For someone who doesn't know a Buick from a Benz, I was expected to be totally bored with Cars, a film that definitely holds a high appeal for auto enthusiasts. However, I found myself pleasantly surprised with the movie, which really shouldn't be all that surprising since it is the product of the Pixar animated studio. Cars tells the story of Lightning McQueen, a brash and cocky rookie racecar who is on his way to super stardom and has little use for the help or camaraderie of anyone else. After being a part of a three way tie for the prestigious Piston Cup, McQueen makes his way to California for the tie breaking race where he plans on being lauded with gifts, praise, and women. On the way however, he makes an accidental detour in a small and forgotten town. As circumstances continuously prevent him from leaving, he gradually begins to warm to the residents of the town and the idea of friendship. I wouldn't argue that Cars is among the finest of the Pixar films, yet still it is an affable little film which contains great and inventive visuals. The film also represents the last film of Paul Newman, whose great presence is even felt here with voice work. It is fitting that Newman's last role is that of an old auto racing car, as Newman raced cars himself, even up until the final years of his life. Here, even in a lesser movie for his company, John Lasseter and his crew have fashioned another animated film which sets the bar for the genre and refuses to reduce itself to a childlike level.
This is the short that played before the theatrical release of Cars, and is also available on the DVD. It is another nice little short that Pixar studios do so well and tells the story of two street musicians vying for the coin of a little girl
Mater and the Ghostlight
This is another short made for the DVD release that tells the story of the lovable tow truck from the feature and how he becomes wrapped in a myth about the eerie Ghostlight.