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“Cars 2” talkback

Variety loved it. Maltin hated it. What did you think?

Me? I set the bar pretty low and wasn’t as disappointed as I thought I’d be. On the plus side, this is one slick piece of family entertainment, with visual opulence to spare. Great action sequences and yeah, even a few laughs. On the downside, the story (Pixar’s usual strong suit) was surprisingly cliche. For this film, you have to buy into the world of “Cars” or you might as well go home. There isn’t the emotional pull of the previous several Pixar blockbusters, and no relatable characters – just regional stereotypes (and several annoying ones at that). Oh, and be sure to understand that this is a “Mater” Movie. He’s the star, not Lightning McQueen.

The spy stuff is fun, but I couldn’t help wondering if this story would’ve been more fun if it were enacted by human characters. My biggest disappointment: Cars 2 feels like the first Pixar picture aimed at children exclusively. Before, audiences were delighted that a Pixar family film could be so sophisticated. Here, Pixar’s made a children’s film first, with numerous references to things children won’t understand.

There’s an old Hollywood saying I just made up: “When in doubt have a character fall into a tub of shit”. Nice to see Pixar include such a scene here. Here’s my prediction: this film will get Pixar’s poorest critical reception, and it’ll be Pixar’s all-time biggest moneymaker.

So, is it the “Best Cars movie Ever?” or has Cars run out of gas? Now it’s your turn. As with all of our other talkbacks, please comment only if you’ve seen the film.

  • Kamron

    I have to agree that the story is lacking and cliche. Something pulled from a multitude of spy films and crammed under the hood and expected to run, but in the films defense I don’t feel like this movie is as big a flop as critics are making it out to be. The point of a movie is to entertain, and for my money I was entertained. Honestly I can’t shake the feeling that a lot of the bad press on this movie and for the previous cars is due to an dislike of Larry the Cable Guy. More Mater lower score?

  • showplease

    [Comment removed by editors. This talkback thread is for those who have seen the film.]

    • tom

      [Comment removed by editors. This talkback thread is for those who have seen the film.]

    • KyleB

      Roger Ebert also loved Space Chimps, giving it 3 stars.
      Using top critics to inform your own opinions is great! Using them as some kind of weird be-all end-all and saying you must always agree with them is a fallacy.

      Entertainment is subjective.

    • Oh, cool! In other words, Cars 2 is actually better than Toy Story 3! Roger Ebert syas it so it must be true.

  • Francesco

    I’ve made a post on my blog yesterday after seeing the movie, and I said almost exactly the same things. That means the movie is pretty flat and we all understand what Pixar has done here. So, now, no more excuses: Pixar has been rotten by merging with Disney.
    Anyway, I loved Cars and the Cars franchise, and from Cars 2 I was expecting much worse than this, so I’m quite satisfied by this new sequel. But I don’t know if I can stand other sequels and franchise spoiling without reconsidering my opinion about Pixar moviemaking.

    • [Comment removed by editors. This talkback thread is for those who have seen the film.]

    • Claudia

      “Pixar has been rotten by merging with Disney.”
      If that is true, then how is that Toy Story 3 was so awesome? Or Up? Or WALL-E?

      Also, isn’t John Lasseter the chief of the animation department of both companies?

      But nice try, though.

      • Up and Wall-E were in production independently before the merger, while Toy Story 3 plot ideas were mainly leftover from treatments of the earlier films.

      • Francesco

        I said what I said exactly because I consider the second half of WALL-E and the entirety of Up something totally incomparable with the rest of Pixar productions, something childish as Cars 2.
        The purpose of the merging was that Pixar should have helped Disney, and that’s why Lasseter is creative chief of both studios. Instead I believe that since the merging Lasseter has been indipendent no more in his creative choices.
        Toy Story 3 is awesome, I agree with that. I suppose this is due to the strength of the cast of characters so finely and lovely built in the first two movies, which were already “Disney-proof” :P
        Anyway I enjoyed Cars 2 too. But, you know, it’s the second sequel in two years, after fifteen years with only ONE sequel. Tell me how Disney’s hand is not behind that.

      • I think Disney is responsible for the sequels, but not in the way you’d think. Before the merger, there was a big legal dispute as to whether Toy Story 2 counted towards PIXAR’s 3 movie deal with Disney. Disney argued that since it was a sequel, it didn’t count as a new film and didn’t go towards PIXAR’s contract. As a result, PIXAR didn’t make sequels while under contract with Disney, as they didn’t want to get into any more disputes. Now that they’re the same company, PIXAR is making up for lost time by making sequels to many of its hit films of the past 15 years.

  • Oliver

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    • George

      Engine sludge?

      • swac

        From a B-M W?

  • Klyph

    My favorite part was when Mater said: ‘Is the Pope-mobile catholic?’ Insinuating that in the Cars universe there was a Cars Jesus.

    • Sardonic Tuba

      Jesus H. Chrysler, to be specific.

      • Mark R.

        DadGum! that’s funny!!!!!!

      • 2011 Adult

        Boy, a’ tell yoo wut, I don’t care WHO ya are, that’s funneh ra’ght thur!

  • Fred

    I saw at the Disney family screening and wow. As much as I wanted to like it, it makes it awfully hard to do so. I guess JL is a bit out of touch with movie-making and perhaps we all mistook him for the Pixar genius when it might have been Pete Docter and Andrew Stanton. It sad to see him do to Pixar what he ended up doing to disney. Sad to see their streak of great movies end here. Then again I’m sure it will make buckets of cash and maybe thats all that matters to JL these days.

    • Justin

      “It sad to see him do to Pixar what he ended up doing to disney.”

      You mean make their movies progressively better and better?

      I completely agree with Jerry. It was a fun, entertaining movie but was nothing to write home about. I don’t think it deserves the critical drubbing it is receiving because I still enjoyed watching the movie. It just isn’t a timeless classic like Pixar’s previous movies.

      • Fred

        JL has been “meddling” with disney for some time and hasn’t gotten his due for Meet the Robinsons, Bolt, & Princess and the Frog(that one he pretty claimed all credit for at the wrap party). Tangled in some ways lucked out when the eye of Sauron swung northward as Cars 2 spiraled out of control.

  • Got back from seeing it.
    Well, it’s not the worst thing I ever watched, but this is definitely not Pixar’s best, not even close. It is more fun than the first Cars movie, I’ll give it that. In fact, I could say it was fun, but I was not sitting at the edge of my seat with anticipation as much as I did for Toy Story 3.
    Speaking of which, that Toy Story short was great!
    I’m also disappointed we didn’t see a teaser for Brave.

    • Jane

      The Brave teaser was only playing with the 3D showing.

  • dbenson

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  • ovi

    i saw a special screening yesterday of cars 2 and they showed a teaser trailer for BRAVE. looks AWESOME.

    cant wait.

    as far as cars 2 goes, it was better than i thought it would be, but i wasnt expecting much either. i saw it for free, so i cant complain.

  • daniel

    You have to go into this film without any pre-requisites of any past pixar film. If you can forget the past emotionality of pixar films then this is a great film. Cars 2 is a film not to make you cry, but a film in which the viewer will have fun.

  • akira

    the cool stuff in this movie wasn’t as cool as the cool stuff in speed racer. a movie further cementing the fact that JL is a ho, who deserved to be canned by the mouse so many years ago. i’m glad he wasn’t around to mess up the ashman era of disney features.

    • Lakuna

      I prefer speed racer, was much more fun with the races and a more understandable story for kids!

  • burkiss

    [Comment removed by editors. This talkback thread is for those who have seen the film.]

    • burkiss

      I have seen the movie.

      • The Brewmasters

        It certainly wasn’t evident from your comment. The talkbacks are for people who want to specifically address what they saw — either individual elements of a film or a more in-depth review. Yours did neither.

      • burkiss

        Cars 2 is a major disappointment on many fronts. Although the animation, production design and effects are beautiful, in the wake of Speed Racer and heavily animated live-action effects movies they don’t feel particularly new. Cars 2 lacks the very elements that make Pixar movies so compelling. The storytelling is weak and there is little there emotionally. It also isn’t very funny. Although the younger members of the audience I saw it with seemed to enjoy the movie they didn’t laugh much. I hope this is simply a misstep for the studio. It feels like a cash grab and Pixar run the risk of losing a lot of the (well earned) goodwill that audiences grant them. I hold out hope that Brave is a pixaresque Pixar movie.

        I wonder if we’ll still have to listen to John L. smugly preaching story and character after this?

  • John

    The only way Pixar will be loved by critics anymore is if they continue filling their films with emotionally mature themes and emotions. I for one have loved Pixar for the fun and inventiveness of their films! The last two films have been way to serious for me in and emotionally mature in nature. I think Pixar has been playing to the critics and the high tah dos of Hollywood to gain their praises. So I applaud Pixar for going back to the fun way of making films again like they have done with Cars 2.

  • I fell asleep during this movie. This has never happened to me before in a theater. The children whom I was nannying politely said they liked it, but haven’t said a word about it since they walked out of the theater.

  • I saw it this morning, in 3D. The highlight of the show was the Toy Story short at the beginning. We get to see all the gang happy and safe in their new home and still having fun and that’s good to see.

    I don’t have the same attachment to the Cars characters so returning to them here wasn’t as big a deal as Toy Story 3 was. Certainly there’s nothing as dramatic in “Cars 2” as in “Toy Story 3”.

    But it’s a fast-paced movie, dazzling in many ways that a live action movie just can’t match and of course, excellently executed in every detail. The talking car premise wears thin by the end, there may not be enough “there” in a car body, no matter how fabulously animated, to keep us believeing in the characters.

    Pixar’s power seems to be to take an iffy concept and make a very presentable movie none-the-less. They’ll make a million with it, I’m sure.

    I have no idea what it was about; some sort of worldwide conspiracy involving alternate fuels.

    Also got to see a few minutes of “Lion King” converted to 3D. It looks well done, the characters don’t look like flat cards, but it seems to make the “line boil” around the edges quite noticeable.

  • Jesse

    Sadly, I found myself checking my watch halfway through the film.

    However, after several conversations with colleagues involved with production, it seems the original version was a complete disaster. That’s why JL came in, took control of the project, and overhauled (no pun intended) as much of the story as he and the crew could in their limited time schedule. So, what we have here is a patch-job film that’s not altogether bad considering the circumstances.

    Kudos to the crew for busting their ass to pump this out! The designs, layout, and animation are fantastic. It’s just the story that a bit flawed.

    Nevertheless, I’m sorry to say I’d have to give it, at best, a B-.

    • B.Bonny

      I thought the script wasn’t polished enough – but glad to hear Lasseter wasn’t the culprit – but the doctor who tried to save the patient. I suppose instead of delaying it X years to get it right ala Tangled, they were under the gun to deliver something.

      On the plus side, the kids liked it and laughed quite a bit at the Japan jokes.

  • But I LOVED Toy Story 3

    With Cars 2, John Lassester has succeeded in creating the film version of one of his hallowed Hawaiian shirts:
    It’s loudly colored, haphazardly designed, fits right into the Wal-Mart aesthetic, and will NEVER be a part of my collection.

    • But I LOVED Toy Story 3 too


  • I just got back from it, and…it was decent. Not godawful, not fantastic, just decent. Is it better than Cars? Yeah. Is it up to Pixar’s usual standards? I wouoldn’t say so

    The plot was fairly linear and it didn’t captivate me very much – I could tell who the ultimate mastermind was from a mile away. The jokes weren’t much better, as they were either toilet humor or just dull. I may have only laughed a few times throughout the whole thing. Hell, I got more laughs from the Toy Story short that preceded the movie! Kind of a let down really.

    That being said, it’s still relatively entertaining. The action scenes are well done and the animation is better than ever. Too bad the story didn’t compensate for it this time around. If you liked the first Cars, you’ll probably like the sequel even more. But if you’re expecting Pixar’s usual standard of quality, don’t get your hopes up too high.

    (Oh and for the record, my 11 year old brother said it was “mediocre” and “cliche”, and that’s probably the demographic this movie was aimed at.)

  • Isaac Nelson

    I got a kick out of the car with headlight eyes in the black market scene. If that isn’t enough to convince you that their decision to put the eyes in the windshield was sound, I don’t know what is.

  • Captain Hollywood

    Just saw the movie, and it totally underwhelmed me. One thing Pixar has excelled at is making you care for it’s characters and in this movie it just isn’t happening. It’s loud and bright and pretty to look at, but ultimately it’s soulless. And my goodness to you really have to turn your brain completely off to accept that “world”. I thought that was one of Lasseter’s big mottos- “A believable world”. He failed himself. Cars will make a lot of money this weekend, but unlike the majority of the other movies in the Pixar library, this one is completely forgettable.

  • Fred

    Just another thing to think about. This film as the same rotten tomatoes rating as Shark Tale. That has to say something.

    • JD

      Nowhere near as bad as Shark Tale.

      But you replace fish with cars and voila! Cars 3 right there.

  • Pedro Nakama

    I’m upset they still left out the Munster mobile and Dragula.

  • MrGray

    The detailing was the best they have had so far.

    Extremely intricate.

    I felt the rhythm of the movie wasn’t correct.

    But all in all, great popcorn movie.

    Who’s not going to want to watch this again sitting at home with some friends and pizza?!

  • Jbote

    Saw “Cars 2” this morning in regular 2D digital. I thought it was very well done as a piece of entertainment….which is pretty much what I expected it to be. I did not expect to see “Toy Story 3” or “Up” or “Finding Nemo”. If that’s what you were expecting, you went to see the wrong movie. This is just a sequel to “Cars” after all.

    What is there is a lot of fun, nice action sequences, beautifully rendered backgrounds, good voice work by all (especially Michael Caine), nice nod at the beginning to Paul Newman’s character from the previous film, some laughs and in jokes along the way. And the animation, as always, is simply amazing all the way through.

    I suppose this is just a nice set up for critics to cry that at last Pixar has failed, and the piling on has already begun, but what were your expectations? They’re talking cars for god’s sake. You’re not going to make “War and Peace” out of that.

    Anyway, I had a good time. My son, 14 turned to me just as the end credits began to run and said “Wow, that was a quick movie”. He thoroughly enjoyed it.

    The “Toy Story” short was funny and sweet.

  • The Automobile Industry

    …thanks, Pixar, for trying to brainwash the kiddies into thinking our car culture has a future. Unfortunately, your amazing action sequences and state of the art animation can’t compensate for a lousy storyline.
    Maybe the time has come to ditch the “Cars” franchise. How about we retool? What do you think about trains? Public Transit? Bicycles? Get back to me!

    • I think you could potentially tell a good story with shopping carts. I think they all want to escape from their dreary lives, just being pushed around.

      In regards to Cars 2, I liked it. It’s my least favourite Pixar film, but only because there isn’t quite the emotion and character development we usually expect from them and the message is pretty much hammered in. But I thought the secret agent storyline was well-done, the racing sequences were exciting, I liked the Mater character, I laughed a good number of times and at no point was I bored with it. The universe still doesn’t make a lot of sense to me, but that was a problem I had with the first Cars as well.

    • B.Bonny

      Viva the CARS culture.

    • dbenson

      I found myself thinking how Disney (and others) were churning out love letters to trains even as rail transportation was fading into nostalgia. In fact, the first Cars reads not only as a eulogy to Route 66 but to the whole automotive culture. And the second raises questions about fossil fuels and technological obsolescence (without really answering them, but still).

      The Cars franchise could be Thomas the Tank Engine for a new generation. And the auto-based theme park rides may soon offer the same exotic appeal as the Mississippi riverboat and horse-drawn trolley.

      • The Automobile Industry

        You’re right. It raises questions about fossil fuels, but unfortunately it presents biofuels as the main solution. The real answer, IMHO, is moving away from autos as mass transit. Ka-chow!

  • I liked it! It was fun and silly and didn’t demand to be taken seriously at all. It made me laugh a lot. Will I buy it on DVD? Probably not, but I will probably go see it again in the theaters. Especially because I missed the Brave trailer, or maybe it just wasn’t shown in my theater, but either way it was what I was REALLY excited about and I was terribly disappointed.

  • Andy

    I liked it. Even a mediocre Pixar film is still better than 98% of other studios output. My only real complaint is this is the first one where (to me anyway)they fell into the trap Disney did with “Alice in Wonderland” and the later features (like Jungle Book) where they relied too much on the A list voice cast to make up for weak characters. That’s lazy, and more Dreamwork’s style, although they getting better about it if “HTTYD” is any indication.

    And no, I don’t consider “Larry the Cable Guy” A-list, but he is definitely recognizable, and is 98% of Mater’s personality.

  • Just saw it in 3D, and did NOT see the Brave trailer with it – we got Winnie The Pooh instead, so kinda disappointed on that front. The Toy Story short was cute with a few chuckles here and there, but nothing spectacular.

    I enjoyed it. I enjoy cars and fun action movies, so this was right up my alley. As for people saying it was lacking heart, I’d disagree. It wasn’t the biggest part of the movie, but the close friendship between McQueen and Mater was definitely put to the test.

    Simply put, it was a spy movie all the way…and if you like the James Bond type flicks, this will be a fun adventure for you. Beautiful shots and action sequences and loads of “in-car” jokes for those in the know. I DO think the story might go over the little one’s heads, (there are a few talky parts sprinkled throughout) but overall it’s not so slow that they’d lose attention I don’t think.

    Definitely a 180 in the pace department from the first Cars, but…wasn’t that a major complaint? “Cars” is so boring and slow-paced…so, Pixar has let them thrive in a world of excitement this time around.

    7/10 for me.

    • k

      Fun adventure, beautiful shots, action sequences… yes, yes, and yes

      The overall ride (pardon the pun) was great!
      Story? Meh…

      Story is what separates Pixar from all the other powerhouses, it’s super depressing to see them come out with this. Even the Toy Story short seemed too easy, if you’re reusing characters and scenes at least spend some time with the story and not make it feel like a cut scene or throwaway clip.

      As for Brave, it’s pretty and all (didn’t get anything else from the trailer other than a not so pretty girl riding a horse), but I just don’t see Pixar rebounding with it. *sigh*

  • Bud

    Just got back from seeing the film a second time. Mixed feelings. On it’s own terms, it’s a fun movie, but it works on only one level. A little of Mater goes a LONG way. And I agree with a lot of the reviews that say making Mater the star was a mis-step.

    That said, it was also very frustrating. The opening sequence showed so much promise. But what followed was so mish-mash and bombastic. The “screenplay” was juvenile, and I was often confused as to what was going on. The voices were great, but didn’t have much interesting to say. It’s a plot driven film, with little emotional connection to reality.

    The production values were fantastic. The design, textures, lighting, modelling, articulation, animation, effects, and matte paintings were top notch, as to be expected. The crew who made this should be rightfully proud of their individual contributions.

    I just wished I’d cared.

  • Cars 2 isn’t a terrible movie, but rather just an acceptably mediocre one. It plays like an extended version of the “Mater’s Tall Tales” shorts that pop up on the Disney Channel; unfortunately, the charm leaks away by the time our heroes confront the evil mastermind in London. It would have helped if there had been more of a give and take between McQueen and Mater as there was in the original Cars.

  • oodelally

    the film went back and forth between this soft dreamy look to a good rendered look. the tokyo sequence was a good look but the beginning looked like it still needed workand better lighting. other than that im thinking i may just disavow any existence of this movie. it was a long maters car toon

  • J_Kandefer

    Wow, I never ever thought I would see the day when a Pixar movie would let me down this much. I am not only a Pixar fan but also a collector, I was planning on buying the Blu Ray for Cars 2 even before seeing it, figuring I want the whole collection of Pixar films no matter what. After Seeing it….It will be the first Pixar movie I will not buy.

    To be fair I understood before I saw the movie that it was going to be aimed at the young crowd. I was pretty sure it was going to be my least favorite Pixar film…I really hate the idea of sequels for pixar films. I knew all this but I went in as an animator and animation fan at least hoping to be entertained by Pixar’s art. Of course, the slick animation and design was there, but somehow the story, dialogue, cliche moments, and annoying non-stop action made it hard to appreciate even Pixar’s great work.

    I am so disappointed and mad at Pixar. I am really tolerant an understanding of creative people’s work even if it wasn’t what I expected. I don’t expect movies to be tailor made for me…but this was a huge let down. I miss the time when I could look forward to a new Pixar story every year. Every year we could meet new characters, get involved in there struggles and watch them succeed in such unique ways. I always thought Pixar was bigger than these other studios who push out sequels to stories that have already been told (Shrek, Ice Age). Cars 2 was all about selling merchandise…it is so apparent. This movie was so out of character for Pixar.

    My brightest hope was that I would endure Cars 2 because a great film called “Newt” was going to be released in the future….Another huge disappointment that that film would be replaced by a prequel to Monster’s Inc.By the concept art Newt looked amazing. What a horrible decision. I wish they would have just reworked the story instead of scraping it.

    I used to be able to tell people that everything Pixar does is great…now I can’t do that anymore. Cars 2 will always be a stain on Pixar’s reputation of making quality, original, artistic, and sophisticated animated films.

    I hope this years best animated film goes to Rango. It wasn’t the best animated film I have ever seen, but it was at least an attempt to do something fun, artistic and refreshing. That film was light years beyond Cars 2 and deserves more credit. Pixar I hope you learn from this mess.

    I eagerly look forward to “Brave”, but then we have at least another 2 years after that to get a new story if they even decide to do that. Sorry for this long rant, I LOVE this studio, but it seems they may be slipping into the Disney cash cow trap. I really hoped this wouldn’t happen. I really hope they don’t become like every other studio making mediocre films, sequels, and kiddie movies just for money making reasons…that would be a huge tragedy for the animation world.

  • Not that bad

    I don’t think ‘Cars 2’ is that bad and doesn’t deserve the harsh negative criticism it has been receiving. It was better than what I was expecting and I enjoyed it more than ‘Despicable Me.’ but it is definitely Pixar’s weakest film. I’d put it on par with an average Dreamworks film. Decent but nothing special.

    My biggest issue with the film is that there was too much ‘Mater.’ Kids will probably view him as lovable and silly. But to an adult he’s simply a clown to amuse the children.
    In addition all the characters lacked the personalities from the original film. Everything was just very stereotypical. In addition there was very little character development. Although some of the culture car gags were rather amusing. I laughed out loud on many occasions.
    I really enjoyed the plot. Although it’s been done before, it was delivered fairly well. I was always able to follow what was going on even though it moved at a relatively fast pace. Actually killing cars made the situation more serious as well.

    The short before it was the worst Pixar short I have seen. And it makes me sad that there are supposed to be more of them. But the Trailer for ‘Brave’ made up for it, and I think ‘Brave’ will more than make up for ‘Cars 2’.

    But I think John Lasseter may have suffered from what all great directors eventually experience. When no one questions you because you are you. If you make change or have an idea, noone/few will question you. Just like with George Lucas and the New Star Wars Trilogy. Peter Jackson and his newer films. And Spielberg with The New Indiana Jones Movie.

    • Bud

      Yep. Lasseter apparently had to step in to fix the film after the first guy, Brad Lewis, couldn’t do it. If the final film is what it is, one could only imagine what it WAS!

      • Andy Rose

        How many Pixar features DIDN’T end up having a serious overhaul during production?

  • BT

    I always find myself defending Cars. Most people I know think it’s terrible. I always thought it was Pixar’s weakest but still thought it was enjoyable for its absurd and detailed world of anthropomorphic cars and some stunning technical achievements, plus the skill of the filmmaking, the way the editing mimics sports broadcasts during the racing scenes but slows down to show the quietness and peace of Radiator Springs. I liked the idea of bringing the sequel into a different genre and a larger world, and was very excited for this movie, even though I knew it wouldn’t have the emotional punch of the other recent Pixar movies.

    Unfortunately this is, in my opinion, the first bad Pixar movie. It looks great (one detail I love is the authentically overcast skies in London) and made me laugh a couple times, but it’s like terrible Saturday morning cartoon writing with great production values. I just didn’t care at all about anything that was going on. The car gimmicks aren’t enough to add interest to the generic spy story full of clunky exposition dialogue and constant frenetic but not particularly exciting action. Despite the message of Cars 1 it never takes time to slow down.

    Worst of all the emotional parts about the friendship between Mater and Lightning McQueen are completely forced and phony, worse than similar scenes by the various not-as-good-as-Pixar movies like the Ice Age sequels. It feels fake and has no sense of subtlety, just two idiot characters stating on the nose what the themes are supposed to be. “I need to stand by my friends. I didn’t stand by my friend earlier and I’ll never make that mistake again!” Shut up talking car, you suck.

    To end on a positive note I will say that the 3D added more than it did in the 3D version of Up and Toy Story 3, which looked fine but I just kind of forgot they were 3D after a while. Of course I’d rather have the movie itself be half as good as either of those.

    • PS

      I concur with BT’s comparison of this movie with the original Cars. And I’ll go further: call me crazy but I enjoy the Car Toons DVD as much as my six-year-old does. The shorts are clever and fast-paced.

      Cars 2 is great eye candy and a fine popcorn movie, but the story is just as implausible as the James Bond movies that it riffs on. It’s hard to feel that anything is really at stake for the characters, so it’s instantly forgettable. Too bad it wasn’t funnier.

    • Rini

      I was also a fan of the first Cars. Mostly because I liked the quiet simple story so I wasn’t completely dreading a Cars 2. However after seeing it I have to agree with you that this is a bad movie. I enjoyed the first half, especially the opening action sequence. But the second half seemed like a total mess. I couldn’t follow the storyline and found myself getting bored and hoping it would end soon.

  • I saw it today and loved it! I also loved the Toy Story Short. I’m glad that we have another one coming this holiday season.

  • hash

    “There’s an old Hollywood saying I just made up”

    That caught me off guard and made me laugh like crazy. Kudos Jerry

  • Mark Sheldon

    The story was flawed and the characters didn’t progress at all. Wouldn’t have been more interesting if Mater found he HAD to grow up a little?

    But even the animation wasn’t up to Pixars normal level. That wassabi scene had potential for some real comic acting. Instead it took the most obvious dull route available. Twice.

    • Just curious about your comment on the flawed storyline. What did you find flawed about it?

  • Regardless of how “Cars 2” does at the international box office (or in toy sales), here’s an inescapable fact: It has now set the record as the lowest-reviewed Pixar film by critics, ever. No idea how (or even if) that will affect its box-office pull or not. After all, “Kung Fu Panda 2” received much higher reviews than “The Hangover 2” *shudder*. But this much I can tell you: This is not gonna be another “easy” Pixar Oscar for Best Animated Feature next year, at all. From what I have seen so far, the contenders are “Kung Fu Panda 2” and “Rango”.

    • [Comment removed by editors. This talkback thread is for those who have seen the film.]

  • Anthony D.

    Well, I won’t lie, it wasn’t definitely the best, but definetly not the worst. I don’t think Pixar was trying to make this film a hit like Toy Story 3. I think they made it just for fun, something for kids and there’s nothing worng with that. Look, not every film is going to be a hit, though some films do have a cult and fan following later on. So was Cars 2 bad? Not really. I say watch it a few times if you want and maybe it’ll grow on you. And besides, I didn’t care so much for Ratatouille either (so it’s not the first time). Overall, I give the film a B+ and the film a recommedation.

    • k

      Ratatouille is still my favorite Pixar film.

  • Gray64

    I found the film entertaining, but was disappointed. The first was perhaps my least favorite of the Pixar films, but it had definite themes in it, a palpable regret for the loss of the “Route 66” style of late ’50’s life. Cars 2 feels like a sequel in the worst tradition of sequels, something drummed up to make use of familiar characters and provide marketing opportunites. The the Toy Story movies perpetuated their themes, and had an overall arc even though the original was not conceived of as a series, but you get the sense from Cars 2 that someone just said “lets make Mater a spy!” and went from there. Again, it’s still a decent film, just not up to what I feel are Pixar’s usual standards.

  • Matt Sullivan

    I just saw it. And it was nowhere near the train wreck I expected. I thought it was quite good. I was entertained. No, not Pixar’s usual brilliance, but good all the same. Looked great too.

  • I went in thinking I would HATE it, but I ended up saying to the person I saw it with, “I agree with most of the critics that it’s lacking any real depth and had an honest to gad bad story. But I do like ‘Mater, even if I don’t like Larry the Cable Guy, and it was incredibly beautiful. Mixed messages be dern’d, I give it a B-.”

  • Matt Sullivan

    Definitely not an “F” like so many people claim.

  • BT

    I’m glad some people enjoyed the movie more than I did, but I’m troubled by defenses like “not every movie can be great” and “it’s about talking cars, it’s not going to be War and Peace.” Pixar has become Pixar by never, ever believing that sort of philosophy. They take a story about talking toys or an old man in a flying house and yes, they pretty much try to make War and Peace out of it. For us to now pretend that greatness is not a realistic expectation for animated family movies is not helpful for Pixar, the medium of animation or our future entertainment.

  • J_Kandefer

    I almost feel like John Lasseter made this movie for himself and Jay Leno and that’s it!

    I really liked the opening scene but right after that I lost interest…too much Mater! but I guess I agree that the animation was slick but really not that classy. It was hard to enjoy the beautiful scenes in Italy because the cars were so shiny and out of place…they didn’t fit with the soft beautiful backgrounds in some scenes. The styles seemed mismatched. On the racetrack they looked good and in action scenes. I agree with an early comment that the whole Cars idea and world is just uncomfortable. If the cars do everything that organic creatures do why bother…the whole Ideas seems a bit forced to me. I didn’t mind the first one, but this one was a noisy mess.

    Totally agree with K, “Ratatouille” was my favorite too! That movie was a piece of art!

    I did get the “Art of Cars 2” book from chronicle. The work in there is great. A lot of lighting studies, BG’s and character designs. I have all the Pixar/Chronicle books. They never seem to disappoint. The Incredibles one is a little underwhelming though.

  • Soffe

    People, this movie is fun. That’s what movie’s are. Right? Fun!
    I loved the boats and planes and Fin McMissile is just fun to watch- the opening is amazing. I like that they expanded the world of Cars and in fact I thought it answered a lot of things or expanded ideas from the first one. Chill.

  • dbenson

    One semi-complaint: The way they inelegantly crammed all the characters from the first film into the final battle — Hardly necessary since they appeared AGAIN in an epilogue (mainly an excuse, one suspects, to re-establish the Radiator Springs setting they’re now building in Anaheim).

  • Fernan

    I don’t understand what so many people are complaining about!
    The movie( in my opinion) was great and even better than the 1st Cars.

  • I liked it, to be honest. It wasn’t high art like WALL-E or Up. It wasn’t an instant classic like Toy Story or Finding Nemo.

    It was just a fun movie. I found myself laughing out loud several times in the theater, and the action sequences were surprisingly well-done.

    I’d easily give it a 3/5. Unlike other “just fun movies” for kids, this one actually does its job well. It’s better than Despicable Me, and MUCH less annoying than Gnomeo and Juliet.

    I can totally see myself getting this as a used DVD and popping it in whenever I’m in the need of some good, mind-numbing sugar.

  • In the early 70’s, my sister fell neck deep into a tub of shit. It was, in fact, hilarious. It was on a dairy farm where, apparently, there were enormous tubs of shit just waiting to be climbed by foolish children. Hurray for Cars 2 for validating the innate humor of tubs of shit!

  • TrollingToon

    Guys, guys, guys, GUYS. I think this was like Super Mario Sunshine, the critics did not like it as much, and then they trie to make a better one and BAM! Super Mario Galaxy.

    The point is, most studios have a fail (Shark Tale, Hoodwinked Too, etc.) then they make a good one AFTER that one. I personaly think this was a fun and cool movie. The Brave trailer looks cool. Who knows? Brave might redeem Pixar’s declining quality.
    ~ TrollingTon

    • Amy

      I hope so. The Brave trailer had pretty weak animation–clunky and weightless. It sure looked pretty–although quite unfinished.

  • I saw it with family Friday and was very disappointed, and I had zero expectations. My favorite part was the trailer for Puss n’ Boots.

    I love Pixar though, and hope this first failure will just make them stronger.

    Ps – The Toy Story short was very cute.

  • Dan

    Although not the best showing by Pixar, I found Cars 2 to be a perfectly entertaining movie all the same. It seems like Pixar has been sticking to it’s proven formula as of late. I have to give Cars 2 credit for being the most ambitious Pixar film from the past few years. Between the first Cars movie and this one, I think I had a more enjoyable experience watching Cars 2. The first one was extremely predictable and a bit bland. The second one was at least a bit more interesting. However, the pixar-esque elements of the second one felt very forced and were pretty distasteful. I think they could have done better just making a straight action flick.

  • OtherDan

    I thought they really kicked up the look several notches from the first one. The textures and additional details enhancements on the characters were really nice. I was mostly taken by imaginative, creative ways that they adapted our world to a world solely of cars. I think if you’re a car aficionado, or a spy film fan there is much to like about the movie. I wasn’t disappointed. I do think they could have tugged on the heart stings way more with the friendship theme. But, it seemed more about who was the evil mastermind, than what was going on between McQueen and Mater.

  • Ethan

    although, i liked the first film better, i thought pixar did a nice job relating the film to the franchise. it doesn’t feel like a flop to me, because it had pixar’s blueprints all over it. the art was incredible, the action sequences thought out in detail, and it was a beatifully animated film. it just didn’t feel cohesive, and the story felt about half finished by pixars standards. it was still better than 99% of other animated movies.

    i think it would be a massive understatement to say that these films are hard to make, but i wouldn’t at all disrespect those who worked on the film by saying the film is bad. it was just average, and average at pixar is still ahead of the game by industry standards. not that my rating really matters, but i’d give the film a b-

  • Was My Face Red

    And in an interview on BBC news this morning Tom Hanks announced Toy Story 4 was in developemnt. :(

    • You’re a liar.

      If he did the entire internet would’ve just imploded in on itself.

      • Was My Face Red

        Wish I was. Wish I was. Go here, watch this, then come back and tell me that you’re sorry.

      • NOoooooo! I love Toy Story, but NOOOooooooo! Hanks seemed a little off in that interview. Here’s hoping he was off on that too.

      • Was My Face Red

        Actors do try to get their own heat going on projects they want to do (I saw Jack Nicholson announce his neext film was a Joker movie once – which no one else seemed to know about) But you’d think Hanks would be kept informed of any plans beyond the characters ‘goodbye’. Hopefully Pixar will decide that making one of the few trilogies of films that didn’t dissapoint is worth more than generating merchandising sales (creatively those characters are pretty much spent now. How many times can you break up Woody and Buzz?) but keeping the cast alive and moving forward through the shorts programme does look a lot like future planning.

    • It seemed like he was joking. He wouldn’t flat out confirm it.

      • Was My Face Red

        He does seem a bit disjointed. Like he said it and then relealised he shouldn’t have, or realised he’d just said something he didn’t really know anything about. Anyway, whatver, I say NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

  • Am I the only one who thought the portrayal of Hawaii in the Toy Story short was more stereotypical than that of the countries in Cars 2?

    Then again, I suppose it DOES make sense, considering the toys were getting their information from a brochure.

  • Clint H

    I personally thought it was a great film. Pixar hasn’t failed me yet, thought the message was cliched. It definately won’t win the Oscar for animated feature (I mean, it’s going up against RANGO, for crying out loud!).

  • Who do they call
    When gears are startin’ to fall
    When all the oil is spillin’
    And synth fuels beginnin’ to brew?
    The tow truck Mater, that’s who-oo-oo-oo!

    Who’s always there,
    There to shoot and fly through the air
    Who defeats Pacers and Gremlins
    And all those cars we disliked too?
    The tow truck Mater, that’s who-oo-oo-oo!

    He screams after eating Wasabi
    Down to the lobby
    To learn the charms
    Of the Japanese joh–onnns!

    Who is the truck
    Who succeeds with mostly dumb luck
    While his pal Lightning is winning
    Who’s spinning the crooks like fan belts?
    The tow truck Mater!
    Who else, who else, who else?

  • Brad Constantine

    took an 11 year old boy and a 7 year old girl.They both said they liked the first one better. We saw it in 2d, and it seemed a little blurry somehow.I asked if they would liike to see it again. They both said “no, that’s okay.I personally thought that some of the characters seemed out of character to me..making faces and doing things didn’t tie up to the old film. The plot was too confusing for my little one. This may be the first Pixar movie I won’t be buying on dvd.