Cars 2

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Cars 2
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Lightning McQueen
Genre: Spy
Directed By: John Lasseter
Produced By: Denise Ream
Written By/Screenplay: Ben Queen
Starring: Owen Wilson
Larry the Cable Guy
Michael Caine
Emily Mortimer
John Turturro
Eddie Izzard
Photography: Sharon Calahan
Cinematography: Jeremy Lasky
Distributed By: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Release Date: June 18, 2011 (Hollywood)
June 24, 2011 (United States)
Runtime: 106 minutes
Country: United States
Language: English
Budget: $200 million
Box Office: $562.1 million
Franchise: Cars
Prequel: Cars
Sequel: Cars 3

Cars 2 is a 2011 American computer-animated spy action-adventure comedy film produced by Pixar Animation Studios for Walt Disney Pictures. It is a sequel to the 2006 film Cars and the second installment in the series, directed by John Lasseter, from a screenplay by Ben Queen and produced by Denise Ream.

The film premiered in Hollywood on June 18, 2011, and was released in the United States on June 24, 2011, in Disney Digital 3D and IMAX 3D, as well as traditional two-dimensional and IMAX formats. A sequel, Cars 3, was released in 2017, which was generally considered an improvement over Cars 2.


Race car Lightning McQueen and his pal tow-truck buddy, Mater have had their share of adventures together, but nothing like what they experience when they head overseas for the first-ever World Grand Prix in Japan, Italy, France, and the United Kingdom. While Lightning has his eye on the road to the championship, Mater takes a detour to international espionage when he meets British master spy Finn McMissile and stunning spy-in-training Holley Shiftwell.

Lost The Race Qualities

  1. It is a deviation from the first movie, which majorly focused on racing, whereas this one revolves around espionage; it would essentially be what would happen if a horror movie had a sequel that is mostly a romantic comedy.
  2. The world of Cars has become more nonsensical and lacks logic in a confusing and irritating way.
    • In London there are somehow fences on the side of the road. Why are they necessary?
    • If food such as tacos, wasabi, and beverages exist in the car world, how are they supposed to eat or drink them if they have wheels?
    • In the scene where Mater enters a bathroom, the bathroom stalls and sinks are just real human stalls in bathrooms, how are they supposed to wash their hands if they have wheels?
    • If it is to stop cars from crashing into buildings, why are they so small? Why are there sidewalks on the sides of the road?
    • What is inside these cars? How are they alive? (There is likely a human controlling one car at a time, this theory was confirmed by the creator of the Cars franchise)
    • Why do Taxi Cars and Buses exist?
  3. False advertising: The posters, commercials, trailers, and even the cover for its initial DVD release all seem to give the illusion that Lightning McQueen would be the main protagonist, whereas in the actual film Mater, a side character who served as comic relief in the previous, actually serves as the protagonist.
    • One trailer for the movie also basically misleads its viewers into thinking the film would at least almost entirely be about international racing, whereas it turns out the actual film involves espionage, with the "international racing" storyline being more of a B or C plot.
  4. Even for a Pixar movie, the writing is very janky and won’t make sense in Cars world.
  5. Just like Minions, Shrek the Third, and the last three Ice Age sequels, Despite having a G-rating of all things, it can get rather intense as much of the action sequences involve gruesome death, with Rod Redline being tortured and subsequently murdered by Professor Zündapp after the latter igniting the Allinol in a way that it explodes and incinerates him, Leland Turbo's crushed remains being shown in the form of a cube, the pacer, and Trunkov killed from the elevator building, and Finn releasing tiny explosives from his axels that get pulled into Tony Trihull's magnet-like object which then activate and explode, killing the latter.
    • It should be noted that even Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, and The Good Dinosaur also suffered from this tone despite being G and PG-rated films respectively as well.
  6. Every character from the first movie is barely in the movie, or some cases, downright not in the movie at all such as Chick Hicks and Strip "The King" Weathers; the only ones who have big roles are Lightning McQueen, Mater, Sarge, Filmore, Luigi, and Guido (though even there, Sarge, Filmore, Luigi, and Guido don’t have as big of roles as they did in the first film, only Lightning and Mater do).
    • Due to the death of Joe Ranft, Red doesn't have any quotes, just so it would feel heavily underutilized.
  7. There is still some obnoxious humor such as when Mater farts after exiting the bathroom.
  8. The story heavily focuses more on espionage rather than racing; the former is also rather generic for Pixar standards, despite the studio being known for its unique and original storylines.
    • On the topic of unoriginality, it has a use of clichés, specifically the clichéd "be yourself" moral.
  9. Tow Mater himself is essentially flanderized; in the first film, he's a silly comic relief but here, he seems to act more immature and idiotic to the point where he becomes incredibly annoying and unlikable at times.
  10. At one point in the sequence at Italy, Topolino asks McQueen why he would ask Mater to be someone else during the trip; this sends a rather incorrect message, as it seems to frame, for example, parents to be in the wrong when children are required to be on their best behavior in public and behave differently in different situations.
  11. Almost all of the characters are underdeveloped, with the film barely giving us any time to get to know the new characters, their motives, or even anything new about the returning cast. The only one that does stand out is Miles Axelrod, who is not only the creator of Allinol and the World Grand Prix but also the twist villain and mastermind behind the events of Cars 2, whereas the other characters can only be described as these:
    • Finn McMissile as an expert spy and Holley Shiftwell as a spy-in-training.
    • Francesco Bernoulli is the main rival of Lightning McQueen who just hogs dialogue.
    • Professor Z is the initial antagonist of the sequel.
    • The residents of Radiator Springs as their stereotypical selves from the processor.
    • McQueen as the big-shot racer and Mater's buddy.
    • Mater is the goofy main character of the movie.
  12. While not directly disliked characters, the problem with Finn and Holley is that they're both too oblivious to Mater, seeing how constantly tells them he's not a spy while proving that multiple times, and yet even after all that, they still believe he's a top spy.
  13. The concept of living automobiles showing concern for the environment and going green is arguably confusing to explain, as it comes off as pandering. It is disappointing because this is a sequel produced by Pixar which, again, is traditionally known for its heartwarming stories.
    • This also has a hypocritical message. It says that being green is bad and we should abuse oil and fossil fuels and not create alternative energy/fuel sources that are good for the environment. Cars 2 shows living cars showing concern for the environment and becoming ecological, which leads Miles Axlerod to create an alternative and ecological fuel (Allinoll). In the end, Miles Axlerod is arrested, which makes the cars use gasoline again. Besides that, in the first and third films, automobiles still use gasoline, which shows that it has a very bad message against the environment and environmentally friendly alternative fuels.
      • However, in the end, Holley does reveal that Allinoll was gasoline from an oil reserve run by the lemons.
  14. There is a lot of filler, even for a Pixar movie, such as McQueen and Co. exploring Japan after arriving there as well as a brief scene of Mater, Finn, and Holley traveling in Paris.
  15. Similar to the Shrek franchise with Shrek the Third, and the Ice Age franchise with Continental Drift, Collision Course, and Buck Wild, Cars 2 seems to have almost no impact on the franchise as a whole, as most of its events are ignored in Cars 3. Although the latter does have some references to Cars 2, with a brief cameo from Jeff Govertte, and a picture of Miles Axelrod in Sterling's office. But there are so few references to Cars 2 to the point where Cars 3 practically forgets its events, One can watch Cars and Cars 3 and skip Cars 2 altogether and nothing important would be missed; if anything, Cars 3 is the one that feels like a direct sequel to the first Cars.
  16. Just like Thomas & Friends’s Misty Island Rescue and Day of The Diesels, the movie has a frustratingly confusing plot that relies on conveniences. Why does Axelrod need to cover himself during the meeting other than to keep the plot from going and keep the identity of the leader of the Lemons' reveal mysterious?
  17. Another example is when Mater tells the spies that he isn't one multiple times but they still think he is the spy. Another example also is in the death of Rod Redline scene when Professor Z just says he discovered that Allinol has a weakness against electromagnetic pulse, even though in the end, he is the one who invented it. No one is there except Redline, whom you are gonna kill anyway. Why still try hiding the truth if no one else is gonna find out?
  18. The theory of the true Lemon leader feels like it exists only to give a "Mater is a smart moment" when he reveals who Axelrod truly is and even then Mater still acts like an idiot even after he has Axelrod arrested in the next scene like it never happened. Also, Mater's reasoning doesn't make any sense. How did he manage to know Axelrod's engine was the same as the one from the picture? Sure, the same bolts in the engine as the ones in his time bomb. But how does any of that relate to Axelrod having the engine? And in the oil leak scene, most of the oil was flowing from Mater, so it is one very small, but very important detail that doesn't make it sensible as a justification.
  19. The scene, when Mater realizes everyone considers him an idiot, tries way too hard to be emotional but just fails so badly to the point where it's laughable.
  20. Some poorly written dialogue. When it comes being the dialogue Filmore reveals McQueen used his organic fuel, which desperately tries to be comical by being overly long but fails.
  21. Plot hole: If Holley Shiftwell had wings on her, then why did she only use them at the last minute?
    • Besides that in the poster she has the wings on, but she uses them around the last 30 minutes of the movie.

Won The Race Qualities

  1. Once again, the animation is visually impressive and colorful, especially considering how this was animated by Pixar, with the detail being more than the one from the first film.
  2. Some scenes are worth a laugh, notably when Mater mistakes Wasabi for pistachio ice cream, followed by the scene with him in the bathroom, and the scene where Mater almost gives away Alexander Hugo's identity.
  3. The concept of seeing cars go around the world is interesting, in terms of the film being part of the Cars franchise.
  4. Impressive action and racing scenes, with the opening chase with Finn McMissile and the lemons standing out as one of the best moments in the movie.
  5. Amazing performances, with the new voice actors such as Michael Caine doing a great job with the material they were given.
  6. The lemons have a lot of depth to them and their motivations are interesting — much of the lemons have been rejected by the world, and in revenge, they, led by Miles Axelrod, set up the World Grand Prix and ignite the Allinol inside the cars using it, intending to manipulate the public into thinking alternative fuel is inherently flawed, hoping for them to turn to the lemons, who own the largest oil reserves in the world, for oil, believing they would get the respect they have desired for so long after years of rejection; their motivations, surprisingly, also makes use of its premise of a world being populated by sentient cars more than either the previous or following film, due to the lemons often being ridiculed due to their... dated-ness, as well as cars creating gasoline, which others use as fuel, as a way of gaining money.
  7. Despite the hypocritical message, it teaches an important lesson on how major companies scam people into buying their products by advertising that it is good for them even though that is not the case.
  8. Even though Lightning and the Radiator Springs crew are underdeveloped in this film, they are still likable. Also, Mater can be likable here to some fans.
  9. Despite most of the new characters being underdeveloped, some of them are pretty awesome, such as Finn, Holley, and Francesco.
  10. Great soundtrack by Michael Giacchino; on the topic of music, Weezer's cover of "You Might Think" by The Cars is pretty lit, and so are "Collision of Worlds" and "Polyrhythm".
  11. Despite the plot being sloppily written which relies on conveniences, it is weirdly unpredictable, which is something we really cannot say about its spin-off by figuring out the plot by ONE SIMPLE SENTENCE.
  12. As clichéd as it is, the "be yourself" lesson is still something good to be taught to kids.
  13. The video game based on the film is a great improvement.


Critical response

Cars 2 received mixed reviews from critics, audiences, and fans alike and is widely considered to be Pixar's weakest film. It has a 40% score on Rotten Tomatoes, making it the first and only Pixar film so far to receive a "rotten" score. The critics' consensus reads, "Cars 2 is as visually appealing as any other Pixar production, but all that dazzle can't disguise the rusty storytelling under the hood." Metacritic scores it at 57/100, indicating "mixed or average reviews", while IMDB rates it at 6.1/10.

A central current of the weak reviews was the theory that Cars 2 was forced out of Pixar by its corporate parent, the Walt Disney Company, out of greed to drive merchandise sales. Lasseter vehemently denied these claims, which he attributed to "people who don't know the facts, rushing to judge."[1]

Awards and nominations

Cars 2 was the first Pixar film not to be nominated for an Oscar, probably due to its mixed reception; similarly, it is also the first Pixar film not to be nominated for Best Animated Feature since its introduction in 2001. However, despite the mixed reviews, it was nominated for a Golden Globe award for Best Animated Feature and Kids' Choice Award for Favorite Animated Movie, but lost to The Adventures of Tintin and Puss in Boots, respectively.


  • One scene references Doc Hudson, whose actor Paul Newman had died in 2008 from lung cancer.
  • Lloyd Sherr replaced famous American actor and comedian George Carlin, who had passed away from heart failure in June 2008,[2] as Filmore.
  • The theatrical release had an alternate Pixar logo that reads, "Celebrating 25 Years". This has been removed from subsequent home video releases. Fortunately, it was re-added for Disney+ releases for this movie.
  • Cars 2 is the first sequel to focus on the secondary character (in this case it being Mater) rather than the protagonist of the original film, followed by Monsters University (Mike Wazowski), Finding Dory (Dory), and Incredibles 2 (Elastigirl).
  • This is the only film in the Cars franchise not to be scored by Randy Newman since it is instead scored by another recurring composer Michael Giacchino.
  • This was also Pixar's first non-Toy Story sequel.
  • Multiple racing drivers voice car versions of themselves in international releases, including Formula 1 alumni Fernando Alonso and Vitaly Petrov.





External links


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