Before you heed my warning, let me provide a little context. I have seen the original PIXAR Cars movie dozens and dozens of times. When my sons, now 4 and 6, can’t agree on anything else for family movie night, we watch Cars. I took my then 18 month-old to see Cars in the theater as his first toddler movie-going experience; that was a bad idea for other reasons, but the movie is sweet, simple, not scary, and has a positive message of friendship.
So, why not take your toddler or young preschooler to see Cars 2?
- Guns. Lots and lots of guns. Shooting. Killing. You don’t want your kiddo to see gun violence, stay away from this movie. You don’t care so much? Read on.
- Complicated plot. Way too confusing. If you replaced the animated cars with human actors, this could be a regular semi-decent spy thriller. Children do not understand the difference between Big Oil and bio-fuel nor should they have to.
- Lacking all charm and positive messaging. Actually, if you are an adult really looking for these things, you will find two different throw-away lines about standing by your friends and being yourself. But those lines are buried. Buried by guns.
I took my sons to see this movie on the first Saturday matinee showing. They said they loved it but didn’t understand lots of it. My four year-old had nightmares for two nights after.
Don’t take my word for it. As of this writing, Cars 2 has scored 33% fresh on RottenTomatoes.com, the worst score for any Pixar movie. According to Commonsensemedia.org, 74% of parent-reviewers say that violence is an issue and they recommend it for ages 8 and up.
So, if you saw Cars 2 already, do you agree with my assessment? If you haven’t, did I sway your opinion?