I was probably the only person in the theater who hadn't seen the first Cars movie and was worried it would be an issue. Happily that didn't matter at all, because as my husband told me afterward, Cars 2 has new settings and characters that make it easy to quickly get into the action. Speaking of action, there's a lot of it going on in Cars 2. It's fun spy thriller type movie for kids, that also has an underlying message of the importance of being true to yourself and valuing friendship.
Here's a brief plot description:
Star racecar Lightning McQueen (voice of Owen Wilson) and the incomparable tow truck Mater (voice of Larry the Cable Guy) take their friendship to exciting new places in “Cars 2” when they head overseas to compete in the first-ever World Grand Prix to determine the world’s fastest car. But the road to the championship is filled with plenty of potholes, detours and hilarious surprises when Mater gets caught up in an intriguing adventure of his own: international espionage. Mater finds himself torn between assisting Lightning McQueen in the high-profile race and towing the line in a top-secret mission orchestrated by master British super spy Finn McMissile (voice of Michael Caine) and the stunning rookie field spy Holley Shiftwell (voice of Emily Mortimer). Mater’s action-packed journey leads him on an explosive chase through the streets of Japan and Europe, trailed by his friends and watched by the whole world. The fast-paced fun includes a colorful new all-car cast, complete with menacing villains and international racing competitors.
The only note of caution for parents I'd give is to expect some cartoon violence with the international espionage theme. It's done well, not gratuitous or graphic but there were some indications of car injury and some very unfortunate things do happen to captured good guy type car agents...that seemed to indicate they were done away with. The action level is closer to the Incredibles than say a Toy Story.
Cars 2 is rated G and as to be expected from a Disney Pixar project, the animation is spectacular and the storyline captivating. There's a Toy Story short, "Hawaiian Vacation" that opens the movie that's a very entertaining bonus; one fans of Woody & Buzz will as excited to see as the movie itself. Cars 2 is sure to be popular with families. As soon as it finished my daughter turned to me and asked when we could buy it on DVD. I think that pretty much confirms it's hit status!
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Disclosure: Complimentary tickets were provided to a pre-screening. Opinions and experiences related within are personal and unbiased. No other compensation was provided.