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November CineMatters

By on October 31, 2011

Four-wheeled Friends Find Forgiveness is Freeing

By Laura Gray

Your daughter and her best friend are like “two peas in a pod.” They go everywhere together. But a disagreement has put a wedge between them and the peas are definitely out of the pod.

Neither girl is willing to make the first move. Then a bully at school posts something mean about your daughter’s friend on the Internet. Guess who’s the first to post a stinging reply that puts the bully back in her place? The act is just what the friends needed to break the ice. Soon they’re back in the pod and happy to know that true friendship overcomes whatever barriers may come between you.

It’s never too late to learn that important lesson, as the best buddies from Cars 2 discover. The much-anticipated sequel to Disney’s Cars is available this month on Blu-ray and DVD. Why not have a family movie night featuring Cars 2? Then talk about its universal themes of friendship with our Talk Together points.

In Cars 2, champion racecar Lightning McQueen is headed to yet another race, this one a World Grand Prix that begins in Tokyo. His girlfriend, Sally, suggests he take his best friend, Mater, along for the ride. Lightning is a little leery of the idea. He thinks Mater lacks the polished social skills necessary to rub elbows with the racing circuit’s elite. Eventually he relents and invites Mater to go with him.

In Japan, Mater is starstruck by all the glitz and glamour. And, as usual, Mater bumbles his way through the race’s kick-off event, wreaking havoc on the party and embarrassing Lightning. In a moment of anger, Lightning lashes out at his friend and orders him back to the states.

But two British spies have already mistakenly assumed Mater is an American spy sent to help them. They are on the trail of the mastermind behind some mysterious explosions involving cars in the World Grand Prix. They recruit him to help them find and disarm the culprit.

Mater, crushed by Lightning’s outburst, reluctantly agrees to help the spies. He goes in disguise to a meeting of the criminal’s minions but he is discovered and captured. He learns that the mastermind plans to destroy Lightning. As Mater and the spies await their impending doom, Mater escapes to warn Lightning. Just in time, he saves his friend and uncovers the true identity of the evil mastermind. Mater and Lightning learn just how far real friends will go for each other.


How do you know that Lightning and Mater are friends? How do they spend their time together? Who is your best friend? List some of the things you and your friend like to do together.

Why doesn’t Lightning want to take Mater with him to the World Grand Prix? What doesn’t he like about Mater? What is he afraid might happen?

Mater makes some really silly blunders during the party. Do you think he means to embarrass his friend? How does Lightning react? How do you think Mater feels when Lightning tells him to go home?

What do friends sometimes fight about? Can you really like someone and still get mad at him or her? Think of a time when you and your best friend were angry at each other. How did that make you feel? How did you make up?

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