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Children from Sanibel Rec enjoys premier of 'Cars 2' at Island Cinema

July 1, 2011
Kids from the Sanibel Recreation Center received a special treat last week – a preview of Pixar Animation’s inventive sequel "Cars 2" at Island Cinema. It’s Pixar’s 25th Anniversary, and the studio brought back its familiar characters and throws in a spy-thriller plot with secret weapons, sinister villains and clandestine agents.

"It was very entertaining," said 10-year-old Christina Reim about the movie that also teaches kid-friendly lessons about friendship and being your self.

To simply expect a revisiting of the gang from Radiator Springs is to underestimate Pixar philosophy. Though it spends time in familiar Carburetor County, "Car 2" also goes far geographically, unleashing racing whiz Lightening McQueen (voiced by Owen Wilson) and his best pal Tow Mater (voiced by Larry the Cable Guy), on the rest of the world as Lightning travels to Paris and competes in a World Grand Prix in Tokoyo, London and the fictional Italian Rivieria town of Porta Corsa.

"My favorite character is Mater," said 12-year-old Nicholas Atkinson. "He isn’t the smartest, so the not-smart stuff he does is funny."

At the instigation of his best girl Sally, McQueen takes his best pal Mater along on the world tour, and the clueless tow truck’s bumbling, irrepressible innocence proves to be a problem from stop one in Tokyo, where he mistakes a dish of red-hot wasabi for a helping of pistachio ice cream.

"That was my favorite part," said 12-year-old Andrew Lomano.

The plot gets more complicated, when in a "North by Northwest" case of mistaken identity, everyone including secret agent Finn McMissle (impeccably voiced by Michael Caine) and his inexperienced colleague Holley Shiftwell (Emily Mortimer), not to mention the bad guys, assume Mater is an ace secret agent with one heck of a cover.

"As if," said the kids.

With engaging characters, a plot that ensures energy and such a wealth of auto references, "Cars 2" has a smooth easy way about it. These creations never fail to make us smile. Three out of four kids from the Sanibel Recreation Center thought there will be a third "Cars" movie.

"I don’t really think there will be a third," said Atkinson. "It seemed to have an ending."

The movie also makes entertaining and inventive use of 3-D technology. Despite the technological wonder, "Cars 2" never forgets the heartfelt sensibility that is its dramatic heritage. Written by Ben Queen, creator of FOX’s "Drive," from a story by John Lasseter and Brad Lewis, "Cars 2" teaches gentle kid-friendly lessons and introduces some great new characters in its parallel spy drama and auto racing plots.

The kids, a majority who saw the first "Cars," seemed pleased with the genially entertaining flick. When the movie credits rolled, Island Cinema’s theater erupted in applause.

"It’s always great to have the kids here," said Britt Maxwell, manager of Island Cinema.

Every year, the kids from Sanibel Recreation Center get to enjoy a movie, popcorn, candy and soda at Island Cinema as part of a great partnership between the two island businesses. As the group of kids filed out of the theater, there were 40 to 50 others waiting on the steps of Island Cinema for their showing of the highly anticipated sequel.

Article Photos

Danny Shuster and John Peterson are waiting to view 'Cars 2' at Island Cinema



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