By Bob Stewart
Lightning McQueen returns in the sequel to Disney Pixar’s World of Cars. This fast paced animated action-comedy takes folks young and old on an entertaining ride around the globe. Cars 2 is part Nascar, part James Bond, with a story plot that includes Lightning McQueen’s best friend, Mater, participating as an international spy.
Most of the old gang is back. However McQueen is racing in a special international competition, so he gets a new rival, an Italian Formula car named Francesco Bernoulli. The snide remarks between the two entertain the adult viewers while the colorful racing scenes entertain the young (and maybe a couple of Dads too). There is a new race announcer too. The Bob Cutlas character is out and Brent Mustangburger is in.
Pixar’s animation, particularly of Italy, London, and Tokyo are simply awesome. The backdrops look like real buildings. The bar has been raised for this genre. The only problem was the aerial-like fly overs should have been done slower so the viewer could really appreciate them.
Special effects are nothing without a real story though. Cars 2 delivers there as well. The international espionage angle brings with it a conflict between Big Oil and newer alternative energy choices. Lightning McQueen must deal with not only a new rival but his internal demons like anger and pride. Mater deals with his own limitations both intellectually and culturally.
All together Cars 2 is a big hit. There is something for everyone and it is something to remember.