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Pixar's latest endeavor brings the vocal talent of Owen Wilson, Paul Newman, George Carlin, Michael Keaton, and Cheech Marin in what is a long and at times dull drive. Cars is the story of Lightening McQueen (Wilson), a hotshot rookie racecar who is trying to win the coveted Piston Cup. On his way to California for the big race a string of events finds him incarcerated in the small town of Radiator Springs off of Route 66. There he learns that winning and status are no contest to friends and loyalty.

This animated installment gets off the line quick and finishes grand even if it misfires a few times along the way. As the title suggests, it is all
about cars and everyone in it is a car or some sort of motorized vehicle. This allows for a lot of creativity and ingenuity on the part of the
animators and they bring some clever characters to the screen. While in Radiator Springs McQueen gets a dose of culture shock as he meets small town cars that are down to earth, caring and all moving at a lot slower pace. Mater, a rusted out tow truck (Larry the Cable Guy) brings most if not all the laughs. Even if you aren't a fan of Larry’s stand up routines you will find it a perfect fit for the character. Likewise, Newman is the quiet spoken, serious Doc Hudson. The one car that isn't too impressed with Mr. Lightening. He wants him out of Radiator Springs and the sooner the better.

There is a brief but poignant message about the status of our society and how we have become a people wanting to get from point A to point B as fast as possible, and how in doing so we miss a lot of what our beautiful country is made up of. It pays homage of sorts to small towns and how they have suffered and are almost forgotten in this day of interstate and quick travel.

Fans of racing will love all the tongue in cheek word plays. Familiar voices like Darrell Waltrip, Richard Petty, and Mario Andretti give a sport
specific focus to the film. But also note that it isn't all about racing. Most of the movie takes place far and away from the racing arena. Still it
is about racecars and will hit on all cylinders with race fans.

Cars is rated G and totally safe for all your family and friends. Young tikes will love the cars and their friendly demeanor. Adults will have a
blast looking for all the Pixar references from past films. All in all this is another winner from the studio that does a fantastic job of meeting the
needs of all moviegoers regardless of age. I give it 3.5 out of 5 gaskets. As I said there are slow moments throughout, but it finishes big and wins in the end. With a Spin around the theater, I'm Matt Mungle

The Mungle 6/7/06

Matt is a member of the North Texas Film Critics Association (NTFCA) and hosts the weekly syndicated Indie Rock Radio Show Spin 180. Plus with his wife Cindy they do a weekly radio feature, The Mungles on Movies. For additional reviews and interview clips visit the website



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