It has not been an easy week and a half. But as many homeschoolers can attest, there aren’t that many easy weeks during a school year. Schooling at home means dealing with life at home all day, every day, and sometimes life takes the front seat. Last week, my oldest son John cut his hand, requiring a trip to the ER, seven stitches, a follow-up trip to the hand doctor, and finally today, outpatient surgery to repair two tendons. Now, I know such an event should have spurred me on to lead the kids in an investigation of muscles, bones, tendons, ligaments, and the anatomy of the hand, but instead I decided we should rent a movie and watch it this afternoon. And it wasn’t even educational. It was Cars 2.
We hadn’t seen the movie yet, and it had just come out as a video rental. John thought it was a good choice, as his younger brother Luke would like it to. So, we gathered around the living room and watched it this afternoon, and I have to say…I was extremely disappointed.
I liked the original Cars movie. Aside from “feeling” like a rather long film (I remember watching it in the theater and wondering when it would end), it was a fun movie with likable characters and a good message. Luke loved it and we ended up buying it, along with all the little action figures.
But this movie was not the same at all. While (I think) the original was geared to 3-7 year old boys, this one must have been intended for older kids. The plot was complicated and way over the heads of the original Cars fans, involving an hour and a half of spies and secret agents.
What I found most appalling, however, was what else the film serves up to young viewers: weapons, torture, bombs, and even death. In one scene, a “good” secret agent is captured and tortured — the bad cars tell him he’s going to die. Then he bursts into flames off camera.
“I can’t believe it!” I said. “They just killed him!”
“No,” my kids assured me. “He’s all right. He’ll come back.” But he never did. Then, towards the end of the film, the bad cars are after Lightning McQueen, determined he’s going to die too. They even rig Mater up with a bomb to unknowingly blow up his friend.
So, while I’m glad we took the afternoon off (we all needed the break), watching Cars 2 was not the way to go. While children may enjoy the races and chase scenes, this film has little else to offer. So, yay for John for thinking of his little brother, but boo for Pixar for not. 🙁