Cars (DVD & Blu-Ray)

DVD & Blu-Ray Disc Covered In Review

Cover Art and Menu: 7/10
It’s cute. It’s colorful. It’s a Disney/Pixar DVD. There’s need for artsy interpretation of an animated racing car, unless you are truly a snooty tooty. The cover and menus all keep the spirit of what Pixar is all about, fun. Awe, that’s so cute and cuddly.

Extras & Features: 7/10

  • All New Animated Short Mater & The Ghost light – This is a short featuring the lovely and talented Mater the rusty truck. He’s a jokester who gets some payback from his friends around Radiator Springs. It’s a nice little short, but it seems like it might just be a subplot of the story in the movie that got cut out for whatever reason but they didn’t want to toss the whole thing aside. It doesn’t have the same kind of mesmerizing qualities that Pixar’s other shorts have, so it’s not in the league with the others.
  • Animated Short One Man Band – Now THIS is a Pixar short in all it’s glory. This little animation is really good. It features two dueling one-man-band dudes fighting it out musically for a little girl’s only coin. It’s looks great, sounds excellent, and it’s just plan funny.
  • Deleted Scenes – This is a short series of scenes that didn’t make it all the way to the render farm. They are story boards animated to a certain degree and voiced over with non-celeb voices. They look great though. I love the look of the drawings moving around. I would like to see a whole movie, or a Pixar short in this style if they can squeeze it into their schedule sometime.
  • Inspiration Featurette – This is a documentary that follows the folks of Pixar along their journey down Route 66 that helped them discover the story of Cars. It shows some of the colorful characters they find in real life along the way who inspired some of the animated characters in the movie. The head guy from Pixar seems a bit less enthusiastic and more contemplative in his interviews. I think losing his friend and Pixar co-founder around the time of this movie sadly toned him down a lot.
  • Sneak Peek Of Ratatouille – Commercial
  • Easter Egg – You have to see it for yourself. I’m not telling.
  • Carfinder Game (Blu-Ray Exclusive) – Using BD-Java interactive technology Disney and Pixar have created a interactive “Where’s Waldo” type experience that is almost as good as a full retail product you usually buy for your kids. You essentially watch the entire movie with trivia questions that need answering popping up regularly throughout the movie, its fun and its random so you can actually play it more than once.
  • Never Before Seen Deleted Scene (Blu-Ray Exclusive) – You have to see it for yourself. I’m not telling AGAIN.
  • Radiator Springs Featurettes (Blu-Ray Exclusive) – A bunch of new Featurettes that cover different aspects of the making of the movie.
  • Movie Showcase (Blu-Ray Exclusive) – Something that is becoming the standard on all Disney High Definition releases, this feature allows you to quickly jump to three selected scenes that show off your home theatre setup.
  • Cine-Explore Mode – Director John Lasseter guides you through the movie with picture in picture commentary, this feature has been a exclusive feature of HDDVD for quite some time so it makes a welcome appearance on Blu-Ray.

The Movie: 9/10
What can you say about a Pixar movie that hasn’t been said? Fun, colorful, looks great, sounds great, good story, great characters? Yea, ok, I’ll say all that. Cars is the tale of one race car who finds himself smack dab in the middle of nowhere, or so he thinks. What to expect from a Pixar movie is no longer a mystery to the movie going public. We all know we will be feeling good at some point during the story, and that’s a good thing.

We all fell in love with little fishy Nemo, and we all remember the good old fashioned Pixar classic Toy Story. You might think it would be hard to compete with a history of goodness like that, but Cars holds it’s own. It’s not got that same oomph that the others have had. I think that’s partially because I’m getting used to the spectacle of each feature animated film they put out. I’m spoiled and my expectations have been inched up over the years. All that said, Cars is just as lovely and just as fun and just as entertaining as the worlds of Woody and Nemo. I can’t say it’s better than A Bug’s Life though, that’s my favorite Pixar movie to date.

What I found in Cars was a sentimental look at how life can turn around so quickly and unexpectedly even when you don’t expect it. A snooty fast paced race car finds himself stuck in a small town in the desert, along, working off some community service for damaging their one and only road through town.

This town is Radiator Springs, and it represents so many real life small towns that have closed down and faded away through the years because of bigger and better highways taking people straight from one big city to another without taking time to stop and enjoy the stops along the way. Radiator Springs has a tire shop, a doctor with a secret past, an cute ex-big-time lawyer chick/Porsche, and Mater, the town clown and genuinely good hearted buffoon town truck.

Oh, did I mention that everyone and everything is an automobile of some kind. They are living breathing cars, thus the title, eh hem, Even the insects are little tiny VW bugs with wings. The landscape around the town, the desert and all the natural beauty surrounding the story is covered with visual references to cars and other vehicles. You have to see what I mean to know what I mean. The races in the movie are amazing to say the least. I forgot, every few seconds, that I was watching a cartoon movie. The sounds and the close up shots of the race track as cars fly by are incredible. I’m sure they did their NASCAR research to get it just right. They even had Bob Costa’s and other racing commentators do their gig during the races.

Speaking of voices, the voice acting is excellent from start to finish. Bonnie Hunt has a great voice for an animated character. She’s so sweet but has that hint of sarcasm in there too. Owen Wilson is his normal charming and comedy self, which I like. The faces of the characters often reflect real life features of the people who do the voices, which is cool. Paul Newman does a gruffly old man voice, oh he is an old man? Right, I always forget. I have Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid frozen in my mind for all eternity for some reason. There are a lot of other good voices throughout, including Larry the Cable guy, who my husband has been known to look down his nose at the blue collar comedian, but seemed to laugh at almost everything his little truck character said ..hmmmm I smell hypocrite.

Overall, if you like Pixar flicks, you’ll like Cars. If you love it the first time you watch it, you’ll love it more the second and third. You can take more time to really look at every inch of every scene. In fact, I think I’ll go watch it again right now.

Video & Audio: (By Ascully) 10/10
Cars really delivers in the audio/visual dept but I didn’t expect anything less from  Pixar who traditionally made sure there standard DVD releases looked almost High Definition they were so good. The Aspect ratio of the cars Blu-Ray disc is actually a little wider than the standard DVD release so you also get a little more picture for your money. Audio is also top notch this is certainly a showcase disc, its a shame they are not releasing “A Bugs Life” as its my favorite Pixar movie by far.

Value: 8/10
I would say that at around 13 bucks this is a good deal for such a fun and entertaining DVD. It’s worth it for sure. This DVD isn’t as packed with information about the making of and behind the scenes at Pixar, but it’s got enough to make it worth watching and having on your movie shelf at home. Besides, if you have kids and they watch it as many times as I think they will, it will average out to about ¢.0005 each time they pop it in the DVD player. That’s good value for the money.

Overall Score 8/10