Thoughts from seeing Cars today (only the second time I’ve gone to the movies since Fiona was born — she was in daycare):
– Oh my god, the Ratatouille preview was awesome. Is that the sweet sound of PATTON OSWALT DOING COMEDY?! I can’t wait for Patton’s big film.
– The One Man Band short is mildly amusing, but forgettable compared to their earlier works.
– My god there are a lot of children in this theater.
– Disney once had a short cartoon about cars-as-people where an old junkyard is revisited by 50s teens and they soup up a rust bucket. The way the eyes and mouths work on these cars is pretty similar.
– The look of the film is mostly cartoonish. Here and there you see amazing super realistic digital effects (accurate reflections, atmospheric effects) but for the most part the lighting feels purposely “wrong” so everything looks like a cartoon. The Incredibles looked like little plastic/clay figures in real space — it was hyperreal but I guess talking cars are clearly fiction and the look was tailored to avoid realism.
– The film is clearly aimed at kids, with a few adult joke nods but not many. The Incredibles was total adult material while Monsters Inc. and the Toy Story series felt equally aimed at children and adults. I expected the film to work on multiple levels but it feels mostly like a very good children’s flick.
– The story is nice, but fairly simple and not particularly strong for a Pixar film. I know they spend 5-6 years working on scripts there and every Pixar film has been amazing. This is probably their weakest effort, but it’s still good. It just felt a bit weak for a Pixar project.
– I loved Tony Shalhoub and it was great to hear Paul Newman do another classic older hero role.
– I’m a car nut and I loved the little nods to car history but overall, I’d give it a 3 and a half out of 5 stars. Maybe it’s because I expect 5/5 movies from Pixar, which has always delivered.