Optimistically Cautious

Monday, December 11, 2006

Film: "Cars"

I watched the animated Disney/Pixar feature Cars yesterday. I initially stayed away because I remember the movie had been quite poorly reviewed, but I think it may have been unfairly judged.

The capabilities of computer-generated animation continue to amaze me: Cars is simply beautiful to look at. Stunning vistas, "how'd they do that" realism with leaves and dust, and unique details that make it a Pixar film (there were Volkswagen Beetle-shaped flies!).

Plot-wise, the movie involves a solid story for children about the importance of teamwork, sense of community belonging, and responsibility to others. There was even a message about remembering to slow down and to exit life in the fast lane once in a while. My friend and I had to roll our eyes, however, at the attempt to educate audiences about the decay of small American towns that were bypassed with the construction of the Interstate (yeah, we are heartless bastards).

The main voice talents didn't stand out, except perhaps Paul Newman, who was perfectly cast as the wise mentor Doc. There were quite a few celebrity cameos as well, with the likes of Jay Leno, Mario Andretti, and even Michael Schumacher lending their voices to car-shaped caricatures of themselves (speaking of the cars-as-people equation, my friend and I wondered how new cars were produced in this world. Is this how hybrid cars came into being?).

All in all, Cars is fun, family-friendly entertainment that complements the rest of the Pixar canon.


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