Daniel DiManna
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‘Cars’ Rip-Off Review: ‘A Car’s Life’ (2006)

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A little red cartoon car
Imagine this, but with a deeply unsettling face. Yikes.
Photo: pixy via CC

Cars is a special film for multiple reasons. The wizards at Pixar managed to take the simple idea of talking vehicles and create a fun, compelling world full of great characters and lots of heart. The film also holds the distinction of spawning a veritable avalanche of low-budget rip-off films. And believe it or not, one of those films — an intolerable little flick called A Car’s Life — even managed to launch a franchise of its own. A very, very bad franchise.

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The pain of ‘A Car’s Life’

In my ongoing quest to track down and review bad Cars rip-offs, it was inevitable that I’d stumble across A Car’s Life. It happens to be one of the better-known examples out there, and for all the wrong reasons.

This truly awful film was created using computer-generated imagery that makes even the worst PS1 graphics look like Avatar. It also features some exceptionally terrifying character models that owe less to cars and more to your worst nightmares.

A Car’s Life — also known as A Car’s Life: Sparky’s Big Adventure — tells the story of a young car named Sparky who longs for a big adventure. Over the next 45 minutes of the film’s runtime, he kind of has one. There’s a murder mystery, a Jeep seductress, and a talking gas pump. Also a car gets beaten and murdered at one point. And then the movie ends.

I honestly wish there was more to say. Unfortunately, this film barely has any kind of plot to speak of. We, the audience, are subjected to scene after scene of badly animated vehicles driving and talking in deeply irritating voices. There’s no story, no real conflict, and no real ending. It’s barely even a movie.

Instead, A Car’s Life exists solely to take advantage of unassuming grandparents who wanted to give a copy of Cars to their grandchild. Its only purpose is to be dishonest, disappointing, and nightmare-inducing.

In short: this is a bad movie.

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If you’re a fan of rip-off movies and/or bad animated films, there might be some ironic viewing pleasure to be found in A Car’s Life. Just be ready for a healthy dose of pain to accompany the experience.