Cars, while not Pixar’s best, was still a decent movie. It showed off America’s reminiscing of yesteryear road trips on roads like Route 66 among others, and had some clever car jokes, but it wasn’t exactly Toy Story or Monsters Inc. Pixar, in a move, I’m not quite sure of, decided they could drag another storyline out of this land where there are houses, but no humans.
Forget Radiator Springs. In fact, you can forget about America for the most part. Cars 2 takes a cue from Rowan Atkinson and tries its hand at the bumbling spy routine. While it keeps most of the original cast, most are regulated to very minor roles (except for superstar car Lightning McQueen and rusty tow truck Tow Mater). On a globetrotting adventure, Mater finds himself mistaken for a spy, attempting to get to the bottom of a green fuel conspiracy. Meanwhile, McQueen hands his own “hands” full with his race to be declared the greatest race car in the world in the newly announced World Grand Prix. As McQueen tries to handle the embarrassment of his sheltered friend, cars are dying out one by one. Will they be able to get to the bottom of things before Lightning meets his demise?
Like I said before, Cars 2 is the first Pixar movie to not be met with rave reviews. And, surprise surprise, I can see why. For Dream Works, Cars 2 would be a standout, but with our high standards for Pixar films, Cars 2 just flops. I think a large part of this is what they changed. The first movie’s success, for me at least, was owed to its Americana factor. Now, with the adventures expanded to make a globetrotting spy movie, they lost the thing that made people like the original. Yes, it’s a perfectly fine kids movie (although a lot of explosions), but it doesn’t have the mass appeal of the previous films.