Home | Reviews | Exclusive Writings | Great Links | Miscellaneous | FAQ | Contact Us

Cars /

Rated: G

Starring the Voice Talents of: Owen Wilson, Bonnie Hunt, Paul Newman, Larry the Cable Guy, Cheech Marin

Directed by: John Lasseter, Joe Ranft

Produced by: Darla Anderson, Thomas Porter

Written by: Dan Fogelman, John Lasseter, Joe Ranft, Kiel Murray, Phil Loren, Jorgen Klubien

Distributor: Buena Vista Pictures Distribution


Sally (voiced by Bonnie Hunt ) and Lightning McQueen (voiced by Owen Wilson ) in Disney's presentation of Pixar's Cars
Doc Hudson (voiced by Paul Newman ) in Disney's presentation of Pixar's Cars
The big race in Disney's presentation of Pixar's Cars

      For irrational reasons, I always find myself dreading each coming Pixar Production before it is released. Despite the fact that the now-Disney-owned studio has never made a worse-than-average movie, the stories that its animators choose to bring to life always seem highly bizarre to me. Seriously: in Cars’ case, personified cars watching car races between other personified cars? There’s certainly something weird about the general idea behind the movie’s premise. Still, I can’t help but think that perhaps the brilliance of Pixar films lies within this very absurd quality. Because watching talking cars—or even toys, in Toy Story’s case—seems so abstract to viewers, they are able to accept its alternate-reality in a stunningly human way. In essence, doing away with the entire idea of contrivance by removing a real-world feel from the story, audiences don’t need to believe in what is happening onscreen to be able to be affected by it.

     Under such a genuinely Pixar-premise, Cars is able to offer something for each member of the family, whether it be in the form of a moral-lesson or sheer entertainment. It tells the story of Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson), a hot-headed racecar who is on his way to winning the prized Piston Cup without a care in the world for anyone but himself and his potential wealthy-sponsor. However, Lightning begins to come to terms with his selfish personality, of course, when he is accidentally detached from the trailer towing him to the Piston Cup and finds himself in trouble with the law for speeding through a middle-of-nowhere town, Radiator Springs, while trying to find his ride. Due to his offense, Lightning is sentenced to community service for several days there, during which time he learns the importance of friendship and valor.

     Okay, yeah, I know what you’re thinking: the set-up makes Cars sound like just another average-schmaverage, cheesy animated movie that only young children will be able to enjoy. But, you, my friend, have thought preemptively. The folks at Pixar wouldn’t allow such to happen; the movie, despite perhaps carrying unoriginal themes, is both humorous and captivating. The voice-cast—which includes Wilson, Paul Newman, Bonnie Hunt, Larry the Cable Guy, and Cheech Marin—hits all the right comedic and emotional notes in bringing the script to life. And the animation itself is totally breathtaking, as one might come to expect out of a Pixar film. This is especially true when the Point-of-View shifts to that of one of the cars, capturing the gorgeous scenery of Old Route 66. As I watched Cars, I found myself totally caught up in its story, never once stepping outside of the moment to think of how silly the idea of a world made up entirely of cars actually is. Despite whatever reservations I may have had going into it, this film is undeniably a winner.

-Danny, Bucket Reviews (7.4.2006)

Back to Home
The Bucket Review's Rating Scale