What has four wheels, a bright yellow lightning bolt, and the voice of Owen Wilson?

Lightning McQueen! He's the racecar with an attitude who leads a whole new cast of car-toon characters in Pixar's latest crowd-pleaser.

Pixar's going to need a bigger parking lot, as Cars has earned itself a place next to such famous show-mobiles as Toy Story, Finding Nemo, and The Incredibles. Cars finished first at the box office last week, raking in more than $60 million, and pleasing fans and critics alike.

It opens with a bang. McQueen puts the pedal to the metal, on his way to a big race, and crashes off the road into the town of Radiator Springs. And it's not just any crash—he damages a bunch of stuff belonging to the inhabitants of that small town. So, McQueen is sentenced to community service, with a bunch of lessons to learn before his return to the racetrack.

While Cars also features the voices of Paul Newman, Bonnie Hunt, Larry the Cable Guy, Cheech Marin, Michael Keaton, and Tony Shaloub, it's easy to see that the real stars are the Pixar animators and storytellers.

So, how does it size up to other Pixar flicks?

"Cars could well be Pixar's least satisfying project to date," says Russ Breimeier (Christianity Today Movies). But he adds, "Not that all audiences will be disappointed. Families with young boys enchanted by cars will find a lot to love in this animated world completely populated with automobiles instead of humans."

Breimeier goes on to praise the film's animation as a new peak for Pixar. But the story? "If [the story] sounds familiar, it's fortunate for director John Lasseter and his fellow screenwriters that no kids in the audience will recognize this as a retread of Doc Hollywood." He notes that the film delivers "some ...

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