there is any way you could convince them that the movie is animated at all. The animation is so real that there were times when I wondered if they mixed in live action shots.

I love the way the movie mixes the super-fast culture of stock car racing with the culture of a sleepy town which has become forgotten because a freeway was built nearby, taking all of the traffic away from the town and letting entropy take its course. Kind of like what happened to the Bates Motel, right?

Owen Wilson is the perfect person to voice the cocky Lightning McQueen, an up and coming stock car that is well on its way to winning a much sought after sponsorship. An unfortunate series of events, however, leaves him stuck in the charmingly named Radiator Springs, repaving their road after losing control of his throttle, so to speak, and thoroughly destroying it. He begins by thinking of them not as the little people, but as the microscopic people, not worth his time, energy, or even a thought. The process by which his views of these simple people form the plot of the film, and it is a highly entertaining ride.

Larry the Cable Guy voices Mater, the town's rusty tow truck, and he steals the show from beginning to end. I got into listening to Jeff Foxworthy tapes and CDs when I was a kid living up in Diamond Springs (near Placerville, CA), and from there got into the Blue Collar Comedy Tour, of which the only two that I found really funny were Jeff Foxworthy and Larry the Cable Guy. The guy with the mustache and goatee and the guy that was always smoking and drinking got real old real quick. My question at this point is, what else is there for Larry the Cable Guy to do in the movies? I would love to see (or at least hear) more of him, but he doesn't seem to have a lot of range at this point.

I think that the most important thing that makes this movie good, besides the animation and wonderful performances, is that there is depth to just about all of the characters. The amount of backstories that are smoothly provided is astonishing, and it gets you that much more into the movie. Also, in keeping with Pixar's image of not being able to curb their own overflowing creativity, the movie opens with another charming short film and, possibly my favorite part of the entire movie, ends with the characters from the movie watching excerpts from past Pixar movies, in which all of the characters are now vehicles of some sort.

And one more thing, I would like to nominate the scene with the Italian-speaking Ferrari's as one of the single best scenes in any Pixar movie!
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Tractors is so stupid......
elispaul10 June 2006
I, like most fans of Pixar studios, felt my heart sink when I saw the first preview for "Cars" when it ran in front of "The Incredibles" in 2004. There had been previews of other Pixar movies that left me underwhelmed, but this was the first one that looked...well...bad. The constant shots of racing cars, the frenzied editing, the apparent belief that the phrase "dadgum" was funny in and of just looked like Pixar had come up with their first stinker. I am so glad, no...ecstatic, to say my first instincts were wrong. "Cars" has every bit of the Pixar spirit at its core.

I'm also happy to report that Mater the Tow Truck, who I thought might end up being the most loathed character since Jar-Jar, ended up being one of the funniest, most heartfelt characters in ANY Pixar film.

Every frame of this movie is wonderful to look at, containing all of the vibrant color and rich texture that we expect from Pixar. The voice work is uniformly excellent and, contrary to what I've read in some reviews, the story and script are just as engrossing and imaginative as their other films. Yes, the movie does have a lot of car puns, just like Monsters Inc had monster-ish puns (the "grossery", the "stalk/not stalk" crosswalk sign) and A Bug's Life had a lot of bug puns (the mosquito ordering the "bloody mary, o-positive", but these type of jokes are never the main type of humor. The biggest laughs come from the characters. They stem from knowing their personalities and their foibles. This has always been the key to Pixar's comic genius and "Cars" continues this great tradition.

Plus, the tractor tipping scene is one of the funniest things I've seen in a movie in a VERY long time.
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A different kind of Road-Movie
Flagrant-Baronessa30 October 2006
As Pixar, Blue Sky and DreamWorks continue to tick off the list of cute cuddly animals to make films about, director John Lasseter and Joe Ranft (the latter sadly and ironically died in a car crash last year) brings us a story about cars in incongruous human setting. Nine years of hard work in combining Lasseter's two great interests, cars and animation, finally gives us a satisfying end product but regrettably 'Cars' is just that. Satisfactory and utterly charmless.

The story, for one, is one of the most predictable riffs I have ever seen in an animated feature. It zooms in on an exhilarating, high-profile race for the prestigious 'Piston Cup' and the third lap offers a sense of impending doom. It is Lightning McQueen – rookie at the top of his game, and voiced by the energetic Owen Wilson – that races in pursuit of prestige... so much that he alienates everyone around him, even his pit crew. The race becomes a three-way tie between him and his competitors and now the final showdown will be held in Los Angeles in one week. It is on the way to L.A. that 'Cars' really starts up its engine, specifically when McQueen takes a detour across the desert-laden terrain by route 66 and gets caught for speeding by the local sheriff. He is sentenced to community service in the seedy little nowhere-town and, predictably, here the arrogant McQueen learns the true meaning of friends.

For a movie about fast-paced vehicles, 'Cars' starts slowly and keeps in this lane for far too long. One hour into the film, Lightning still has not learned the mandatory 'morals & message' lesson that you know Disney is just waiting to dish out with a wagging finger. Undoubtedtly its fatal flaw is its length: there is absolutely no need to stretch a Disney comedy across two hours. This problem escalates as the extremely safe and passive approach to humour makes its mark; soon it is clear that the film is not going to tip over into goofball or absurdist humour but remains sedated and expects us to find the mere facial expressions of the cars hilarious – and they are not, because cars are too clunky and mechanical to effectively emote.

Yet it needs to be said for all its comedic shortcomings, 'Cars' remains afloat simply because it makes no pretense about being a Disney/Pixar film of a different calibre. It is obvious that it caters more to the younger audience than, say, the heavyweights Shrek, Nemo or Ice Age that are all about adult references. Only once or twice does the film sneak in a subtle racy element such as the bitch-tag at the back of the female Porsche's rear or the 'organic fuel' that the hippie-van uses. On that note, "hillbilly hell", as McQueen bitterly spits, is beautifully crafted in terms of animation. The CGI environment is crisp, fluent, lean and simply superb in capturing the well-oiled sleek machines of superstardom juxtaposed with the rusty hicky complexity of the hillbilly town. 'Cars' is possibly Pixar's greatest feat in animation, but its weakest jab at story and entertainment.

Although Paul Newman brings perfect charisma to his bitter-and-doomed-but-good-old-mentor character, none of the other cars shine. Indeed, there is a frightening lack of funny sidekicks with assigned quirks and the closest Cars gets to this is its shy firewagon truck Red. This wide-ranging mediocrity also applies to the soundtrack which is noticeably sub-par and unimaginative: either cheesy mellow 'mood' music or Sheryl Crow pop. Where's the oomph in the engine of 'Cars'? Step up, Disney, because you cannot ride on the success of Finding Nemo forever.

5 out of 10
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The True Winner
claudio_carvalho17 June 2007
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.

In the cute "Cars" the world is inhabited by automobiles and there is a great message about the meaning of friendship in the wild contemporary competitive world. The hero learns the important lesson that sometimes the true winner is not the one who simply wins the race but uses the heart and does the best. Owen Wilson is amazingly funny giving the voice to the rookie Lightning Queen and it is amazing how some intellectuals do not like this adorable animation. Or maybe they do not have understood the message of the story. My vote is eight.

Title (Brazil): "Carros" ("Cars")
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Amazing Visuals
Imdbidia8 February 2011
In a world inhabited by locomotion machines and cars, the little abandoned town of Radiator Spring languishes until it receives the visit of a posh race car, Lightning McQueen. His stop and meeting of the old- style cars living there will change his perspective on life and on what he wants to achieve.

The mate drawing of the landscape and town settings is magnificent. The cinematography and shot angles used to film the story are truly artistic. The design of the cars is equally impressive regarding animation, colors, texturing and lighting. The night scenes in the open field are among my favorites, so beautiful and realistic. The whole film is a long wow in that regard, and you feel like clapping to those big artists working for Pixar in this movie. In that regard, the movie deserves a 10.

The voicing of the characters, done by A-list actors (Paul Newman among them, in his last acting role before passing away), is extremely good, very charming and effective, as the viewer really feels that the voices match the cars' personality and bring a big cozy feeling to the movie.

However, all of this is not enough to save the movie, which suffers from an absurd point of departure, stereotypical script and characters/role models, and a childish storyline feeling in general. This will delight children, guaranteed, but will not engage enough most adults. I thought that Pixar had lowered their storyline standards and made a movie that would suit more Disney's requirements. No wonder that Disney bought Pixar little after the movie was released.

An enjoyable movie for kids, with spectacular animation and eye candy colors to be enjoyed by all.
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worth watching
frankselden28 June 2006
Animated films are not my favorite genre and I am not a Nascar fan. I anticipated that I would reflect on the 2 hours in a movie theater as quality family time rather than quality entertainment but this movie had me hooked from the beginning. My kids did not have my background to understand Route 66 history but they didn't need it. The loved the film for other reasons. I lived in small towns where a day is fueled with hope of what might come over the horizon. I have actually been cow tipping and laughed at the tractor scenes. I really appreciate the part of the theme of a successful member of a younger generation listening to and profiting by the wisdom of someone older. Far too many children's shows revolve around a plot with stupid adults and the youth needing to save the world. This film perhaps restored, for me, a little faith in our entertainment industry. This is one movie the whole family really can enjoy. See this movie if for no other reason than to support the production of this type of message.
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Fun For All Ages
jts040524 July 2006
Cars is a great movie for the whole family. Pixar is great and has done well again. First they bring you a story of fish in Finding Nemo, then they bring you Superheros in the Incredibles, and now Cars! This has many voice talents. Owen Wilson, Larry The Cable Guy, Bonnie Hunt, and many other voice talents. Cars is great family fun and is a perfect movie in every way. This just may beat Finding Nemo, Monster's Inc and The Incredbles.

I think that Cars was enjoyable the whole movie, there wasn't one part I didn't like. This is a classic in the making.

Pixar you have done it again, you have brought us another great movie to enjoy for all time.
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