Saw Pixar's Cars with my folks yesterday. It was very good—a lot better than I was expecting, actually. I wasn't really looking forward to it: the trailer was pretty unimpressive, a local critic who I usually trust gave it a mediocre review, and it has Larry the goddamn Cable Guy doing the voice of one of the major characters. Seeing some of the production design work on Crazie's tour got me more interested, but still I was wary. But I had a great time. The plot is your basic "fast-paced city guy ends up stuck in a backwater and learns how to be a nicer person" formula, which I usually am not too fond of (it's part of that whole fetishization of rural America, and the accompanying demonization of urban living), but they pull it off well. And as usual with Pixar productions, the little things are half of the fun: the real-life Cadillac Ranch becomes the Cadillac Range of mountains, the various sponsor stickers on the racecars, the "pinstripe detailing", the neon sparkplug decorations on Flo's Diner. And look closely at the little blue insects. ;) Pixar's movies always have a lot of heart, as opposed to the 3DCG animated movies that other studios have been putting out, which feature an unrelenting barrage of pop-culture jokes with a shelf life measured in milliseconds but are empty at the core.