Analog Thoughts on a Digital Age

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Movie Review: "Cars" (2006)

Watching cars talk and interact with each other is probably weird but Pixar's new CGI masterpiece Cars just makes it as normal as orange juice in the morning.

The Cars concept came to director John Lasseter naturally because as hs said in an interview, Los Angeles (where the Pixar headquarters are) is a "car loving culture". Since they were exposed to vehicles both good and bad, it felt natural for them to make a movie about cars and car "issues".

Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson) is a hotshot rookie out to win the coveted Piston Cup. He and his rivals end up in a 3-way tie in the final lap of the Piston Cup finals which resulted in a raceoff in california to determine the real winner the following week. En route to Cali Lightning's carrier truck dozes off on the road and accidentally drops Lightning off in a sleepy town called Radiator Springs on Route 66 where he causes a major road accident that damages their main road. He is sentenced by town authorities led by Doc Hudson (Paul Newman) to fix the road before going on his way to Cali. Stuck and bored, Lightning befriends the towns repairman Mater (Larry The Cable Guy) and develops feelings for the town lawyer Sally Carrera (Bonnie Hunt).

The thing about Pixar is that, compared to the other production studios out there, they are very story driven company, not 'star' driven (well considering they don't have actors yes, but animators can also be "stars" in their own right). Aside from raising the bar in CGI animation every single year, Pixar produces really good stories too. Cars may be a really simple story to tell. but it works on many different levels. The 'kid' level shows us a young hotshot rookie learning responsibility. The adult level shows us the the weathering effect of 'progress' and how it alienates us from what's important in life.

Not quite as good as The Incredibles, but a worthy addition to the modern classics that are the Pixar movies (I refuse to credit Disney, as that I believe Disney has turned into a money-grubbing corporate slimehole and is no longer the creative company that it used to be. Disney wouldn't even be in business right now if it weren't for Pixar)!

Rocketboy's Rating:****(4 out of 5 Stars)


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