My one-year-old is obsessed with Cars. “Car! Car! Car!” I hear that about twenty times per day since Grandma gave us the movie for Christmas. Actually, all three of my Gremlins are obsessed. The four-year-old got a bunch of Cars merchandise from Grandma as well – a fuzzy blanket, three miniature hot wheel-type cars, and a larger wind-up Mater. He knows how to find Cars online (www.carsthemovie.com – in case you missed it), and all three of them walk around singing the music from the movie (they especially like the Sheryl Crow title track – Real Gone).

I’ve never been a racing fan. I’ve never had the urge to watch Nascar or Formula 1. And when the movie was first released, I didn’t take the kids to see it – simply because it didn’t interest me. But after watching the movie on DVD, I find myself totally interested. Everytime we watch it, I find something new to ask my DH about – like who was that famous voice? Why did Luigi recognize the Ferrari and not Lightning? And why do they all slow down when that yellow car drives out on the track? (Yes, I’m racing green). So you could say my kids (and DH) are educating me about racing – in the animated, kids version, anyway.

Of all the kids movies I’ve seen lately (and a lot of the adult ones, too), this is one of my favorite movies of 2006. A total surprise for me. Regardless of how you feel about the movies Disney pumps out, their animated ones are good. Pixar’s in particular. I love Lightning’s character arc in Cars. I love the budding romance (of course!) and the subplot with Doc. What I love most about it though is that it’s a very simple plot at heart. No big fancy bells and whistles, and totally driven by character.

Did you see Cars? And what other movies of 2006 rank high on your list?