Release Date: June 9, 2006
Click here for history of Release Date Changes

Cue Gary Numan.

On the Big Board
Position Staff In Brief
4/200 Max Braden Great story, dialogue, humor, visuals, and music. Lots of fun.
5/65 Kim Hollis Heartwarming and smile-inducing. Utterly charming.
7/68 Michael Bentley The best animated movie since The Incredibles. A heart-warming story with good voice characterizations and exquisite details in the artwork.
8/159 David Mumpower Sentimental celebration of days long gone achieves the type of emotional resonance that even several past Pixar films have never managed.
9/76 Dan Krovich Pixar does it again. Up there with the best of their previous efforts.
14/52 Les Winan Maybe it's Pixar's history, but I was mildly disappointed. The animation is beautiful, but the story is a little too obvious and predictable.

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After a long and prosperous relationship that included Toy Story, A Bug's Life, Toy Story 2, Monsters, Inc. and Academy Award winners Finding Nemo and The Incredibles, it looked as though Disney and Pixar Animation were ready to part ways. Arrangements were made for Cars to be the final film released under the Disney banner, with the Steve Jobs-owned Pixar considering their options.

Then, one day, differences were reconciled and everyone was once again a happy family. John Lasseter, the man who got things started with his direction of Toy Story, was named head of Disney's animation division, and quickly set the tone by shutting down the needless and seemingly exploitative Toy Story 3.

With all that happening in the background, it didn't change much for the impending release of Cars. Although the film initially had what many felt to be a sub-par teaser, subsequent previews have been nothing short of terrific. By the time the film arrives in theaters for Summer 2006, audience anticipation should be at a near fever pitch, particularly given the fact that the demographic crossover covers the extremely lucrative NASCAR market.

As in most of the previous Pixar films (The Incredibles is a notable exception), the action in Cars revolves around anthropomorphized beings. This time around, of course, the talking things are automobiles. The saga follows Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson), a hotshot rookie race car who is yearning desperately for success. He sets out across the country to the Piston Cup Championship in California, but on his way, finds himself detoured in the sleepy little Route 66 town of Radiator Springs.

While staying there, Lightning gets acquainted with the quirky denizens. Sally (Bonnie Hunt) is a snappy 2002 Porsche, while Doc Hudson (Paul newman) is a '51 Hudson Hornet with an unclear past. Mater (Larry the Cable Guy) is a rusty tow truck. Together, the group helps Lightning realize that there is more to "life" than fame, trophies and championships.

Along with the aforementioned voice cast, other performers lending their talents are racing legend Richard Petty and Pixar staple John Ratzenberger. New Disney Animation head Lasseter is the director, so hopes are definitely going to be high. (Kim Hollis/BOP)

January 30, 2004
Several voices have been added to the cast, including Paul Newman, Owen Wilson, Bonnie Hunt, and retired NASCAR driver Richard Petty. Also of very important note is that Cars will be the last film that Disney and Pixar partner on, as talks between the two companies fell apart on January 29th, leading the two to part ways. (Kim Hollis/BOP)

Vital statistics for Cars
Main Cast Paul Newman, Richard Petty, Owen Wilson, Bonnie Hunt
Supporting Cast John Ratzenberger, Dan Whitney
Director John Lasseter, Lee Unkrich
Distributor Walt Disney Pictures
Trailer Click Here for Trailer
Rating G
Running Time 116 minutes
Screen Count 3,985
Awards Awards page for Cars
Talent in red has entry in The Big Picture

Comparison films for Cars
Adjusted Opening
Total BO
Adjusted Total
Finding Nemo 5/30/0370.25 70.25 3374 20821.00 20821.0 339.71 339.71 4.84
Monsters, Inc. 11/2/0163.48 67.75 3237 19611.00 20131.6 255.87 273.09 4.03
Toy Story 2 11/24/9957.39 68.39 3236 17735.00 20248.6 245.82 292.94 3.05
Ice Age 3/15/0246.30 48.13 3316 13966.00 13966.0 176.39 183.39 3.81
Shrek 5/18/0142.35 45.20 3587 11805.00 12118.4 267.65 285.66 6.32
Bug's Life, A 11/25/9832.83 42.20 2686 12223.00 15115.9 162.79 209.29 3.56
Toy Story 11/24/9529.14 40.39 2457 11860.00 15813.3 191.78 265.84 4.90



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