Cars 2, the sequel to the 2006 Disney/Pixar animated film Cars, was released on DVD and Blu-ray November 1st.
Cars 2 is the sequel to 2006’s animated feature Cars, and is the first Pixar film with a sequel since Toy Story. Although it does have average Pixar fun, it quickly falls behind by overdoing all the things that brought charm to its predecessor.
The film follows the characters from the first film, champion race car Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson) and his tow truck best friend Mater (Larry the Cable Guy), as they head to Japan and Europe to participate in the World Grand Prix. While on their trip, Mater accidently gets involved in international espionage with British spies Finn McMissile (Michael Caine) and Holley Shiftwell (Emily Mortimer).
Pixar always creates an entertaining, fun and still adult-friendly animated film. This latest release brings at least two out of those three aspects, but loses a big point without “adult-friendly”. With spies, fast cars, action galore and great actors, it had so much potential. However, the film’s downward spiral started when Mater was moved into the main character spot.
The dopey personality that made him a fan-favorite of the first film was way overused and became old fast in Cars 2. However, with him acting as the central character there was no getting away for the majority.
There are some great new characters added that receive some much appreciated screen time. Namely, Finn McMissile (voiced by the Michael Caine). Caine does a fantastic job as usual and voices the coolest characters in the film. His animated counterpart opens the film perfectly with 007-esque spy moves that continue throughout.
Pixar created a passable sequel that is definitely entertaining to watch, but as far as getting any charming, warm and fuzzy feelings that you get from popular films like Toy Story or Wall-E.
Disney never fails to amaze with their home entertainment releases. Cars 2 gets a great 1080p/AVC encoded transfer for its Blu-ray, and a 1080p/MVC-encoded transfer for its 3D video presentation. Colors, blacks, details, everything is perfect. This Blu-ray is beyond showcase worthy with a completely polished encode.
The 3D is also stunning. If you are looking for a showcase film for your 3DTVs, this is it. Every inch of environments’ depth and dimension are presented and things blast out of the screen when necessary. There is no ghosting outside of some distant buildings or a bunch of cars are used to fill wide shots. Other than this, it is one of the most engaging 3D presentations of the year. Videophiles will be satisfied.
Also showcase worthy is the DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 surround track that is included on the Blu-ray 3D and Blu-ray releases. Dialogue is clear, rear speakers assist creating an engaging environment and ambience is ever-present. Plus, the action scenes are taken care of with gunfire, explosions and engine sounds ripping through the speakers just as much as the 3D pops out of the screen.
Most of the special features are included on the 5-disc 3D combo pack only, just like Disney’s release of Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides 3D, but there are some nice extras included on the 2-disc packs. Here’s the list:
- Audio Commentary with directors John Lasseter and Brad Lewis
- “Hawaiian Vacation” animated short
- “Air Mater” animated short
- World Tour Interactive*
- Radiator Springs*
- The Pacific*
- Porta Costa*
- Sneak Peek: The Nuts and Bolts of Cars Land*
*Exclusive to 5-Disc 3D combo pack
The DVD and 2-disc Blu-ray get an audio commentary and two animated shorts which are really all the average viewer really wants. The audio commentary with directors John Lasseter and Brad Lewis is very lengthy and thoroughly covers every aspect of production from the origin to the final cut. Lasseter definitely takes the lead over Lewis, but it doesn’t take anything away from the commentary.
The two shorts are great as always is the case with Pixar shorts. Hawaiian Vacation is a Toy Story 3 short where the gang try to cheer up Ken and Barbie with a trip to Hawaii. Air Mater has the star of Cars 2 taking to the skies in one of his Tall Tales.
World Tour Interactive is the first exclusive feature to the bonus disc included in the 5-disc 3D combo pack. In it are nine locations that feature different alternate openings, deleted scenes, extended scenes, featurettes, slideshows and more. Worth checking out if you love extra scenes and making-of features.
Also included on the bonus disc is a sneak peek of Disney’s upcoming 12-acre attraction, Cars Land.
Overall, Cars 2 set the bar for 3D presentation and got a solid release with fantastic visuals and sounds and some satisfying extras despite the movie itself being one of the lower end Pixar films.
Buy Cars 2 DVD
Buy Cars 2 Blu-ray
Buy Cars 2 3D Blu-ray
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