Top positive review
A near modern classic
on 1 March 2014
There's very little wrong with this 'Pixney' collaboration. It's the story of Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson), a young hotshot racing car who's taking the world by storm on his relentless march to win the Piston Cup (think Indy Car championship). We join the action halfway through the penultimate race as McQueen, Chick Hicks (Michael Keaton) and veteran but fading all-round good guy The King battle it out for the title.
A decision to ignore a call from his crew to come in for fresh tyres ends in disaster for McQueen and the championship comes down to the final race.
En route to the final race venue, McQueen becomes separated from his lorry, Mack (ever-present Pixar contributor John Ratzenberger), and finds himself in Radiator Springs, a decaying town off the largely-ignored Route 66, where he promptly gets arrested and sentenced to repair the road.
It turns out the judge in the town is world famous racing car, Doc Hudson (the late, great Paul Newman) and as McQueen makes a new friend in Tow Mater the tow truck (Larry The Cable Guy) and finds himself falling for both Radiator Springs and, particularly attractive Porsche lawyer Sally Carrera (Bonnie Hunt), he begins to learn at the fender of the master.
The action culminates at the final race where The King, Hicks and McQueen lock horns to decide the destiny of the Piston Cup.
This is a beautifully animated, tightly-plotted story with some wonderful characters (and voice characterisations). It delivers an ending that is poignant and guaranteed to bring a tear to the eye but, most importantly, it leaves you wanting more. And that's always the way to go out.
Under the strict guidance of Pixar chief storyteller, John Lasseter, Cars is a film that works on a number of different levels to appeal to both children and adults. It's my children's generation's equivalent to, say, The Jungle Book - and I'm not sure it's possible to commend it more highly.