If your weekend plans are keeping you around the house, here’s a heads up that Cars 2 is on DVD (release date was November 1st!) We had a Cars 2 movie night last weekend complete with popcorn and of course Halloween treats (talk about being revved up!!)
Cars 2 takes best friends Lightning McQueen and Mater around the world in a race which turns into an undercover spy mission. The plot is of course exciting for little kids but the sub-story, one of friendship and how we should appreciate each other despite our faults, is the important one you want the kids to walk away with when the movie is over.
There are several jokes in the film about some old-school cars (Pinto, anyone?) that the adults will appreciate. Here is a bonus clip with director John Lesseter and cast reminiscing about their first cars:
Looking for activity sheets for the kids? Just click on the link below to grab a zip file full of Cars 2 activities:
As an adult, I liked the movie and the subtle jokes that the kids don’t pick up on. I did not, however, find this movie at all appropriate for little children. My oldest is in kindergarten and has grown up with the Cars phenomena (his room is plastered in it) and he has watched the first movie more times than I can count. So we of course took him to the second, later wishing we hadn’t. I felt the movie was basically James Bond in cartoon. Cars with machine guns, cars talking about killing other cars, a car is tortured and the main theme of the world fight for control of oil. I was told by someone in the movie industry that this is the only Pixar film to get a fail on Rotten Tomatoes. I wondered if I was being overly protective, but playground after school chats with other parents yielded the same opinions. I have actually asked friends and relatives NOT to buy my son this movie for Christmas as I don’t want to expose him to it over and over again and possibly pick up on what hemissed the first time around. We will just keep watching and loving the first Cars movie.
I remember hearing buzz this summer about the various themes in the movie that surprised parents, so I was prepared for it watching it last weekend. At the first ‘gun’ scene I raised an eyebrow and said to my husband, “Ah, so this is what parents were talking about!” It’s surprising to see, since Disney and most children’s movies have strayed away from it in recent years.
This reminds me of something that happened a week or more ago when watching Garfield on Retro Teletoon with my son. Garfield says, “Anyone that sings like that should be dragged out into the street and shot.”
My jaw dropped! BUT, this is what we grew up on in the 80’s. It’s just so foreign for us to hear that in children’s programming today so it resonated with me.
Is this a turn, do you think? Are we going back to the cartoon styles of the 80’s with more violence, guns, etc., since some will say this is what kids see on tv (and worse) anyway? Great discussion Samorjj!
I was really surprised with some of the elements that were included in this movie (like the machine guns, I agree with the James Bond in cartoon label) since the first one was SO child friendly and could be watched over and over. My kids (ages 4 & almost 6) have this movie, but it won’t be one of the ‘watched 20 times in a week’ (not that they watch that many movies, but you know what I mean). Although as a personal preferance, I would prefer my kids to watch Cars 2 than something like Princess & the Frog that has voodoo in it. I think the biggest issue is the fact that the first Cars movie was such a good movie for ALL aged kids that parents expected the second movie to be the same and it’s not – I would say the second is more geared towards a little bit older kids not all the 2 and 3yr olds.
I agree Ellen the 2nd is not a great flick for the younger set, but we really enjoyed the movie in our house, even the 3 year old for the most part. I really don’t think it’s much difference then the violence in cartoons we were exposed to in the 80’s (hello road runner and bugs bunny). I honestly think the backlash over this movie has more to do with us as parents hovering too much then anything specifically wrong with the movie. I have no problem letting my kids watch this movie at all.
I just wanted to make sure that parents were aware it wasn’t the same kind of warm and fuzzy movie the first one was, or any of the other Pixar movies are, before they see it.
And I have to say I don’t really hold with the ‘I turned out fine so they will too’ argument. So because I grew up with violent cartoons, they should too? I remember the Garfield episodes and Bugs Bunny shows. Remember the Bugs Bunny episode in the 40’s that used the term Japs? There are a lot of things we may have been exposed to as children from cartoons to health issues (smoking in the car, cribs with far apart rails) that may not have had an effect on us. That doesn’t make it right or safe.
It was violent and if I had younger kids I would probably feel the same way. I think it probably should have been rated PG.
Agree completely with Samorjj!! I already told my nearly 4 year old that we won’t be buying the movie even though we saw it in the theatres. He is still a huge fan of the first one and has much too much Cars paraphernalia. Still wish we hadn’t taken him even though a lot went over his head. Probably should have been rated PG. Really disappointed in Pixar especially after the first Cars was such a great story for young children!
Well my kindergartener just said this week, “I’m going to strap a bomb to my face and blow myself up!” Daddy was like, “Where did you hear that?” He said, “Cars 2 talks about bombs and blowing up!” Daddy said, “What is a bomb?” He said, “I don’t know.” Daddy said, “Don’t talk about them at school! They are a bad thing.” I don’t know if he went into more details of explaining what a bomb is or not. Daddy doesn’t want Mica having this movie. I’m steering clear of buying it, but I know he wants it. I think my nephews will get it.
I saw Car 2 without my daughter and was glad I got that chance, as I don’t want her to see it. My main issue with the violence in this movie is how different it is from the first one. Cars is a perfect younger kids movie as it is not scary or violent at all, so I was hoping/expecting Cars 2 to be the same but thoroughly disappointment. I agree that it seemed like James Bond for kids, and since I don’t like James Bond it makes sense that I didn’t like Cars 2 either.
Just read all the comments, good to know about the more mature things in this movie!
I felt Toy Story 3 was not appropriate for my kids (who loved the first and second movies). TS3 is one we won’t own because of the super scary scenes. Cars 2 didn’t bother my children in the same way as TS3, but I do agree with pp that it was more intense and violent than the first. I thought the spy theme was interesting, but wish they didn’t go so over the top with the guns etc…
I haven’t seen the movie yet but I’m looking forward to after these reviews. I won’t get into the violence/cartoon debate but I just wanted to add that Looney Tunes (bugsbunny, etc) were originally made for an adult audience. They were shown before movies in the theater.
in MY opinion there is NOTHING wrong with this movie. I have no idea why people are in such an up roar about it. Have you seen other Disne/ Pixar movies?
Beauty and the Beast – “Let’s KILL the Beast” but that’s just a great movie isn’t it!
Snow White- hello the apple? Telling kids to poison someone is ok?
Princess and the frog? I love that movie but wow, pretty horrific.
Tangled? The guys at the Snuggly Duckling are drunk!
UP! The old guy is trying to kill the other old guy and the kid
Bambi’s mom is shot. Mufasa falls off of a cliff and is crushed and Scar is eaten in The Lion King. There is a sword fight in Sleeping Beauty. Ariel. Aladdin. Sid from Toy Story. Pinocchio & Dumbo get drunk.
Tarzan’s villian get hanged.
seriously. ALL disney movies are violent! Why is Cars 2 sooo bad and different?
It’s not IMO
Seriously, every Disney movie has something that people would consider violent, inappropriate, etc. When Pinocchio was released on DVD a few years back we ran out and bought it and watched it that night with our kids. I was HORRIFIED by the drinking and smoking, I guess I forgot about that part. So we put it away and have never let them see it again. But we didn’t have an issue with Cars 2. Though this is coming from the mom who lets her kids watch Star Wars, Iron Man, etc. so obviously I already let them see some violent movies. My kids are not violent because of it. They know what is appropriate behavior and that things like guns and weapons are dangerous and can hurt and kill people. I think it is fine to monitor what you think is appropriate for your child to watch, that is our job as parents. What I don’t get is the people who make it a personal crusade to go after the movie companies and tell the rest of us what our own kids should and shouldn’t be watching.
All the points listed above are why we don’t watch Disney movies yet. The ones produced under Pixar such as the first Cars, first Toy Story are pretty tame. 5 yr old children aren’t yet in the cognitive developmental stage to always grasp the difference between reality and fantasy. I remember watching an episode of ‘Grace under Fire’ (older comedy with Brett Butler) where her friend mentions in kindergarten she saw a raccoon come out from under her porch and she thought the house had given birth to raccoon babies. When I was in kindergarten I thought if I really spun around fast enough my clothes would change like Wonder Woman. Didn’t happen, and head met stone hearth. Still have that scar. If my child was say 7 or 8 yrs I wouldn’t have been too concerned. But I thought for a 5yr old (who this was hugely marketed for due to the first movie) it was not appropriate and it introduces topics I don’t think we should cover yet. So my just turned 5 yr old hasn’t seen any of those other movies mentioned, other than the first Toy Story. We still tend to stick to Treehouse.