Uncle Roger's Notebooks of Daily Life

Introduction

My life is, to me, ripe with frequent challenges, occasional successes, spontaneous laughter, adequate tears, and enough *life* to last me a lifetime. To you, however, it surely seems most pedestrian. And therefore, I recycle the name I used previously and call this my Notebooks of Daily Life. Daily, because it's everyday in nature, ordinary. These conglomeration of events that are my life are of interest to me because I live it, perhaps mildly so to those who are touched by it, and could only be of perverse, morbid curiosity to anyone else. Yet, I offer them here nonetheless. Make of them what you will, and perhaps you can learn from my mistakes.


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Saturday, June 10, 2006

Cars

Jared has been pooping in the potty regularly now for two weeks, so today he got to go to the movies with his Nana and his cousin. I went along in case he got scared or needed to go to the bathroom during the movie. We went to see Cars, the latest from John Lasseter and Pixar. If you know anything about animation, you know that first name means it was probably going to be pretty good.

Well, it turns out it wasn't pretty good; it was damned excellent. Lasseter is the genius behind classics like Toy Story and Monsters, Inc. His big break came about because of Luxo Jr., an animated short featuring a pair of lovable lamps. It's absolutely clear that the two are a father and son pair -- an enthusiastic youngster and a watchful, loving parent. This is because of Lasseter's skill at bringing animated characters to life, breathing real identifiable character into his characters. This film is another shining example of that skill.

The story is simple enough, predictable and familiar. And that's okay. That's not the point of this at all. What it is about is great animation with incredible characterization. Don't get me wrong, though -- the story is actually well done. It's just not a crying game or sixth sense kind of new story. I think that, in the beginning, the point that Lightning McQueen (the protagonist) was a selfish go-getter could have been made a little stronger. Everything else, was extremely well done. The lovable but unspectacular townspeople he meets up with were perfect. The ending was great and, I'll admit, even drew a few tears from my jaded, cynical eyes.

For adults, there is plenty of sophisticated humour, but without detracting from the kid-friendliness of the movie. Speaking of which, that is where this movie really excels. I am pretty far out there about what I will let my kids watch; I can't think of any Disney movies suitable for a four-year-old other than Fantasia and I'm kind of sorry I let him ever watch Toy Story, due to the violence. So it was with some trepidation that I went into the theatre with him. I was very pleasantly surprised, however. This movie passed even my strict standards. I don't think too highly of the MPAA's rating system, but if I were to rate movies, this would easily get a G rating.

Apparently, my mother-in-law was worried that I would not enjoy the movie and would even have a terrible time sitting through a kid's movie. I'm sure that would be the case for a lot of movies, but not this one. I thoroughly enjoyed the movie and am looking forward to getting it on DVD. If you've got kids old enough to sit through a movie and young enough to want to go to one with you, go ahead and take them. If not, even better -- go see a later showing and really enjoy it.

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