Cars 2 Review – The next Disney classic

Cars 2If there’s any movie that my kids have been counting down the days to see, it’s definitely Cars 2, the long awaited sequel to the uber popular Cars movie that was first released when I only had one kid. Since then, we’ve watched it countless times, collected various iterations of Lightning McQueen and all his Radiator Springs gang, and wondered when are they going to make another one.


Well, wait no more. The sequel is here, in 3D no less, and it’s definitely worth the wait.
[don't miss a fun glimpse at the red carpet after the jump]


The movie unfolds with a surprising James Bond-esque action sequence
starring new character Finn McMissile, voiced by Michael Caine. Think
the suave 007 but as an Italian car, with all sorts of bells and
whistles–or rather, guns and rockets– that come in handy as his secret
mission goes awry and he escapes the clutches of the bad guys. Or
in this case, bad cars.

You know, lemons.

Lightning McQueen in Cars2The scene sets the
perfect tone for the entire film, a thrilling worldwide
espionage-slash-race movie. The celebrity voice casting is pitch
perfect, from John Turturro as Italian race car Francesco Bernoulli, to
British agent Holly Shiftwell, played by mom of four Emily Mortimer.

In
fact, even though Cars 2 is a sequel, it includes an entirely new cast
of characters (in addition to those you already love) and a story line
that isn’t at all reliant on the first movie. If your kids didn’t see the
first one, don’t worry–they’ll be able to catch up in no time.



Parents will be interested to know the movie is tame enough for really young kids, with two small exceptions; the first scene might be a little scary if you have an
anxious little movie watcher like I do, and there is one part where the
bad guys “kill” a car. Otherwise, even the bad guys aren’t really that
bad, which is a nice change from the typical over-the-top evil Disney
villains we’re used to seeing.

I did notice that the dialogue isn’t as witty and funny as you may be imagining after Disney releases like Tangled or Toy Story 3.
Clearly Cars 2 is all about appealing to action-hungry kiddos (and
adults), both boys and girls. Don’t get me wrong, my son and I laughed
out loud at several parts in this movie, but you’re definitely going to
be more enthralled by the race sequences (particularly amazing
in 3D) than the actual script.

Cars 2 Red CarpetThe new characters, like Finn and
Holly, are not as “lovable” as the original Radiator Gang, but they
definitely hold their own special appeal. Which means prepare
to be swimming in Cars 2 merchandise requests before your popcorn is even empty. Disney has never employed
so many licensing partners and created so many different products around a
single release. So you’ll find Cars 2 on everything from clothing to
some very cool toys, and even Perdue whole grain chicken nuggets in the
shape of lightning bolts and, well, cars.

If my son’s reaction is
any indication, Cars 2 will definitely be the next Disney classic. Not
just because it’s a sequel to an already popular movie, but because it
alone is exactly what you’d expect from Disney and Pixar. And that’s a
good thing. -Kristen


You can catch Cars 2
at a theater near you June 24. Find out more on the Cars 2 Facebook page – 3 million fans and counting! Thanks to Disney partner Perdue for
including Cool Mom Picks at the red carpet Los Angeles premier where we
got to brush elbows with the Beckham family. Yes, he’s hot in person.
And darnit, so is she. Even pregnant.

Cool Mom Staff

We spend our time looking for cool stuff so you don't have to. Hope this one fits the bill.

16 Comments

  • Reply June 19, 2011

    Daddy Geek Boy

    My tickets are already bought. Not sure who’s more excited, me or my son.

  • Reply June 19, 2011

    Autherine

    We have watch the original Cars hundred of times so I am actually nervous to see this one b/c it does not have the small town feel of Cars. Glad that you enjoyed it

  • Reply June 19, 2011

    Lynn

    I can’t wait to take my kids to see it, i just know that they are going to love it!

  • Reply June 20, 2011

    Jennifer

    I saw this over the weekend as well and I have to say that I disagree with one point, I do not think that this movie is appropriate for really young kids. I’m actually surprised that is has a G rating because of the, well, murder. That’s how I saw the scene mentioned above. In actuality the bad guys torture a spy car to death. It pans out before the car is “finished”. So the death is implicit but the “torture for information” part is explicit.

    I think it’s fine for young kids (seven or eight), just not really young ones. My three year old loves the original but there is no way I’d let her see this one til she is older.

    I enjoyed the movie overall. I also missed the atmosphere of the original but it makes a cute spy film. I *really* enjoyed the racing bits and it is a stunningly beautiful film. The art work is really amazing.

    I just wanted to add my two cents as a mom of a three-year-old.

  • Reply June 20, 2011

    Steph

    Thank you to Jennifer above for clarifying that this movie is not suitable for young kids. That too is the impression that I had from watching the previews. It seems too violent for the preschool age kids (3-5y/o) in the previews, not to mention the song in the previews says “shut up and drive” again not suitable for that age group. It’s a shame. I guess they are trying to appeal to slightly older kids who fell in love with the first one and are now older. The first movie lacks violence or really any scary parts which is rare for Disney. My 3 year olds love the first one but I’ll have to screen this one before I let them watch (and I’m thinking based on Jennifer’s comment above it’ll be a no go).

  • Cool Mom Picks
    Reply June 20, 2011

    Cool Mom Picks

    Thanks for your comments, Jennifer.

    We all have different standards for our kids.

    I watched the movie with my 4.5 year old, who is typically a very anxious movie watcher, and he just loved it. I still think that younger kids will enjoy the races and action and perhaps not even notice those scenes, while older kids will enjoy the stronger plot that the first one was lacking. It works on multiple levels.

    But of course, we as parents have to determine if the movie right for our kids, since we’re the ones who know them best.

    -Kristen

  • Reply June 20, 2011

    Backpacking Dad

    If your kid can make it through Monsters Inc, with its torture scene and, well, monsters, Cars II should be fine.

  • Reply June 21, 2011

    RookieMom Heather

    We’re counting down the days. Heck, we’re even counting the bus stops showing the movie poster.

  • Reply June 22, 2011

    Angel Rose

    I took my 4 year old to see Cars 2 last night. We have been so excited for this to come out. Cars is by far his favorite movie.
    However, I left the theater with deep dissappoint for Disney / Pixar. I understand that they want to appeal to boys and are trying to get away from sining princesses. BUT I was shocked and disheartened that Disney chose to go the way of violence. The guns, bombs, missiles, murder plots – oh yes this was a ‘disney’ movie not a James Bond movie. If it were live action it would easily have been a PG rating.
    Did anyone else notice the 3 references to booze as well?
    It was a good movie. It kept my attention. But it lost the cute family movie vibe of Cars.
    That dissappoints me beyond words. I have relied on Disney to be that wholesome movie go to.

    I wish I had waited until I had read reviews. After seeing it I dont know if I would have let my son see it. As it was we had good talk after words about guns, ‘killing’ and the word idiot (I can see that being tossed around school yards now.

    I dont see this being added to our Disney movie collection anytime soon :(

  • Reply June 25, 2011

    alyssa

    We went and saw this tonight with my 7 year old son, 12 year old daughter and 3 year old nephew and we all walked out dissapointed. My nephew was scared of all the action and we barely made it through the movie. My children disliked it as well. I lost interest in it about 15 minutes into the film. There was just so much action that it was hard to follow the story line. It didn’t live up to the hype at all, and I doubt that we will be seeing it again anytime soon, even when it’s out on dvd.

  • Reply June 25, 2011

    Dawn

    I liked the 1st cars movie better this one has to much violence come on its a kid movie does it have to have guns and bombs in every movie there was not much racing just alot of shooting wasted my money and time on it very poor rating

  • Reply July 3, 2011

    Aubrey Fennewald

    I have to agree with Jennifer on this. I took my 3 year-old and 5-year old to see this movie yesterday as a birthday weekend treat for our new 5-year old. As mentioned in the original article (I’m sorry, I didn’t catch the name of the author), my boys too have waited a while in anticipation for this movie. They too have watch the first movie too many times to count with much love and admiration for the characters and the numerous accompanying toys, underwear, PJs, etc… I am sad to say that AT THEIR REQUEST, we ended up leaving half-way through the movie (much to my dismay given the ridiculous cost to see a newly released movie in the theaters these days!). The plot of spies and espionage was just too sophisticated for them. They did NOT understand the dialogue nor the gist of the story, and there was not enough of the “cool” racing parts to keep their interest. I was surprised there wasn’t more of Lightening McQueen involved in the story, as were they because he’s their favorite character. They both kept asking me, “Where’s McQueen?”. By the way, I was MORE than happy to take them out… I was SHOCKED this movie was given a G rating. Guns, shooting at other characters, blowing things up with bombs and TORTURING and KILLING other cars is certainly way to violent for a “G” rating! My three-year-old didn’t understand what the bad guys were doing to one of the first spy characters when they tortured and then killed him… kept asking me questions about it, and I felt very uncomfortable trying to explain what was happening. Hello?!?… THAT’S PARENTAL GUIDANCE, hence PG… in fact, I would say this should have been rated PG-13 for all the violence and mature content in the dialogue and plot line. I highly regret having taken my children to see this movie, and spent $25 so that we could walk out half-way through(!!) without first having read some reviews… you just expect “G” to be safe, ya know?

  • Reply July 3, 2011

    JEANYSANCHEZ

    CARS 2 IS AWESOME MOVIE AND I LOVE IT!

  • Reply July 5, 2011

    ronbh

    My 24-year-old son (correct) and I went to see Cars2 this afternoon and I agree with many of the posters on this site. The movie was way over the heads of children. The violence, the dialogue, the plot. Wow, what was Disney thinking? There were few in the audience laughing. Essentially, we were quiet for the duration of the film. That’s not a good sign. Another such sign, in my opinion, is that we find out that Disney has pulled out all of the stops to ensure that Cars2 merchandise is in stores and on the shelves, now! I’d be more than curious to know how the sales are doing? I suspect not well.

  • Reply July 26, 2011

    jeff

    This movie was awful. Just awful. My son actually asked to leave half way through. I was shocked.

  • Reply March 23, 2012

    LoraLove

    My 2 year old loves Cars 1 so I rented Cars 2 and he fell asleep 5 minutes into it. I was glad because I really didn’t expect all the violence. “Murder” is exactly how I described it too! And all the shooting! I will let him live in the happt world of Cars 1 for now.

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