This one should’ve stayed in the garage…

An Active3D Movie Review: Cars 2 3-D

Rating (out of 5 stars): **

At least we beat Germany's release date by almost two months...

My reservations here are largely with the concept at the ground level of this franchise, more than anything else. Somehow I can swallow it when animals are anthropomorphisized – give me a mouse, duck, monkey, or bear that speaks, sings, dances and does pretty much what any human can do, and I’ll say, “Sure; what of it?” But cars? I can just barely cope with them speaking, but when they start picking things up using their tyres as hands, or start performing acts of James Bond-style derring-do, then my suspension of disbelief simply snaps like on old radiator belt.

And yes, much as we men are alleged to have “relationships” with our cars and often even name them affectionately, I think that few of us can imagine – even after the wildest night out – our cars being involved in international crime syndicates, or that there are good-guy cars and bad-guy cars. Or at least I can’t. Some folk have suggested that I’m not the target market here. Funny that, as I understand that I’ve been part of the target market for every other Pixar movie. As I understand it, their target market stretches from six to 106. (And, after that, if you’re still keen, they’ll make an exception…)

To my (possibly jaded) eyes, the film’s highlights are the animators’ interpretations of London, Paris, rural Italy and Pontecorvo. Here, they’ve captured the essence of these largely iconic spots whilst incorporating automobile motifs into the architecture; very nifty indeed! The aerial shots of Pontecorvo – which, on their own, are worth the price of the movie ticket – are enough to prompt one to book ’plane tickets to Italy before the show’s even over.

For all that directors John Lasseter and Brad Lewis, and their talented voice cast and superb animators lend to the affair, this is the lowest point of Pixar’s stellar career arc. Let’s not mess about, now: the ‘Toy Story’ trilogy, ‘Finding Nemo’, ‘Monsters Inc.’, the sublime ‘Up’… are you catching my drift, here?

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