Cars Toon: Mater's Tall Tales

Game review by
Christopher Healy, Common Sense Media
Cars Toon: Mater's Tall Tales Game Poster Image
Fun set of mini-games with simple, kid-friendly controls.

Parents say

age 5+
Based on 3 reviews

Kids say

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

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 & Representations

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.


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.

What 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.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of an infant, 4, 6, and 6-year-old Written byFowlerFan December 28, 2012


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... Continue reading
Parent of a 6-year-old Written byboodisney December 26, 2010

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. Tw... Continue reading

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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?

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.

Talk to your kids 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
  • Last updated: November 11, 2020

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