The latest Disney/Pixar film due to open and command some healthy box office numbers is Cars 2. Cars 2 marks the beginning of a trend you’ll see from Disney in the coming future: more movies for boys. Yes, that’s correct, Disney is supposedly putting away the princesses for a while to tap into the piggy banks of boys. Boys have been flocking to the theatres for Transformers, Iron Man, Thor, etc., and Disney wants to tap into the possibilities. This is one sequel which shouldn’t have a problem in doing that.

Cars 2 is the film that James Bond, Jason Bourne, and Jeff Gordon would make if they got together and started talking about their favorite vehicles. The film opens up in typical spy film fashion. We are introduced to the British Intelligence agent Finn McMissile, who is most definitely discovering some evidence he isn’t supposed to see. After a classic Bond car chase, McMissile manages to get away, and we are then brought to the old familiar, which is Radiator Springs.

Tow Mater is so estatic about Lightning McQueen’s (his best friend) return, that he wants to spend every moment with him. Mater sees a television that has Miles Axlerod, a born-again millionaire who has found an alternative to gasoline, and sees that he is holding a race with all the fastest cars in the world. Francesco Bernoulli, the fastest Formula One car, is talking about how much faster he is than McQueen and that he plans to dominate the race. Well, Mater calls into the station and ends up getting McQueen to do the race. Soon we are in Tokoyo for Race One and we start to see the spy element again and how deep it truly is.


Through mistaken identities and the motivation of sticking with your friends, Mater ends up getting involved in things way over his head. Various cars in the races begin to have their engines burn out, and everyone is blaming it on the alternative fuel. Mater is involved in the world of villains and secret agents while McQueen is racing and starting a friendly rivalry with Bernoulli. The film continues down a fairly typical Bond-like path towards the ending.

I thoroughly enjoyed the film. My expectations going in weren’t high, but I definitely left having enjoyed myself. It is a completely separate entity from the first Cars, and the story centers almost entirely around Mater. The introduction of new characters — such as McMissile and Holley Shiftwell, voiced by Michael Caine and Emily Mortimer — were a great addition and perfectly cast. While I think kids will enjoy the cars and the action, parents will be surprised at the depth of the plot. They may be driving home explaining alternative fuel, British Intelligence, and a few other things. The animation detail was also stunning. The trips to Tokoyo, France, Italy, and London, were beautifully animated. Disney die-hards can even look for their classic shout-outs to past films that make cameos. All in all, parents and kids will both enjoy this film. I mean, who doesn’t want to see James Bond and Judd Clampett get together to solve an international crime?