Saturday, December 11, 2010

Cars 2 is in for a bumpy ride

Fasten your seat belts, Pixar fans, because Cars 2 is in for a bumpy ride. Not due out for another six months (June 24, 2011 in the U.S.), Cars 2 has already had its share of criticisms. See my article, "Is Cars 2 a clunker?" for a general response.

Now, thanks to a link from Slashfilm, I've read an early "review" of Cars 2, posted at CC2K. WARNING: There are spoilers in this early look at Cars 2, so read at your own risk. As best I can tell, this appears to be a legitimate review of a very early screening of an incomplete version of Cars 2, with the reviewer noting that "about 70% of the movie was incomplete." However, the comment appears more directed at the unfinished animation rather than the actual story of Cars 2.

Still, the reviewer makes several interesting comments about the Cars 2 story, with the main complaint being Mater, who is apparently the central focus of Cars 2. Personally, I find Mater's antics in Cars and the Cars Toons amusing, as do my children.

As for the early review of Cars 2, keep in mind that the movie isn't due out for another six months, meaning that there is still time for reworking, polishing, refining, etc. Also, given Pixar's history, if Cars 2 is really in trouble they might bump it to 2012. I don't expect that to happen, especially since Pixar's Brave and Monsters, Inc. 2 are scheduled for that year.

No matter what happens, though, Cars 2 is in for a bumpy ride. There are several reasons for this fact. First, critics will continue to compare it to Cars, which is often unfairly branded as Pixar's weakest film or a "mediocre" entry, making them wonder why Cars 2 even needed to be made. Second, expect the money factor to come up a lot. Cars has made an estimated $6 billion in merchandising revenue for Disney-Pixar, so I expect a lot of critics to state that Cars 2 is merely a franchise movie - something to get parents to buy kids more Cars-related stuff. Third, get ready for ongoing comparisons of Cars 2 in relation to other Pixar films, notably Toy Story 3. Why Toy Story 3? Because it's the Pixar film that precedes Cars 2.

There's no doubt in my mind that Toy Story 3 is, in a word, a masterpiece - technically brilliant, wonderful storytelling, emotionally moving. But does every Pixar movie have to take that approach? Certainly we want those key elements in every Pixar movie, but if Cars 2 turns out to be a lighter, laugh-filled romp, is that really so bad? I don't think so. But in comparison to stellar Pixar movies like Toy Story 3, I expect many critics to prejudge Cars 2 as less artistic, a grab for money, filler for the kids, and derivative of any number of spy movies.

I'm doing my best to reserve judgment on Cars 2 until I actually get a chance to see the finished film. But be warned, whatever happens, this much is certain: Cars 2 is in for a bumpy ride.


  1. Thanks for the post! I think that it's unlikely that they will push back the date again--two trailers already out. But my hopes are still high for Cars 2--the last trailer blew me away.

  2. I agree, Derrick. There's too much momentum and progress on Cars 2 at this point, so I expect it June 2011. It looks like a fun ride to me!

  3. I can't wait for Cars 2. Personally, I'm a huge fan of Mater. So everything that person said in his/her review was great news to me! I read the review before you posted it. I must say, I wish he/she told us about possible spoilers. That really bothered me. I'm glad you warned us though. Too bad..if I saw this before I read it, I would have known not to read it. People need to stop comparing this to the first movie. It's set in a whole different way for that reason. Besides, I'm willing to bet that more people love Mater than loathe him, so too bad for those who hate him. Seriously. They need to get over it. I think if they were to push it back, it wouldn't be for another year. It would be a month or two. As the other two comments said, they've already stirred up conversations! Cars wasn't a bad movie. It wasn't. It was just a bad Pixar one. People hold high standards to Pixar, yes, but they're not going to always be perfect. Nothing is. Cars was, and still is, my favorite Pixar movie. Cars 2 is going to be funnier. People expect to cry in every single Pixar movie. Personally, I think that if I have to cry with every movie they put out, it's going to get pretty boring. Boring, in the sense of knowing that it's going to make me cry. I'm glad Pixar is turning away from the sad and bittersweet for this one.

  4. a clunker???? But it's not even out yet give it a chance

  5. Unfortunately, a lot of people are prejudging "Cars 2" even though it's not even out yet! I expect these criticisms to intensify over the coming months. Personally, I'm very much looking forward to the movie!

  6. Merry Christmas Robert Velarde :D