- Cast: Owen Wilson, Michael Caine, Michael Keaton, Emily Mortimer, John Turturro, Jason Isaacs , John Ratzenberger, Joe Mantegna, Bonnie Hunt, Franco Nero, Tony Shalhoub, Thomas Kretschmann, Eddie Izzard, Larry the Cable Guy, Cheech Marin, Peter Jacobson, Jenifer Lewis, Guido Quaroni
- Directors: John Lasseter, Brad Lewis
- Writers: Ben Queen, John Lasseter, Brad Lewis, Dan Fogelman
- Producer: Denise Ream
- Art Direction: Jay Shuster
- Music: Michael Giacchino
- VFX Supervisor: Jim Cody Harrington
All the world's a racetrack as racing superstar Lightning McQueen zooms back into action, with his best friend Mater in tow, to take on the globe's fastest and finest in this thrilling high-octane new installment of the "Cars" saga. Mater and McQueen will need their passports as they find themselves in a new world of intrigue, thrills and fast-paced comedic escapades around the globe.
- Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
- Production Budget: $200 million
- Production Companies: Pixar Animation Studios, Walt Disney Pictures
- Production Schedule: 2008 - 2011
2011 Guide Analysis: "No filmmaker is without a few duds, no prestige label is without a few flawed choices, and no studio has a perfect track record - even the seemingly immortal Pixar Animation Studios. There's debate about which is the better "Toy Story", the lack of rewatch value with "A Bug's Life", the cloying sentimentality of "Monsters Inc.", or the flaws with the second half of "Wall-E".
Yet the most common agreement one hears about Pixar's films, aside from them all being genius, is that 2006's "Cars" is the weakest link. On Rotten Tomatoes the film sticks out like a sore thumb, scoring 74% positive reaction and a 6.9/10 average rating while every other feature they've ever produced scores at least 91% and 7.9/10 respectively.
To be fair it isn't a bad film, even Pixar bad is better than most other animation studio's output at their best, but its "Doc Hollywood"-esque story combined with its heavy-handed morality (even by Pixar standards) and self-indulgences rob the film of the edge, wit and inventiveness that informs all their other work. It's certainly not their biggest seller, a worldwide theatrical take of $461 million sits towards the bottom of their output while strong DVD & Blu-ray sales certainly don't make up for the shortfall.
Yet this is the film they chose to do their first non-"Toy Story" sequel for, rather than something more deserving or fitting such as any other film in their oeuvre. Why? Two things. The first is that "Cars" is Pixar head honcho John Lasseter's personal baby, he's protective of it and wants it to succeed as well as anything they've ever done. The chief motivator however is simple - money. "Cars" has sold $5 billion worth of merchandise, far and above any of Pixar's other films.
A project like this may hold little interest for more adult fans of the studio's output, but it won't affect the kid's interest in the property and will certainly make the company's merchandising partners far more excited than they have been with the limited opportunities on offer in the likes of "Ratatouille" and "Up". Even if the film stinks, there's billions to be made with a film like this, especially as it's introducing a whole bunch of new characters, so it's no wonder it got greenlit.
Will it suck though? One big advantage this time is the setting. With a whole new cast of characters and a spy-themed globe-trotting storyline, the film immediately looks far more appealing than its predecessor. Judging from the first trailer we can expect a bunch of old school James Bond homages, much like they did with the score and story elements of 2004's "The Incredibles". Still, this is the first Pixar release in a long while that it's very hard to get excited about."