Posts tagged ratatouille
I don’t think many people would deny the claim that Pixar is incredible. Somehow, it has managed to enthrall audiences with 11 consecutive high-quality films. Yet, with Cars 2, the studio expands on its unanimously weakest film, Cars; does this decision ruin Pixar’s run of top-notch filmmaking?
Not exactly. I would by no means mourn the death of Pixar, or even worry about signs of bad things to come. So rest easy; Pixar didn’t go from Toy Story 3 (in my opinion the pinnacle of Pixar films) to complete ruin.
However, none of this is to say that Cars 2 is not one of, if not the, worst film Pixar has released. It follows its predecessor straight to the bottom of the barrel.
There aren’t really deeper meanings to speak of in Cars 2.
The film has meanings, sure, but they are limited to blatant messages about the importance of friendship (the primary message of the original has been recycled weakly) and the importance of alternative fuel sources. I’m all for both of those messages, but there’s just really not much to them.
In fact, much of the film exudes a sense of “been there, done that [in the original].” The big difference in this sequel is the exciting spy story and the global scope.
In fact, the film succeeds more as family-friendly action than traditional Pixar fare. I know I enjoyed myself most while watching the movie during the high-speed action sequences that display great creativity and fulfill promises that were never fully realized in the slower original.
Don’t get me wrong; Cars 2 has plenty of the same elements that make all Pixar works great: wit, brilliant visuals, a great score, endearing characters, and so on.
The problem is that it’s all done with the distinct feel that it is all being aimed exclusively at a young audience. That’s a problem.
Pixar is nearly unmatched in its ability to craft stories that capture mature audiences while still entertaining kids through the bright characters and visuals and appropriate dialogue. But the Cars series seems to buck this trend, offering two works I would not hesitate calling “kids movies” (with all other Pixar films, I would add that they are still able to be appreciated more by adults than by kids).
All in all, Cars 2 fails to hit the heights established by virtually every Pixar film since the original Cars (Ratatouille, Wall-E, Up, and Toy Story 3 all brought much more to the table), but doesn’t crash and burn entirely.
As a clever, light-hearted spy action movie that delivers on the promise implied by its focus on fast cars, Cars 2 entertains. It’s just a bit of a bummer that it doesn’t do much more than that, as Pixar films usually do.
If you have seen the movie, what did you think of it? Does it lead you to worry about Pixar’s future or does it meet the high mark Pixar has created for itself? I know that I wasn’t nearly as excited to see this movie as most Pixar works; do you feel the same? Let me know in the comments.
If you like Cars 2, then try:
- The Incredibles (also Pixar, plus both feature at least one “super secret agent” character type).
- Mission Impossible series (for those who prefer their spies to be bipeds…and not cartoons).