With the Daytona 500 taking place on Sunday, February 19 it seems like the perfect time to mention, albeit controversially, that Cars is the best franchise produced by Disney Pixar.
Since their inception in 1979, Pixar Animation Studios has been captivating audiences with not only superior animation quality but also creative and unforgettable stories. Their debut feature film release, Toy Story (1995) sparked a global obsession that ultimately led to 28 highly successful films totaling over $14 billion at the box office worldwide! Although most of Pixar’s creations have become celebrated classics—being watched time and again on Disney+ streaming service—we feel none compare to the Cars franchise which continues to stand out from all other Pixar films.
My son Nova has never been one to sit around watching television, but after our family contracted COVID-19 in August 2022 and were confined to house arrest for more than ten days, we had no choice. All he wanted was “Cawrs” – so that’s what we gave him. We cuddled up together as a family unit and watched the Cars trilogy (we’re talking all three movies starting from where it all began) on repeat…again and again.
Even with the tenth or eleventh viewing of each movie, my wife and I still found ourselves enthralled by these animated films. From hidden innuendos to nods in the background, every time we watch them something new jumps right out at us – captivating our attention as if for the first time. Nova eventually moved on from this craze to Encanto but we now find ourselves recently drawn back into its automotive world once again. Now Taylor and I find ourselves glued to the television set.
Cars debuted in 2006 with a feature film directed by John Lasseter with a screenplay from Lasseter, Dan Fogelman, Joe Ranft, Kiel Murray, Phil Lorin, and Jorgen Klubien. The first movie starred Owen Wilson, Paul Newman, Bonnie Hunt, Larry the Cable Guy, Michael Keaton, Richard Petty, and more.
The success of the first film ($462 million worldwide) allowed Pixar to produce a sequel in 2011. The sequel was also directed by Lasseter with a screenplay by Lasseter, Fogelman, and Brad Lewis and brought back Wilson, Larry the Cable Guy, while adding Michael Caine, Emily Mortimer, John Turturro, and Eddie Izzard.
While Cars was not the first Pixar property to get the trilogy honors (that goes to Toy Story) it is only the second franchise to get a third film in the 28 years of Pixar movies. The third film , directed by Brian Fee on a screenplay by Kiel Murray, Bob Peterson, and Mike Rich debuted in 2017 and while not as successful financially as the other two films it had a ton of heart and was the end cap the franchise needed after the off-the-wall second film. The film final in the franchise saw the return of actors Wilson and Larry the Cable Guy, while adding Cristela Alonzo, Chris Cooper, Armie Hammer, and Nathan Fillion.
Cars is the perfect fit for a fun-filled family movie night. With an A+ animation style and stellar voice talent, each story brings something new to your screen while creating strong connections between them all. But what really makes this series of films and TV programs stand out? It’s gotta be their creative writing! From character names that reference car parts to phrases only understood in auto lingo; you’ll never look at “The World of Cars” quite the same way again – no matter how much love we have for movies like Toy Story, Monsters, Inc, or A Bugs Life.
While some might argue that Toy Story would be the top franchise for Pixar and while we can truly understand why this statement would be said, we have to disagree. Toy Story has its moments, thats for sure, but as an overarching item Cars does it all better. Not to mention the recent Cars on the Road streaming television series adding to the amazing franchise.
Our household now features many toys surround the film’s characters such as Light McQueen, Mater, Chick Hicks, Fillmore, Sarge, Ramone, Luigi, Flo and so much more.
After have been subjected to these films over and over again, it might not be our first pick for movie night (just out of pure overload), but every family in the world should experience these films, all three of them, and know that they are the best franchise produced by the house of mouse.
Nova has fallen in love with automobiles ever since being introduced to these films and even at age 2 will be starring at the television come Sunday when “gentlemen start your engines” is said from the Daytona International Speedway for the running of the Daytona 500, NASCAR’s biggest event and the first Cup points race of the season.
While Cars doesn’t get the love it deserves as one of only two movies to get a trilogy at Pixar, it is for sure one of the best series of animated films to date. All three films, plus the television series are available on Disney+. So be sure to find the time to sit down as a family and watch theses movies.