Writer: Yap Yew JinWriter Ratings:Overall: Cast: Plot: Effects: Cinematography: Watch this if you liked:
NASCAR racing, Disney animations
"Toy Story" told us what our toys are like when we leave the room. "A Bug's Life" revealed what creepy crawlies in the lawn are up to when we are not around. "Monster's Inc" showed us the secret world of monsters hidden in our closets. And now, the masterful storytellers and technical wizards at Disney-Pixar gives us a fast-paced comedy adventure of "Cars" set inside the world of automobiles.
"Cars" tells the story of Lightning McQueen, a hotshot rookie car driven to succeed who finds himself unexpectedly detoured into the sleepy Route 66 town of Radiator Springs. There, he discovers that life is about the journey and not the finish line.
It is here in Radiator Springs, in fact this world of automobiles, that we are treated to a stunning display of visual artwork as McQueen travels breathtaking landscapes and meets a motley assortment of classic cars and rusty old junkers living in the last remains of a once vibrant town. The word 'photorealistic' springs to mind when talking about computer animation, but "Cars" comes closer to achieving that than any other animation out there.
The car designs might look a little goofy, but they worked those designs with every talent and craftsmanship they could muster at Pixar's. When the cars aren't showing emotions, you might even forget you're looking at cartoon characters but rather at just-polished live-action cars cruising down the road at breakneck speeds. Who need drivers?
How the story unfolds should hold no great surprise to anyone familiar with Disney-Pixar animations. An arrogant hotshot youth gets waylaid among 'simple folk' and, though first disgusted by his circumstance, he eventually comes around to appreciating a more respectful way of living. Assumptions are made and dashed, stereotypical characters gradually show their depth and arrogance gives way to its opposite - empathy. These lessons are not new, but how it is delivered is what matters. Like every animation they have made to date, "Cars" has a heart and soul to spare.
As usual, it's the characters that really sell the film. You wouldn't really be able to recognise any of the voices except for Owen Wilson's, but that won't stop you from picking out the first-class performance from the rest of the cast. Real-life racing legend Paul Newman is deep and wistful as the town judge Doc Hudson, while Larry the Cable Guy steals the show by voicing Mater, a brain dead, rusty old tow truck who is quick to claim himself as McQueen's best friend. Regular John Ratzenberger is back as well, with a great joke of his ever present role in Pixar's animations during the credits, so make sure you stick around for that.
Fuelled with plenty of humour, action, heartfelt drama, and a great lesson to be learnt, test-drive "Cars" for a high octane adventure suitable for moviegoers of all ages.Cinema Online, 23 September 2008