I am writing this while Number One Son is watching Cars for the umpteenth time with a happy smile bursting every time Mater comes to the frame. This all started when we visited Archaeologist Hubby’s father and his house in northern Tuscany. Our son is an early bird so owe had to have something to entertain him in the mornings before or after the morning swim. Not to mention those grey rainy days when the closeness of Ligurian coast is felt even in the middle of summer.
We had two Pixar movies with us, both of which have been watched and rewatched ever since. But Toy Story 3 does not get the same repeated viewing as Cars. Nor do any of the other films we have bought since. It is not only the movies. His Lightning McQueen follows him to the nursery and to the bed. He grabs anything with a McQueen or Mater in the supermarket and I must say Archaeologist Hubby seems to be softer than me – although I must to admit to that chocolate bar pack.
Almost as soon as Cars is over our son starts to make it clear he wants to watch the film again. Sometimes he has tried to secure a third showing. I do like animated films myself but since there were no DVDs when I was a kid and the videos came out only when I was in my early teens, I do not have this experience of repeat viewing. However, I remember blasting some horrid songs on the tape recorder again and again (and let’s not discuss my Abba vinyl collection). Archaeologist Hubby has bought me a few Pixar and other animated movies for present. However, now we learn about the taste and preferences of a small boy. Ratatoille is too wordy and Robin Hood was voted against with continuous loud whaling whereas Monsters’ Inc and Finding Nemo are both winners. Even the robots in Wall-E get silent admiration.
The Guardian film critic Peter Bradshaw suggested that Cars has been repeated viewing in his family and his children are hooked with it (see Cars2 review). He also wondered what allures the children and what are the parameters the children rate the movies with, since their standards seem to divert from those of this adult critic [and others]. He does not rate Cars very high and Cars 2 even less. Unlike him, we are eagerly waiting for its release in DVD. Number One Son is still too small to stay a put in the dark for one and half hours even if we were watching Cars. Most importantly for us, it is a different movie with a different storyline. No matter how colourful the imagery and breathless the spaciousness of the Route 66 three-dimensional landscapes, nothing beats variety.