Cars - Pole Position
| I knew it couldnít last forever. I have loved each Pixar film more than the last but I knew eventually one would come along that didnít surpass its predecessor. Cars is that film.
Letís put this into perspective. Cars is a good film. However, The Incredibles is a masterful film and while Cars is very good itís just not The Incredibles. Itís not even Finding Nemo. However, itís still head and shoulders, or should I say pillars and sunroofs above most animated fare out there.
Cars, like the other Pixar films, doesnít fall into the trap most animated films of the 21st Century do. It doesnít get stuck in topical, throw away humour between interchangeable pop songs and overhyped celebrity voices. Pixar instead focuses on character, selecting voice actors with the right voice to tell the story not to sell tickets. The stories have a timeless feel that has been missing from big budget animation since Disneyís heyday. Also, the animation is top notch.
Cars employs the standard Pixar formula, good writing, character driven plots, moral lesson that avoids being cheesy, and even a Randy Newman song. Maybe this is where Cars looses some of the momentum the studio had been building for the past few years. Cars feels a little too much like we have seen it before.
Before the film, they showed a trailer for Ratatouille, the next Pixar film, and one could see more innovation in the few minutes of preview than existed in all of Cars. Pixar still have great stuff coming but Cars is just good.
Having said that, like all Pixar product Cars is worth checking out on the big screen. The animation is breathtaking (although Pixar often falls on the too-perfect side with its animation). There is a nostalgic beauty to the piece. Fans of Disneyís short Suzy the Little Blue Coup will see the inspiration of that film in every frame.
There is more to enjoy as well. The short One Man Band, shown before the film, is a treat. Stick around through the credits. This is far more worth holding off on the bathroom break for than what X3 delivered post-credits.
My only other complaint is that these guys cast the brilliant Bonnie Hunt and didnít give her one funny line. If you are going for talent over marquee names at least give the talent something to do.