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From Disney-Pixar, the revolutionaries of digital animation.
A Scene from Disney's Animated "Cars".
OPENING WEEKEND: $65,000,000
DOMESTIC TOTAL: $230,000,000
OTHER PREVIEWS: Man About Town (5/10)
  This Film is NOT a Future Release.
  The Following Preview has been Archived.

January 20th, 2006: Pixar and Disney collaborate once again on an exciting digital animation adventure. A win-at-all-costs rookie hotshot racing car named Lightning McQueen (voiced by Owen Wilson), becomes stranded in the middle of nowhere en route to a big championship race. Stuck in a secluded town on the famous route 66, he befriends odd characters like Sally (a Porsche voiced by Bonnie Hunt) and Doc Hudson (a í51 Hornet voiced by Paul Newman). With time, he matures as a car and learns valuable life lessons from his new pals that change his once simplistic outlook on racing and winning.

What to Expect: Like the cinematic revolutions of German Expressionism, American Film-Noir, Italian Neorealism, and the French New Wave, digital animation has become a comprehensive and powerful film movement. Since the technical effects and universal stories appeal so easily to the mainstream, it might be difficult to imagine digital animation features as an art form, but thatís what they have become. Their immediate impact on the world of cinema cannot be denied and the almost total disappearance of traditionally animated theatrical releases is the result. With Hoodwinked, Doogal, Ice Age 2, The Wild, Over the Hedge, Monster House, Ant Bully, Open Season, Barnyard, Flushed Away, and Happy Feet all scheduled for release this year, there is going to be a non-stop onslaught of CGI animation. Thereís no doubt that such an increase in production is going to result in some mediocre entries in the genre, but Cars is not expected to be one of those.

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The almost invincible team of Pixar and Disney, which has consistently produced the best CGI animation features like the two Toy Story films, Monsters, Inc., The Incredibles, and my personal favorite, Finding Nemo, will be behind the wheel once again for Cars. John Lasseter returns as the writer-director following a long seven-year hiatus. Along with Pixar, Lasseter can be credited with the foundation of this medium for his direction on Toy Story, the classic that started it all. He followed up the tremendous success with A Bugís Life and Toy Story 2, before taking a long break from directing duties. Sadly, this is going to be the final Pixar and Disney collaboration as the two sides have failed to reach an understanding following lengthy negotiations. Disney has reportedly already developed its own CGI animation studio, while Pixar has become a red-hot item for other interested companies. Before the two parties split for good, everyone is trying to ensure a memorable final outing.

Anyone who has ever seen any of the ďmaking ofĒ DVD documentaries on the Disney-Pixar releases probably possesses the understanding and appreciation for how much hard work and ingenuity goes into each feature. Reportedly, no previous animation has had as much depth and detail as Cars, and Lasseter has never shown more excitement about the progress. Whether this is just self-promotion or legitimate excitement, itís definitely good to hear from the always-dependable Disney-Pixar team. Once again, they have outdone themselves. While every other studio is jumping on the animated creatures bandwagon, Disney-Pixar is moving on to a new prospect. Although personification of cars could be a tricky proposition, it certainly caries compelling potential. Typical of any Disney-Pixar release, the voice work should be stellar with Owen Wilson (Meet the Parents, The Royal Tenenbaums, Wedding Crashers), Paul Newman (Cool Hand Luke, The Sting, The Verdict, Road to Perdition), and especially Cheech Marin (Desperado, From Dusk Till Dawn) attached to Cars. Professional racer Richard Petty and sports announcer personality Bob Costas are both guaranteed to add to the variety.

In Conclusion: The Disney-Pixar features are quite simply the cream of the crop and their final collaboration should be no exception. What always stands out about them is the consummate attention to every aspect of filmmaking. They capture everyoneís imagination not only through unparalleled CGI effects, but also with sophisticated screenplays and diverse voiceovers. The stories always sparkle with universal appeal and itís possible that adults enjoy them even more than little kids. With Lasseter as the director and the magnificent overall concept, Cars is packed full of potential. Itís indisputable that it will appeal to the masses, but there is one element that I feel hesitant about. I canít quite imagine feeling the same compassion for a car the way I did for a fish, or even a monster for that matter. I think that by choosing cars as the heroes of the story, the filmmakers have limited themselves in the emotional department. Itís possible that the emotional impact could be lost in the premise. Consequently, Cars might have all the technical glory of its predecessors, but without that special feeling of empathy.

Update (01/25/2006): This will no longer be the final Disney-Pixar film, after the $7.4B deal.
Read More Here.

Similar Titles: Toy Story, Shrek, The Incredibles
June 9th, 2006 (wide)
November 7th, 2006 (DVD)

Walt Disney Pictures, Pixar

John Lasseter

Owen Wilson, Paul Newman, Cheech Marin, Bonnie Hunt, Richard Petty, John Ratzenberger, Larry The Cable Guy, Michael Keaton, Tom Hanks

Total: 51 vote(s).

Animation, Comedy, Kids & Family

Click here to view site

Rated G.

116 min






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