Friday, June 24, 2011. The day Little Boo, and his friends, and so many kids have been waiting for. Five years after the original Disney/Pixar hit Cars hit the big screens, we are being treated to its anxiously awaited sequel. The original viewers of the first movie have grown up quite a bit in the intervening years, and so too it seems, has the Cars franchise.
Little Boo and I saw a special preview Wednesday night, with the ever fabulous Toronto Teacher Mom and her daughter. (Special thanks to Walt Disney Studios Canada!) Popcorn in hand, we settled in for the adventure.
And, adventure it was. Cars 2 is an action-packed, funny, sometimes tense, James Bond-esque thriller. Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson) is taking part in the first ever World Grand Prix, and he's taking his best friend Mater (Larry the Cable Guy) and his Radiator Springs pit crew along with him. The friends travel to Japan, Italy, and England for the big races, and the details of each locale are exquisitely rendered in the 3D animation. But, the racing is not the focus. The major action of the movie surrounds Mater, who gets caught up in the world of international espionage after he is mistaken for an American operative. Hilarity, as you might imagine,ensues.
This is definitely a much different movie than the first Cars. It is louder, faster, and action-oriented. And there is shooting. A fair bit of shooting. Spies and mobsters move the action forward, and Mater is the focus character more so than Lightning. One warning - there is a scene where the bad guys are torturing a car, but he is very tough and takes it well, until his unfortunate end. The camera shifts away from him before anything too disturbing would be seen, and our kids did not seem to be upset about it at all.
All in all, this was a great movie and a lot of high-energy fun. The plot is interesting, even if I figured out who the mystery bad guy was pretty quickly. The kids didn't, and that is what matters. They were literally on the edge of their seats for most of the flick. The 3D animation, which I normally don't go for, was fantastic. This isn't an "in your face" kind of 3D. It's more a depth of the imagery, and it looks great in both the scenic views and the races.
You can find trailers and vignettes from the movie online at the official Disney.com Cars 2 site. Check it out and enjoy!