Genre(s): Animation, Comedy, Sports
Disney/Pixar | G – 117 min. – $49.99 | October 29, 2013
Directed by: John Lasseter
Writer(s): John Lasseter and Joe Ranft and Jorgen Klubien (original story), Dan Fogelman and John Lasseter and Joe Ranft and Kiel Murray & Phil Lorin and Jorgen Klubien (screenplay)
Voice Cast: Owen Wilson, Paul Newman, Bonnie Hunt, Larry the Cable Guy, Cheech Marin, Tony Shalhoub, Michael Keaton, Jeremy Piven
Theatrical Release Date: June 9, 2006
Features: Commentary, Featurettes, Deleted Scenes, Animated Shorts, DVD Copy, Digital Copy
Number of Discs: 3
Audio: English (Dolby TrueHD 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1)
Video: 1080p/Widescreen 2.39
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Disc Size: 46.2 GB (2D)
Codec: MPEG-4 AVC
Region(s): A, B, C
THE MOVIE – 3.5/5
Plot Outline: Hotshot rookie race car Lightning McQueen (voiced by OWEN WILSON) is living life in the fast lane until he hits a detour on his way to the most important race of his life. Stranded in Radiator Springs, a forgotten town on the old Route 66, he meets Sally (BONNIE HUNT), Doc Hudson (PAUL NEWMAN) and a variety of quirky characters, including Mater (LARRY THE CABLE GUY), who help him discover that there’s more to life than trophies and fame.
Quick Hit Review: Cars is probably the first film from Pixar that I was really disappointed with. The plot itself is fine and has a decent message for kids, but the concept isn’t well developed and, from an adult’s perspective, doesn’t make a lick of sense. Even so, the jokes do work and one cannot complain about the voice work from the late and great Paul Newman especially considering it was his final role.
The animation is absolutely gorgeous and although it does kind of wear out its welcome clocking in at nearly two hours, the story is good enough to keep one’s attention until the end. Before its sequel, Cars 2, it was Pixar’s weakest film but that’s a testament to the quality of work from the animation company.
SPECIAL FEATURES – 3.75/5
The 3-disc set is housed in a standard Blu-ray case and comes with a glossy and shiny slip cover. This release also contains slip with the code for the Digital Copy.
Cine-Explore is a picture-in-picture feature, with the option of commentaries with the Director or Production, with options to go-to the features on this disc and look at photo stills and such. It’s an old feature but still pretty good.
Carfinder is an interactive game to find different cars as the movie plays.
Mater and the Ghostlight (7:09; HD) and One Man Band (4:32; HD) are animated shorts, the first starring our favorite rusty tow truck.
Epilogue (4:19; HD) is the full screen version that plays with the end credits.
Boundin’ Cars (0:46; SD) – This is the Pixar musical short Boundin’ with cars.
Movie Showcase – Four HD demos scenes (Crash, Drive with Sally and Doc Racing) from 2006 to show off your system.
Inspiration for Cars (16:02; SD) – Is a behind-the-scenes featurette on where the idea for the movie came from Radiator Springs to the races themselves.
Deleted Scenes (14:00; SD) has five scenes, in rough form, that didn’t make the final cut.
Documentary Shorts (35:52; SD) are seven short featurettes covering a variety of subjects including “Radiator Springs”, “Character Design”, “Animation and Acting”, “Real World Racing”, “Hudson Hornet”, “Graphics” and “Darrell Waltrip Museum Tour”.
Previews – Frozen, The Jungle Book Blu-ray, Planes
3D VIDEO – 4.0/5
Cars has received a post 3D conversion and I actually was surprisingly impressed. Although there’s no real pop-up effect, the depth of field in key areas looks nice and although the night shots and racing scenes don’t look the best, it’s a fine transfer even if it was never meant for the 3D format.
2D VIDEO – 5.0/5
The 2D version is the same as the one released in 2006 but still is pretty damn perfect showcasing some excellent colors and the detail levels are incredible. There are no signs of artifacting and even compared with animated releases from today, it still holds up satisfactorily.
AUDIO – 4.75/5
The disc receives an updated Dolby TrueHD 5.1 track where previous releases had PCM 5.1 audio which were pretty good on their own. With this TrueHD track, the audio is expansive showcasing the racing scenes and on the lower end, having crisp and clear dialogue levels with ambient noises make some use of the front and rear channels.
OVERALL – 4.0/5
Overall, Cars is hardly Pixar’s best film, not even in the top 5, but there’s some magic to it and you can’t go wrong with the voice talent of Paul Newman, the perfect choice for the role. This 3D Blu-ray release by Disney basically has the same content as the original releases although the audio does get a nice upgrade. Unless you’re a collector’s of 3D movies and/or never owned the previous version, this is one you can skip.