Pixar has created a tribute to our driving history: Route 66, the tee-pee shaped motels of the west, the little one stoplight town, and the old school NASCAR before it became what it is today, all of those simple things that we speed by on the interstate. I cursed AAA for putting me on a side rode a few years ago when I found later that I could have driven a less direct, but faster route on an expressway. I was on a timetable, but I would have missed the unique character of the landscape.
They made all the cars believable living creatures, something I doubted they could have sustained, but they did. They even captured Owen Wilson's smarmy charm and facial expressions. They also made me forget Ardman's Chevron Cars, something I was afraid they would begin to resemble.
The basic story, though maybe not all that original, mines the truths in life from what is there. Honor, love and friendship are more important than anything. Themes that run through out the Pixar films--and some critics complained about that!