Maybe it’s time to stop treating Pixar movies as special.
The power of the studio’s films (two or three excepted, including last year’s “Brave”) has always been their unique and imaginative stories. Franchise-extending sequels (or prequels), though, serve a different purpose: Familiar, popular characters are safe bets guaranteed to sell tickets — or, in the case of the animation studio’s cynical and awful “Cars 2,” toys. They are not original stories that demand to bust out of someone’s brain and be told.
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Starring: Billy Crystal, John Goodman, Steve Buscemi, Helen Mirren
Running time: 1 hour, 47 minutes
Theaters: Alamo Lake Creek, Alamo Slaughter, Barton Creek Square, Cinemark Cedar Park, Cinemark Galleria 14, Cinemark Southpark, Cinemark Stone Hill Town Center, Cinemark Round Rock 14, City Lights, The Domain, Flix Brewhouse, Gateway, Highland 10, Lakeline Mall, Moviehouse & Eatery, Starplex 12, Tinseltown Austin, Tinseltown Pflugerville, Westgate 11