Having just had sinus surgery, I am taking my currently rather hazy brain as a good excuse to catch up on Pixar movies (not that I ever really needed an excuse...). I have long been of the opinion that Pixar just does not make bad movies-- even the few movies they've made that I didn't particularly like ("Antz" and "A Bug's Life") were still excellent.
Last night I watched Cars for the first time. I remember watching the previews for it when they first started to appear back in 2006, and I didn't think it looked particularly good. But I decided to give it a chance in my recent goal to catch up on movies, and I was very pleasantly surprised. Not only is it Pixar's usual top-quality animation that really brings the pictures to life, but the plotline was both engaging, sweet, and profound. Cars tells the story of Lightning McQueen, a top-of-the-line race car living life in the fast lane (literally and figuratively) and loving that he didn't need to think of anyone but himself...until, en route to California for a big race, he got lost and sidetracked into Radiator Springs, a small town off Route 66. There, forced into community service to pay for some early wrongdoings, Lightning gradually learns that there is more to life than the fast lane-- that sometimes it's better to slow down and enjoy the ride.
A bit cliche, perhaps-- but the combination of top-tier animation, big-name stars as the voice actors (including Owen Wilson and Paul Newman), a great soundtrack (ranging from James Taylor to Rascal Flatts), and a good plot makes Cars a thoroughly enjoyable film.