Updated: Dec 22, 2019
A famous race-car named Lightning McQueen learns that life is more than the finish line when he unexpectedly detours to the town of Radiator Springs.
Cars (2006) follows the story of an arrogant, young racecar who is so drenched in fame that he has forgotten the ‘Highway’ of Life. It was the first appearance of Lightning McQueen and the residents of Radiator Springs who have now become a well - known and beloved family of cars. This movie brought home life lessons of family, friendship and gratitude using the wonder of animation to give these characters an identity.
The essence of this movie is its characters. Starting with the eccentric, stubborn McQueen to the people’s favorite Mater to Sally, the charming Porsche and of course, the amazing Doc Hudson who defined charisma. The other residents of Radiator Springs - to name a few, Luigi, Guidi, Ramone, the Sheriff, Fillmore - provided much welcome comedic relief and added the perfect number of laughs to the experience.
Now however powerful the characters are in script, is nearly irrelevant to the movie without the perfect voice cast. And Cars had this perfect cast. Owen Wilson nailed the self - absorbed enthusiasm of Lightning McQueen and Larry the Cable Guy gave Mater the right voice for every moment, balancing the comedy with the true emotional depth of the character. Bonnie Hunt’s smooth calm voice also aptly captured the composed soul of Sally and gave the character personality.
The performance that stole the spotlight, however, would be the famous Doc Hudson, voiced by Paul Newman. Although Cars marked Doc Hudson’s first appearance, it also sadly marked Paul Newman’s last. Doc was essentially McQueen’s mentor and ‘father figure’ and Paul Newman expressed flawlessly the spirit of this broken heart slowly learning to ‘feel’ again as he taught McQueen humility.
The movie was accompanied by moving musical tracks (Find Yourself, Life is a Highway and the adrenaline - pumping Real Gone from Sheryl Crow), which defined some unforgettable scenes of the movie. The visuals also spiced up the film with serene settings and captivating locations, highlighted by names like Radiator Springs.
The characters, the voices, the music and the story come together seamlessly and leave us with a lasting experience.
Cars was a great film which entertained audiences and reminded us of life principles we tend to conveniently forget. The characters, the voices, the music and the story come together seamlessly and leave us with a lasting experience. Cars is a movie which has survived and inspired the changing generations and will, I’m sure, continue to do so.