I really enjoyed Disney/Pixar’s latest offering. Cars is, of course, marketed as a kid’s movie and when one of my roommates and I went to go see it, the place was overrun with rugrats. This was actually not that bad as he and I could have a full-blown conversation in the middle of the movie without really being out of place!
Anyone who knows anything about Pixar knows that they are the absolute best in terms of rendering almost life-like three-dimensional images on screen. Cars is no exception. The movie looks phenomenal, literally. From Lightning’s (Owen Wilson) flashy shine to Doc’s (Paul Newman’s) rebuffed exterior towards the end of the movie, the designers did a masterful job of putting together a tremendous looking piece of work. And the landscapes are awe-inspiring, albeit digitally rendered.
While I highly recommend this movie and I will probably go back to see it if I can catch a $5 matinee somewhere, I did have one major problem with the core of the story. I don’t think I’m giving anything away by saying that Owen Wilson’s character winds up in extremely small-town America which consists of one-street’s worth of a previously bustling tourist area. Well, the “story” is that with the creation of the interstate, Route 66 (the home of Radiator Springs, the dead tourist town) is not used too much any longer. The implication? The mini-tourist towns along Route 66 are decimated by people buzzing by on the highway instead of passing through their tourism-fueled towns.
Sad and true story.
But something just rubbed me the wrong way about the Disney Corporation making a movie that pretty much scolds the public for neglecting Middle American tourist spots. Isn’t this the same company that all but killed the Heartland tourism industry by putting two mega popular theme parks in Florida and California? And weren’t highways built, in part, to facilitate mass transportation to and from these places? I also think that it’s quite ironic that people will take these highways and continue to pass these small former tourist areas in order to go to these theme parks so they can see rides and attractions about this movie…
And as far as complaining about the fast-paced lives of today, I have a problem with the company who owns ESPN bitching about this. Let’s not forget that ESPN just introduced their own mobile phone brand that gives you even more sports-on-demand options than the standard mobile phone sports service… because sometimes you JUST have to know what your favorite baseball player’s batting average was when he was in high school…
Those points aside, I thought the movie was great. The graphics rocked, the story was good, and the plot moved along well. The actors all did a great job with their voiceovers and I highly suggest going to see this movie – especially if you have rugrats that you need to entertain!