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Movie Review

Cars

Reviewed by: David Criswell, Ph.D.
CONTRIBUTOR

Better than Average
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Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Family, Kids
Genre:
Animation Action Adventure Fantasy Comedy Kids Family
Length:
1 hr. 36 min.
Year of Release:
2006
USA Release:
June 9, 2006 (wide)
Copyright, Buena Vista Pictures
Copyright, Buena Vista Pictures
Copyright, Buena Vista Pictures
Copyright, Buena Vista Pictures
Copyright, Buena Vista Pictures
Copyright, Buena Vista Pictures
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Copyright, Buena Vista Pictures
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Adventures in the rainforest! Learn about the Creator of the universe by exploring His marvelous creation. Fun for the whole family with games, activities, stories, answers to children’s questions, color pages, and more! One of the Web’s first and most popular Christian Web sites for children. Nonprofit / nondenominational.
Featuring: Owen Wilson, Paul Newman, Bonnie Hunt, Cheech Marin, Larry the Cable Guy
Director: John Lasseter
Producer: Darla Anderson
Distributor: Buena Vista Pictures

“Ahhh… it’s got that new movie smell.”

Also, see our review of the sequel to this film, Cars (2011).

Copyrighted, Buena Vista Pictures

Walt Disney once held a monopoly on animated family flicks, but the death of Disney led to a long drought until “The Little Mermaid” appeared to resurrect the Disney franchise. However, after “The Lion King”, a series of failures left Disney waning until its partnership with Pixar studios. This, along with the intrusion of Dreamworks into animated motion pictures, made it appear as if the era of great animated family movies had finally returned. However, as with any successful enterprise, the appearance of various similar movies created some drawbacks. The first was the increasing number of inferior animated movies. The second was the increasing number of copycat movies. Finally, third was the attempt to appeal to adults by adding crude humor that is inappropriate for children. So how does “Cars” fit into this picture?

“Cars” is the first movie by Pixar studios since its reunion with Disney and features the now standard computer-generated animation. It is good fun, but not on the same level with Pixar’s “Toy Story” 1 and 2 or “The Incredibles”. It is certainly better than “A Bug’s Life” and comparable to “Monster’s Inc.” I place it behind “Over the Hedge” as this year’s second best animated film, but there is little doubt it will out perform “Over the Hedge” at the box office, due to Pixar’s reputation for great family films. Let us hope that Disney’s buy-out of Pixar does not end a great run of movies for Pixar.

The plot revolves around anthropomorphic cars. One race car, “Lightning McQueen,” is a particularly selfish “one man show” who desires only to win and does not believe in teamwork, but in crossing the country to get to the racing finals he gets lost and winds up in an old rundown town on Route 66. There he encounters different cars from all walks of life. There is a broken down Tow truck, a sporty Porsche, a foreign car, and an old “has been” car whose glory days have long passed. Soon Lightning learns that there is more to life than winning.

Fans will also be treated to an animated short entitled “One Man Band” which is cute, fun, and brief.

“Cars” stars the voice-acting of Owen Wilson, Paul Newman, Bonnie Hunt, Larry “The Cable Guy,” Cheech Marin, George Carlin, and John Ratzenberger. All are effective, although I admit that I have never understood why animated films triple their budgets simply to have the voices of big name stars. Sometimes a particular actor may bring something to the character that is otherwise missing, and sometimes the animation is even designed to mimic the actors, but more often than not, people will not even recognize all the actor’s voices. Still, Owen Wilson and Paul Newman, in particular, did a great job.

“Cars” is definitely original, so fans will not be watching the same movie they saw last week or even last year. As to the moral content, there is no real violence, although cars are shown screaming during a massive car wreck. The appearance of crude humor is another matter. Although not as much as in most other animated films of late, there are numerous jokes involving rear ends, “bolts,” the passing of gas (quite a few times), and a scene where oil is shown running down a car’s nose. In one scene a car is shown with a bumper sticker reading “Nice Butte,” but the worst line in when Lightning is talking about winning the “Piston Cup.” Immediately another car replies, “He did what in his cup?” This is probably the most suggestive line in the movie.

Despite these jokes, the movie does carry a G-rating, and it is mild by comparison to most films. Many of the jokes mentioned above may go right over kids heads with the exception of the “piston” joke which drew many laughs from children as well as adults.

With these reservations in mind, “Cars” is a good animated film with some lessons for the young. Ultimately, it suggests that we should take life a little slower. We should slow down and enjoy life, rather than racing through it. At times, the movie is very effective in promoting this theme. Other times, not so much.

One line from the movie which is worth remembering is when the Porsche explains why her town on Route 66 became abandoned. After showing how the new highway cut through the mountains instead of crossing between them, she says of Route 66, “Cars didn’t drive on it to make great time, but to have a great time.” It took longer to get through the mountains, but they were able to enjoy the sweeping landscapes and scenery. More importantly, they were able to enjoy each other. Without spoiling the ending, Lightning learns that there are things more important than winning, and a surprise ending shows that Lightning really believes what he learns by an act of sacrifice.

This theme of sacrifice should have been emphasized a little more. Sacrifice is, after all, one of the most important traits of a Christian. Christ sacrificed His own life for us (John 15:13). We, too, should be willing to sacrifice ourselves, in one form or another, for each other. Sacrifice is, after all, the only real visible proof of love. Only by the giving of ourselves can we truly display the love of Christ within us.

Violence: Minor / Profanity: Minor / Sex/Nudity: None

See our interview with an artist for this film, Jeremy Vickery (a Christian).


Viewer Comments
Comments below:
Positive
Positive—WOW!!! Brilliant movie. Once again Pixar has created an animated movie with spectacular animation that adds even more to a great story. Just as they did with Finding Nemo, Pixar has blended humor and entertainment that fits both children and adults. It really is a movie for all audiences.

The movie has no really inappropriate parts to it. Sure, there a couple of “suggestive” parts, but even those were not terrible. I was not worried a bit when taking my 7 year old son and 8 year old daughter. They both really enjoyed the film. My wife and I loved it as well, and I really like the moral to the story. God put us all on Earth for his glory, not ours. This movie emphasizes that glorifying one’s self is and empty road to take. Through loving one another and sacrificing for the sake of others really portrays what Christians are supposed to be all about. I highly recommend this movie!!! I will be getting it on DVD.
My Ratings: Excellent! / 4
—Troy Mendez, age 31
Positive—Oh my!! What a fabulous movie!! It was definitely money well spent. My husband and I took our 5 and 6 year old to see this movie tonight, and oh what fun! I believe this was the best movie that I’ve ever seen! As the review points out, there were a few crude humor moments, but I was really impressed that it was very mild. This means a lot coming from a movie critic mom like me; I am like the move Nazi. My family and friends tease me about movie night at our house, because of the grueling process of choosing one; they MUST be “Christian Spotlight approved” and even then, I’m very careful. Something the review did not comment on was that twice they referred to the little forgotten town as “Hillbilly Hell.” That certainly caught me off guard, but was very brief and is way overshadowed by the top notch quality and “good clean fun” of this movie. The messages of seeing what really matters in life and self-sacrifice are ones that should be instilled in our children, and we adults could all use a reminder as well. “Cars” is a movie that ALL ages will enjoy, not because of sexual innuendo and distasteful humor like some animated films sneak in, but because of the nostalgia of Route 66, the message of quality time with family, and encouraging us to take the time to enjoy God’s creation as well as each other. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, and maybe you’ll even let out a good ole Redneck whistle at the end, in true Nascar style!
My Ratings: Better than Average / 5
—Christi, age 31
Positive—This film is the funniest movie my family has seen in a very long time! My 14 year old son laughed right along with his younger sisters and me throughout the entire film, which is almost unheard of. Some of the cruder references in the film (including the “He did what in his cup?” line) were latched onto by my son, but went right over the heads of my 11 year old and 8 year old daughters. The “moral” of the story was absolutely excellent. Lightning learned to care about and care for others, and was transformed from a self-centered jerk to being compassionate and caring. While Christians know that those kinds of transformations occur only by the love of Christ, in this movie the transformation occurs when Lightning is forced to spend time with honest, down-to-earth people (cars.) He thus learns that he can no longer be a “one-car show,” and that the prize he wanted so much is really just an “empty cup.” These are lessons that we strive to teach our children, and it is nice to have them reinforced by Hollywood! “Cars” is definitely a movie to see—and to buy when it comes out on video!
My Ratings: Better than Average / 5
—Diane Day, age 39
Positive—My husband and I took our 7 year old son to see “Cars”. It was a treat for all of us! Many times we take our kids to see the latest “family” move and it turns out to be a dud or have such crude humor we end up walking out. This was a wonderful movie. There is some adult humor, but most of it goes over the kids’ heads. My son told me that it was a great movie because Lightning McQueen learned not be selfish anymore and to think about others. If my son gets that message, then I’m happy. Watch for the “ladybugs;” they are cute!! A good movie for a family night out.
My Ratings: Better than Average / 5
—Becky, age 42
Positive—I took my 5 ½ yr. old to see “Cars” today and it was wonderful! Great animation, great story and strong, humorous characters. Really shows the importance of friendship. My little one “insisted” on sitting front row center and it was overwhelming to her due to the loudness (and the movie trailers Regal showed; they showed “Monster House 3” times!) and hugeness of the screen. After the movie she was subdued and overwhelmed, but by dinner time she was imitating “Mater” (very well, I might add!) and “Lightning” and trying to tell her dad about the movie w/o giving it away. He is a racing enthusiast, and I think he’ll REALLY enjoy the cameos! I’m VERY particular about what I put in my child’s mind and I give this movie 2 thumbs way up.
My Ratings: Good / 5
—Terri, age 44
Positive—…This movie is sooooo cute! We saw this on opening day. We took our 3 year old and 5 year old. They both loved it! Very cute!!! Fun for adults too. Stay and watch the credits. Some cute “car” scenes from other famous Disney/Pixar movies. …it is a bit slow in a few spots; my little one got tired and laid down. But nothing really bad at all. Very good movie morally! We loved it! Finally, a movie without a bunch of “hidden scary” scenes like in “Finding Nemo”. LOVED IT! 2-thumbs WAY UP!
My Ratings: Good / 5
—Amy, age 37
Positive—I went in with high expectations, having read a couple raving reviews, seeing all the Disney/Pixar films numerous times. I was not disappointed. This film exhibits the classic formula of multi-generational audience appeal, with goofy simple humor for the kids, sophisticated yet wholesome humor for the older folks.

This film reinforces the notion that life is a highway, but sometimes the back roads can hold the most valuable treasures in life. Simple times, simple pleasures can be much more rewarding than the candy-coated instant gratification of modern society. It reminded me of why I like the Andy Griffith show growing up in a world of Speed Racer, sure I liked Speed Racer too. It’s a healthy mixture that helps a car run smoothly, not too lean and not too rich. This film is a reminder that there was a day when friendship and loyalty out weighed fortune and glory. I’m glad it does. What a joy it was. See it today, buy it tomorrow.
My Ratings: Excellent! / 5
—Mike, age 42
Positive—I took my 6 year old daughter to see this after her last day of school. She loved it. And as a parent, I liked it too. It teaches about telling the truth, doing the right thing, and to slow down from our fast paced lives to enjoy life and beauty. In the beginning Lightning McQueen (red car) sees being stuck in Radiator Springs as a punishment, but later discovers that it is a blessing in disguise. All the characters in Radiator Springs are loveable each in their own ways. When Lightning discovers their loveable qualities, he rewards them according to their special talents. For me and my family, it’s a formula for a good movie to see. The movie is long (I was quite surprised to see that we were sitting in the theater for almost 2 hours for a kid movie) and can be dry in a few spots, but the movie was worth seeing.
My Ratings: Better than Average / 5
—Dawn, age 34
Positive—I found this movie to be refreshingly positive in its moral message of sacrifice and service to others. The main character begins the movie as a typical, poorly behaved, punkish youth. As the movie progresses, he learns many valuable Christian lessons, even though they are not mentioned as “Christian lessons” (which in my opinion makes them more valuable and less offensive to a worldly audiance). I hope that many of the rebellious teenagers in the United States go to see this movie. They need to change their attitudes and behaviors. Many of them do not even know they are behaving so badly. For those parents that have children ages 7 to 12, there are a few crude jokes that your children might catch. Most deal with things like a bumper sticker that says “nice butte” and a reference to a piston cup where someone miss hears and asks “what did he do in his cup?.” There are maybe 5 or 6 crude jokes but all are hidden well and none involve cursing or flagrantly open comments. Very little violence is shown—mostly in the form of car crashes during an intense race. None of the violence is bloody or deadly. I highly recommend this movie—especially for boys needing to see a reason to serve and help others.
My Ratings: Good / 5
—Tanya Joyner, age 38
Positive—This movie was great! My friend and I were trying to pick between “Superman Returns” and “Cars”, and I was very happy that we chose “Cars”. Not only was it well written, well made, well advertised (let’s not forget), but well recieved, at least by me. One of the things about this movie that makes it so great was the good story. When I first heard about this movie I didn’t think a movie about cars would be all that great, but I was wrong. The writters really took great care to not only make sure the it was about Cars, but also people. The movie is really about community and friends and illustrates our need for good one’s. The other great thing about this movie is its amazing cast that brought the individual cars to life. With great actors like: Owen Wilson, Paul Newman, Bonnie Hunt, Tony Shalhoub (you know, from Monk), and great funny men like: Larry The Cable Guy, George Carlin, Tom and Ray Magliozzi (Click and Clac from NPR). I fully recomend this movie, and have to say that I continue to be impressed with Pixar.
My Ratings: Good / 4
—Nathan R. Carlsen, age 25
Positive—We really liked it. It was loud and fast, which my 3-year old son loves! It did have the usual crude humor. In fact, 1 joke not mentioned above is when 1 car says it would give its left 2 lugnuts for I don’t know what, but I was pretty shocked that they threw in that line. Since these jokes went over my sons head it didn’t ruin the movie for me. In fact, even with the piston cup joke I think most of the kids laughed just because the adults laughed. Anyway, it’s a cute movie.
My Ratings: Better than Average / 5
—Nicole, age 27
Positive—I saw “Cars” with my 43 year old son, who is a Jr. Hi pastor and my 3 year old grandson. We all enjoyed it very much. We did a little home work, (had some of the cars, looked on line about the cars). We each found something different to snicker about. For me one thing was the sign, “Emeryville” (We live in Oakland, next door to Emeryville where Pixar is located.) and when the Ferrari came into the shop. Thanks to Disney and Pixar for a good entertaining film.
My Ratings: Good / 5
—Carol, age 68
Positive—I took my 3 year old and my 18m old to this movie. I knew it would be decent enough seeing that it had a rating of G and all the review have been great on it. My 3 yr old sat through the entire movie and never once got up or anything. My 18-month old on the other hand got up after the 1st hour. But he sat there for 1 whole hour!

I thought this movie was so funny. Some of the jokes go over the kids head but that is what I like about Pixar movies. They have something in it for everyone. I also loved hearing all the character voices. It had a good moral story, although I doubt my 3 yr old would understand it.

For those of you who haven’t watched it yet—STAY FOR THE CREDITS!!! Pixar is always good about giving you your money worth. The only negative thing I would have to say is that it was a tad long, but good enough so that you did not know 2 hours had passed. …
My Ratings: Excellent! / 5
—Rebecca, age 33
Positive—I took my two preschoolers to see Cars and was overjoyed to see such a positive message. The themes of sacrifice, fair play and redemption were obvious. I don’t want to give away the ending, but it was both realistic and heartwarming. Yes, there were a few mildly-dirty moments, but they passed right over my kids’ heads. And though the film would have been better without them, I didn’t think they detracted from the movie at all. I think this movie is aimed at the 5-10 year old age group, but I laughed out loud in several places, and think that teenagers and adults will be happy about the quality of the film and script.
My Ratings: Good / 5
—Alan Lehmann, age 38
Positive—This is the best animated film I have ever seen. It is funny, well animated, has good characterization, and is just fun to watch. After awhile, it seems like these cars are actually human, and you really come to care about them. My husband hates animated movies, but he loved this one. I wouldn’t hesitate to take a child of any age to this movie, but it was rather long (two hours) and it seems to me little ones may get restless.
My Ratings: Better than Average / 5
—Maggie, age 58
Positive—This was one of the best movies from Disney Pixar we’ve viewed since “Finding Nemo”. We brought children ages 4, 5, 6, 8, and they all loved it. My 5 year old asks me daily if we can get it on DVD. Minus the few slurs they added (Hillbilly…, etc.) it was overall a wonderful film to take your family. We don’t go to the movies a whole lot, mostly because of the previews (like “Monster House”), but we did enjoy this movie. A must see in our book!!!
My Ratings: Good / 5
—Jasaka, age 29
Positive—This is a fast-paced movie (compared to other Pixar movies like “Finding Nemo” or “A Bug’s Life”), and the car race scenes, while very well done, are a little bit too intense for small children (glad I left my pre-schooler at home). As a Pixar fan, I enjoyed all the computer-generated characters and the breathtaking Southwest landscapes. My favorite part is in the middle of the movie, where a town filled with characters that care for one another is contrasted with the world of the fast lane, where there’s no time to enjoy life with your friends, where selfishness is the norm. It’s a nostalgic view but the movie implies that, with effort, we can preserve the spirit of community. That brings true joy (and I believe God brought us into the world to bring joy).
My Ratings: Better than Average / 5
—Narcis, age 34
Positive—I just saw this movie today and as always Pixar rules as the kings of computer animation. …they are a great company and every film they have made is great. Although I wasn’t thrilled with Bug’s Life—it wasn’t as interesting and didn’t capture my attention the way the others did. I remember when “Toy Story” came out I was amazed at the computer graphics and a morally good cartoon. I think that “Cars” still holds that value that Pixar seems to put in their films they seem to always put a morral in each one.

This is such a great film—so many laughs, although parts of it kids won’t get like what Route 66 is and what happened when the interstate came through. But they will enjoy the story line none the less. I thought the movie had a good ending and was excellent throughout. …It was a cute movie and a good lesson and was good because there was no violence, no guns, no cussing, no nudity—nothing bad in it. …I highly recommend this movie to anyone—kids and adults alike. It’s a great movie. Go see it. …just have a great family time.
My Ratings: Excellent! / 5
—Jason, age 30
Positive—Much of the movie I enjoyed, although there is at least one part that I didn’t like at all, which was after the credits. I thought the beginning was especially original, the way there were so many cars in the stadium instead of humans, the way they “did the wave,” I especially liked the way their eyes were made (very Disney-like, very original). I enjoyed the way the elderly car, “Doc,” was portrayed as having so much wisdom, so much experience. I also liked the “little” abilities that the other cars had, like one in particular could complete a “pit stop” extremely quickly. …
My Ratings: Good / 5
—Gina M., age 19
Positive—What a film! It most certainly makes a nice change to watch something like this! I came into the movie wondering whether I would enjoy it or not, and I laughed, smiled and overall enjoyed it very much. There are a load of valuable things in this movie—the main one being (to me) is that if you are really good at something, sometimes you will let that go to your head. This is exactly the case with Lightning McQueen. He was a great racing car who persevered and won every race, and was popular with all the “car fans,” even to the rusty and worn down cars. However, he treated the rusty cars as if they were nothing, because he felt that it would ruin his image, and there is a valuable lesson to learn from something like this. It was interesting, however, that when his agent wanted him to invite 20 friends to his major race, McQueen couldn’t think of one!

The storyline held up well, even if it was a bit long. It shows well what pride can do to us, and that we can be so overconfident in many situations, it could actually undo us. However, McQueen learnt from these mistakes and learned a lot along the way. I believe that we as Christians can learn a lot from this movie itself. Thoroughly recommended! P.S.—Don’t miss that short animation at the start “One Man Band” and stick around for the credits—both very worthwhile!
My Ratings: Good / 4
—Dave, age 20
Positive—Well, Pixar seems to have raised the bar once again in the computer animation department. One look at the opening race scene pretty much settled that one. I’m not a NASCAR fan, but this film still held my interest. First of all, I’ll say this, as far as laughs, I didn’t laugh nearly as much for this movie as I did for Finding Nemo or Toy Story, it was amusing. Two things made up for the lack of humor; the animation quality and the moral. Unlike the other Pixar movies, which were more driven towards entertainment, this one actually tried to deliver a message. Was there humor? Yes. Was there some crude humor? Larry the Cable Guy was one of the main voices, so, of COURSE, there was some crude humor. He even managed to get his two catch phrases into the movie. Lightning McQueen’s transition from selfish to selfless was smooth and convincing. Definitely go see the movie, just see the matinee. It’s not quite “full price” entertaining as some of the Pixar’s of old.
My Ratings: Better than Average / 5
—Kevin O, age 36
Positive—No man is an island—that’s the underlying them of this movie and it is played well. An excellent plot, engaging characters, good obstacles, physical and emotional, that are overcome by story’s end, and one big secret discovered by Lightning McQueen. When I took my kids, there were many older couples sitting in the audience with no children. That’s how good this movie is. Excellent all the way around.
My Ratings: Excellent! / 5
—DMH, age 39
Positive—This was an excellent movie all the way around. My wife and I took our 10 year old and 12 year old. It may have been a bit young for my 12 year old. The animation was breath taking. This has to be the best effort ever for Pixar. The story as described above hit some very nice moral points. Beyond looking at team work and not being self sufficient, it pointed out the need to listen to those with experience, to give back to the community, building others up. There was even a hit a tattoos. When McQueen noted the pin striping on the Porsche she actually blushed with embarrassment. Hopefully, that point came across.

As a big NASCAR fan it was great to see the involvement of Richard Petty, his wife, Waltrip and others. The race scenes are great, I found my self wanting to see more of the race than the story at the end. This has been a great year for family movies. Hopefully, the studios will profit greatly from the offerings this year, letting them know that there is a lucrative market for this type of entertainment. I was less impressed with the “One Man Band”. Of all the pixar shorts, this one was lame. Bring back the bouncing rabbit or the chess players. They at least had a good story to tell.
My Ratings: Good / 5
—Brad Stevens, age 46
Positive—GRREEAATT movie! “Hell” was used inappropriately 2-3 times, but that seemed to be the only profanity. There were some comments that the adults found humor in that went over the kids heads; but there were also some things I think the kids knew were supposed to be “perverted.” Overall, very good movie!
My Ratings: Better than Average / 5
—Abe, age 22
Neutral
Neutral—I went to see this movie with my parents, and I thought it was okay. The animation was great as well as the cast, but I thought the story lacked a little. I found myself bored during some parts, and very conscious of the time that was passing. For parents’ purposes of entertaining kids and having a fun night with the family, this would be just the movie to see. However, if you have older kids, (around 10 and up) my opinion is that there are better movies in which to invest your time.
My Ratings: Good / 5
—Katie, age 19
Negative
Negative—…At the very end of the credits… there is a reference to the effect of “For Chrysler’s sake where are we now?” featuring the lost couple from earlier in the film. That’s clearly offensive to Christians. Also, I believe the character “Ramone” is disparaging to Hispanics and “Fillmore” makes humorous light of the 60’s drug culture—he’s stoned throughout the film, or at least speaks as if he is. I think the violence of wrecks makes the minimal age 8, and it should be PG. …
Andy L, 41
My Ratings: Extremely Offensive / 3
—Andy L, age 41
Comments from young people
Positive—Funny, Funny, Funny. Pixar has done it again. The animation has once again swept me off my feet. You just want to grab the cars and pinch their cheeks so to speak. They are so cute. The movie was a very positive influence. It’s good to know that Hollywood hasn’t lost all morals. Clearly, you can see that Pixar is still staying true to their morals and creativity. I’d give it an A, no doubt.
My Ratings: Good / 5
—D. Robbie, age 15
Positive—Ever since my first Pixar film “Toy Story” at the age of 6, I’ve been an avid watcher of each of their productions (“Toy Story,” “A Bug’s Life,” “Toy Story 2,” “Monster’s Incorporated,” “Finding Nemo,” “The Incredibles”). And with each one they continue to flourish and expand, crossing into uncharted, computer-generated boundaries, and in the case of “Cars”, driving you places you never dreamed traveling in your imagination.

Lightning McQueen, once an amateur racecar, has fast become the idolized image of the fame and glamour of stockcar racing. He is televised, lionized, and adored for his daring, road-razing moves on the International Piston Cup course. Unfortunately, as is with most talented athletes, McQueen is blinded by the metaphorical flash of the media, outshining his pit stop team members, along with his supporting team of rusty vehicle sponsors.

Then,on one fateful night en route to the California Piston Cup, he awakens to discover that he is lost in the midst of the barreling traffic of the Interstate road and is forced to detour on to the fabled Route 66 where he makes his crashing debut into the little town of Radiator Springs. The following morning, he’s taken to court and sentenced by Doc Hudson to five days of community service to repair the road, a path cherished by those who understand its history as Sally the blue Porsche explains to McQueen. At first, he is recalcitrant towards tow truck Mater and the gang, reluctant to take responsibility for his actions. In his mind, he believes that he’s superior to them and above the labor they enforce on him, even so to the extent of attempting several escapes. But as it is with most prideful characters, the oil drenching work humbles Lightning to see the town and its close community as more than simple rust and dust. …

It was clean with some exceptions of crude humor. It is refreshing as a family film, as there are not many in our generation. It is not only visually astonishing but also a masterpiece of written craft and masterful storytelling. These vehicles become more than animation. Like all of Pixar’s tales, they become real. In essence, human. This movie cannot be rated except as highly and exceptional.
My Ratings: Excellent! / 5
—The Writer, age 16
Positive—This movie is great! A hit for kids and adults of all ages. Although it dose not contain the adult humor that you would get out of DreamWork pictures, it’s still a homerun. This movie does not match up to “Finding Nemo” or the classic “Toy Story” but totally dominates and rules over “The Incredibles” and “A Bug’s Life”. Another victory for Pixar
My Ratings: Better than Average / 5
—Grant Senter, age 14
Positive—My friend and I went to this movie on opening night, and it was outstanding!! There was no swearing, very, very little rude humor, [I caught about two rude jokes, and they were tame], and no violence. At one point, my friend and I actually cried. I love how all the characters have their own, totally different personalities. I also like the way this movie teaches humility and sacrifice. The movie had something in it for everyone, and I even saw teens enjoying it. It is a little long, but the story is amazing. Oh, and stay for the credits, because the movie does not end until the credits are over. You should take both boys and girls to this family-friendly movie. Nobody should miss it!
My Ratings: Excellent! / 5
—Elizabeth, age 12
Positive—I am a tough critic when it comes to liking movies, but I have to say, “Cars” was really good. The animation is great, and it is one of the best animated movies I’ve seen in a while. There wasn’t any language, the only things that might be offensive in profanity are “holy Porsche” and “holy shoot.” The story overall was good, and it is hilarious. I think “Cars” is a winner. So if this sounds good to you, race your friends to go see “Cars”.
My Ratings: Good / 5
—Austin, age 13
Positive—I loved this movie!!! It was adorable! I really got into the characters, and it was so funny! It was clean and a great family movie! I would definitely tell people to go and see it. I think you’ll really enjoy it! The quality was very good, too. I also loved the music in it! It was just a great movie all around!
My Ratings: Excellent! / 5
—Brooke, age 12
Positive—This movie was one of the greatest movies I have seen! It is very clean, and I would recommend this movie to anyone.
My Ratings: Excellent! / 5
—Gabby, age 10
Positive—I loved this movie! I thought it was very good. This was best movie ever. I heard it came from the same makers who made “Finding Nemo” and “The Incredibles”. I liked the part when Sally showed Lightning McQueen the place that she fell in loved with. I really liked the part when Mater and Lightning McQueen tipped the tractors over. I think I’m very fast just like Lightning McQueen. Most of all, he was really my favorite character in the movie. You really shouldn’t miss this movie.
My Ratings: Excellent! / 4
—Evan, age 13
Positive—I saw this film, and I loved it. I think that you should take your kids to see it. I think it was well done. You can take your little kids; it was very clean.
My Ratings: Excellent! / 5
—Kelsey Stewart, age 7
Positive—A very cute movie! Very well done with wonderful voices. The scenery is amazing! It looks very real. As for the content, nothing very bad here. A couple of adult jokes that will go over children’s heads. It is suggested by one car that a minibus is a drug addict when he says that “the sixties weren’t good to you were they?” Another time someone says something about the Piston Cup prompting another car to respond, “He did what in his cup?” These will probably get the most questions from kids if they don’t know what the jokes are referencing. Two times the town is referred to as “Hillbilly Hell.” Nothing very offensive here. The movie also has very good lessons about slowing down in life and not living in the fast lane. My younger siblings, whose ages range from 4 to 10, really enjoyed the movie. My 7 year old brother especially liked it. What’s better for a little boy than a movie all about cars?! Overall, I would say that it’s appropriate for all ages. Not much to worry about here, parents. Finally, a “family” film that really is for families! Sit back and enjoy!
My Ratings: Better than Average / 4
—Shelby Purvis, age 14
Positive—I think this movie was really great!! It is a great all family movie night. The only thing that I would warn you about is that there are a lot of little kids, such as 5 and under, there were many times when there were little kids crying, whining, and asking their parents what was happening at times. And if you do have little kids that you are bringing with you then please try and keep them a little hushed. Thanks!
My Ratings: Good / 4
— Mandy, age 12
Positive—WOW!! I did not expect this to be such a cute movie as it was!! It turned out to be better than expected. Of course being a cartoon in Disney it supposedly is pointed toward kids, more younger. But as I saw it at Disneyland with my dad and nephew we both laughed a lot and thought it was a great movie. I like the whole storyline and the way he ended up at that town!! I saw it with my dad the first time, then my mom wanted to see it with me and since it was such a cute movie I thought I wouldn’t mind seeing it a second time in theatres. I recommend this movie from anyone and do not see anything that anyone would take as offensive toward this movie.
My Ratings: Excellent! / 5
—Lacey, age 14
Positive—It was really good. In it he fires his crew and the town cars end up helping him to almost win the race. The fastest car smashes and he stops at the finish line to help him finish the race and instead of winning he comes last. It was a good Samaritan deed. I think if your thinking of going to see this you will enjoy it.
My Ratings: Good / 4
—Rachel, age 10
Positive—This movie was hilarious! The beginning was a little slow but after about 25 minutes it warms up. I think “Cars” is a great family movie it shows true friendship and loyalty. At one point in “Cars” on the female car’s pinstripe they painted a tattoo that is about as bad as it gets. So far its the best cartoon this year!
My Ratings: Excellent! / 4
—Julia, age 12
Positive—This movie had to have been the best one I’ve seen in a good five years or so. I thought it was hilarious, and it just had that feel-good factor in it. Whoever thought of the idea of making a world solely inhabited by anthromorphic cars had a pretty good idea, and while it’s sort of strange in execution, it works well. Larry The Cable Guy did an excellent job in the film (I’m a fan of the Blue Collar Comedy Tour, which Larry travels with), and Tow Mater (the car he provided voice for) feels like he’s Larry in car form—I even heard Mater spout out “Git-r-done!” once! While there were a few off-color jokes in there, like the one about the Piston Cup (which I actually thought was pretty funny, I was cracking up at that point), it would probably pass over a little kid’s head. I’d say this was worth a few hours of my Thursday night and the .50 it cost to see it. Well worth it.
My Ratings: Better than Average / 5
—Clay Waters, age 16
Neutral—My family and I went to see this movie the day it came out. Overall, it was a delightful family movie! We especially enjoyed Mcqueen’s friend “Tow Mater” through out the whole film. I feel “Cars” sends a great message of friendship and learning to slow down and not to miss out on good friends who may only come by once in your life! The only reason I am giving it a “Neutral” rating is for the movie itself. About an hour into the movie, I started to feel a little bored with it. I think maybe about 15-20 minutes could have been cut out of it because the story line could have moved a bit faster. What I mean is, it felt a little unnecessary to have the long drive through the desert between Sally and Mcqueen towards the end of the movie. Even though the hotel was reopened at the end, I think it could have been a bit less essential to the movie. Other than that, it is a good family movie!
My Ratings: Good / 4
—Becky, age 15
Positive—This is a wonderful movie! Definitely the best Pixar has ever made! It was hilarious all the way through. The only objectionable content was the reference McQueen made to the town. Wonderful family movie, My number 1 favorite movie! Thumbs up Disney/Pixar!!!
My Ratings: Excellent! / 5
—Allison, age 16