"Cars" is the first Pixar movie I did not buy immediately. But finally I got tired of waiting for the rental copy, and I bought it.
The delay was due to the trailer not really doing much for me. Also, I felt that cars is a dubious choice for animated characters. Unlike bugs or toys, they don't have arms or faces, so it's a little forced, methinks.
That said, I'd have to say they pulled it off. Actually, looking at real cars after having seen this movie, I half expect them to move and open their eyes.
"Cars" is not the best or funniest Pixar movie. My faves are Monsters Inc, Toy Story 2, and The Incredibles. But "Cars" was still very worthwhile, I enjoyed it. And it is visually gorgeous. The scenery especially is amazing.
If you get the DVD, be sure not to miss the extras. The two shorts included, for one thing, are falling-over funny.
I also appreciate the basic message of the movie: winning is not everything. The western world is still a bit fixated on Being Number One. And contests can be fun and they can be inspiring, but ultimately they are just games, they are not life.