This is a great movie with a wonderful message.
Not as many extras as many have come to expect from a Pixar release.
Cars is the tale of hot shot racing car Lightning McQueen. He is one of the best race cars around, he'll do anything to win, the only problem is that he's so self absorbed that he doesn't think he needs anyone's to help be successful. On the way to an important race, Lightning gets separated from the truck that is transporting him and he ends up in Radiator Springs, a place lost in time on Route 66. It is here with the help of Sally, Mater, Doc Hudson, and all the rest of this unique cast of characters that Lightning realizes winning is great but it isn't the only thing in life.
Pixar films have a natural magic because they come from very pure places. John Lasseter, the director, came up with this idea after spending a summer RV'ing with his family. Also, in spite of this movie's kid friendly nature, I never felt like it was manipulating me or trying to make me think something that wasn't 100% genuine. All in all, Cars keeps the amazing winning streak going for the studio that doesn't seem motivated by profits, yet manages to make hefty ones.
Mater and the Ghostlight
Mater likes to play tricks on people and in this short he gets his comeuppance in the funniest of ways. A really nice addition to this DVD, I was really glad that they put this on here simply because it was great to return to the Cars world again. Also, Mater is one of the breakout stars from this film, the kind of character that will no doubt become a lasting icon, so it wouldn't surprise me if Pixar licensed the character and there as a spinoff film based solely on him.
One Man Band
Another short in which dueling band leaders fight for a young girls attention and money. This is fun, though not as good as the Mater and the Ghostlight short. What amazes me is how detail oriented all the shorts are. In fact, in some ways they are better in quality than the feature films, because by the time they are made the animators know even more tricks than when they started.
Inspiration for Cars
This is a really well done (if somewhat short) look at the making of this film. We find out John Lasseter's reasons for doing this project (they are very similar to Lightning McQueens), we see that the creators of Cars went on road trips to gather information, and we even get to speak to people who live in an area similar to Radiator Springs. All in all, I found this to be informative but it only seemed to scratch the surface of the material they could have shown us.
There are four of these on this disc and something tells me that with it's 116 minute run time, they probably had a very hard time excising any part of this DVD. For the most part, these things play like I thought they would, I was just blown away by their quality (which probably made taking them out of the film that much harder.
Theatrical Widescreen Viewing Presentation (2.:39:1) - Enhanced for 16x9 Televisions. This is a Pixar quality film so how do you think it's going to look? Everything about this movie is so finely detailed, I was amazed at what the animators were able to create. So much work has gone into putting detail in every frame of this movie, it's almost hard to watch Cars and not notice some aspect of how it was put together. The DVD compression has been perfectly done so that this movie plays nicely on all TV screens.
Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround EX. Dolby Digital 2.0. I had to turn up my TV a little more than half way, but I think that's probably because I don't have a very good system. This DVD seems like it has maxed itself out in terms of what it provides to the listener, and maybe since I only have a one speaker setup, I just wasn't able to get the full brunt of everything being offered. All in all, this movie is never at a loss in any capacity.
Lightning McQueen takes a up the majority of this front cover with his pals in Radiator Springs right along with him. Lightning McQueen has been so realistically rendered, it seems like one could almost pull him off the video cover. The back features some shots from the movie, a small description of what Cars is about, a Bonus Features listing, and Technical Specifications. There is a vinyl cardboard cover that goes over this DVD's amaray case and looks identical to it.
There was so much talk about Cars being the film to end Pixar's winning streak. That this would be the one movie that was going to fumble the ball when it mattered most. I think it has been proven that if anything, this film had more traction than anybody thought. I know parents that took their children to see it 3 times. It is filled with just enough cuddly characters and adult references, that it has something for everyone without losing the very things about it that make it something special. My only complaint is that I wished this DVD had more extras.
Cars is the kind of release for which DVD was made.
Cars was released June 8, 2006.