What sounds funnier: a genre-hopping quest across the video game spectrum by a generic galoot drawn in marshmallowy 3-D, or the same undertaken by an two-dimensional Nintendo relic who looks ludicrously out of place in any world but his own?
If there’s one thing Pixar always does right, it’s the animation itself. Cars 2 is no WALL-E or Up, but Rome, To(w)kyo, and London are beautifully rendered. In the animators’ capable hands, the cars themselves are as shiny as you’d want, the massive cogs within Big Ben are lovely to behold, and the roiling sea looks so real you might do a double-take. But the breathtaking land- and seascapes aren’t enough to hold the insubstantial story together.
The toys have to employ numerous Rube Goldberg-style methods of escape—one imagines that board meetings with the production crew were comprised of people wondering aloud, “Now, if you were eight inches tall, how would you make it through two locked doors and over an eight-foot wall?” (Who wouldn’t kill for one of those jobs?)