Could Cars 2 Be Pixar’s First Goof?

Cars 2 graphics

Overly Mater'd?

Like many other Disney/Pixar nerds, I’ll be seeing Cars 2 this weekend.  The reviews are starting to come out and they’re mixed.

Reviewers seem to be surprised that Mater is taking a central role in this one.  Not sure why.  We’ve been told that since they first started talking about the movie years ago.  And I think it’s an obvious move.  The hero is always hard to write good material for.  In the first film Lightening was going through his personal changes.  Now he’s a nice, boring guy.  Disney animators for years said it was often hard to write for Mickey because he’s so nice and normal.

People like Mater.  I like Mater.  I’m not fond of Dan Whitney (aka Larry the Cable Guy), but that’s my comedy career and my Disney hobby colliding.  Actually I’ll amend that.  I’ve heard from comics that know him that Dan Whitney is an extremely nice, generous and focused individual.  So I like him.  Still don’t like Larry. 🙂

Putting Mater up front will make the public happy.  It’s a good character with plenty of comic possibilities.  And they did enough tryout work with the Mater’s Tall Tales shorts to really get into his character and see what they could do with it in a longer format.

I think another part of some of the less spectacular reviews is that some of the reviewers may think Pixar should fail at the point.  I mean, come on.  It’s been 25 years without a significant glitch in the system?  Yep.  It’s kind of like the hipsters that don’t like a band after they get famous.

Personally, I am always underwhelmed with Pixar’s trailers and run up to their films.  Every time they start talking about a new film I go, “Ooh, that one doesn’t look great.  They may actually blow it this time.”  And then the movie is flippin’ great and I’m happy to have spent my money on it.  I literally go into almost every Pixar film with low expectations.  And they’ve proven me wrong every time.

I don’t like sequels and all of this looks like a run up to the opening of Carsland at Disneyland next year.  But I also know that John Lasseter cares deeply for this art form.  And he’s made plenty of moves to show us that his heart is in the right place with this company.  So even if he does stumble…. I’ll let one go. 😉

Addendum:  Saw the film last night and loved it (duh).  It’s a tiny bit slow during the middle section where there’s a few less gags, but overall a very good film.  And I was thrilled to hear my favorite comedian, Eddie Izzard, doing the voice of Miles Axlerod. 🙂

Phil Johnson

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