You can Mater out of Radiator Springs, but can’t take Radiator Springs out of Mater – and why would you want to? The mangy old tow truck has a hillbilly charm that puts him in equal place with Lightning McQueen in the hearts and toyshelves of every boy.
He’s pretty much the star of Cars II, taking the world by storm as he trails after McQueen’s quest to win the World Grand Prix and beat Italian supercar Francesco Bernoulli. While McQueen is copping insults and evading various assassination attempts, Mater takes center stage when he meets up with agents Finn McMissile and Holly Shiftwell, and gets caught up in a spy caper.
Cars II hasn’t been received well by mature fans, who somehow seem to think that they are the only ones who should be considered when Pixar makes a movie. But the truth is that this movie wasn’t made for adults at all, it was made for little boys who love to play with cars. I’m pretty sure that includes directors John Lasseter and Brad Lewis.
For the little boy who accompanied me and his parents and sisters to see Cars II, it is the best movie ever. He has no idea who Larry the Cable Guy is, or Owen Wilson, all he knows is that McQueen and Mater are funny, and so are the other cars. I thought it was good to hear Michael Caine voicing McMissile, and got a good laugh out of Eddie Izzard taking off Richard Branson as Sir Miles Axelrod.
It was also cute to see Her Majesty the Queen of England as a royal blue Austin Princess, and ‘Prince Wheeliam’ made me crack up. All of this went over my grandson’s head, of course, but he laughed with me. He also didn’t really notice the absence of Doc from the first movie, but we adults appreciated the way the actor was honored by not recasting the role.
That’s what really counts – adult fans of Pixar should get over themselves and remember that these movies are primarily made to entertain children and the child in all of us. As a family we loved Cars II and I will happily buy the DVD so we can watch it again. Thank Goodness for film companies like Pixar who do produce movies the whole family can enjoy together. We had such a good time that we wanted to go to the movies again the following week, and there was just nothing on offer suitable for all ages.
I paid to see this movie with my own funds.