Today, of course, was the big gala premiere of the new Pixar movie Cars. Porter was looking very, very forward to it. And in the morning we got even better news. Porter’s best friend T.J. had changed his plans and would now be able to join us for the movie. I think Porter was just as excited about T.J. coming as he was about the movie itself.
It had been a couple of weeks since they’d seen one another and they ran up to each other when we arrived at the theater. After enduring at least fifteen minutes of ads, previews and Porter asking “when is it Cars?,” the movie finally started. Oops, except for a short before the feature called “One Man Band” which was very good, although the kids were getting impatient by that time.
But finally the move began. Both Porter and T.J. sat up, there backs straight up in their seats and leaned forward. The first scene was frenetic with cars whizzing by around the racetrack interspersed with quick edits showing what was going on throughout the stadium. It was fast and the music was very loud. The kids’ eyes were open wide like big saucer plates and if their mouths had been open I think their jaws would have been touching the floor.
The kids already knew all of the characters and even the major plot points but even so they were thrilled to see it so large on the big screen. There were at times talkative and quiet just watching what was happening on-screen. Midway through, Porter started getting a little sleepy and even closed his eyes for a minute. But then he was back in the action again, wide-eye once more. The big race at the end of the picture had the boys up in their seats again and cheering for Lightning to win which … nope, I won’t spoil the ending for you. Afterwards the kids were pretty wound up and excited and seemed to like the movie a lot. I think it lived up to their expectations, if not exceeded them. All in all, I think they both had a great time, which is the most important factor.
Overall, I give the movie a big thumbs up. Critics seem to like it but don’t feel it lives up to the impossibly high standards of earlier Pixar movies like Toy Story, Monsters Inc. and A Bugs’ Life. And maybe so, but it’s still quite enjoyable and has plenty of humor for adults to enjoy along with their kids. Critics also claim the story is too close to the old Michael J. Fox movie Doc Hollywood. There are similarities to be sure but there are also enough differences and in the end, so what? Does Cars stand on its own as a fun, enjoyable film? Yes, yes it does. Should you see it? By all means drive as fast as you can to the nearest theater. But don’t leave too quickly, some of the extras in the credits are hilarious.