Iffy for 6+
Cars sequel revs up action and mixes in spy thrills.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this fast-paced sequel to Pixar's hit movie Cars is more like a kid-friendly James Bond action thriller than the original movie's fish-out-of-water adventure. There are more high-speed chases here than in the original and a surprising amount of gun violence; a couple of car characters are even killed, which makes the G rating a bit of a surprise. Expect a bit of mild language, including insults like "idiot" and "fool," as well as tame flirting between smitten cars. The movie's overall message of being true to yourself and loyal to your friends is coupled with an overt call for alternative fuel and environmentalism. Note: The 3-D version of the movie may make certain parts feel even more immediate and intense for some kids.
- Families can talk about the movie's message about being yourself, dents and all. How does this apply to Mater? Why are underdogs so much more satisfying to root for than characters who always win?
- The first movie was a "fish out of water" story about a city slicker race car in a sleepy little town; how does the sequel use the same theme but focus on Mater?
- What made kids want to see this movie -- the story or all the product tie-ins? Do kids want a product because Cars characters are pictured on it?
The good stuff
Educational value: Although the movie isn't educational at first glance, kids will pick up information about alternative fuel and why you should never underestimate your own knowledge and abilities. They also get an amusing look at Japanese, Italian, and English culture and landmarks.
Messages: Mater learns to stop doubting himself and his intelligence and have the confidence necessary to help defeat the criminals of the story. Lightning McQueen accepts that Mater doesn't need to change to fit in with Lightning's slick racing buddies.
Role models: Mater is a loving, selfless friend. He's willing to put himself at risk even though he's not really a trained spy. Lightning and Mater are wonderful examples of best friends who may not seem like they have a lot in common but love each other just the way they are and always have each other's backs -- or in this case, trunks.
What to watch for
Violence and scariness: There's definitely more violence here than in the original -- the evil Professor Z and his henchcars use guns, chase other cars until they crash, and even kill two cars (one with a compactor, leaving him a crumpled square of metal, the other by torturing him with their secret weapon). Several characters get "dents" and other injuries from their run-ins with the villainous vehicles. Voice-commanded technology allows Mater, Holley, and Finn to use sophisticated weapons in their high-speed chases.
Sexy stuff: Lightning refers to Sally as "his girl," and Mater flirts with Holley. Groupie female cars swirl around the racing cars.
Language: A few insults like "stupid fool," "shoot," and "idiot."
Consumerism: Although there are no real "product placements" in the movie (unless you count the car models themselves, like the notorious "lemons" -- the Gremlin and Acer), the Disney merchandise machine has an enormous number of Cars 2 toys and other tie-ins -- from LEGOs and stuffed animals to coloring books and figurines to sippy cups and sleeping bags. The Cars products are even more ubiquitous than the Toy Story ones.
Drinking, drugs and smoking: At a party, various cars drink "cocktails."
Fan Reviews provided by
Butchered Sequel! by pictouch
I was kinda excited to see that they were promoting Cars 2. The first one was very good, so I thought Disney would not disappoint me with it's sequel. I was so flabbergasted... First off, there is not enough Lightning McQueen screen time. No, the main character of this movie is Mater. Yes, the brown towing truck. I have no idea why did made a choice like that, but it was awful! The story line was very tedious, and not as enjoyable as the Cars 1. It took me freakin' willpower to sit down and finish the movie, when all I could think about was leave the theater. Even my brother said it was awful. Sorry, Pixar. You can make bugs cute, brings toys to life, and even make a house fly, but you just can't make cars have that "vroom" that it needs to make it worthwhile. Sorry, but don't even waste your money on this movie. Save yourself!!!
Very Disappointed by zvmom
We loved the first Cars movie. It was everything a family movie should be. We were really looking forward to Cars 2 because all the hype was that it is better than the first. WRONG. It is too political, too violent, and the plot is too complicated for the average age of the viewer. For a studio that put out great family movies like Toy Story, A Bugs Life, Finding Nemo, Wall-E - Cars 2 is a MAJOR DISAPPOINTMENT.
LOVED CARS 2! by jacqueline0121
My husband & I brought our 2 1/2 Yr old Toddler to see Cars 2 yesterday. This was our first official visit to the theater with our toddler to watch a movie together as a family. We all had such a great time! The movie was really great & our toddler actually sat still for nearly the entire time so it held his interest. I would highly recommend this movie for children & adults of all ages.
Animation/graphics are excellent.Story leaves much to be desired. by akantsios
Animation/graphics are excellent.Story leaves much to be desired. Movie is all over the place. Wait for this one to hit movie channels at home or via subscription service. Our kids, 4 and 2, didn't care one way or the other...didn't leave talking about the movie like they did after Thor or Kung Fu Panda 2. From their reaction, I conclude Cars 2 was less than memorable for them.
awsome by jess crush
this movie was one of the best animated mpvies of the year i do not get why everyone is giving it sutch a hard time it was fun fast paced and enjoyeable what more could you ask for in a summer than that so please just lighten up about the violence and have a fun good time with your kids that is what the movie was for to begin with wasnt it
A bit disappointed. by ehutchings520
We took our four year old son to go see this movie. He loved the first one, as did we. However, we as parents felt this one was a little to aggressive and violent for such young eyes. It was fun at certain scenes, but for the most part it was a hard plot to comprehend at such a young age. Our little man was a little disappointed.
why all the complaints by jess fan
we rented this movie last night as a family movie and we realy enjoyed it I dont get why all the complaints we all thought it was a wonderful movie and realy enjoyed it so I realy dont get what the problem is unless it is the harsh violence which should have been thought about before giving this movie a g rating instead of a more desereving pg one but other than that it was a wonderful movie that all 3 of my siblings 2 boys and one 1 girl realy enjoyed heck even I enjoyed it so I say rent it give it a chance who knows you may love it as mutch as we did and a movie like that is hard to find now days
wow by diet pepsi
we rented this movie and realy liked it i dont get why everyone is complaingin about the level of violence in this movie it was just a good action adventure for our entire family and we all loved the whole spy feel of it it was just sop mutch fun for us all and we realy had a good time
My son loved it by roadrunnerkn
The disney franchise for Cars is a gold mine. Any grade school or toddler boy would fall all over it like a fat kid to cake. I stayed awake for the whole movie but wasn't exceptionally impressed with it. My 4 year old son loved it though.
awsome fun for the entire family by theonore
I can not beleve all the people complaing about this movie when we rented it for family movie night one night and it was fine the so called violence only made the story more intresting for us and we all loved the whole idea of the spy story and the movie was wonderful but on the other hand it did like i said have some violent content so just be careful with smaller or sencitive kids happy viewing