Blu-ray Cars [Blu-ray/DVD] (Blu-ray 7021178),
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Talking cars rediscover the quirky originality of middle America in this inventive animated film from the folks at Pixar (TOY STORY, FINDING NEMO). Owen Wilson does the voice of arrogant rookie racecar Lightning McQueen, who winds up stranded in the small desert town of Radiator Springs on his way west to a big showdown. Sentenced to community service after literally tearing up the road in a high-speed chase, at first all Lightning can think of is getting back to the world of corporate sponsorship and merchandising tie-ins he loves so well. Eventually, however, the eccentric residents of Radiator Springs begin to grow on him, especially the attractive lady Porsche lawyer (Bonnie Hunt) and a rusty old tow-truck (Larry the Cable Guy). There's also a hippie Volkswagen (George Carlin), a low-riding T-bird (Cheech Martin) and Paul Newman as the gruff, curmudgeonly Doc Hudson, the town judge who harbors his own checkered-flag past. The story may not be new, but Pixar's precision-engineered animation brilliantly illuminates the town and its surrounding cactus-studded vistas down to the minutest detail, and director/writer John Lasseter keeps the film's satiric wit and generous heart in perfect alignment. Adults in the audience should appreciate the film's celebration of old-school American eccentricity, and the kids will dig all the thunderous grit and high-octane wheel burning. Randy Newman composed the score; James Taylor sings one of the songs.
Academy Awards Best Animated Feature Film 2006
3.5 stars out of 5 -- "CARS is all about shifting to a lower gear, getting out of the fast lane and how the journey in life is its own reward."
"[Powered] by warmth, emotion and good-hearted charm. It offers the kinds of sensations all Hollywood once did, and it makes us remember why those films made us care..."
Los Angeles Times
3 stars out of 5 -- "As a technical achievement, CARS is peerless....[The cars] are alive and the team has faithfully crafted an environment for the characters."
3.5 stars out of 4 -- "CARS is family fun, brimming with surprises....A class act all the way. Pixar does it again."
"The voice-cast is given a lift by Paul Newman, whose deep tones dignify his character....Its eye-boggling giant stadiums and desert vistas fill the biggest cinema screen..."
Sight and Sound
"When it comes to unlikely anthropomorphization, Pixar isn't afraid to raise the bar." -- Grade: A
Included in Entertainment Weekly's "Top 10 Films Of The Year" -- "John Lasseter's witty, enchanting, gorgeously designed NASCAR fantasia is a luscious piece of American pop art..."
"[A]ll of its automobiles brim with personality....The story makes some typically Pixar points on community and friendship, and the design and animation is typically thrilling."
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