Pixar Post - T.J.

 How would you rate Radiator Springs 500½? votes

 5 - I loved it, couldn't be any better 0 votes
 4 6 votes
 3 - I didn't really love or hate it 1 vote
 2 0 votes
 1 - I was not a fan at all 0 votes
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So, we just saw Radiator Springs 500½ for the first time - we wrote a full review on our site, but we'd love to have you cast your vote (above this post) and hear your thoughts on the short. Did you like it? Was it too short/long? Favorite moments? Be as detailed as you'd like, we'd love to chat more about the short.
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I didn't really love it or hate it.  Not sure if there's anything to hate about it other than the fact that it's kind of, sort of, pointless (for a lack of a better word). Mater's one-liners are pretty juvenile for adults but I'm not sure if children can understand them either.  The right-left-right-left confusion was pretty silly - Lightning is supposed to know the area cold, how could he got lost and felt down the cliff? I do like the direction Pixar is taking with these shorts, away from the silly Mater's tall tales and more about life at Radiator Springs.  I really liked the scenery in this short, color palette is very very bright and vibrant.  

There, my one minute critique [smile]
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I loved it! I tbought the puns from Mater were such cheesy humor that it was just comic gold, really. The camera angles were probably my personal highlight of the short, as well as the clever scenery. I thought the exhaust pipes scene was very clever, and a great way to firmly separate the human world and the alternate universe of Cars, as they reminded me of geysers and caves of lava or something like that.

Many people know that Pixar often has to scrap good ideas in some of their movies, but puts them into another film, usually sequels. Well, a scene in this short is! If you check out the Cars DVD, there is a deleted scene in which Lightning gets lost in an old, rotted graveyard where creepy deceased cars lie rusting, not unlike the scene in Radiator Springs 500 1/2!

My one problem with it was that it was too short. I can see Pixar Canada(yes, I read the credits) tried to fit in the two storylines, and they did a good job, but it comes across choppy. I barely had time to process what was being said and shown on screen before it jolted to the next scene or line of dialogue. Just dragging the film on for another 30 seconds would have helped, there was so much good material here and it just zoomed by. I loved the new characters and the old characters new look, such as Luigi and Guido's greenish tint and the Stanley-costumed Mater. I also loved Stanley's appearance as a Force Ghost. [wink]

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Dan the Pixar Fan
I enjoyed it, it was one of the better Cars Toons in my opinion-more theatrical short quality/length relative to the other toons (Mater's Tall Tales) that would play during commercial breaks on Disney Channel. It is also interesting that they have the whole original voice cast as well (including Owen Wilson's first voice acting for a "toon") and that it was released in a semi random way and out of nowhere. Could it have been planned for a theatrical release with some Disney film? Since it was done by Pixar Canada, we could assume it has been done for a little while now.

I liked the feel of it and the classic western showdown style opening with the racers driving into town. The film-makers definitely borrowed some classic western camera angles/shots as well (like that neat, brief shot through the windows) and the tumbleweeds blowing in the breeze. I thought the overall cinematography, scenery, colors, animation and voice acting was solid and top notch. I loved all the costumes they gave the characters, even if I don't get all them. I'm especially perplexed about Mater's random Hawaiian luau coconut outfit. Why was he wearing that lol? I'll also note that I enjoyed the music (since I'm way into scores so I notice that kind of stuff). It really stood out to me when the racers arrived (again, western style) and when the racers were lining up to race (with that cool modern western inspired beat).

I agree about Lightning knowing his way around the area to an extent, but that doesn't really bother me. No one ever said that he knows the area cold. Just cause he knows the town and some of the immediate surrounding areas doesn't mean he knows it all. In my town, I know all the main places but could easily get lost if I did venture out a bit further. And like Radiator Springs, my town is in a desert and it gets pretty dang confusing heading out toward the mountains. I've lived here off and on for 8 years and still don't know my way around fully outside of the town. I always need to follow a friend. Lightning hasn't been there for that long either, relatively. Because Mater and the rest of the town would know the area and town's history more, it makes sense that they would know the route-which they did. I totally excuse Lightning from not knowing. I do wonder where all the locations that they went to were though...like how did that green and lush "enchanted forest" lead right back to the center of town? You don't see that anywhere in the distance-it's all rock formations. It would have made sense if the last part of the trek was a rocky one.

Yah the puns were a little much, I agree. They didn't bother me really too much either but there maybe could have been 2 or 3 less (especially at the end). Some of them gave me and my wife a little chuckle but yah, kind of cheesy. Some of them were just too obvious, like the buggy saying "What's a Mater?" Why would he ask that after he just asked "Who are you?" It's obvious Mater is telling him his name.  That one was wayyy too set up and doesn't make much sense. 

Also yah, it was a bit short for how much they were trying to cram in. I feel like that's a main issue for most of the Pixar shorts these days... Too fast.

I really liked the contrast between the real route and the racers route-I thought that was really fun with the hills, the caverns and the forests. And thanks to Mac95 to reminding me about the graveyard deleted scene from the original Cars and how old ideas often make their way back. I can almost 100% guarantee that you're totally right about that! I just watched it here. Great thought/insight!

I also liked the tie in at the end where the desert racers gain respect for Stanley and the town because of the mistake they made going down the wrong path. For me, that brought it together and was a satisfying ending. I don't think it's pointless per se, just fun. Technically that's the point of the Cars Toons in general is to have fun with little stories. Non of them are particularly poignant. I do say I like these new Radiator Springs based toons more than the tall tales. Keep them coming! Looking forward to the next one.

It's not perfect but not bad by any means. I would give it 3 and 1/2 stars.
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4/5 stars! 

"The Enchanted Forest" scene was very similar to this deleted scene from Cars. [video]http://youtu.be/Wzkq6UFsEV8[/video]

UPDATE: Whoops, I just realized that mac95 already noticed that. 
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Pixar Post - T.J.
Thanks for posting the video link Milan (this is the deleted animatic scene that mac95 mentioned above that is an extra on the Cars Blu Ray / DVD)!
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Pixar Post - T.J.
Just so everyone knows, we ended up chatting about quite a few of everyone's comments on Episode 028 of the Pixar Post Podcast - be sure to check it out, we give a few nods to Mac95Dan The Pixar Fan and Pricklepants. Thanks everyone for such great insights!
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