Just forget the words and sing along

Monday, June 12, 2006

Talkin' 'bout Cars

As you all know by now, Pixar's latest movie, Cars, came out this weekend. You know me, I love Pixar movies, but I haven't seen Cars yet. I got a couple of busy weekends coming up, so it'll probably be a few weeks still before I can jet down to Edmonton and see it.

Cars made $68 million in its opening weekend, making it the third highest Pixar opening ever. (#1 is The Incredibles with $70.8 million, #2 is Finding Nemo at $70.6 million).

What makes me sad, though, is it looks like Cars is the end of Pixar's dominance of computer animated films. Don't get me wrong, the reviews have been mostly good...just not overwhelmingly positive like all past Pixar films.

There are two big criticisms that are popping up. #1 is that the plot is too routine, cliched, and formulaic. I haven't seen it yet, so I can't speak to that. However, I do find it ironic that, when it comes to Pixar films, this criticism is thrown at John Lasetter's films. Lasetter, of course, wrote and directed the two Toy Stories, A Bug's Life and Cars. In all the DVD bonus materials, Lasetter is the one who harps on the importance of story..."Story is king," is his frequent quote. You think that the guy who harps on the importance of story would do better than a cliched, formulaic story.

The second criticism I always see is, "I just can't wrap my head around the concept of talking cars." Variants have stretched from "It's creepy to see cars as living, breathing creatures with no humans around" to "In this era of gas guzzling and global warming, a movie about cars is just wrong." My response to that is, "You're right. It is wrong. Please, give us another computer animated film about talking animals or a sarcastic fairy tale spoof. Please, oh please, don't give us anything new and different."

Hmmm...formulaic plot, but a new and different setting. Maybe Lasetter's problem is he's focusing on the wrong part to make new and different.

Oh well. I still want to see it!

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