Monday, August 8, 2011

Loyalty and Valor

[This post is part of a group synchroblog. This month the bloggers are reviewing books they have read or movies they have seen this summer! Check out the awesome blogger's links below! I will add to the list as they come in!]

Last week I went to see Cars 2. It is a Disney-Pixar animated comedy, adventure & action film/movie. The “stars” are Lightning McQueen(voice is Owen Wilson), Tow Mater(voice is Larry the Cable Guy) and Finn McMissle(voice is Michael Cain). Lightning McQueen is a well known race car that has won the prestigious Piston Cup in America. So, he heads out to race in the World Grand Prix of racing to determine the fastest car in the world. McQueen asks his best friend, Tow Mater to come with him. Tow Mater is a tow truck from a place called Radiator Springs. Radiator Springs is a fictional small town, “off the beaten path” of Route 66 in America.

One of the first stops on McQueen and Mater’s adventure is a welcoming banquet in Tokyo where all the “stars” and the prestigious racing cars are gathering. One thing that I remember hitting me is McQueen basically telling Mater to “act differently” because he wasn’t back in Radiator Springs. This became a key problem that almost destroys this friendship because McQueen was basically telling Mater that he was embarrassed by him in front of the other "stars" and he was basically telling Mater he needed to be someone he wasn't. Hard thing to do for someone like Mater. Mater is just a small town, “innocent”, genuine-hearted friend that loves McQueen and would be loyal and helpful to him in ANY situation.

Unfortunately, at the banquet and at the first race, Mater gets tangled up with two British spies who actually mistake Mater for an American spy. Mater ends up being sabotaged at the banquet and then, accidentally messes up and causes McQueen to lose his first race. The sad words that I remember McQueen saying to Mater at this point: “I don’t need your help and I don’t want your help.”

At this point in the film McQueen continues on in his travels to different races and Mater tries to leave to fly home, but ends up in his own crazy adventure with the two British spies. Mater keeps trying to tell the British spies he’s “just a tow truck”, but they continue on in believing he’s a spy. Even at one point, one of the British spies, Finn McMissle makes a statement that hurts Mater. He tells Mater that his cover-up as an “idiot tow truck” is a good disguise. So, here’s Mater caught up in nobody hearing him, believing him or seeing him for who he really is. And, even mocking who he really is…seeing him only as an “idiot tow truck”. Sabotage, false-accusations and no one hearing…seeing him and his true heart. And the reality is that Mater’s true heart is nothing but love and loyalty for his friend McQueen.

In the film, the whole British spy saga ends up being tied in with the racing cars. The British spies DO end up being good guys and are trying to destroy an evil professor who is sabotaging the oil/fuel in the racing cars and causing them to wreck. In the end, Mater does end up helping them…and, his friend McQueen.

While Mater is off dealing with this issue, McQueen is having a big change of heart and realizes that he was wrong. He realized that he hurt Mater and asked him to be someone that he wasn’t. He really has a change in Italy when Luigi’s(one of McQueen’s pit crew) uncle starts telling him how there’s the best of arguments in good relationships and says, "He who finds a friend finds a treasure." And, in the end, there is a scene when Mater starts running away from McQueen. McQueen latches on to Mater and says, "Mater, I am sticking by you, the way you always stick by me."

If you haven’t seen the movie, you should. I know animation can sometimes be considered a “kids movie”, but it definitely has appeal for us “adults”. It was a great story of loyalty and courage in relationship. I laughed at some goofy things, but I definitely cried too(yes, I can be the sappy girl with movies).

I think I got especially touched with this movie right now because I’ve been doing a little retrospection about some great friends. I celebrated my 20th Spiritual Birthday with Jesus last week and it made me think of a group of friends that I’ve been friends with for over 20 years! This has been really cool to think about. These friends were the first ones to nickname me the “golden retriever”. They were the first friends that really saw my true heart.

I think sometimes we all can overlook and shove away the loyal and true friends in our lives. But, just like McQueen, sometimes we figure it out and realize, we are putting up walls towards the wrong people. McQueen may have been living as a high speed race car “star” and SAID he didn’t want or need Mater’s help. But, he really did. He needed some one with loyalty and valor that ran deep and would sacrifice for him. McQueen really did need Mater’s help. And, I believe he wanted it too.

“I hold out hope that even the relationships that look precarious and sharp can surprise us, that in reaching out we might find them soft.” –Jen Lee

Links to other synchrobloggers:

Steve @ Khanya Summer Reading
Andrea @ Andrea's Balancing Act What do my favorite books say about me?
Jeremy Myers @ Till He Comes A Book that Invades Your Dreams
Liz Dyer @ Grace Rules Weblog 12 Movies and a Novel
K.W. Leslie @ the Evening of Kent My summer reading list. Thus far.
Maria Kettleson Anderson @ The Real Journey Fiction, Movies & TV
Steve Knight @ Knightopia Down We Go
Kathy Escobar @ The Carnival in My Head movies + books = summer fun
Peter Walker @ Emerging Christian This is for All the Lonely People
Carie @ Carie's Garden Thar be dragons...
Sonnie @ A Piece of My Mind How to Train Your Dragon
Amber @ Growing Pains Summer Readings


  1. I don't really like animated films much (yet my son is into computer animation big-time) but there's no doubtr that some of them have a good message.

  2. Yea, I know animation isn't for everyone. I tend to like most of them and their good messages. Thanks for reading, Steve! :-)