Is your kid dying to run to the nearest Cineplex to see Cars 2 this weekend? Yeah, I bet they are. But before you go, just to prepare you, there are some things – you – as parents should know.
While many see the first Cars film as sweet, sentimental and good for any age, Cars 2 is not that. Cars 2 is more for the 7 to 12 age group. It’s like Fast & the Furious for the elementary school set. There is far more action, adventure, high octane racing with the added aspects of violence, guns and oil ‘cocktails’ making it a new Cars experience. This ain’t no Radiator Springs. This is a much more sophisticated and more intense trip as Lightning McQueen and Mater travel around the world.
So what do you need to know before you take the kids to this Cars 2 3D experience?
1) High Octane Races:
Cars 2 is all about the high speed races. And there are lots of them. But Lightning McQueen is a race car so that is pretty much expected. The race scenes are beautifully done, highlighting locales such as Tokyo, London, and Italy. The animators really did a magnificent job capturing the areas, wanted to make sure that those viewers in those countries would agree with their accuracy. But high speed races aren’t for everyone, but for those boys (and our guess is that it’s mostly boys who will dig them), who can’t get enough of NASCAR or cars in any form? They’ll love it.
Director John Lasseter tried to keep the violence in check, but for a traditional spy film ala James Bond or Bourne Identity, there is going to be an element of violence. And it is present in this film. Lasseter did admit, in the interview we did with him last week, that he intentionally dialed back the violence. Most of the cars can just be fixed. But there is a car “death” in the film and several instances of the threat of being killed by the bad guys. For those very sensitive kids, you may want to be prepared to discuss or put it in context for them.
One of the things that seemed notable to many a parent viewer is the presence of what could be seen as the Cars cast enjoying alcoholic beverages. There are fluids they drink from martini glasses and pint glasses, but John Lasseter made a point of saying that what is in the glasses is ‘oil’ not booze. But still with the ‘oil’ being presented in traditional alcoholic beverage stemware – it may give pause to many a parent who doesn’t appreciate alcohol being glorified in any form (oil or otherwise).
Cars 2 isn’t all hubcaps, pistons and engines. There are guns, pistols and bombs. An array of weapons are used in the film. For those who try to limit their child’s exposure to weaponry, they should know, before going in, that there is a fair share of dangerous devices.
5) But it is Beautiful
But for all it’s more mature content, the film really is gorgeously executed. It’s stunning visual effects and high octane story telling really does immerse you in the Cars’ world while they travel around the globe. It’s clever, has heart-warming moments and has a multitude of detailing that makes repeat viewing (and you know there some kids could and will watch it over and over again) tolerable for kids and adults alike.
Are you planning on seeing it this weekend?
Full Disclosure: The author participated in a press junket for the above coverage and was the guest of the Walt Disney Company while attending. Any opinions presented here are purely held by its author and do not reflect those held by Pixar Animation Studios or the Walt Disney Company.