The difference between making movies and making works of art in the field of children's animation cinema is established by Pixar Animation Studios. Every two years or so, when the cinema for children reaches alarmingly low levels, Pixar appears and raises the bar again a few more centimeters. It is a studio that has flatly refused to make second parts (except for Toy Story) and so far refused to resort to eschatological elements to make people laugh (that is, the poop, ass, fart, pee, which is so abundant in Shrek, from Dreamworks).
Or so we believed. Cars is the Pixar vision of Deep America, of caravan residents and Nascar fans (those car races that consist of turning left, accelerating, turning left, accelerating and so on up to fifteen hundred times) which goes to cause a couple more jokes than usual. As we mentioned on this page, it is the story of a car called Lightning McQueen (voice of Owen Wilson in the original version) who lives to run and for himself, who lands in a small, lonely town in the middle of nowhere and ends up discovering friendship, honesty and the American way of life. It is the typical Pixar moral and is a formula that unfortunately begins to become repetitive, especially when we find the weakest script that Pixar has had so far, much more focused on the description of the characters than in situations in which yes, what causes the film to bore many of its 116 minutes of footage, almost a third more than a children's film should last.
The strengths remain in the development of the characters and the humanization of them, from Doc Hudson (voice of Paul Newman in the original) to the incomparable pair of Italian mechanics, in a cheeky wink to Ferrari (boosted at the end of the film with an exceptional surprise cameo), going through the Humvee Schwarzenneger (seriously), the tractor-cows and the mosquito-beetle. In general, Pixar did the same thing as Finding Nemo: study, study, study the environment and apply the knowledge acquired to the film, replacing the ocean with the motor world (hence the innumerable jokes are really effective and funny). However, it shows that there are times when the film is making time without getting anywhere in particular, and there is a bump of rhythm in the middle of the film, which coincides with the romantic break between McQueen and Sally.
But Pixar at medium gas is still pissing in the mouth of half the world's most famous animation studios. The aforementioned defects are nothing compared to flat and boring characters and the thousand and one trite situations of 99 percent of current animated films, and technically the film is unbeatable: the design of the characters and their movements, the rocking, suspensions, inertia, body physics... It's unparalleled, and the impressive scenarios of the American West seem drawn from real life. And that yes, in the moments in which the film takes rhythm (the final race, without going any further), Cars is about to be at the height of the best works of Pixar.