Viewed – 15 August 2009  Blu-ray

Well what can I say about this much underrated, commercial miss-step for Pixar?  Up to this point, and it has to be said since, the famed Disney studio has not missed a beat.  So it seems a shame that this particular entry seems destined to be their only flop.  That is probably the only reason I hesitated so so long.

The story goes like this:  A cock-sure race car with an over-inflated ego dreams of being a champ and winning the famed Piston Cup.  Lightening McQueen’s dreams seem just about to come true, until one evening on-route to his final race against his toughest rivals, an accident causes him to end up in a sleepy, forgotten town run by likable cars dreaming of their own glory days.  In this plucky race car they see a chance to clean up their old town, but will the Lightening change his arrogant ways and learn to care about someone other than himself?

It’s certainly a good concept, with the setting of a world where everyone is some sort of vehicle, with no humans in site.  A gamble too having Lightening McQueen portrayed so unfavourably at first, even though this eventually pays off.  I say eventually, because boy … does this film drag.  With far too much time spent with a bunch of towns folk that aren’t quite as quirky as I’m sure the director wished they were.  I felt in the middle of the film, we could have lost ten or twenty minutes and not noticed.  On a visual level though this is (as expected) a tour-de-force, with every frame and every gleam of shiny body work jumping out of the screen.  Also on a decent sound set up, the car revs and some great sound effects really impress.  At the end of the day though, this is a film that perhaps had a bigger concept than the rather simple story required … still remains one too see for sure … but perhaps on a back burner compared to the other Pixar masterpieces.

Verdict:  3 /5


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