Posted by: Nathan | July 6, 2006


J and I went and saw Disney/Pixar’s latest production Cars a while back, and it was good but not great. As always, what Pixar does best is tell a story, and the narrative in this one is solid. Lightning McQueen, the famous racecar, gets lost and finds himself in Radiator Springs where he learns a lot about life and himself, etc.

Before going, I was most concerned about actually caring about the characters. It’s always been easy to like characters in past Pixar films, but I wasn’t sure I could really invest myself in cars. Fortunately, the Pixar folks made the cars enough like people that I did develop somewhat of an attachment to the characters, but it wasn’t the same as a Toy Story or Nemo situation. I guess I just don’t have a natural proclivity toward car-love.

Once again, some famous folk were willing to provide the voices for the characters. Owen Wilson was a darn good McQueen, though I had a bit of trouble attaching his voice to the car he was portraying. Much better were Larry the Cable Guy* as Tow Mater, Bonnie Hunt as Sally, and Paul Newman as Doc Hudson. Really, Mater aside, the side characters provided the bulk of the laughs, especially the Italian cars (Guido and Luigi) who own the tire store. I liked them best.

It was a fun movie, though again, not as good as either Toy Story, Nemo, or Monsters, Inc., but if you love NASCAR**, fixing cars, or are a little boy, this movie is for you. If you don’t belong it any of these groups of people, see it anyway. It’s fun. I give it 7.4/10 and a B.

*I hope this isn’t his real name.
**NOT a sport.

Picture: Luigi and his shop.


  1. Larry the Cable Guy is the stage name of commedian Daniel Whitney. I’m both proud and ashamed to know that. I enjoyed most of his part, to be honest, and gave up many laughs for Mater. Can you honestly tell me that you never once felt badly for him as he grew attached to the unreliable McQueen as his first and only “best friend”?

    Don’t forget that Tony Shalhoub, most recognizable as the excentric star of USA Network’s series Monk played the lovable Luigi.

    I don’t love Nascar, although I think it’s more of a sport than bobsledding, equestrianism, or golf (yes, I said golf and I meant it wholeheartedly). I also don’t like fixing cars, but I loved this movie…so perhaps I’m more of a little boy than I thought. I hope my kids end up loving this movie so I can watch it many more times.

  2. Okay, well, a ripping rebuttal of my review. I really did like it; I didn’t mean it to sound like I didn’t. And yes, I did feel bad for Mater.

  3. I really did enjoy the review. I’m not sure why I took such a dull tone in my response, but I meant for it to be a pleasant appendix (and was poorly unsuccessful). Your opinions on the flick are expressed (as are your other reviews) beter than the rest, and I’ve already forwarded the link to some associates. Keep ’em coming!

  4. Thanks for the review, I am looking forward to seeing it soon… And by soon I mean two years from now when I see at the video store and realize that I wanted to see it two years prior.

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