I absolutely adored this movie. The characters are vivid and enjoyable, the voice acting is phenomenal and the music is lots of fun. My biggest regret watching the film was that I never actually took a road trip on Route 66. What I love the most is that aside from the story, the film really emphasizes Americana with the music and the car racing and the Route 66, and I love Americana. I love being America and I love it when art emphasizes this and shares this great patriotic pride I have.
Owen Wilson plays Lightning McQueen, rookie race car who desires nothing more than the Piston cup. His brash, arrogant attitude and cocky style get him in jail in Radiator Springs, the Jewel on the Mother Road (Route 66). Here he learns the lessons he never learned growing up (where are his parents?) and in the end finds himself in what he affectionately calls “Hillbilly Hell”. Helping him on his journey are Bonnie Hunt as Sally and Paul Newman as Doc Hudson.
Larry the Cable Guy is the funniest thing on four wheels. “Maybe I should have hitched him up to Bessie…and then taken the boot off…” “I swear, tractor’s is so DUMB!”
I wish I spoke Italian so I could understand more of what Luigi and Guido kept talking about. “Pit stop?” When Guido has his moment…you will know.
John Ratzenberger participates as a Mack truck that has to haul Owen Wilson around the country, and provides the funniest credit bits since the outtakes from A Bug’s Life. There is also a touching tribute to Joe Ranft, who was tragically killed in a car crash before this film was released. Both this film and Corpse Bride owe a lot to this guy, and the world grieves the loss of his talent.
Richard Kind cameo’s as the standard suburban driver car who refuses to ask for directions. But redneck comedians always warn us about this…doesn’t everybody know to not let ego get involved? Oh well.
The landscapes contain some of the most beautiful CGI I’ve ever seen. It’s so beautiful I want to cry with happiness. More than anything, they are what I regret about having not traveled down Route 66.
This movie is another jewel in Pixar’s crown, to be treasured by the world. No, not the world. Just America. Europe doesn’t understand NASCAR. Then again, neither did I until I saw this movie (but don’t tell anybody).