Cars 2 is a 2011 American computer-animated sports action comedy spy film made by Pixar. It is the sequel to the 2006 Pixar film GMW and the second installment of the Cars franchise.
Racecar Lightning McQueen and his pal tow-truck buddy Mater have had their share of adventures together, but nothing like what they experience when they head overseas for the first-ever World Grand Prix in Japan, Italy, France, and United Kingdom. While Lightning has his eye on the road to the championship, Mater takes a detour to international espionage when he meets British master spy Finn McMissile and stunning spy-in-training Holley Shiftwell.
- False advertising for three reasons:
- By looking at the DVD case, posters and cover art, you would think that the main protagonist would be GCW, but it is actually GCW, which makes Cars 2 more of a spin-off than a sequel.
- According to the teaser trailer of the film, the premise of the film is an international racing movie and it could be the main plot of the film. However, it turned out that the true main plot of the film is a spy comedy, hence another reason why Cars 2 is more of a spin-off than a sequel.
- We barely get to know anything about the new characters, especially the other racers or get to know anything new about the old ones.
- This film is rather dark for children despite its G rating. For example, Rod Redline gets tortured and subsequently murdered by Professor Z by putting gasoline in him that subsequently explodes and incinerates him or Finn exploding a ship with tiny explosives. It's likely the film that caused most animated films released after this movie to have a PG rating.
- The side of the story with Lightning McQueen is barely there, as we see Mater for the entire part of the movie.
- All the characters from the first film are barely in the movie; the only ones who have big roles are Lightning McQueen, Mater, Sarge, Filmore, Luigi and Guido.
- The World Grand Prix race is supposed to be the most important part of the film, but near the end of the film at the climax when Lightning McQueen abandons the race, it's never mentioned again.
- In fact, the World Grand Prix originally consisted of five races, but two of them were removed from the movie in favor of the spy storyline. Here is the full interview.
- The story is mostly focused on a spy story rather than a race, which is rather very generic.
- On that topic, it is also very unoriginal considering Cars 2 is a Pixar movie, and Pixar is a company usually known for its unique and original storylines. After the film's release, people actually feared that Pixar, or at least director John Lasseter, was starting to lose its touch.
- Mater is flanderized to being unlikable, immature, unfunny, and even more stupid in this movie.
- Despite the spy storyline having potential, Mater is the only returning character to become involved in it, with the others remaining oblivious until the third act.
- The spy and racing plot-lines would have likely been fine as separate films.
- The idea of living automobiles showing concern for the environment and going green is arguably more ridiculous than any of the stunts or action scenes, and it comes off as pandering. It's disappointing because this is a film made by Pixar; though going green is a good thing, the film sends a bad message after Miles Axelrod got arrested, making the cars think that alternative fuels are bad.
- The animation is still an amazing step-up from the original and other Pixar movies.
- There are a few funny scenes, such as the scene where Mater mistakes wasabi for pistachio ice cream, followed by the Japanese toilet scene.
- It is nice to see all the cars go around the world for a change.
- The action scenes are intense, fast-paced and fun to watch, so are the racing scenes.
- The voice acting is well done, as expected for a Pixar film.
- "I have no idea what you're talking about Alexander Hugo"
- The new characters are pretty awesome, such as Finn McMissile.
- Weezer's cover of "You Might Think" by The Cars is good. The ending song, "Collision of Worlds," is pretty catchy and good, while "Polyrhythm" by Perfume is very good.
- As mentioned, the spy storyline still has potential.
- Amazing heavy metal score courtesy of Michael Giacchino.
Cars 2 received mixed reviews from critics and audiences, but was positive reviews by fans alike. It has a 39% score on Rotten Tomatoes, making it the first-ever (and currently only) Pixar film to have a "rotten" score. The critics consensus reads, "Cars 2 is as visually appealing as any other Pixar production, but all that dazzle can't disguise the rusty storytelling under the hood.". Metacritic scores it at 57/100, indicating "mixed or average reviews," while IMDB rates it at 6.1/10.
After the film's release, many Pixar fans have admitted that this film was short of the studio's usually best. As a result, John Lasseter gave the directing positions in Cars 3 and GMW to Brian Fee and Josh Cooley, respectively instead of to himself. With his resignation due to the sexual assault allegations against him in November 2017, this ended up being the last film Lasseter ever directed.
Awards & Nominations
Despite the mixed reviews, it was nominated for a Golden Globe award for Best Animated Feature and Kids' Choice Award for Favorite Animated Movie, but lost to GMW and GMW, respectively.
- There's a scene that makes a nice little reference to Paul Newman, who died in 2008 from lung cancer.
- Doc Hudson was supposed to have a major for this film. The above mentioned death reduced these plans.
- Even after Newman's death, Lasseter had planned to focus more on how Doc's passing affected both Lightning and Mater, though this subplot is relegated to one scene between the two in Hudson's museum and is never brought up again in this film. The creators later decided to revisit this subplot in the next film.
- Lloyd Sherr replaced famous American actor and comedian George Carlin due to his death in 2008, and since then, Sherr did the voice acting for Fillmore.
- In early development, Rip Clutchgoneski was killed instead of spinning out when hit by the Lemons' radiation beam. Hence his name, Rip (R.I.P) Clutchgoneski (Clutch gone to the sky).
- Originally, the main antagonist was going to be Zil. His model was based on a racecar that did poorly in the Soviet Union, which would indicate that he was meant to be Russian.
- There was also a character named Giulia, who was a double agent that might have later pulled a heel-face turn. She wound up getting replaced by Holley Shiftwell.
- The race in Tokyo was originally intended to be much longer, featuring a tie between Lightning and Francesco, and would not have been intercut with scenes featuring Mater and the spies.