Starring: Luke Wilson, Paul Freakin' Newman!, Bonnie Hunt (her third Pixar movie), Richard Petty (as a car painted Petty Blue, no less), Cheech Marin, and Larry the Cable Guy (this is the first time I've ever heard his voice and not wanted to rip my own ears off)
MPAA Rating: G
Plot Summary: Your standard jerk-who-looks-down-on-everyone-finds-himself-a-fish-out-of-water-and-learns-the-true-meaning-of-friendship story, with a hint of finding-a-hidden-treasure-and-learning-its-value and a dash of helping-old-things-become-new-again. Oh, and a little pinch of romance, but not enough to make the kids groan.
Okay, so it's a kids movie, but one the parents can enjoy without getting bored (coughCuriousGeorgecough). A Pixar film, no less. Do you really need more of a reason to schlep the kiddies out to the box office? You do? Okay, I'll lay it out for you.
- The story is good. It's not The Incredibles, I'll grant you, but Pixar has always been in service of the story. Yes, it's predictable, but it's still good, it still entertains, and it still rings true. And really, it's only predictable to adults because we're old fogeys who've seen too many movies. To a child, it's all new.
- The jokes work for everyone. My husband has been going on and on about them. Non-stop. Since Tuesday. No kidding.
- Paul Newman! Seriously! You can't love movies and not see something with Paul Newman in it. It's against the law in 49 states and the District of Columbia.
- The animation is simply amazing. I'm not kidding. From the very beginning of the film, Pixar animators do things that trick the eyes. These people have gotten so good, I almost forgot I was looking at CG animation in some places. If for no other reason than to marvel at man's accomplishment in technology and artistry, you should see this movie. And I can tell you right now, watching the DVD on my 25" TV screen will not do justice the the sights in this movie. To be fully appreciated, this movie simply MUST be seen on a cinema screen. Or, possibly, on my sis-in-law's digital projector screen that takes up her whole living room wall.
- Larry the Cable Guy, for once in his life, makes things better and funnier with his presence. I know, I couldn't believe it either! But it's true! He really works in this movie. Granted it's not such a stretch for Larry to play a character who is, basically, a total goober. But he's not raunchy or disgusting here, which instantly makes him 20 times more likeable.
- Tractor tipping. Weirdest thing ever, but so funny.
- You know how when you get caught up in watching a NASCAR race, and you start getting bored and secretly hope for a car crash to break the monotony, but then you feel all bad about wishing that an innocent person would have a crash? You can totally wish for an accident in this movie and not feel guilty, because it's a cartoon.
- This movie will fill you with nostalgia. I sat there wishing I could go back to these old places, these small towns. I was ready to plan out a road trip to San Antonio by way of US90, just to see what kind of places I would spot along the way.
- Cars already have personality; you see a minivan, you assign an impression of the person who drives it, like "Soccer mom." This movie is just the natural progression of an accepted idea.
- The cartoon short "One Man Band" is hilarious. Make sure you get to the theater early!
- The ending credits cracked us all up. Watch them! Don't miss out!
- Did I mention Paul Newman?