One year ago today, Pixar released Cars 2. The John Lasseter/Brad Lewis-directed film opened to the worst critical ratings for any Pixar film, garnering only 38% on Rotten Tomatoes. Fortunately, people are smart enough to make up their own minds and the film made over $66 million in its opening weekend and ended up with over $191 million in total domestic sales. This placed it in the #8 spot for total theatrical grosses for 2011, just behind Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol (directed by Brad Bird).
I have previously written of my love of the first Cars film. It may be true that the sequel didn't pull the heartstrings like other recent Pixar films such as Up and Toy Story 3, but it was still a fun and entertaining film with awesome sets, animation and lighting. The opening ocean scene and the one on the streets of Tokyo were amazing.
Cars 2 was released with the short film Hawaiian Vacation, directed by sound-man extraordinaire Gary Rydstrom. Rydstrom has done sound for Pixar films going all the way back to Luxo, Jr.. He made his directorial debut on the short film Lifted.