Now along comes "Cars 2", and the reviews so far indicate that it is a so-so movie, to a movie that has run out of gas. See here, here, and here.
This sequel seems a few rewrites short of Pixar's usual standards. "Cars 2" hardly seems like a Pixar movie at all - it lacks the studio's usual emotional ambition, it settles for the gag-a-minute style of its commercial rivals, and is by far the studio's least original movie.
There's also the decision to give Mater a more prominent role. Personally, I find the character a bit annoying. He isn't as bad as Jar Jar Bing, but he's close. So more of him may not go too well for me.
I'll be seeing "Cars 2" in 3D on Saturday, so I'll be able to judge how good (or not so good) the movie is. It's a tough act to follow coming on the heels of the amazing "Toy Story 3".
But to add insult to injury, the Toy Story short preceding "Cars 2" titled "Toy Story: Hawaiian Vacation" has been getting exceptionally good reviews!