June 12, 2006

Pixar's Cars Takes the Checkered Flag

It should be interesting to see how well Pixar innovates the world of computer-generated animation now that they have been absorbed by Walt Disney, but in the company's last big salvo as an independent studio, Cars continues the successful track record initiated by Toy Story, Toy Story 2, Monsters Inc, A Bugs Life, Finding Nemo and The Incredibles. Though the film doesn't include any human or animal characters, and guides you along a faux-society led only be automobiles of all shapes, models and colors, the film itself is imminently enjoyable, if imminently forgettable - not an instant classic in the way some of Pixar's pioneering works are now seen. My wife and I took in the G-rated flick this evening in a weekday quasi-matinee, which saw us have the theater to ourselves (along with maybe a dozen folks), likely a great deal different from the film's opening days, which saw it take in more than $60 million at the box office, reaching number one overall.

The film tries to teach lessons and hearkens back to a simpler time, before the cruel, inanimate, unthinking Interstate bypassed what was once a thriving stop along Route 66. It also tries to teach the story that being a self-centered race car is not the substitute for happiness, and that friendships are needed to reach true joy. Preachy, but effective.

Though we enjoyed the film, I don't see it as having the staying power of Nemo or The Incredibles. Kids aren't going to be dressing up like the Cars for Halloween, or reciting lines from the film (unless I missed some good ones). And those of us adults were actually hoping to see some good natured monkey business between the lead race car and the sultry Porsche he had his eyes on. That would have been interesting... but again, the movie was rated G, unfortunately for us.

Listening to ''I Will (Y.O.M.C. Remix)'', by Black Spider (Play Count: 2)