I think it was a qualified yes…but I’m biased on two fronts. I love what Pixar does, and I’m a ‘Certifably Car Crazy’.
So on a certain level, I can’t speak to folks that aren’t into cars. I dunno if you’ll like it as much as I did.
There’s a TON of subliminal car stuff in this flick. Not just in jokes or an occasional aside, this movie is STEEPED in auto lore. From the character gestures that are correct to suspension geometry to a Fast N Furious aside that’s pretty priceless.
The Wife and I took our 3.5 year old boys to today’s Matinee in the hopes we wouldn’t offend too many people if the kids were bad and so we could enjoy it if other kids weren’t perfectly behaved. One of our kids is a Automotive-savant and was just riveted from beginning thru the end of the credits (stay past the credits, there’s bit at the end). The other boy was into about 60% of the movie and got a little wiggly in the slow bits. But really, they’re kind of young to sit through 2-ish hours unless it’s something they’re 100% into.
I’m not a car guy, so I know there are a lot of jokes that I’m missing, but I enjoyed it. Here’s the review I posted on my blog:
I liked it. Once again, Pixar manages to surprise me, by taking a movie that looked totally mediocre in the previews and somehow making you care about the characters even though they’re all inanimate objects.
The theme, which you can totally predict from watching the commercials, is “slow down/stop and smell the roses, there are more important things in life” etc. There’s a great symbolism in the montage where they show Route 66 being bypassed by a bigger, faster, straighter interstate highway that goes straight past the quiet little town. The movie seems to have more depth and meaning to it than it seems at first, if you take the time to analyze it. It’s also apparently got a lot of inside jokes about cars, so little kids who watch the movie now can watch it when they’re older and appreciate all the stuff they might’ve missed.
Of course, it was somewhat predictable, like a lot of Disney/Pixar movies; when the movie starts, you see that Lightning (Owen Wilson) is trying to win the grand prize for racing, and you know the movie is going to end with him almost winning the race but sacrificing the glory for a better cause. You also see him learning various tricks from the other cars (how to turn really quickly on unpaved ground, how to drive backwards) and you just know those skills are going to be put to use in the climactic scene. And yet, somehow they still manage to pull it off and make it entertaining, even if it is predictable.
It may not be a home run like “Finding Nemo,” but it’s definitely not a strike-out. It’s worth seeing in theaters.
It’s worth noting that, yes, there is one “Git-r-done” in the movie, which is one too many. It’s also worth noting that this is the first Pixar/Disney movie that has drug references, which alone makes it worth watching if you ask me.
Yeah, one other thing I liked was that while the graphics were beautiful, it wasn’t a blatant showcase for their technical ability. It had some nice water effects, but after I saw them I thought to myself “Wait, I just saw some cool CGI water and didn’t even notice it.” Which means they did their job perfectly. There was also some realistic hair rendering in the form of an afro wig, and a lot of subtle detail that went into the materials; the surface of Lightning himself goes from shiny and polished to dull and dusty, then back to sparkly and shiny. They make it look totally natural, but I think you can appreciate the movie more if you think about all the effort that went into those little details.
Can someone who saw it who, like myself, finds cars to be a completely boring subject matter chime in on how well the movie entertained them? Stuff about cars for me is about as interesting as paint drying… but I do love Pixar, so I’m torn.
Give it about 15-20 minutes, once you’re past the initial jaw-dropping racing footage and into Radiator Springs, you’ll stop seeing the cars as cars, but more as actors, it’s so well done you forget you’re watching CGI animated vehicles
i also loved the Ratzenberger montage at the end …
<Ratzenberger as Mack, watching Cars-ified versions of Pixar films at the drive-in…> “Wait a minute, they’re using the same voice actor for all these characters, what kind of a cheap outtfit is this??”
stay until the very end, as there is a stinger after the credits are done rolling…
This is the first Pixar movie that I found myself thinking that I might enjoy it more if the characters were replaced with humans, which is probably not a good sign. Most of the time I was distracted by the bizarre premise. Who built these cars? Why do they have tongues? How do their eyes work? If no one is driving them, why do they have windows? Why would a car be romantically interested in another car? It’s not like they sexually reproduce. Or do they? How does that work? Throughout the whole movie I felt like there was this wrongness to the universe just hanging in the air and I was just waiting for one of the characters to acknowledge it.
I was glad to see the Pizza Planet truck make an appearance.
I was amazed by all the inside jokes and references. For example, the way they got The Fabulous Hudson Hornet exactly right, using Humpy Wheeler as the voice of Tex, Lynda Petty playing Mrs. The King and Mario Andretti’s character being painted EXACTLY like the Holman-Moody Ford he won Daytona with in 1967.
And Junior looked about as correct as he could be for a kid’s movie.
Not being a car guy, I found it a bit hard to really get past the anthropomorphism this time. I couldn’t really relate as well as I’ve done with past Pixar characters.
Also, it wasn’t as funny as past Pixar films either.
But aside from that, it’s pretty as all get out, and a fun ride. And still a hundred times better than almost any other animated film being made these days. I saw a trailer for something about Red Riding Hood being turned into a murder mystery, a new kiddy-aimed CG film, and it doesn’t hold a candle up to Pixar. Or even Shrek. Sad. (Hmm, maybe not so new, after all)
Sorry, that was an overly subtle geek reference. The other thread seemed old enough that I didn’t think it wise to ressurect it. ^h is the caracter seen in older unix systems when someone backspaces over something and keeps typing. So, trying to tie in with an older thread + unix joke = SOMEBODY’S not going to catch the reference.
As far as sexually attracted anthropomorphic cars with eyes in the wrong place, I guess my suspension of disbelief Kung Fu is stronger than some of the other boardmembers, as it didn’t bother me…any more so than a Coyote can buy items from the ACME catalog and hang suspended in mid-air before surviving a hellacious plummet to the desert floor, leaving a perfectly coyote shaped hole in the ground.
From a genre standpoint, there’s Pixar, and then there’s everybody else. Their movies just have so much more detail than anything anyone else makes. If you pick ANY frame from Shrek, Ice Age, Chicken Little, and <insert Pixar movie here>, you’ll find two things from Pixar: a much MUCH better attention to detail and a much much better story.
This stuff started out being about computers drawing pictures. Any other group of people creating this stuff would have jumped the shark at movie #3, expecting the CG to carry the movie. But Pixar guys can spin a good story too, THAT’S what keeps their movies enjoyable.