I had no interest in Cars Toons, but having two young kids led me to many viewings of the Pixar created show. I was very dubious of watching Cars Toons because I wasn’t sure if I could take a Mater centered cartoon series. I am happy to report that I was wrong. Cars Toons are awesome.
The shows were divided into two types, Mater’s Tall Tales and Tales from Radiator Springs. With running times varying between two and five minutes, it’s hard to be annoyed by Mater in such a short time.
Mater’s Tall Tales are just what the title says. Mater usually tells a story that is so far beyond fact, that everyone who is listening to him questions the validity of his story. In titles like “Rescue Squad Mater,” “Tokyo Mater,” “El Materdor,” “Moon Mater,” and “Mater Private Eye,” Mater gets himself into a variety of situations and always drags his friend Lightning McQueen along.
There funny, even though the humor is juvenile at points. But what I liked about Mater’s Tall Tales is how ridiculous they are. The shorts never pretend to be anything but a chance for Mater spin some tales and try to entertain his friends. Plus, theses cartoons take on classic stories like Apollo 13, The Big Sleep, and even a shot at The Fast and the Furious with “Tokyo Mater.” “Time Travel Mater” allows Mater and McQueen to travel back and see what Radiator Springs was like when it was founded by Stanley. Stanley doesn’t need a whole a movie, and this short cartoon adds depth to the world of Cars.
Tales from Radiator Springs is less Mater focused and more scattered for lead characters. There are fewer episodes, but to me they are golden. From the very short Bugged, where we watch Red the town fire truck deal with a pesky bug, Spinning which allows Guido to show off his skills at spinning a sign, Hiccups where Lightning gets the hiccups and we watch as everyone in town tries to tell him some outlandish way to cure them, and finally The Radiator Springs 500 ½ where Lightning McQueen participates in a dirt track race across land after some tough talk talking Baja racers show up in town and challenge him to a race. Sadly they listened to Mater for directions which makes things go so bad for all the racers.
What Cars Toons did that Cars 2 couldn’t was expand on the characters we met and liked from Cars. For a moment, we get to follow Red or watch Sally cure Lightning’s hiccups with a kiss and see Mater in the place he belongs, telling stories that seem way to crazy to be true.
Give Cars Toons a try — you just might find yourself staying for the whole ride.