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Cars – Ultimate Cars Gift Pack (a J!-ENT Blu-ray Disc Review)

November 4, 2009 by  



“Cars” is definitely a popular Disney/Pixar classic and in terms of quality, has received the highest of rankings when it was released on Blu-ray back in 2007.  In 2009, the “Ultimate Cars Gift Pack” comes with the Blu-ray plus the original DVD and 2 exclusive cars (Cruisin’ Lighting McQueen and Rescue Squad Mater) with custom Ransburg paint. These items are highly collectible and If you are looking for a holiday gift, especially for someone who owns a Blu-ray player, a die-hard “Cars” fan and loves Disney/Pixar films, you can not go wrong with this gift pack!  Definitely recommended!

Images courtesy of © 2006, 2009 Disney/Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

TITLE:  Cars – Ultimate Cars Gift Pack

DURATION: 116 Minutes

BLU-RAY DISC INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition (2:39:1), English 5.1 Uncompressed (48 kHz/24-bit), English 5.1 Dolby Digital

COMPANY: Pixar/Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment

RATED: G (General Audiences – All Ages Admitted)

RELEASE DATE: November 10, 2009

Directed by John Lasseter

Co-Directed by Joe Ranft

Story by John Lasseter, Joe Ranft, Jorgen Klubein

Screenplay by Dan Fogelman, John Lasseter, Joe Ranft, Kiel Murray, Phil Lorin, Jorgen Klubein

Additional Screenplay by Robert L. Baird, Brenda Chapman, Daniel Gerson, Bonnie Hunt, Don Lake, Steve Purcell, Dan Scanlon

Produced by Darla K. Anderson

Associate Producer: Thomas Porter

Music by Randy Newman

Cinematography by Jeremy Lasky

Edited by Ken Schretzman

Casting by Kevin Reher

Production Design by William Cone, Bob Pauley

Featuring the voices of:

Owen Wilson as Lightning McQueen

Paul Newman as Doc Hudson

Bonnie Hunt as Sally Carrera

Larry the Cable Guy as Mater

Cheech Marin as Ramone

Tony Shalhoub as Luigi

Guido Quaroni as Guido

Jenifer Lewis as Flow

Paul Dooley as Sarge

Michael Walis as Sheriff

George Carlin as Fillmore

Katherine Helmond as Lizzie

From the acclaimed creators of Toy Story, The Incredibles and Finding Nemo comes a high-octane adventure comedy that shows life is about the journey, not the finish line.  Enjoy Pixar’s landmark classic on both Disney’s Blu-ray Hi-Def and DVD in this sensational 2-Disc Combo Pack.

Hotshot rookie race car Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson) is living life in the fast lane until he hits a detour on his way to the most important race of his life.  Stranded in Radiator Springs, a forgotten town on the old Route 66, he meets Sally, Mater, Doc Hudson (Paul Newman) and a variety of quirky characters who help him discover that there’s more to life than trophies and fame.

Revved up with a sensational soundtrack, the ultimate in picture and sound and hours of exciting bonus features, cars fires on all cylinders in this Blu-ray and DVD pack!

“Cars” is definitely a popular Disney/Pixar classic and in terms of quality, has received the highest of rankings when it was released on Blu-ray back in 2007.  In 2009, the “Ultimate Cars Gift Pack” comes with the Blu-ray plus the original DVD and 2 exclusive cars (Cruisin’ Lighting McQueen and Rescue Squad Mater) with custom Ransburg paint. These items are highly collectible and If you are looking for a holiday gift, especially for someone who owns a Blu-ray player, a die-hard “Cars” fan and loves Disney/Pixar films, you can not go wrong with this gift pack!  Definitely recommended!

In 2006, the seventh Disney/Pixar film “Cars” was released in theaters.  Needless to say, the film was a major hit as it was nominated for two Academy Awards, has made over $461 million worldwide.

In fact, the film was so popular that merchandise is still sold in department stores today and the cars have been popular toys that have made over $5 billion in sales.

Needless to say, “Cars” was not just a box office success, it is one of Disney/Pixars biggest money making titles that is loved by critics and fans that easily ensured a sequel for a planned release in 2011.

In 2009, in time for the holidays is the release of “Cars – Ultimate Cars Gift Pack” which is a great release for those who have now jumped aboard in purchasing a Blu-ray player and a Blu-ray which was released in 2007 and has received nothing but magnificent reviews.

“Cars” is a film directed by John Lasseter (“Toy Story” films, “A Bug’s Life”) and co-directed by Joseph Ranft (“Monsters, Inc.”, “Finding Nemo”, “A Bug’s Life”, “The Incredibles”) and features a screenplay by Lasster, Ranft, Dan Fogelman (“Bolt”, “The 12th Man”), Kiel Murray, Phil Lorin and Jorgen Klubein (“A Bug’s Life”, “Mulan”, “Pocohontaas”, “The Lion King”).

The film revolves around a popular rookie named Lightning McQueen (voiced by Owen Wilson, “Bottle Rocket”, “Marley & Me”) who races in the Piston Cup stock car racing competition.

Lightning McQueen is quite arrogant and not much of a team-player.  He doesn’t trust his pit crew and sure enough, when he gets into a 3-car tie, the race would be determined a week later at the Los Angeles International Speedway.

While on the road to practice in California, he pushes his big rig Mack to travel all early morning but when a group of cars start becoming reckless around Mack, Lightning McQueen rolls out of the back of the big rig and ends up in the countryside.

When Lightning McQueen goes to find Mack, he ends up in a small town of Radiator Springs.  But when he gets into a problematic situation with the local Sheriff (he tears up the main road), Lightning is arrested and put in jail.

The town’s judge and doctor Doc Hudson (voiced by Paul Newman, “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid”, “The Hustler”, “Nobody’s Fool”)  wants him out of town but the local lawyer Sally Carrera (voiced by Bonnie Hunt, “The Bonnie Hunt Show”) insists that Lightning to do community service.

And thus, Lightning must spend time with the locals of Radiator Springs where he gets to learn more about himself, making new friends such as  Mater (voiced by Larry the Cable Guy, “Blue Collar TV”), Ramone (voiced by Cheech Marin, “Lost”, “Born in East LA”, “Race to Witch Mountain”), Luigi (voiced by Tony Shaloub, “Monk”, “Wings”) and many more. But also Lightning  possibly discovering  love.

“Cars” is an exciting, hilarious and well-cast film featuring beautiful animation from Pixar and looks and sounds incredible via HD on Blu-ray!

VIDEO & AUDIO:

“Cars” on Blu-ray is presented in 1080p High Definition (2:39:1) and the picture quality of the film is absolutely vibrant.  Colors are absolutely beautiful as you can see the nice sheen of the cars and the reflections of the cars.  You can see the detail on the rust stains on Mater and for the most part, if you put in your DVD, you can see how much of a difference the film looks in HD via Blu-ray over its DVD counterpart.  Vibrant colors, more detail and overall, a beautiful video transfer with no blemishes, compression artifacts whatsoever.

Audio is presented in English 5.1 (uncompressed, 48 kHz/24-Bit) and the racing segments really utilize the surround channels but also the LFE.  It’s one thing to have the nice clear dialogue and music through the front and center channels but to hear the cars speeding on the raceway and zooming and hearing through the surrounds is fantastic.  Crashes bring out the booms and the audience on the race track can be heard on the surround channels. Overall, a solid lossless audio soundtrack!

Subtitles are in English SDH.

As for the DVD, the DVD is featured in widescreen (2:39:1) and is enhanced for 16×9 televisions.  Audio is presented in Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound EX and Dolby Digital 2.0. Subtitles are presented in English SDH.

SPECIAL FEATURES

“Cars – Ultimate Cars Gift Pack” contains the original Blu-ray released in Nov. 2007 but also comes with the original DVD plus 2 exclusive cars (Cruisin’ Lightning McQueen and Rescue Squad Mater) with custom Ransburg paint.

The Blu-ray special features are presented in 1080p and 1080i High Definition and also 480i Standard Definition with English 5.1 and 2.0 Dolby Digital.  Also, with English subtitles.

DISC 1:

  • Cine-Explore – Cine-Explore allows the viewer to watch the film with interactive audio commentary by director John Lasseter.  You can see storyboards during the commentary and also see the shorts and deleted scenes as well.
  • Cine-Explore Documentary Shorts: Included in this feature are:

– Radiator Springs – (5:23) Behind-the-scenes of Pixar and trying to make the world of “Radiator Springs” seem believable.

– Character Design – (6:06) Director John Lasseter talks about the details that he wanted to see in the film.  From the reflections to the dirt being kicked up on the tires and more.

– Animation and Acting – (5:15) Scott Clark  and Doug Sweetland (both have the title of Supervising Animator) talk about the character animation and how the characters must have a soul.

– Real World Racing: Getting Geeky with the Details – (5:29) Those who love “Cars” talk about how they love the details in the film since so many other films tend to not cover car racing that well.  So, director John Lasseter (who loves cars) made sure that the details were right on the film and professionals talk about how happy they were that Lasseter wanted to get the details correctly for an animated film.

– Hudson Hornet – (2:44) Director John Lasseter talks about his first impression of the Hudson Hornet and how it was the fastest car of its day and then realizing how innovative, how powerful and how fast this car was.  Others talk about how significant the car was.

– Graphics – (3:34) The various graphics and product stickers used on the film for each car.  Graphic designers talk about the various logos that were used from brands, food, restaurants, products, etc.

– Darrel Waltrip Museum Tour – (7:13) Director John Lasseter visits the Darrel Waltrip Museum and takes a look at the various cars in the museum and learn some of the history behind those cars from Darrel Waltrip.

  • Carfinder Game – A game in which you select the cars at a bottom row while watching the film and try to get the best score.
  • Deleted Scenes – (14:00) Five deleted scenes which includes: Community Service, Top Down Truck Stop, Lost, Motorama Girls and Traffic School featuring opening commentary by director John Lasseter.  Deleted scenes are from pre-production sketches (created 3-4 years before the film was released in theaters) are shown.
  • One Man Band – (4:33) Featured in HD, this featurette is a Pixar animation of a man with many instruments (ala a One Man Band) and competes with another musician in order to get the coin of a young boy who wants to donate.
  • Mater and the Ghostlight Short – (7:09) Featured in HD, this story features Doc Hudson telling a story of “The Ghostlight” to Lightning McQueen.
  • Epilogue – (4:20) Featured in HD, this is the ending of “Cars” without the ending credits.
  • Boundin’ Cars – (:46) Featuring Mater and Lightning McQueen at the Drive-in watching a short film.
  • Movie Showcase – (6:34) Certain scenes that showcase the ultimate in High Definition in picture and sound such as the sequences: Crash, Drive with Sally, Doc Racing and Neon
  • The Inspiration of Cars – (16:02) John Laseter talks about his love for cars and wanting to bring his love for cars to animated format.  A Behind-the-Scenes look at the making of the film and the crew taking a trip on Route 66.

DVD:

The DVD contains the “Mater and the Ghostlight” short, “One Man Band” short, inspiration for “Cars”, deleted scenes and more!

“Cars” was definitely an amazing animated film when it came out back in 2007 and in 2009, the film is still a classic and its so popular that toys for “Cars” are still being offered in department stores which is rare to see for an animated film.

I loved the film when it first came out and the film still holds up today and continues to be quite entertaining.  The picture and audio quality of “Cars” in High Definition is still magnificent but of course since the original Blu-ray was released in 2007, the lossless audio soundtrack is presented in English 5.1 uncompressed (48 kHz/24-Bit) instead of the current 5.1 or 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio lossless soundtrack that Pixar films are offered in today’s Blu-ray releases.  But still, it’s uncompressed audio and the lossless audio soundtrack of this Blu-ray release is still fantastic.  And of course, picture quality is still outstanding.

As for the “Ultimate Cars Gift Pack”, the release is right on time for the holidays.  With many people now moving to Blu-ray and many Disney/Pixar fans knowing that “Cars” is one of those must-have films to own, Disney is offering a gift pack that includes a DVD (which is great for the kids during long commutes) and two exclusive cars with custom Ransburg paint.

Really, there’s nothing negative that can be said about “Cars – Ultimate Cars Gift Pack”.  If you have know someone who is new to Blu-ray and is a Disney/Pixar fan, this is a wonderful holiday gift to give.  It’s a high quality release that is definitely recommended!






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Comments

  • The DVD is featured in widescreen (2:39:1) and is enhanced for 16×9 televisions.

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