June 12, 2006 | 17 comments

I can recommend Pixar’s Cars. The beginning short was fantastic and the movie was very good, falling just short of the mark reached by The Incredibles and Toy Story II. But the best part was the epilogue, which contained a very funny and moving tribute to a Pixar man who died in a car wreck. R.I.P.

Data point for parents: our two-year old, who hardly watches movies and TV, and so isn’t very desensitized to noise and spectacle at all, was able to sit through the movie without any problems, though she required some lapsitting during the noisy car race scenes. On the other hand, she lost interest about 2/3s of the way through.

Cross-posted at M*.

17 Responses to Cars

  1. Dallas Robbins on June 12, 2006 at 8:16 am

    I can second that recommendation. About a 40 minutes into the film, I was a little unsure if this had the Pixar “magic,” but the rest of the film exceeded my expectations. I thought Paul Newman was the highlight. And with every other Pixar film, this has made a 35 year old grown man hold back the tears, while laughing my butt off. It just makes a person happy.

  2. Dan on June 12, 2006 at 10:11 am

    Cars was good, but not Pixar’s best. That said, it is probably still the best thing out there today, for a quality entertaining show for the family. I also think Pixar’s best are still The Incredibles and Toy Story II.

  3. Chance on June 12, 2006 at 11:14 am

    Have not watched it yet as They need to work on an Incredibles II.

    That being said I took my 5 y/o and 2 y/o to the opening of The Omen last Tuesday for a little lesson on Revelations (we would have gone Monday for FHE, but of course that was 6/5). Good times were had by all, and no lap sitting was required as they were lying beneath the seats trembling for most of the flick, meanwhile dad was holding back the tears from laughing so hard at that little troublemaker Damien.

  4. Ryan on June 12, 2006 at 11:56 am

    Chance –

    I don’t know what the purpose of that comment was.. but I have this to say:


    I almost laughed a Kellogg’s cereal bar out of my nose.

  5. Chance on June 12, 2006 at 1:01 pm

    It was early Ryan…and I apologize for blatant grammatical mistakes.

    Though I have yet to see it, I’ve heard Adam’s words echoed by family and friends. Movie is entertaining with the usual mix of kiddie and adult humor, but the kids lose it and start eating popcorn and random candy off the theaters floor about 2/3 of the way through.

    Not to hijack the thread, but I’m fearful for Pixar’s future. As a result of the Disney merger, John Lasseter (the genius behind Pixar) has changed positions and now has a great deal more responsibility that I am sure will pull him away from movie making business. Only time will tell I guess…

  6. Jett on June 12, 2006 at 1:34 pm

    A few Pixar thoughts:

    1. Pixar\’s tribute to Joe Ranft got to me. He was their top story guy for years as well as doing a few of their throwaway voices…the most visible being Heimlich the caterpillar from A Bugs Life. Ironically he died in a car accident a year or so ago. Very classy to pay tribute to him.

    2. You may remember that \”Finding Nemo\” was dedicated to animator Glen McQueen…and later they named \”Lightning McQueen\” after him.

    3. As for Lasseter… one of the aspects of his genius is grooming others up… yes, he\’ll be spread thinner but Pixar has an enormous brain trust that doesn\’t rely JUST on him. Andrew Stanton … Brad Bird anyone?

    I had quibbles with the story of Cars…but it was a fun ride (ha ha) and a visual feast.

    I am amused at myself that it is an animation/Pixar thread that causes me to finally delurk in the bloggernacle.

  7. DKL on June 12, 2006 at 6:26 pm

    For those of you interested in both cars and experimental music, you should lend an ear to Charles Amirkhanian’s “Church Car” from his 1985 album, “Mental Radio.” The song is available online here (for free). Listen to the entire thing. It’s not the kind of thing you listen to in traffic. In fact, it’s kinda’ strange in a preposterously post-Schönberg kind of way. But if you listen to it all, you’ll start to find it to be kind of catchy. (If you’re interested in the rest of the album, which is intermittently interesting, it’s available here.)

  8. Adam Greenwood on June 12, 2006 at 6:35 pm

    “You may remember that \â€?Finding Nemo\â€? was dedicated to animator Glen McQueen…and later they named \â€?Lightning McQueen\â€? after him.”

    I enjoy that.

  9. Ben H on June 12, 2006 at 6:35 pm

    My face was still sore from laughing, a good two hours after the show ended! Mercifully, my cheeks didn’t actually start cramping until the credits, with the parodies of previous Pixar films. Not as masterful as The Incredibles (particularly because the characters and relationships weren’t as complex), but definitely worthy of Pixar.

  10. Daniel on June 12, 2006 at 9:04 pm

    I don’t see any indication yet of Pixar losing its talent. I think if they start getting too formulaic in their stories, that’s when we need to worry. The strength of Pixar is not, interestingly, in its marvelous use of computer animation, but that its stories are so well thought out and executed. Disney fell into a trap after Aladdin in 1992. The Lion King, while a big hit, was no different, story wise, than Aladdin was. The rest followed suit under the same structural formula, and we all lost interest.

    I hope to see more Brad Bird stories in the future (I’m sure we will as The Incredibles was super).

  11. Heather Oman on June 12, 2006 at 9:43 pm

    We just went and saw Cars today. We thought it was a little long, and Jacob definitely lost interest 2/3 of the way through. Instead of licking up candy off the floor, however, he started doing a little gymnastics down there, and bonked his head so hard he started screaming and we had to leave right at the climax of the last race. We crept back in to watch the funny credits, as I had heard they were worth it, but completely missed the tribute after that. I did really like the film, though. Much better than Over the Hedge. Maybe not quite as good as the Incredibles, but still a movie I will buy when it comes out on DVD.

  12. Rosalynde Welch on June 12, 2006 at 10:40 pm

    We took in the matinee this afternoon, too, and enjoyed it very much. Good solid storytelling—nothing will ever top Buzz Lightyear’s existential crisis, but Lightning’s story afforded some clever observation on celebrity and nostalgia and what gives a place soul. I enjoyed the Southwest settings—a melange of Southern Utah and New Mexico—particularly the geology’s echoing the shapes of the fins and hoods of cars, lovely and very clever. I didn’t love the country music montage—I miss Randy Newman’s brilliant songwriting and performances in other Pixar flicks—but John Mayer’s cover of “Route 66″ was enjoyable. I thought Owen Wilson and Paul Newman were very good as voices.

  13. WillF on June 13, 2006 at 11:26 am

    Heather (#11), do you have any good family-friendly drive-ins nearby? We have a two-year old and have found that drive-ins work out much better than indoor theaters. They are still pretty popular where we live in the Midwest.

    Hey, there’s a thought… Maybe we could have drive-in sacrament meetings.

  14. WillF on June 13, 2006 at 11:27 am

    I mean, it worked for King Benjamin didn’t it?

  15. John Taber on June 13, 2006 at 1:45 pm

    Just don’t put the deacons passing the sacrament on roller skates.

  16. a random John on June 13, 2006 at 3:32 pm


    I thought you had deep philosophical problems with The Incredibles. Certainly there is some sinister threat to all that is good and holy contained in Cars…

  17. Seth R. on June 13, 2006 at 10:23 pm

    Yeah, but how can we tie this into the Bush administration? That’s the real burning question.


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