Cars 2

Cars 2 clearly suffers from ‘Scrappy Do syndrome’.  This affliction first appeared in the mid 1970’s when the creators of the Scooby Do cartoon thought having his younger doggie cousin would bring in more young viewers.  Sadly it only cheapened what was already a great show and since then other animated series and films have shoe-horned annoying characters simply for the sake of doing something new.  Just like those additions it only irritates and Cars 2 features one such irritant audiences may find hard to endure.


Lighting McQueen is one of the fastest race-cars in the world.  Wanting to maintain his mystique he travels to Japan to participate in the World Grand Prix.  Tagging along is his friend Mater, a tow truck of low intelligence.  Continually disrupting McQueen’s racing, he becomes side-tracked when he meets a pair of spies.  Mistakenly assumed to be a covert agent, Mater becomes involved in an evil plot to destroy the world’s fuel supply.  Using what wit he has, Mater attempts to save the day in his own bumbling style.


Given Cars 2 is the latest production from the famed Pixar Animation Studios it’s a very disappointing effort.  It’s unfathomable that a place which produced ‘Toy Story’, ‘Up’ and ‘The Incredibles’ would craft a story full of clichéd characters which talks down to the audience.  Whilst one inevitably views these films through adult eyes, their other work remembered to be for all ages.  Its plot is also rather convoluted with the simple story-telling style Pixar established unwisely discarded.


The animation itself is fantastic even if the story is not.  Each scene is awash with bright colour and the computer generation imagery still amazes.  Unfortunately Cars 2 generally feels like an extended toy car commercial and – given the studio made a colossal fortune in toy sales from the last film – this shouldn’t come as a surprise.  What is surprising is why they have taken a lazy route in delivering a story where their creative spirit was so evident previously. This is only highlighted by a short feature before it called ‘Hawaiian Vacation’ which is more entertaining than the following ninety minutes.


When one wishes even Scrappy Do would make an appearance, you know Cars 2 is in trouble.  Although nice to look at, the script and characters are awful and hopefully this represents the lowest Pixar can go with future productions learning from its mistakes.


Rating out of 10:  3



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