I had the opportunity to see Cars 2 not once but twice this week and unlike most movies, I loved it even more the second time around! The movie is so much fun and I love the new characters which include Holley Shiftwell (Emily Mortimer – what a sweetheart she is in person) and Finn McMissile (Michael Caine). This new story is a very clever take on a spy movie and it introduces us to entire new worlds for the gang from Radiator Springs to explore.
There’s a small love story, explosions, cool spy gadgets, and more. And it’s loud, fun, and the music adds to the experience from start to finish. Is it fun for adults? Absolutely! Like all Pixar movies, John Lasseter made it parent-friendly. He wants you to love it from the first to 300th time you have to listen to it as your child enjoys it. Does it have a message? A small one. John Lasseter mentioned in an interview that his mission is to entertain and not educate so there’s “heart” but not too much of a lesson, and that’s OK because it’s a fun ride from start to finish.
The film is visually stunning and while it was loud at times, the 4- and 5-year olds sitting next to me at the first screening were on the edge of their seats and loving almost every minute. There was a slower spot where the 4-year old fussed a bit, but it was late, he was tired, and when the action picked back up so did his interest. When asked if the loudness scared them they both replied, “no” and their mom thought the movie was appropriate for them. I had a few things that I believe could be talking points with your child – like the weapons, explosions, and drinking (although the characters are clearly drinking oil from glass oil funnels). Additionally, while most cars were fixable, one was killed so there is a mention of death as well – it’s a tiny portion of the movie but one you may want to be aware of. To me you can’t protect your children from the world, but you can certainly talk about it with them. You may want to let them know these themes are included in the film and offer to discuss them before and after if necessary.
Did you have to see CARS to enjoy CARS 2? Absolutely not. It’s a perfectly self-contained piece of fun that develops the characters fully and there’s no need to see the original (but it’s fun in its own right). The new characters feel like a natural expansion of the brand and I think they’ll become some much-loved additions to this great franchise.
I attended the Cars 2 Red Carpet Worldwide Hollywood premier and will be posting about my experience soon. Until then, check out the preview and get ready to race to the theatre to see Cars 2 in 3D!