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Review #148 of 365
Film: Cars [G] 117 minutes
WIP™ Scale: $14.75
Where Viewed: AMC Loews Meridian 16, Seattle, WA
When 1st Seen: 9 June 2006
Time: 4:00 p.m.
Review Dedicated to: Charles A. Ă–rtenblad, Jr.

Randy Newman - Cars

Click for 'Review Lite' [a 150-word review of this film]
From Green to Checkered flag, Disney®-Pixar's® newest animated film, Cars, is one of the best animated films of all time, and were it not for the introduction of the Academy Award® for Best Animated motion picture, it would be a very serious contender for best picture of the year. Certainly, it is the best movie released thus far in 2006. Honestly, when the last segment of the credits rolled—and stay all the way to the end by the way for some of the most entertaining credit sequences ever delivered in an animated film including an homage to Pixar's many other brilliant films—my brain immediately moved into review writing mode. There must be one thing to criticize. Absolutely nothing. These guys got absolutely everything perfect. Not only that, but it might well be one of the very, very few Disney Animated films that has no villain to induce life-long-lasting nightmares. This is truly a one-of-a-kind, four aces and the king of hearts, all five numbers plus the powerball, triple crown, Indy 500 championship movie.

Lightning McQueen
(voiced by Owen Wilson)

It all begins with a little rookie racecar named Lightning McQueen (voiced in a charming and exuberant fashion by Owen Wilson) who ends up in a three-way tie in the final race of the season causing officials to declare a race-off in California in a week to determine the race season champion. Imagine that, an acceptable tie and a formal tie-breaker. As the three cars are transported across the continent in their luxury haulers, non-stop Lightning McQueen pushes his driver truck too far leading to a mishap with the law that lands him smack dab in Radiator Springs—the cutest little town in Carburetor County—having done some serious road damage to the town.

Doc Hudson (voiced by Paul Newman)

While it was a complete misunderstanding, the judge—a Hudson named Doc (voiced melodiously with great wisdom by Paul Newman)—at the request of the town lawyer—a Porsche with pin-striping named Sally Carerra (voiced by Bonnie Hunt)--sentences Lightning to community service in the form of repairing the town's main road.

Sally Carerra (voiced by Bonnie Hunt)

As his time in the town progresses, Lightning learns a lot about the old American Route 66, what it means to be a true friend (the buddy he makes in rusted tow truck named Tow Mater and voiced by Larry the Cable Guy is one for the ages), how to give more than we receive, how to warm the hearts of an entire town, how to appreciate and respect our elders, and how to be a real hero.

Tow Mater (voiced by Larry the Cable Guy)

I don't know how Pixar® continues to get such incredibly fresh and inventive story material, but this one tops my previous all-time favorite of Monsters, Inc. by a landslide when it comes to originality, depth of character, imagining of new worlds, and inventiveness. Simply said, I loved every single minute of it. And, just when you think it cannot possibly get any better, the final race, the California finale between the three cars that tied, holds up to be a moral and character-building life lesson like I've never seen before in any animated film proving that the lessons Lighting learned in Radiator Springs were not just racing sticker deep but really changed every cylinder in his engine.

Believe it or not, this is a G-rated film that actually is G-rated. While the cars do erupt some foul sounds here and there, they are completely in keeping with car noises as opposed to foul human body noises. The message and morals of the film are right on the money for kids of all ages and grown ups to. This is both a very funny movie and one that will tug at the heart-strings as well.

"From Green to Checkered flag, Disney®-Pixar's® newest film, Cars, is one of the best animated films of all time."
When it comes to the technology of CGI animation, be prepared to be blown away again by what the ingenious Pixar® animators have done this time around. The animation is absolutely unprecedented in nearly every dimension. From the glossy and reflective paint on the cars to the clever way of giving the cars eyes and facial expressions, to the incredibly realistic landscapes that look plucked right out of the Arizona desert no detail has been spared in making this beautifully colorful film seem as real as possible. Meanwhile, the voice cast which also included Cheech Marin, Tony Shalhoub, Paul Dooley, George Carlin, John Ratzenberger, and Michael Keaton to name a few, did an impressive job of bringing these characters to vocal life.

It is difficult to imagine a film topping this one for a long time to come. Pure imagination brought to life. For a nation in love with its automobiles, there could probably be no more perfect vehicle for showing off our affection than this film. At the source, all of the technology aside, what makes Cars so special is the wonderfully moving and incredibly fun story. This film is an absolute winner!

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Review-lite [150-word cap]
From Green to Checkered flag, Disney®-Pixar's® film, Cars, is one of the best animated films of all time. Along Route 66, on the way to a race season tie-breaker, rookie stock car Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson) finds himself sentenced to 5 days of community service in Radiator Springs. Paul Newman, Bonnie Hunt, and Larry the Cable Guy along with some of the most beautifully rendered computer animation ever seen, all play roles in this imaginative tale driving Lightning to learn what it means to be a true friend, how to give more than receive, how to warm the heart of a town, how to treasure our elders, and how to be a hero. Incredibly fresh and inventive story material, pure imagination brought to life, this is a G-rated film that actually is G-rated. For a nation in love with automobiles, Cars is the perfect vehicle for showing our affection.

1 comment:

Reel Fanatic said...

Great review .. I'm ashamed at just how far behind I am on summer movies, but will finally get around to seeing this one today, and am really looking forward to it