Saturday, June 24, 2006

Ka-chow! I saw "Cars".

Cars movie poster A few weeks after it opened I went to see "Cars" and enjoyed it immensely. Although this is the first time I have seen a Pixar feature film in a theater, I have caught a few of them on video when visiting with people who were watching at home.

This is a film that has a wonderful message about the importance of having and valuing friends. At the beginning of the story the lead character "Lightning McQueen" has a reputation for having a lot of speed and ability but very bad relationships, having fired a string of pit bosses during his meteoric rookie season. By the end of the story he has learned not only how to be a friend, but how to show his genuine esteem for those who had inspired him.

As in many quest stories, the hero meets up with characters who impart to him the abilities he will need to conclude his personal journey. From the beaten-up tow truck "Tow Mater" he acquires the skill of driving backwards. From the incognito "Hudson Hornet" he learns how to make high speed turns on dirt. From "Sally", the Porsche that had left the big city to settle in Radiator Springs (the town Lightning calls "Hillbilly Hell" in the middle of the story) he comes to appreciate community and loyalty.

There is an interesting parable of blindness and sight buried in this story. Lightning has no real headlights, only stickers of headlights. Sally deflates his egotism by giving him the nickname "Stickers", referring not only to his fake headlamps, but to the swarm of endorsement stickers all over him. As a race car he thinks he has no use for real headlamps because all the racetracks are well-lit. But he learns in Radiator Springs that the Piston Cup is just an empty cup - a reality that is not illuminated for his nemesis "Chick Hicks" by the glare of the racetrack lights.

It was a great film. The animators and all-star cast of voices brought the personalities of the characters to life. The soundtrack was great. The backgrounds had so much detail that at points I wondered whether I was really seeing photographs on which the characters were superimposed. This film is definitely worth seeing on the big screen.

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Connie said...

Hi Stewart, Definately sounds like a great movie. I know my boys want to go see it badly, and I plan on taking them next weekend.I also would love to see it, but I will wait to it comes out on DVD. I am sure the boys would love to have some time at the mall and the movie theater without Mom.

Russell Smith said...

I agree -- it's a winner of a flick. Any movie that can get Richard Petty and Click and Clack from NPR in the same scene has to be doing something right!