Cars (Blu-ray Combo Pack Gift Set)
QUICK THOUGHTS: Often looked at as the lesser of the Pixar films (hardly an insult) and at almost two hours I can understand some of those complaints, but this isn’t a terrible film by any means. I will, however, say that after defending it when I ranked the first ten Pixar films, I would probably knock it down a couple of notches and certainly place it behind Monsters, Inc. at this point. Don’t get me wrong, I still like this film and would watch it in a heartbeat, but the more I watch it, the less I get out of it. It’s still the best thing Larry the Cable Guy has done and ever will do and visually it’s stunning, but it is rather by-the-book and doesn’t have the heart most Pixar films have as much as it just follows procedure.
SUPPLEMENTS: This isn’t the first time Cars has been released on Blu-ray as it first hit the high-def format back in November 2007, but it is being released alongside Up and Monsters, Inc. in a new gift package which includes the Cars Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack as well as two collectible toy cars. If you already own the Blu-ray you aren’t going to find any new features, but for those of you that are looking at this as a first time purchase and like this film you are sure to enjoy the interactive Cine-Explore feature which includes branching documentaries and deleted scenes as well as storyboards and production photos including character inspirations and more. I will say this, however, your enjoyment depends A LOT on how much you liked the film and how interested you are in cars. A lot of the supplementary features on this disc cater to enthusiasts on those two fronts and many others may find some of it a bit boring and uninteresting.
Most tedious is the cluttered menu system that does very little to inspire you to do anything more than hit “Play” and get on with things rather than even attempt to navigate everything else. However, if you do get in there you will find a few more features that weren’t on the minimal single-disc DVD release. However, the best way to view most of what is here is using the previously mentioned Cine-Explore feature which will give it all to you in line with the film. One shot and done, then come back for the animated shorts “Mater and the Ghostlight” and “One Man Band.” Those are worth it.
FINAL THOUGHTS: This film was obviously a picture close to director John Lasseter’s heart and it is certainly a lot of fun, but it is also the only Pixar film that has diminished in my opinion whereas every other one of their films, outside of A Bug’s Life, has gone up. I’m still glad I have it, but if you already own it on DVD you may want to think hard about whether you really need the upgrade.