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  Publicity Stills of "CARS"
(Courtesy of BVI)

Video Clips:
Race With Doc- Windows Media | Quicktime

Only The Ferraris- Windows Media | Quicktime

You Saw That?- Windows Media | Quicktime

But You're Stupid - Windows Media | Quicktime

CG Animated
Director: John Lasseter
Voice Talents of: Owen Wilson, Paul Newman, Bonnie Hunt, “Larry the Cable Guy”, Cheech Marin, George Carlin, Richard Petty, Michael Keaton, Tony Shalhoub, John Ratzenberger, Michael Wallis, Paul Dooley, Jenifer Lewis
RunTime: 1 hr 56 mins
Released By: BVI
Rating: G

Opening Day: 8 June 2006

Synopsis :

Pixar Animation Studios (“The Incredibles,” “Finding Nemo”) and Academy Award® winning director John Lasseter (“Toy Story,” “A Bug’s Life”) hit the road with a fast-paced comedy adventure, CARS. Lightning McQueen (voice of OWEN WILSON), a hotshot rookie race car driven to succeed, discovers that life is about the journey, not the finish line, when he finds himself unexpectedly detoured in the sleepy Route 66 town of Radiator Springs and meets the town’s offbeat characters including Doc Hudson (voice of PAUL NEWMAN), Mater (voice of LARRY THE CABLE GUY) and Sally (voice of BONNIE HUNT). From the director of TOY STORY and A BUG'S LIFE comes an all new computer animated adventure! Pixar guru, John Lasseters' first directorial effort since TOY STORY 2 looks to be one of their most commercial productions.

Movie Review:

Ladies and gentlemen, start revving your engines and prepare to be thrilled during Cars' first act, where we're given front row spectator seats to the finals of the Piston Cup stock car racing championship! It's amazing how the glitz and glamour associated with racing are captured so effortlessly, with that meticulous attention paid to the details.

Lightning McQueen, voiced by Owen Wilson, was played true to form of its star's persona. Dead-sure of its abilities, with a huge dash of arrogance, McQueen is a young upstart taking the championship season by storm, and sure doesn't mind the limelight that comes with it. Dreaming of hooking up with the big players in terms of sponsorship, his plans become temporarily derailed when an unexpected side trip along Route 66 brings him to the sleepy old town of Radiator Springs. Here, he learns about life and what truly matters, in a journey of self-discovery, and somehow it draws a faint parallel to Kung Fu Hustle's Pig Sty county, where experts reside.

Cars blended its big and loud action sequences with its small time charm and quiet moments extremely well. Aside from the wham-bang race sequences, its focus in the longer second act is on the themes of friendship and love, basic themes utilized ad-nausem in many animated movies. However cliched these themes may be, Cars managed to work them into its storyline and delivered them in a refreshing manner. There will hardly be a slow moment that goes by boring you, as these moments add flavour to the story, as well as provide that extra bit of characterization for its cast in this almost 2 hour long movie.

There are plenty of references to Pixar's earlier works, in particular, those also directed by John Lasseter, such as Toy Story and Monsters Inc. While there are many stereotypical characters, the casting here takes on 2 levels - the first is the voice talents used (with Paul Newman, Larry the Cable Guy, and even Michael Keaton), while the second is the interesting look-and-feel of the vehicles chosen to represent them. From the hippie van to the chic Porsche, we even have souped up vehicles, giving a nod to popular recent race movies like The Fast and the Furious. Pop culture references are never too far away, ranging from talk show host Jay Leno to tattoos,
and humour attained from the usual slapstick, to witty car-themed puns.

Just who can stop the Pixar juggernaut? I would safely wager that it would take tremendous effort to derail Pixar as the leader in mass market digitally animated movies. There's this magical X-factor in their productions, with stories simple enough to engage children, yet layered with adequate complexity to keep the adults interested. Coupled with superb photo-realistic animation, well placed humour, and meaningful songs, Cars continues Pixar's dominance, and debunks all skepticism whether it can live up to its wildly successful predecessors Finding Nemo and The Incredibles. It does, and is a worthy addition to the Pixar brand.

P.S. As always, Pixar pampers the audience with one of its animated shorts which precede the film proper. One Man Band is rather interesting tale of desperate buskers and a oh-so-cute-yet-so-precocious little tot. Oh, and stay tuned too until after the end credits roll.

Movie Rating:

(It's fun, fast and furious! Cars lives up to its predecessors' success to deliver yet another fun filled and engaging tale brought to screen with flawless digital animation)

Review by Stefan Shih


. Wall-E (2008)

. Ratatouille (2007)

. Meet The Robinsons (2007)

. Herbie Fully Laoded (2005)

. Chicken Little (2005)

. The Incredibles (2005)

. Pixar Short Films Collection Volume 1 DVD (2007)

. 101 Dalmatians DVD

. The Jungle Book DVD

. The Art of Cars (Book)

. The Art of Ratatouille (Book)

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