CinemaClown’s review published on Letterboxd:
While not as transcending as their previous efforts, Cars still manages to do enough to keep alive Pixar's winning streak & presents its pioneering animation studio slowing down a little to catch its breath after having left behind every other competitor in the dust during its first decade of filmmaking. Also, this film is certainly not as mediocre as many have called it to be.
Set in a world populated entirely by automobiles & other vehicles, the story of Cars follows a racing rookie who, while travelling to California for the tiebreaker race that's supposed to determine the champion of the Piston Cup, finds himself waylaid in the town called Radiator Springs, is tasked with repairing the damages he incurred on his arrival & in the process, ends up learning the true value of life during his stay.
Steered by John Lasseter (director of Toy Story, A Bug's Life & Toy Story 2), Cars opens with an exciting racing sequence that instantly puts on screen everything one needs to know about its world but once the main plot surfaces, it soon loses its firepower, crawls throughout the middle section but then manages to find its pace again near the end to at least finish on a respectable note, if not a high one.
There's no denying that behind the scene work here is very impressive & is carried out with relentless dedication plus further advancement in the computer animation is highly evident in those landscape shots but this time, the film suffers because the story isn't engaging enough & unlike their earlier efforts, appears to be more targeted towards children because of which many adults might have a tough time sitting through it.
Not everything is disappointing in this world inhabited by anthropomorphic vehicles for it looks truly stunning on camera as the depicted locations are beautifully rendered, Randy Newman's score is fairly good, voice cast is pretty interesting & the final race does lift the entire film to an extent but there's a whole lot of superfluous content to go through before we get there & with no memorable characters, that road isn't smooth enough.
On an overall scale, Cars follows Pixar's tradition of heading into the unknown but due to a lack of strong foundation this time, it doesn't really succeed with flying colours. Definitely not amongst their finest works but Cars somehow still manages to stay afloat instead of simply drowning & in many ways, can be seen as a deep breath before the plunge coz after all, what Pixar unleashed in their next four features took their creativity & legacy to an all-time high!