Who can forget the first ten minutes of UP, where a kid’s movie emotionally punched you in the nutsack so hard you woke up at the talking dog scene?
Or how about the feeling of longing brought about when a little robot, alone for 700 years and surrounded by garbage, dreamed of just holding someone’s hand by clasping his own two together while watching Hello Dolly?
Who could forget the look of calm defeat that flashes across the faces of life long toy friends when they realize they’re going to die a fiery meltyplastic death, and with no rescue coming, one by one accepted their fate and stopped struggling?
Pixar has taken some big risks in the past. Literally they’ve reinvented movie making (arguably by re-hashing European film techniques with solid scripts – see Ratatouille) and created some incredibly beautiful, striking movie moments like the ones above. They boldly and successfully play with their audience using themes thought to be taboo in kids movies: death, loss, alienation, nostalgia, etc., and in the process have created the best American cinema in the last decade.
Cars 2, from what I am understanding from all the reviews, does nothing to help that last statement. When Pixar set out to make Toy Story 2, fanboys worried that they were selling out to the monster Hollywood cash machine, but were surprised when they got a solid, touching story that was just as good as the first – and then outdid themselves with a third movie. Pixar proved that you could continue a franchise without selling out.
However, I can glean not one thing from the reviews I’ve read, or from the trailers I’ve seen, that this movie is nothing but “oil=pee” and “muffler=fart” jokes.
This is why I’ll not see Cars 2 in the theartre. I don’t want to tarnish Pixar’s stellar reputation. Sadly, however, Cars 2 exists, like a steaming pile of cat puke, left carelessly from a loved one, outside your bedroom door. Eventually you’ll step in it.
Bah! I was in a horrid mood all morning until I saw this: