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Cars 2 Reviewed

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Topics:  Cars 2
Opinions expressed by Bill Crittenden are not official policies or positions of The Crittenden Automotive Library. You can read more about the Library's goals, mission, policies, and operations on the About Us page.

Cars 2 Reviewed

Bill Crittenden
The Crittenden Automotive Library
June 28, 2011

Thanks to Erin Weber for inviting me to the movie event!  I'll keep this as spoiler-free as possible.

Pixar has a history with sequels.  They don't make them frequently, only when they believe they can make a good film and not when they think they can make a few more bucks off of ticket sales and merchandising.

So I was a bit surprised to see them making Cars 2.  I wondered after the first film how they were going to expand on "The World of Cars" and where they were going to take the storyline.

Of course, Pixar does not disappoint, provided you keep an open mind about the series.  Cars 2 is not the nostalgic trip down America's history lane, complete with Hudson Hornets getting sideways on dirt and a lost Route 66 town revitalized.  That's been done before, and if more of that is what you're looking for, you'll probably be a bit let down by the second film.

But in keeping an open mind about it, which should be a requirement for anyone viewing a film featuring cars come to life, the second film is as good as the first.  It's just different.  The first film featured more nostalgia for the adults, whereas the second film is a James Bond on wheels film more geared towards the kids.  Some cars can fly, they fight, there are lots of explosions.  A few scenes can be a little scary for the kids, such as when a car is set on fire, but otherwise my six-year old son was really interested in the whole movie until the very last minute when the action slows down.

For the adults in the crowd, there is a running joke about the bad guys being AMC Gremlins and AMC Pacers led by a "Professor Z├╝ndapp" and Mater's deep knowledge of lemons.  He is, after all, a tow truck.  Anyone who has had one of these cars towed either finds this funnier than the rest of us or a lot less funny than the rest of us, depending on how well they've let go of whatever it was that happened a couple decades ago.

I even know one person who didn't see the first movie but is going to see the second because he is a current Pacer owner.  It's good to see AMCs make an appearance in current pop culture, considering how easily so much of automotive history can be forgotten.  Even if it's as the bad guys.  After all, it was a race car driver who said it doesn't matter if the crowd is booing or cheering, at least they know you're there!

So my recommendation is that if you just enjoyed the first movie for the automotive history, you might be disappointed in this one, but if you enjoyed the first movie's characters, you'll enjoy the heck out of this sequel.

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