Cars 2 - 2011
Age-appropriateness: some cars are equipped with weapons
Overview: Star race car Lightning McQueen and his pal Mater head overseas to compete in the World Grand Prix race. But the road to the championship becomes rocky as Mater gets caught up in an intriguing adventure of his own: international espionage. Mater is the main character of this story, who learns how to be authentic in all situations, as well as how to respond in a loving way to people who try to hurt him and call him a “fool”.
Themes: cars, world travel, secret agents, friendship, wisdom/foolishness, authenticity, racing, wisdom
The Quick 3
Ask these quick questions to hit the major themes of the film.
1. Authenticity. Are you ever tempted to pretend like you’re something you’re not? How can you be the “authentic you” no matter where you are?
Lightning encourages Mater to be his true self, even if he’s not in Radiator Springs. He says, “if people aren’t taking you seriously, then they need to change, not you.” Authenticity is being the real “you” in all situations.
2. Foolishness. What do you think Mater was thinking and feeling when other cars were calling him a fool? Have you ever made foolish decisions in your life?
Mater was seen as a fool by the secret agents, who thought he was pretending.
3. Forgiveness. Has a friend ever let you down? Did you forgive them?
Lightning lost the race because Mater was distracted from what was important. Their friendship is hurt because of it. Ephesians 4:32 says, "Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you."
After The Movie Discussion Guide
Follow this 5-10 minute discussion guide to drive an in-depth conversation.
1. The secret agent cars had the ability to do some crazy-awesome things: like drive up the side of boats, change into disguises, and even fly! If you could make your car do anything, what would you have it do? What are the coolest possible features a car could have?
2. Mater was seen as a fool by the secret agents, who thought he was pretending. What do you think Mater was thinking and feeling when other cars were calling him a fool? Have you ever made foolish decisions in your life?
3. Matthew 7:24-27 says, "'Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock. Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against that house, it won’t collapse because it is built on bedrock. But anyone who hears my teaching and doesn’t obey it is foolish, like a person who builds a house on sand. When the rains and floods come and the winds beat against that house, it will collapse with a mighty crash.'”How can you become wiser and make good decisions? What does that passage tell you about how to make wise choices?
4. Lemon Kingpin used the “lemons” bad experiences to form a revolution against other cars. He knew the lemon cars were hurt by the insults they received from others, so he used that to hurt other people. In life, hurt people hurt people. That means people who have been hurt probably want to hurt others. But does hurting others help you feel any better when you’re feeling upset? If someone hurts you, how can you respond in a loving way?
Minute By Minute Guide
Use this break down of the entire movie in addition to the “After the Movie” discussion guide. Great for repeat viewings.
:07 Finn McMissile makes a very clever and creative escape. Creativity is using your imagination to come up with original ideas. How do you feel when you encounter tough problems? How can you keep trying creative problem solving with your difficult tasks?
Check out this article on How to Talk to Your Kids About Creativity/Inventions.
:15 Francesco insults both Lightning McQueen and Mater. He speaks disrespectfully to them. Jesus once taught on retaliation and he said, "You have heard the law that says the punishment must match the injury: ‘An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.’ 39 But I say, do not resist an evil person! If someone slaps you on the right cheek, offer the other cheek also. If you are sued in court and your shirt is taken from you, give your coat, too." How do you react when people insult you? How does Jesus says we ought to respond?
:19 Lightning and Mater begin to travel the world together. If you could choose one of your friends to take a vacation like this with, who would it be? Where would you go?
:35 Mater finds himself involved in a secret agent mission by accident. He was at the wrong place at the wrong time. Have you ever found yourself in a tricky situation by surprise? How did you respond and what did you do?
:41 Lightning lost the race because Mater was distracted from what was important. Their friendship is hurt because of it. Ephesians 4:32 says, "Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you." Has a friend ever let you down? Did you forgive them?
:58 Mater refuses to remove his dents because they are memories of all the fun times he’s had with his best buddy Lightning. Even though the dents might have hurt at the time, they’ve made Mater who he is today. Paul once wrote about marks on his body. In Galatians 6:17 he said, "From now on let no one cause me trouble, for I bear on my body the marks of Jesus." When you look back at your life on the times you’ve been hurt, are you grateful for those experiences? Did they help make you who you are today?
1:19 Mater thinks he can’t save Lightning because he’s “just a tow truck”. Holley and Finn both encourage him and tell him he can do it! Is there anything you think you cannot do because you’re just a kid? You can make more of a difference in this world than you know. You’re not just a kid. You are a loved child of God who has the Spirit of God living inside them! How does this give you confidence to go make a difference in the world?
1:28 Lightning encourages Mater to be his true self, even if he’s not in Radiator Springs. He says, “if people aren’t taking you seriously, then they need to change, not you.” Authenticity is being the real “you” in all situations. Are you ever tempted to pretend like you’re something you’re not? How can you be the “authentic you” no matter where you are?
1:30 Sir Axlerod is revealed as the villain, as discovered by Mater. He was trying to hurt people for selfish reasons. 1 Corinthians 10:24 says, "Let no one seek his own good, but the good of his neighbor." What is something you do to seek your own good? How can you instead work toward the good of others?