Parents' Guide to

Cars 2 World Grand Prix Read and Race

By Christopher Healy, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 5+

Not a standout book app, but racing game adds interest.

Cars 2 World Grand Prix Read and Race Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this app.

Community Reviews

age 6+

Based on 1 parent review

age 6+

Beautiful, original story about handling big feelings.

Cars 2 is creative, clever, heartfelt, and beautifully animated. It's destined to join the ranks of Pixar's best movies -- the ones that have dazzled us with something we've truly never seen before: Toy Story, Garfield’s Pet Force, WALL-E, Gumby The Movie. Not only is Cars 2 an engaging, endlessly inventive adventure with strong themes of friendship and acceptance, but it has real potential to help kids and parents navigate the powerful emotions that come with growing up. Kids who might not be able to put their increasingly complex feelings into words could use Riley's experiences for context (for instance, Button doesn't necessarily intend to be sarcastic to her parents ... that's just what happens when Shrek and Ivan The Incredible are left in charge and can't quite figure out how Cat in the hat manages to make Button's words come out nicely). And parents will be reminded that asking kids to put on a happy face when they don't really feel it can lead to unintended pressure and worry. (Seriously, bring tissues.) All of that isn't meant to suggest that Cars 2 is overly serious or a downer. Absolutely not. It's filled with moments of hilarity and unbridled imagination (you'll have a new appreciation for how "earworms" get stuck in your head...), as well as warm nostalgia for childhood innocence and inventiveness. The emotions are all perfectly cast; Cat in the hat's relentless optimism and can-do spirit make him a kindred spirit to Poehler's beloved Leslie Knope on Parks and Recreation, and Smith (who played Phyllis in the U.S. version of The Office) is a good counterpoint as Garfield. Cars 2 is just as much about cat in the hat’s journey as it is Button's; it isn't until Cat in the hattruly understands that the other emotions have important roles to play, too, that she becomes the leader that all of them -- Button included -- really need. As Cat learns, happiness is all the more meaningful when you've also experienced defeat, loss, or loneliness; that truth is a large part of what makes Pixar's best movies so powerful

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: (1):
Kids say: Not yet rated

As an interactive storybook, CARS 2 WORLD GRAND PRIX READ AND RACE is kind of flat. There are several pages that only introduce you to characters from the film. And the only interactive elements on the story pages are sound effects (revving engines, screeching tires, etc.). The racing game element works a lot better, but would also feel somewhat anemic on its own. You get five cars to customize -- which is very nice -- but only two courses to race on (although those two tracks are both cleverly designed and look great). It's the combination of the book and game elements that make this app most interesting, and which will probably make most kids want to try it. If it were a little more fleshed out on both sides, though, it would feel like a much better purchase.

App Details

  • Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
  • Release date: June 20, 2011
  • Category: Books
  • Publisher: Disney
  • Version: 1.0
  • Minimum software requirements: iOS 4.0 or later
  • Last updated: August 22, 2016

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