Has Pixar Jumped The Shark With The Posters For Cars 2?

Via: The Animation Blog

Some say the bigger question is whether Pixar will jump the shark with Cars 2 itself, but it is still too early to tell. However, when it comes to the promotional posters, I think they’ve already done it.

The reason is simple, the posters are rather lackluster in overall design. Don’t get me wrong, they look nice, but if you’re going to ape classic Grand Prix posters, you might as well do it right.

As far as I know, Cars 2 involves a world-wide race of some sort, so it would seem like a great idea to release a few posters featuring the characters in famous cities around the world, right? Yes, of course. Pixar has been here before with the Wall-E and UP teaser posters (created by Eric Tan) that it released before those films hit the cinemas. Personally, I think they’re a great idea to drum up support from the fans and to promote the film in a slightly different and off-beat manner.

So far they has succeeded. The posters for Wall-E had a kind of quirky, Googie-like charm to them and the UP posters relied heavily on the old travel ads of the past to make light of the film’s plot.

However, when it comes to Cars 2, I think they’ve missed the mark only slightly. The main elements are certainly there. The car at the forefront, the background definitely waaay in the back. There’s no chance of mistaking where the action is or what is going on.

The main problem that I can see, though, is the character themselves. It’s just them! Sure there are a few cars in the background racing along, but for the most part, it is just a single character with a few speed lines drawn in to show that they are supposed to be moving.

How does that compare with a real Grand Prix poster? Check out the samples below.

Via: Wikipedia

Via: AllPosters.com

A race to the finish line? A duel to the death? I certainly think so. There is so much more action portrayed, so much more excitement! I want to see that Grand Prix! Just be thankful I can’t find the poster where the car literally has flames coming out the back of it!

So you see why I think the Cars 2 posters are a bit tame. They allude to the great posters of the past, but they are, at best, a timid recreation with none of the excitement and drama of the real thing. Cars 2, by the sounds of things, could certainly have benefited from a harder edge but perhaps that was vetoed by someone along the line.

So how far off are they? Check out this poster for the antique Monaco Grand Prix held last year. A thoroughly modern poster but with all the classic elements of the genuine article. It can be done.

  • http://asteriskpix.blogspot.com roconnor

    One of the tricks of the nostalgia trade is to evoke a meaningful past.

    Do Grand Prix poster hold any emotional value for Americans?

    If this were solely a design swipe that wouldn’t matter, but as you’ve pointed out the design is thinner than the paper it’s printed on. What’s left is just a reach for the gut -’member when you were a kid? -’member the past? wasn’t it cool? ‘member?

    That final poster you’ve posted show how it can be done without resorting to mawpishness. My spellcheck tells me “mawpish” isn’t a word, but it should be.

    • http://animationanomaly.com/ Charles Kenny

      Perfect analysis, Richard. Alhough how authentic can you get if you’ve been surrounded by American culture your entire life? Grand Prix/Formula 1 barely exists in the land where NASCAR is considered an advanced form of motorsport so it certainly didn’t surprise me that the results are less than stellar.

      Of course there is the whole issue of trying to evoke a past that the vast majority of Americans are not familiar with at all but that is a different kettle of fish entirely.

  • http://inkandpixelclub.com Sara

    I saw these and thought pretty much the same thing you did. I was hoping that the posters would help me feel at least a little excitement connected to a movie that I still can’t find a lot of reasons to care about. But I find the posters to be both visually and narratively dull. The examples of the real thing you provide show how much fun this idea could have been. I feel like the desire to show off the characters (and how shiny they are) trumped the desire to make something as exciting or even just as graphic os the original posters.

    For some more retro style posters done right, check out there Star Wars travel posters.

    • http://animationanomaly.com/ Charles Kenny

      Wow, those Star Wars posters are pretty cool! Thanks for sharing :)

      I suppose the posters fee a bit too ‘corporate’ for my liking , although that is not surprise seeing as we are talking about a Disney film that’s suitable for all ages. I just think that they could still have shown all the excitement and thrills of the real deal without venturing into the aura of death and dismemberment that often went hand in hand with those races back in the day.

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