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‘Cars’ Rip-Off Review: ‘The Little Cars in the Big Race’

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A little yellow taxi sitting outside a city
This picture is far more attractive than the movie itself
Photo: pixnio via CC

In previous articles for The News Wheel, I’ve expended brain cells and typing power in equal measure to bring you reviews of several horrible rip-offs of Pixar’s Cars. There are a surprising number of these films out there, and each of them has tested my sanity more than the last. Today’s query: the hilariously bad The Little Cars in the Big Race.

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‘The Little Cars in the Big Race’ is bad, but is it entertaining?

Before we dive into the plot of this 32-minute rip-off, it’s important to first set the scene. The Little Cars in the Big Race was released in 2006 by little company called Video Brinquedo. If that name is familiar to you, then you are just as guilty of watching too many bad animated movies as I am. This studio is notorious for the shameless rip-offs they produce. Their best-known film is The Little Panda Fighter. I bet you can’t guess which popular animated classic that film is ripping off.

The Little Cars in the Big Race is one of those rip-offs that wears its shameless identity loud and proud. The film might not follow the same plot as Cars, but the thievery is obvious. Add in a heaping helping of badly dubbed dialogue and car characters that look upsettingly like Playdough Micro Machines, and you have a recipe for pain.

The “plot”

The movie tells the story of Cruise, a little yellow delivery car who’s inexplicably painted like a taxi. He has a friend named Lugnut who is basically Mater from Cars, right down to his accent. The two of them work at a race track in the vehicle-centric city of Raceopolis. A big race is coming up, but the owner of the track is on the verge of bankruptcy. In one last effort to save his track, he asks Lugnut to go get his life savings out of the bank so he can pay off his debts.

Lugnut, however, is an idiot of the highest order. Instead of delivering the money, he bets it all on the following day’s race. What a genius.

While all of this is happening, one of the cars who will be racing the next day decides to play dirty. He poisons his opponent’s gas supply, and then speeds away into the night. The next morning, the opponent car passes out and is unable to race. Predictably, our protagonist Cruise must enter in his stead. With his boss’ money, the race track, the love of an attractive purple lady-car, and his own racing dreams on the line, will he succeed in winning the Big Race?

Of course he will. And he does. Also the bad car goes to jail for attempted murder.

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All in all, The Little Cars in the Big Race is a perfectly inoffensive act of intellectual piracy. Believe it or not, it’s actually one of the more hilariously watchable Cars rip-offs out there. My recommendation: get some friends together, tell them you’re putting in Cars, and then play this movie instead. You may lose a few friends, but the looks on their faces will be worth it.