Road to Fandom: To Be Young, And in Love With 'Cars'



I don’t think I love — or have ever loved — any movie as much as my 2-year-old loves “Cars.” It may seem odd to be writing about a movie that came out in 2006, but with the sequel set to come out this summer, the trailer popping up on the Facebook pages of my friends who have young boys (the girls never seem very interested), and the movie playing in repertory every weekend at my house, it’s the film I do most of my thinking about.

My son’s passionate devotion is refreshing, but it’s also puzzling. When I was young, I didn’t have the option of watching my favorite movie on a weekly (or, depending on how tired my parents were, multiple-times-a-week) basis. My favorite movie was usually whatever I had last seen in the theater, and I only watched that once. I never got the chance to recite scenes from “Annie” at home (though I did have the soundtrack — on vinyl).

Does this access to repeat viewings — which is the best way to really dig into the nuances of a film — mean that my son and his Piston Cup-obsessed peers are naturally going to be better moviegoers? Probably not. After all, most kids like to have the same books read to them over and over again, and they don’t turn out to be literary geniuses. But I do hope that the kids who ask, daily and hopefully, “A watch ‘Cars’ now?” remember what it’s like to be that much in love.

Photo courtesy Disney Pixar

Kristen Page-Kirby covers film for The Washington Post Express.
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Clinton Yates | January 12, 2011