Dennis D. McDonald (ddmcd@outlook.com) is an independent consultant located in Alexandria Virginia. His services and capabilities are described here. Application areas include project, program, and data management; market assessment, digital strategy, and program planning; change and content management; social media; and, technology adoption. Follow him on Google+. He also publishes on CTOvision.com and aNewDomain.

Brian Fee’s CARS 3

Brian Fee’s CARS 3

Movie Review by Dennis D. McDonald

My son knows my tastes. He took me out to see Cars 3 on Father's Day.

I couldn't have been more pleased.

The original Cars is one of my favorite Pixar movies. Cars 2 was a disappointment. It lacked the emotion and heart of the original. I was concerned about what Cars 3 would be like.

I am happy to say the Cars 3 knocks it out of the park. It's funny, exciting, and emotionally engaging. Again we are treated to an amazing example of how the Pixar team has mastered the art of making inanimate objects come alive with personality, humor, and emotion. The complex emotions expressed on the "faces" of the cars in this movie are, in some instances, simply miraculous. Watch Cruz Ramirez in particular. “Her” expressions of regret, doubt, and controlled anger are some of the best character animation I have seen.

It is also reasonable to ask if small children will "get" some of the more mature and complex plot points such as the film’s major focus on obsolescence, fear of aging, and replacement by younger and more sophisticated models. Will kids understands this? Is there enough here to keep the little ones engaged?

I can't really answer that question directly. My own kids are mature and out on their own. I do know that, had this movie come out when my son and daughter were little, I would not have hesitated to take them to see it. Pixar has always aimed higher than the dull and unoriginal kids’ animated films that are now so common, as evidenced by the crude kids’ movies previewed before Cars 3 at the multiplex 3D showing we attended.

I say, give the kids quality now and you won't regret it down the road. For example, if they aren’t pleased at the rousing “demolition derby” at the film’s midpoint – one of my favorite sequences – I’ll be very surprised.

What continues to amaze me is Pixar's ability to combine all manners of humor with action, sentiment, and emotion. It's a gift that few studios have mastered. Reading Ed Catmull’s book will help explain the amazing effort over years that goes into making something like Cars 3.

By all means, take the kids to see Cars 3; you'll be happy you did. And if you don't have any kids, see the movie anyway!

Review copyright © 2017 by Dennis D. McDonald

Johnnie To's THREE

Johnnie To's THREE

Zhang Yimou's THE GREAT WALL

Zhang Yimou's THE GREAT WALL