(Blu-ray/Disney - Pixar)
A- Sound: A- Extras: A- Feature: B+
the CG/computer animated features have constantly received major attention and
as more have been made, the quality has varied wildly from production company to
production company, but Pixar has always been the company to beat. Every feature made has been a breakthrough on
some level, first noticed in the Toy
Story franchise. Cars (2006) turned out to be such a
spectacular work that it has become the Toy
Story of its time and now on Blu-ray, the best example of computer
animation on the market.
already raved about its standard DVD-Video release, which you can access at
from our Disney expert and mega fan, yet in this case, I actually like it more
than he does. The detail in the
animation is stunning like nothing ever seen before, the use of color so
superior and engaging that it is the most underrated innovation here, the
storyline about hot shot car Lighting McQueen (Owen Wilson delivering a
remarkable voice performance) a hoot, the character development exceptional,
the comedy so top rate and seamless that it is easy to miss how clever it is,
the voice cast delivering exceptional chemistry and the love of the title
vehicles apparent scene after scene.
(the Steve McQueen/Bullitt/Le Mans reference is great, especially
since this is a feature that lives up to the late actor’s legend) is the star
race car who keeps winning the money, glory and fame from the success of his
first place finishes, but when he is left behind in a small town of other cards
left behind (and a town that loves being the cars they are) when he
accidentally rolls out of the luxury transport truck that is taking him to his
next stop, he has to face his character flaws and that maybe the good life has
been cutting into who he really is.
into trouble with the town mayor (voiced grandly by Paul Newman) and meets a
line of other cars who allow him to learn lessons of humility and life. Bonnie Hunt, Cheech Marin, Tony Shalhoub,
Jenifer Lewis, Paul Dooley, George Carlin, Katherine Helmond, John
Ratzenberger, Michael Keaton, Richard Petty, Jeremy Piven, Richard Kind, Edie
McClurg, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Michael Schumacher, Mario Andretti and comedian
Larry The Cable Guy lead one of the most impressive voice casts in any animated
feature in years and John Lassiter (with co-director Joe Ranft) are so ahead of
everyone else in feature animation that only that circumstance allows such a
work of art to be produced.
we are being so spoiled with CG features, it is easy for many to take for granted
just how significant the best releases (often, especially Pixar) have been, in
part because everyone is enjoying them so much.
When we look back ten to twenty years from now, Cars is going to endure
in profound ways and when the rest of the audience has caught up with how
amazing this really is, who knows where Disney/Pixar will be by then. No matter how the technology may age, the
heart and soul is so strong here, that will always be secondary.
2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image is stunning throughout, a demo quality
Blu-ray that rivals and then surpasses the previous CG champs in any HD format,
Chicken Little and Meet The Robinsons which all happen to
be Blu-ray exclusive. It is still
apparent that it is a digital production, but the colors are so wide ranging
and motion of the images so smooth, you are taken into a new world of CG that
is so rich, it is palpable. That this is
such an entertaining work only adds to that.
thing that has happened (especially when seen on Blu-ray) is that these three
features have begun a new cycle of releases that bring you into a 3-D-like
world like nothing we have ever seen before.
That you can just pop a 5-inch disc in your player and be taken away to
these advanced CG worlds is almost like going into another dimension. Now that the Pixar features are starting to
roll out, this will be one of the most memorable points of the launch of high
definition in the home.
there is the amazing sound design, something previous Pixar/Lassiter productions
(as well as those directed by Brad Bird, like The Incredibles) have demonstrated.
Instead of tired, bombastic animated radio mixes, these films have
proven to offer some of the most advanced multi-channel sound around and Cars is no exception. The PCM 24/48 5.1 mix is amazing, with great
depth, detail, soundfield, music fidelity, clean dialogue and overall
integration that audiophiles in particular will want to hear off of this
Blu-ray. The same standard Dolby Digital
5.1 EX from the DVD is included here as well, but it is hopelessly unable to
compete. Combine that with the stunning
picture and you have a demo that will sell the Blu-ray format the way the 12”
DTS LaserDisc of the first Toy Story
sold that format.
have all the extras from the DVD set been added here, a bunch of new Blu-ray
exclusive extras have been included that show that this format’s interactivity
is as good as anything out there.
Besides the improved access to the film itself, you get
never-before-scene-deleted-scenes, the interactive Car-Finder game that allows
all viewers to get to know all the many car characters featured in the film, a Radiator Springs featurette and
Cine-Explore behind-the-scenes section to learn even more about the making of
have a Blu-ray player, this is a must to own.
If you do not have a Blu-ray player, get one for your HDTV and make this
one of the first titles you get!
- Nicholas Sheffo