1 hr. 54 min.
How many ways can you say “fantastic”? Cars is a superb animation film. Cars is a great comedy film. Cars is beautifully drawn. Cars is shiny, new, colorful and one of the best animation movies that has been produced since Toy Story.
Here’s the story bullet from the Cars website: Lightning McQueen, a hotshot rookie race car driven to succeed, discovers that life is about the journey, not the finish line, when he finds himself unexpectedly detoured in the sleepy Route 66 town of Radiator Springs. On route across the country to the big Piston Cup Championship in California to compete against two seasoned pros, McQueen gets to know the town’s offbeat characters–including Sally, a snazzy 2002 Porsche, Doc Hudson, a 1951 Hudson Hornet with a mysterious past, and Mater, a rusty but trusty tow truck, who help him realize that there are more important things than trophies, fame and sponsorship.
Ya you’ve seen the story before in dozen different formats but you won’t regret seeing it again in this Disney Pixar animated film that is destined to become a classic. There are some cool features to the story – the Hudson Hornet built on the Super Six chassis (with ad dual carb inline six 308 cubic inch engine) dominated stock car in the early 50’s when NASCAR racers actually raced stock (off the lot) cars. It’s would seem likely that Paul Newman – a gifted race car driver – probably would have appreciated voicing the character of Doc Hudson if only for that reason.
The voice talent in Cars is deep and gifted. Dan Whitney (Larry the Cable Guy)as the voice of Mater was great casting to begin with and Whitney does exceptional work with the script. Owen Wilson is great as always as Lightning McQueen as is Bonnie Hunt as Sally Carrera. The surprise voices are the likes of Tony and Emmy award nominee Tony Shalhoub as Luigi, Second City alumni Michael Keaton as Chick Hicks and the great Richard Petty as The King are all strokes of casting brilliance and carry their roles to perfection.
The beauty of Cars is that all the great art, the amazing depth of field, the superb soundtrack, great direction and talented voice work is all unnoticeable after the first five minute into the movie which is how it should be.