Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Cars 3 in 2D

Why? Because 3D is stupid, that’s why. Until I’m issued one red and one green contact lens, I really don’t want to hear about it.

I understand Pixar has moved up the release date of “Cars 2: World Grand Prix” by a year, planning a June 2011 release. Why? It seems so rare to move up a release. Was the film done ahead of time? Didn’t want all the voice actors dead by the release?

How unusual for an animated feature to arrive early. Something else must have canceled in order to move it up. Or perhaps someone figured out the target audience was not going to care by 2011. I’m not talking toddlers with maturing tastes, I’m speaking of ‘people pissed off by Owen Wilson’s recent projects’. This select population is in need of rescue well before 2011, but we’ll take what we can get.

Anyhoo, from what little I’ve been able to find regarding the plot of this film, it seems we’re in for even less of Sally Carrera this time around (1). This upsets me on many levels. Yes, yes, I know Walt Disney has an absolute cottage industry built on making little girls want to be princesses. Sure, we need “Boy” movies every bit as much. But what about little girls who love cars?

Sally merchandise has been extremely slim pickins(2). All they want to promote is the male buddy bonding of Lightning and ‘Mater. Perhaps this entertains the boys that secretly wish they were at the princess movies, but for the Porschephiles it’s just another example of the good ol’ NASCAR boys club.

Supposedly Lightning and Mater go to various countries to compete in Grand Prix events and experience culture shock. Where Sally even fits into this, I do not know, but Holly Hunt was listed as a voice talent, so I will assume she makes an appearance. The first film showcased so many things I love: Route 66, the Southwest, Porsches and other sports cars, Owen…

So I figured I was too late for Cars 2. No one called me to consult. Seems I’m going to have to rectify this myself. That’s right, I’m going to have to write the script for Cars III: The Rebuild

Brief Outline:

Sally, still living in Radiator Springs, a once-boom-town now suffering through the recession like the rest of us, gets a call that her father (silver Porsche 356) is on his last cylinders and she must travel back to the Fatherland to see him one final time. She kisses Lightning goodbye and tearfully boards a plane that will take her home to Stuttgart.

Sally arrives in time for five-hankie goodbye where Daddy tells her how proud he’s always been of her and explains he is bequeathing a large swath of the downtown business district to her, as her brother the 914 lacks the horsepower to oversee such a venture.

Before Daddy can even be properly crunched into scrap metal, an incredibly evil (but sexy!) black BMW M1 shows up and says he was an old friend of her father’s and he only wants to help her during this difficult time. It’s painfully obvious to everyone except Sally that he has nefarious intentions, but if she figured it out in the first 20 minutes, we couldn’t fill another 83, now could we???

Initially flattering, he soon starts dominating Sally and trying to make decisions for her. She allows a few, trying to cover in front of friends and family when she realizes they weren’t in her best interest. Slowly, she starts to awaken to the fact she has relinquished too much power. Feeling embarrassment and melancholy, she starts to cry oil(3) alone in a coach house. Singing spark plugs and an air filter that plays itself like an accordion do a huge musical number to cheer her up. (Did you forget this was a Disney film for a moment?) Great bathroom break.

Still, Sally isn’t quite ready to make the break. She doesn’t know how she could head home to America and still oversee German business operations. Fortunately, she meets the sleekest, coolest, most beautiful older gal Jenna (British Green Jaguar XKE) who is a willing mentor on all matters of both the pocketbook and the heart.

Jenna dazzles Sally with her self-confidence and intelligence. She makes some helpful business suggestions and it’s clear the M1 is very threatened by her. The girls go tire shopping and over some 40-Weight at an outdoor café, Jenna tells Sally she better dump the Bimmer before she ends up like so many other cars, unappreciated and unloved. She points out that High-Maintenance is not a dirty term, it’s an excuse for guys to neglect you. The Check Engine Now light comes on in Sally’s little dash, and she decides the new racing tires she just bought are perfect – for leaving Bimmy fast. This turns into a musical number, These Slicks Were Made for Squealin’.

After Bimmy is out of the picture, Sally decides she wants to return home to her true love, Lightning. She asks Jenna to act as her business manager for a handsome salary. Jenna agrees, introducing her to a much-younger new boyfriend, a gold Audi 8. “How very Ford of you!”, Sally smiles. – get it? Ford – Forward? Ford Cougar – Jaguar- younger guy…? Ok. I thought it was funny. Never mind.

So Sally hurries home only to find Lightning has taken up with a heavily airbrushed Toyota Celica with a Nitro Pak. Incensed that he can’t appreciate all-original equipment, she leaves him(4). Credits roll as Sally plans a triumphant return to Radiator Springs where she plans to act as a mentor to other young cars(5). She watches a sunset as the screen blackens down to the International Vehicle Car oval “D” sticker she received near her back bumper – a little tramp stamp she picked up abroad.

~The Beginning~

1 per Wikipedia, Pixar has been criticized for its lack of strong or main female characters

2 Also, would somebody please make the theme bedding in Queen size? Nooo…. Only twin…

3 Although Sally looks young enough to be water-cooled.

4 Think Sandra Bullock and Jesse James

5 “Pixar films follow the same theme of self improvement. With the help of friends or family, a character ventures out into the real world and learns to appreciate his friends and family." At the core, according to John Lasseter, "it's gotta be about the growth of the main character, and how he changes.”

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