Pixar's Cars

Michael Rohde
May 26, 2009

Like so many parents, we started out with a vow to keep our kids away from the television. And we did a very good job for two years. But then football season started, and the rain poured, and suddenly we discovered our kids really like watching “ball” and apparently car and truck commercials are very entertaining. The occasional football game turned to PBS and next thing you know we are semi-regular viewers of Curious George, Clifford, Barney, Sesame Street, Word World, and Sid the Science Kid (who is my personal favorite right after Curious George).

Watching TV eventually led us to DVDs. We started out with a collection of Barney DVDs, and a Learning Tree frog video, which teaches phonics. My kids liked that well enough until we popped in Pixar’s Cars, which brought everything else to a screeching halt. Now it’s all Cars all the time. And you know what? It’s a good movie. It’s a really good movie. I really don’t mind watching it for an hour in the morning while we get ready for the day.

You might think I’m stretching it a bit by saying this, but Cars is educational. My kids are learning more words watching Cars than they ever did from other shows. The one caveat there is that my daughter learned the word “wet” from watching Barney jump in the pool, but that’s a whole other story…

Here’s a list of names and words my kids have learned from watching Cars:

  • Queen (as in Lighting McQueen)
  • Jump (from the opening race sequence after Chick Hicks caused a wreck and ‘Queen has to jump over the wreckage)
  • Cup (as in the Piston Cup)
  • Frank (the not-so-scary tractor)
  • Sally (Miss Sally)
  • Race (car racing is very exciting)
  • Fast (you know, cause thunder always follows lighting)
  • Mac (one of the best scenes is watching Mac drive down the highway making funny faces in the reflection from other trucks)
  • Cali (we’re still working on "Cali-for-nia" but Cali works for me)  

My ultimate goal is to teach them to say, "Ka-Chinga, Ka-Chinga," just for the cool factor alone.

Cars is kid-friendly, exciting, fast-paced, funny, very limited on the scary parts (which aren’t very scary after everyone learns Frank’s bark is worse than his bite), and educational.

From the Parents

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