Cars 2006   9 out of 10

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244 Million Domestic and 462 Million Worldwide at the box office.

I’ll start by saying the Cars Franchise is definitely not my favorite of the Pixar films  (but Pixar really doesn’t make bad films)

Lighting McQueen is a cocky flashy race car that gets lost on his way to the big race when he falls out of his transport truck and getsstuck in a little town called Radiator Springs.  Lightning McQueen accidentally tears up the main road in Radiator Springs in his confusion while trying to find the main highway and is sentenced to fix the road before he can leave.

This is a Pixar movie that came out of John Lasseter’s love of Route 66 and is a tribute to that lost highway.   The movie is entertaining and fun without having a villain.  It is a lesson movie.  At first Lightning McQueen just wants to get out of this little town–but instead he finds friendship, love and a true mentor as a part of his journey.  The voice acting is great in this film with Owen Wilson as Lightning McQueen and Larry the Cable Guy as Mater the Tow Truck and of course screen legend Paul Newman as Doc Hudson.

Cars 2 2010  9 out of 10

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191 Million Domestic and a whopping 562 Million Worldwide.

Many Disney/Pixar fans aren’t big fans of this Cars sequel.   I think a lot of people were expecting a different movie and had other better Pixar movies that they would rather have seen sequels to.   Mater was just a side character in the first Cars movie — but after starring in a bunch of cartoon animated shorts called Mater’s Tall Tales he became the focus of this very different Cars movie. While Lightning McQueen is involved in a World Grand Prix race Mater gets mistaken for a spy and bumbles his way through an adventure with Finn McMissile a British Spy Car.  I actually enjoyed this film a lot although part of that could be because we saw it at the El Capitan theater. This experience included an entire play area for the kids after the movie featuring slides and bungee jumping, photo ops and more.  It was a memorable day and may have boosted how much I enjoyed the film.  Even though I prefer Mater as a side character instead of the star… this movie was action packed spy mystery and still a lot of fun.  Cars El CapCars 2 El

Cars 3 2017   8 out of 10

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141 Million Domestic and 224 Million Worldwide as of this review

If Cars 2 was a Sequel that no Disney/Pixar fan was craving then Cars 3 was even less on people’s radar as the box office shows.  The movie itself was entertaining  – but it just felt like it wasn’t a story that had to be told.   As I mentioned in a previous Mouse Minute Recap Disney didn’t really care about the box office for the film because the Cars Franchise is a big Merchandise money maker.  The Carsland section of DCA is amazing whether you are a Cars fan or not…so this film was going to happen whether the fans asked for it or not.

All that being said at least the folks at Pixar still told an interesting story.   This film goes back to the roots of the first Cars and is another movie that is more about the lessons learned by the characters.   We find Lightning McQueen years after the first film and much racing success facing the fact that a batch of newer faster cars are now passing him by.   The movie then goes into Rocky IV mode as Lightning McQueen trains old school style to try and get ready for the big race against the new hotshot car  Jackson Storm.  His new race sponsor gives him the help of a girl car named Cruz Ramirez that at first he shuns and then forms a friendship with.    It was a good movie with one really incredible sequence at the demolition derby  (that I first saw at DCA as part of a 4-D sneak peek).   I’m not sure how memorable the film will be overtime however.  The twist at the end of the movie was a cool lesson (even if I saw it coming), but I just think the fans have a little bit of Cars Franchise fatigue.