Are You Going to Preach To Us?



I love animated films, and I am a huge fan of WALL-E, but something about this doesn't sound quite right:

Even the animated world of Lightning McQueen and Mater the tow truck is testing new energy sources to replace fossil fuels.
Pixar Animation mastermind John Lasseter says the company has no environmental agenda, but with "Cars 2," the blockbuster outfit does tap into today's eco-mindedness with a plot driven by oil vs. a cleaner alternative.
Debuting in U.S. theaters Friday, "Cars 2" sends race car Lightning McQueen (voiced by Owen Wilson) on a World Grand Prix circuit whose organizer fuels the vehicles with a green alternative called Allinol, prompting the bad guys to try to discredit the new power supply that threatens traditional gasoline.
Oh, come on. This is an abstract argument--a mythical fuel that is better than traditional gasoline? Are we supposed to conjure up images of ethanol? Isn't ethanol effectively dead now that we know that the corn that goes into making it comes out of the food supply and that the process itself can be more environmentally detrimental?


This story line strikes me as being preachy and lame. I have to admit that I had a pang of disbelief. Really? They used their chance to make a sequel to make it about this? And that's uncharacteristic of Pixar. I just don't know why I would have that reaction. Maybe it's just me.


The larger and broader theme of WALL-E was much easier to understand and relate to. It had an abstraction in that we saw what happened hundreds of years in the future. But it told the story of all of mankind and brought everything around full circle. This story line takes something fairly wonky and tries to make it a story line, and my first reaction to it is to pass on it as something to get excited about.


In fact, I am now a lot less excited about Cars 2 than I was a moment ago, and it actually has me pining for the Incredibles sequel.