Wednesday, July 6, 2011

"Cars Toon Mater's Tall Tales" DVD/Blu-Ray Review

Introduction: In between the time Pixar made Cars and Cars 2, they made 7 short films based off of Larry the Cable Guy's Mater. Each short played out the exact same way: Mater tells Lightning McQueen of an old job he used to have; following McQueen's disbelief, Mater tells him a story from this job; partway through Mater add McQueen into the story: the short ends with McQueen still in disbelief, only to see something from Mater's story in the real world. This DVD complies all 7 shorts, plus two new ones and special features.

The Shorts:
Rescue Squad Mater: The shortest of the 9, this short places Mater in the role of both a fire truck and a doctor as he saves McQueen from a fire. This short does a pretty good job capturing the feel of shows like Emergency! And while it is the shortest, it still is pretty funny.

Mater the Greater: This short shows Mater as a world famous daredevil named, you guessed it, Mater the Greater. While not the funniest, this short does has it's moment, including a predictable yet still funny joke when Mater tries to job cars at the beginning of the short.

El Materdor: Easily the worst of the short, this one has Mater play a bulldozer fighter. This short is just one joke repeated over and over again: Mater is a bull fighter. Lame.

Unidentified Flying Mater: This nice-looking short has Mater and McQueen help a cute little UFO escape from the military. Little on gags, but still fun to watch.

Tokyo Mater: The longest (and nicest-looking) of the shorts, and the only one theatrically released, this one features Mater as he is challenged to a drift race in Tokyo. Like UFM, this one is short on jokes, but still is a fun to watch. Especially on Blu-Ray.

Heavy Metal Mater: One of the funniest on the set, this one is also the most out of place. Most of these shorts involve jobs kids want to have. Astronaut? Yes. Firefighter? Yes. Race car driver? Yes. Singer in a heavy metal band? That's a stretch. Anyway, this one hase mater become the lead sing in a heavy metal band. Very funny, even if the joke can be stupid. (When it shows how Mater band got it's name? I had to pause the DVD.)

Monster Truck Mater: In the last of the original shorts, Mater and McQueen become tag-team wrestlers. Weaker than the others, but still chuckle-worthy.

Moon Mater: The first of the two now short, an astronaut is stuck on the moon and it's up to Mater to save the day. Funny, though I would've like to see more of the rocket ship.

Mater Private Eye: The last and best of the short, has Mater as a P.I. searching for a missing car. Very funny spoof of old detective film's kids may not get, but I thought it was funny. Plus, it shows that Pixar still looks good in black and white.

Special Features:
Unmade Tales: This is the bulk of the extras and thankfully, it's really cool. Pixar animaters voice over storyboards of shorts they didn't film, including one where Mater is a model and another as a stuntcar. My personal favorite was a Back to the Future spoof.

Mater Bumper-to-Bumper: This featurette fittingly enough is all about how the character of Mater was created. Fairly interesting, though it would have worked better in a full-length documentary.

Studio Stories: McQueen Has No Hands: Unfittingly, this studio story (story of something interesting that happened at Pixar during a movie's filming) feels like it was left off of the Cars dvd because, while ineresting and funny, it has nothing to do with the Cars Toons or even Mater!

Mater Intros: Quick, but funny, variations of Mater saying "If I'm lyin', I'm Cryin'" played in front of each short.

Mater Private Eye Trailer: A very quick spoof of detective movie trailers this time. Pointless, but fine.

The Verdict: Cars Toon Mater's Tall Tales is a fun DVD/Blu-Ray. Almost all over the shorts are fun and funny and your kids will be entertained hugely by this, especially boys. However, there isn't many special features and I sure you could find all of the shorts online, so, in the end, is the $20 DVD worth it? Probably not, but is is worth seeing. So, overall, 4.5 out of 6.

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