If you can tell my kid what happened to Doc Hudson, I will give you a clear and unbiased opinion of Cars 2. Because he asked that question right at the beginning, when Lightening McQueen and Mater were rolling through the Doc Hudson museum. And I had no good answer. Because even though Cars 2 opens up the can of worms about what happens to cars when they die, it doesn’t answer the question for you.
Disney’s Pixar is the dream studio that came up with the much loved Toy Story 1,2,and 3 as well as Up, Wall E, and even the lesser enjoyed A Bug’s Life. In my eyes, Pixar can do no wrong, and its not like Cars 2 is a bad movie. It is just different than the first, and maybe that difference is enough to make people unhappy.
The basic storyline goes like this: Lightening McQueen and Mater head out to race on the International circuit against a very annoying race car that seems to be loosely based on Alberto Contador (2 time winner of the Tour de France). When Mater is intercepted by secret agents, the entire movie goes kind of sideways. There are guns, there are cars that are overheated (translation: killed) and there is a lot of violence. It was surprising sequel for a movie that had a storyline about friendship and was based in a hick town. As a mom, it was difficult to make the leap from the buddy movie to the spy movie, and it was a bit harder for the kids.
The movie is mostly focused on Mater, and less on Lightening McQueen. Mater provided a lot of the comic relief in the first movie, so it was understandable to include him, but there could have been a side story for Lightening that was a bit more fleshed out. (Hey Pixar, if you need someone to write the script for the 3rd movie, I’m available and I’m FULL of ideas)
The animation was also different. In the original Cars, Lightening McQueen was a car with a mouth. Now he’s a person that is a car. There is high fiving with tires and more life like movements. Not that there is anything wrong with that.
In Cars 2, cars go on to meeting their final resting place. And like anything that a kid watches, there are going to be questions. What happens to that car when he overheated? Where do his parts go if he hits the water? Where is Doc Hudson? And for these questions, there is no answer. So I was left to improvise about junk yards and possible part reincarnation. It was a tough one. Hopefully you do better at it than I did.
The absolute best part of Cars 2? The scenery. Although I have never been to Europe or Japan, you could almost feel as though you were there. The location animation was beautiful.
Yet, if I had to give it a rating, I’d still say it was a positive experience. Although it was a tad confusing, it is always nice to revisit old friends on screen no matter what they’ve been doing. It was a cute movie, and you will enjoy it if you just look beyond the guns and the lack of Lightening McQueen. If given the choice, I would pay to see it at the theater again.
Is Cars 2 really that bad? No, I don’t think so
My rating is a solid B (Although I love all things Disney, I can’t give it an A, because I don’t like guns in kid’s movies)
Quick rating of the Toy Story short, Ken & Barbie go to Hawaii:
A++++ for this. I was so happy to see Buzz and Woody that I almost teared up. Ken and Barbie have snuck into Bonnie’s bag and want to hitch hike to Hawaii with her for winter vacation. This was a few short minutes of pure magic, and I won’t ruin it by giving you the story.