Pixar Animation Studios has a history of making computer animated films that are both critically and commercially successful.
Eleven films have been produced by Pixar prior to Cars 2 beginning with Toy Story in 1995. Others were A Bug’s Life, Toy Story, Monsters, Inc., Finding Nemo and Ratatouille among others.
All were highly praised.
This year’s Cars 2 is expected to change that. Early reviews of Cars 2 from critics and moviegoers are negative. This might be the worst reviewed Pixar film yet.
The first Cars movie in 2006 was praised for its simple story of a racecar Lightning McQueen landing in a forgotten town called Radiator Springs and went on to learn the value of friendship. It even won the inaugural Golden Globe Award for Best Animated Feature Film.
However, Cars 2 shifted focus from main character Lightning McQueen (voiced by Owen Wilson) to supporting character Mater (voiced by Larry The Cable Guy). Apparently, that didn’t went to well with the critics saying that the movie is too-much-Mater.
Yes, the plot even says so.
Star race car Lightning McQueen and his pal Mater head overseas to compete in the World Grand Prix race. But the road to the championship becomes rocky as Mater gets caught up in an intriguing adventure of his own: international espionage.
As of June 2011, review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reports that 41% of critics have given the film a positive review based on 74 reviews, with an average score of 5.7/10. So far it is the first Pixar film ever to be certified “rotten” by the website, and the lowest score given to a Pixar film by the website.
“Cars 2 is as visually appealing as any other Pixar production, but all that dazzle can’t disguise the rusty storytelling under the hood.”
Another review aggregator, Metacritic, which assigns a weighted average score out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, calculated an average score of 59% based on 19 reviews, indicating “mixed or average reviews”.
A.O. Scott of The New York Times remarks that the movie is “built to move merchandise.” The film, Scott writes, “takes the bold, arguably generous and ultimately calamitous step of pushing its lovable, goofy second banana to the center of the action.” That “second banana” is, of course, Mater. “Lightning’s racing exploits are secondary.”
TIME magazine has a similar take. Mary Pols writes that “this [‘Cars 2’] is Mater’s movie. It’s a Materthon. I would call it Materific if he didn’t leave me longing for ‘WALL-E’s’ robot to crush him into a silent cube.” Pols also contends that the movie’s basic premise (that asking a friend to change his or her behavior is bad) just doesn’t work.
We hope to hear from you reader. What do you think of the movie?