When it comes to memorable Pixar movies, who can forget Cars? No, it’s not because of the abysmal sequel nor because Larry the Cable Guy (as Mater) voiced one of the best darned animated friends to ever hit a Disney or Pixar flick.
Cars holds a special place in Pixar’s library because it was a merchandising success, much like the Star Wars franchise was for George Lucas. From Happy Meals to Legos, kids around the world rejoiced in Cars. And you know what? I’m not mad at them. Personally, I had a blast putting together Lego Lightning McQueen.
Merchandising aside, the story of a hot shot rookie race car stranded in Radiator Springs is a joy for kids. It’s one of those films that teaches you a lesson in humility, while giving you a few laughs along the way.
Cars is the latest animated feature from the Disney-Pixar family to receive a 3D Blu-ray upgrade, along with an exclusive Pixar short – Mater And The Ghostlight.
Stepping backwards a bit, Disney has been doing an exceptional job re-releasing some of its classic films in theaters so that younger audiences get a taste of the Golden Era of Disney. The studio did a phenomenal job with The Lion King and subsequently, The Little Mermaid. Both films were made well before the true, 3D era of movie theaters. Yet, the studio was able to smartly upgrade both 2D features in just the right places – so that they were neither gimmicky nor of poor quality.
Unlike 2D films like The Little Mermaid and The Lion King, the CG nature of Cars generally lends itself more to a 3D transfer. There’s already a lot of depth when you see Lightning McQueen aside Sally, Matter and Doc Hudson. However, in 3D, the world opens up into something that’s a totally different experience from your original 2D viewing.
Lightning and his friends really stand out from the backdrop of old Route 66. You can feel the cars flying towards you as the rocky backdrop diminishes in their dust. The Grand Canyon-like environments are perfect for 3D, presenting a lot of opportunities for separation between the foreground action and the exquisite set pieces.
There are moments, however, when races start to having minor ghosting. This generally happens in horizontal motions and only when there are several cars on the screen or when there’s smoke during the race. It doesn’t take away from the overall experience, nor does it get too annoying to bear.
I was really happy with the sound quality. My ears tend to get sensitive when I have to ride the levels because either the sound effects or music track are too overbearing and hurt the dialogue. Thankfully, this has a superb mix. Viewers get a sense of really being inside the theater and soaking in all the engine revving that Director John Lasseter intended.
Cars: Ultimate Collector’s Edition [3D Blu-ray]
Owen Wilson, Paul Newman, Bonnie Hunt, Larry The Cable Guy, Cheech Marin
Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment
October 29, 2013
8 / 10