Cars (2006)

Reviewed
Wed. 1/17/18
Cars (2006)
4.25
Acting
4
4/5
Morality
5
5/5
Music
3.5
3.5/5
Story
4.5
4.5/5
Visuals
4.5
4.5/5
Kernel Factor
4
4/5
A transformative journey...for a car...and great for the family
Reviewed By: Steven Siwek
Viewing Environment:
DVD or Streaming >27in
Viewing Crew:
Family
Times Watched:
2
Genre:
Kids/Family
Payment Method:
Free/Screening
Review:

After just watching The Lego Ninjago Movie, I needed to reorient myself with quality animated storytelling. I watched Cars when it released in theaters, I watched Cars 2 when it released in theaters, and I have yet to see Cars 3. I don't remember a single one of them - one of the reasons I made Occasional Popcorn is to actually remember movies. That being said, I was pretty sure I really liked this movie but never understood why it became a major attraction at Disney, because it didn't feel that iconic to me. I think that has a lot to do with the fact Cars 1 could have lived on its own without sequels. Overally, the movie is great! I love the character development and how it continually draws me in.

Acting
Although Owen Wilson wouldn't have been my first choice as the lead voice actor, he totally works. I feel like every character, most notably Mater played by Larry the Cable Guy, is memorable and well synced with their voice actor. Famous people as "famous cars" is a little cooky (Richard Petty, Bob Costas, Darrell Waltrip), but so fun when you just let it happen. 
Morality
I love how we see see character development. It's very well done and really comes together at the final scene as "Lightning McQueen" learns the valuable lessons taught to him. Interesting how no "evil" character is necessary to make this an engaging movie, as Lightning deals with his own self (pride, ego, confidence) to become a more humble, thoughtful, and serving...car.
Music
Good music throughout, well licensed, and goes through a good amount of ups and downs. Nothing really stands out though.
Story
I've always been a sucker for transportation, it just fascinates me. I'm not a "car guy" but I find cars so interesting. To bring them to life, in a way that Thomas the Tank Engine brought trains to life for me (too far?), was inspiring. I love the quarkiness this film has to offer. And even though I debated whether animated people should be in this film to make it an ounce more relatable, I still enjoyed it and agreed with their decision not to include people. The story has good meaning, and even at 28 I really enjoyed it as it got my creative juices going. Bringing real history into an animated world with an interesting plot line overlaid is truly creative.
Visuals
Wow! Pixar made a name for itself long before this film, but it solidified its presence in our entertainment history because of how beautiful it created worlds. The cuteness of the cars might be too much for some, but their animation style was consistent throughout and that is key for me.
Kernel Factor
This has a wonderful creative spark. It highlights a lot of aspects that are interesting (small towns, big highways/movement, changing landscapes, being known vs actually being known). Now it does all this through car-speak, which can be cheesey and over-the-top, but the Visuals are so good and the writing is so clever that it works. The credits are really funny.

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