Cars Toon: Mater's Tall Tales

Common Sense Media says

Fun set of mini-games with simple, kid-friendly controls.

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

As "tall tales," these stories that Mater tells about himself are highly dubious. The fib-telling isn't a good message, but in each of these stories Mater casts himself (and the players) as heroic figures who help others, so the overall feel of the game is a positive one. And there is always a little room left to believe that Mater's tales might actually be true.

Positive role models

As mentioned above, the cars who hear Mater's stories (like his friend, Lightning McQueen) think he's making them up. But his tales always have a positive message unto themselves and cast the players in heroic roles.

Ease of play

The controls for each scene/mini-game are simplified so that young children can handle them with relative ease. The instructions for each game are presented in an easy-to-grasp visual format, so no reading is necessary.

Violence & scariness

Some of the scenes have thrillingly dangerous moments, such as cars "bullfighting" tractors, jumping through flaming hoops, racing through crowded streets, etc. Very few actually require the player to be violent, but one mini-game puts cars in a boxing ring where they hit one another with their tires to score a K.O.

Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

This is a video game adaptation of a series of animated shorts from Disney/Pixar, which were, themselves, a spin-off from the movie Cars.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that the plot to Cars Toon: Mater's Tall Tales is essentially one long running gag about fibbing. Mater's stories are so outrageous that no one believes him, but the players are given some room to wonder if he might be telling the truth. The games themselves feature some moments of danger that might be too intense for very young children, but on the whole they are quite kid-friendly.

Parents say

Kids say

Not yet rated
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What's it about?

CARS TOON: MATER'S TALL TALES is a video game adaptation of a series of Pixar cartoons that feature characters from the movie Cars. Mater the towtruck treats his friends to hard-to-believe stories that are supposedly from his own history, and those tall tales are acted out in a series of mini-games. Players create their own car characters that join Mater in his flashbacks, working alongside him as heroes in his stories. Over the course of the five "tall tales," you'll get to put out fires, perform stunts, dodge bulldozers, race against "ninja cars," flee from UFOs, and more. With coins you earn after each game, you can customize your vehicle with cool, flashy, or goofy accessories.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

You might not expect much from a video game based on a cartoon based on a movie, but Cars Toon: Mater's Tall Tales is a fun and very well put together collection of mini-games for young kids. Experienced gamers might well think of the activities here as being too simple, but they're not really the intended audience. Young kids (and their parents) who are looking for an enjoyable, not-too-daunting gaming experience will get a major treat from this game. The thirty mini-games available here offer a load of variety and a surprising amount of originality. And the customization feature offers a very nice reward system -- doling out coins to all the players, not just the winner.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about lying. What is the difference between a "tall tale" and a lie? Is one worse than the other? Is it ever okay to lie?

  • Also, this game is designed for families to play together. Can video games be a good activity for parents and children to experience together? How can playing games together help family relationships?

Game details

Platforms:Nintendo Wii
Price:$49.99
Available online?Not available online
Developer:Disney Interactive
Release date:October 19, 2010
Genre:Mini-games
ESRB rating:E for Cartoon Violence (Nintendo Wii)

This review of Cars Toon: Mater's Tall Tales was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Parent of a 8 year old Written bygalagamom November 2, 2010
AGE
6
QUALITY
 

A really great game to play with the whole family that's easy to understand. Even my young niece (5 years old) was able to understand and have fun with a lot of the mini-games. I would recommend Cars Toon as a cute and very family friendly game.

Parent of a 6 year old Written byboodisney December 26, 2010
AGE
6
QUALITY
 

Way too easy for my six year old.

My six year old finished this game in about 2 hours on Christmas day, and this was supposed to be his "big gift". What a waste of $50 dollars. Two thumbs down.

Parent of an infant, 4, 6, and 6 year old Written byFowlerFan December 28, 2012
AGE
4
QUALITY
 
LEARNING

Disappointing

I wasn't too impressed. My six year olds got it, but not my four year old. Some of the games just didn't make any sense. Not bad for $20, but I'm glad I didn't pay more.

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