The makers of this brash and blaringly noisy family animation from Malaysia give the hot-rod rookie storyline from Pixar’s Cars a hasty respray and set it off so fast they hope nobody notices the similarities. But it really is such a blatant copycat job, ripping off Cars note for note and lifting so many elements – from talking driverless cars to the dim-witted, buck-toothed sidekick – they might as well have called it Carz.
Ogie Banks cheerfully voices Wheely, a cocksure young racing car who crashes badly, busting his axel beyond repair. His speeding days over, Wheely takes a job as a taxi – and with his career go his chances of impressing supermodel Bella (Frances Lee), a lipstick-red Ferrari-like sporty number. Besides, she’s already hooked up with a preening posh-boy motor. Oh bolts! The plot goes a bit Fast & Furious when an international criminal racket run by truck Kaiser (Brock Powell) car-naps Bella.
Rescue - Plotline - Approach - Characters - Study
Wheely dashes to her rescue in a plotline with a depressingly vintage approach to female characters. (It’s worth remembering that a 2017 study found that girls already think they are less capable than boys by the time they are six years old.) Conventional wisdom about Pixar movies has it that the Cars franchise contains the least inventive films in the back catalogue, but the bland anthropomorphism and patience-testingly unfunny script here really do go to show how many laps ahead of the competition Pixar is....
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Drove my Ford to the fjord, but the fjord was dry. . .