* Prices may differ from that shown
My son was given this DVD for his second birthay and now, over a year later it is still his first choice DVD when asked what he would like to watch. Basically it is a bunch of short cartoons with Mater as the star telling us first hand about all the jobs he has had over the years. These jobs include a 'matedor', an FBI spy, fire truck mater, a rock star and many more. Each little snippet is no longer than 5-10minutes long and are perfect at grabbing and keeping a child's attention. For an adult being made to sit through the DVD the stories are bare able and light hearted with a bit of humour here and there. Although Mater is the leading character Lightening McQueen features a lot too pulling Mater up on these tall tales and making him explain them. The DVD is easy to watch and understand so suitable for children from 2 years but still entertaining for those beyond pre-school years. The repetitive phrase 'if I'm lying I'm crying' features throught the DvD and any child watching it quickly catches on to it and joins in at the appropriate time. Definitely well worth the money paid.
We spotted this DVD on sale in Matalan, located "conveniently" near to the till, so it was in the ideal position for the kids to grab hold of and throw into my already loaded trolley when I was distracted! The DVD contains a series of short "Cars Toons", each a couple of minutes long, featuring Mater the Tow Truck from the movie "Cars", and his friends from the town of Radiator Springs, including his best friend, racing car Lightning McQueen. Each short story features Mater in a different role: A stunt car, Wrestler, Singer and Emergency Vehicle, to name but a few. Each short begins with Mater and his friends chatting, before Mater throws in the line: "I used to be a ......", before going into an incredulous short story about his exploits in his younger days. About halfway through each story, Mater stops, and Lightning McQueen wants to know what happens next, to which Mater replies "...Well you should know...you wuz there...", before continuing the story, this time incorporating McQueen into the tale. The story always ends with McQueen laughing at Mater and saying that those events never happened, but then there is always a twist in the tale at the end of each story that proves Mater was telling the truth! The format is repeated in each short, but works really well, as you know what to expect, but not quite how the story will turn out. A Rundown of the Episodes on the DVD: "Mater the Greater" In this episode, Mater is a stunt truck, performing daredevil stunts, such as jumping over a huge line of cars and through hoops of fire. Mater looks really funny with his stars and stripes paintwork and huge helmet, along with his support team of forklift trucks. I enjoyed the part where Mater has to jump off the ramp over the cars. Absolutely hillarious! "Rescue Squad Mater" Mater appears in two different guises in this short, firstly as a shint red fire truck who rescues McQueen from a burning building, and then as a hospital doctor, complete with an adoring team of nurses, who think he is amazing! This episode is full of action and of course, explosions! "El Materdor" Did you know that Mater was a famous Bulldozer fighter in Spain? No, neither did I. In this episode, Mater cheats death, facing several angry bulldozers along with his friend, Mcqueen. Oh yes. Mcqueen is red isn't he? And Bulldozers just love the colour red....... "Monster Truck Mater" Mater is a wrestler in this short, fighting against monster trucks! He is surprisingly succesful, until he meets a huge robotic monster truck with a wrecking ball! Can "Frightening McMean" his tag team partner help him? The monster trucks in this episode are great, and include an angry ice cream van, a rasta truck and an ambulance called Dr Feel Bad. "Unidentified Flying Mater" This is such a cute episode! Mater sees an eerie light and meets an alien called "Mator" who looks very similar to himself. Mater shows the alien around town, but the military kidnap Mator and take him to their warehouse base. Can Mater, equipped with his new powers of flight, help save the alien from the nasty old scientists? And can he prove to McQueen that he really met an alien? "Moon Mater" Apollo is stuck on the moon and needs a tow. Houston has a solution to the problem: give the astro-car a tow! Mater is sent up in a rocket on a rescue mission that is out of this world! The shuttle is called Roger, of course. "Mater Private Eye" In this atmospheric, black and white "film noir" style short, Mater is a private eye, who is approached by his ex girlfriend, when her sister has been kidnapped. Mater goes deep undercover, though the city to the docks to rescue the girl and bust a fake tyre ring. I love the cute reference to Jessica Rabbit, when the girl car says "I'm not bad. I just drive that way"! "Heavy Metal Mater" I wish my kids hadn't seen this episode, as the song that Mater sings, "Dad Gum", is the kind of song that gets stuck in your head all day! The kids have been singing it non stop! In this story, Mater rises to fame from being a small town singer to a big rock star, singing to a huge crowd in an arena. I enjoyed the part where they were trying to think of a name for the band and a forklift comes in with a Ton weight and says "Where do you want this heavy metal, Mater?" Genius, "Tokyo Mater" This is a really slick production, with great attention to detail, including reflections from the wet floor and buildings. This episode is a definite nod to the Fast and the Furious, and works really well. When Mater gives a client a tow all the way to Japan, he ends up getting modified and entering a drift race against a smooth but dangerous import car, who just happens to have a team of ninjas at his disposal! The aim of the race is to reach the top of the Tokyo tower first. This episode has lots of references to anime, with some really hilarious fight sequences and girls with HUGE sparkly eyes! I also loved the Japanese pop music! Get This DVD For Your Collection! This is such a fun DVD. The kids, aged 10, 8 and 6 absolutely loved it, and so did me and my husband. We were laughing out loud at some of the scenes. The humour appeals to both adults and children alike. In my opinion, this DVD was better than Cars 2. The reason that Cars 2 proved unpopular was because they chose to have Mater as the lead character, which was a mistake. The character of Mater is not really cut out as a Movie lead, but he is absolutely perfect in this short episode format. The range of scenarios in the stories makes the episodes a lot of fun and very unpredictable. The action is very fast paced in the stories, and this DVD would particularly appeal to young boys, although my daughter really enjoyed it, after being disappointed at Cars 2, which in her opinion, was aimed too much at boys. The stories are full of recurring themes and characters, and I particularly liked Tia and Mia, the two female fans of McQueen that we see in the first cars movie, only this time, they are Mater's groupies! DVD Extras The DVD does not have much in the way of extras. I would have liked the inclusion of a game of some sort, as this is a kids DVD after all, but most of the extras seemed to be interviews with the staff at Pixar, which may interest adults, but won't be much fun for kids. I really enjoyed watching the "Studio Story", which was called "McQueen Has No Hands". It showed the difficulty that one of the animators had during a sequence in the movie "Cars" in which McQueen talks to Sally about the fact that the town of Radiator Springs is back on the map. The producers wated the animator to somehow get McQeen to produce a map to show Sally, but obviously, this was slightly problematic, as cars do not have hands! The animator then goes on to show how the team had a brainstorming session, coming up with ever stranger ways to animate McQueen producing a map, such has having the map appear in the space where his eyes are, flicking it out of his boot or rolling it along the ground. None of the methods that the team came up with were really satisfactory, until the thought hit them: Why did they need a map at all? The final scene contains no map, just McQueen and Sally Talking! Cars Toons, A Great Idea I think that this short format is an absolutely brilliant idea, and one that Pixar does incredibly well. Sometimes, when kids films have a spin off series, the quality of the animation is usually poor, particularly with CGI. I'm thinking in particular of the recent Penguins of Madagascar series, whcih had really inferior CGI characters compared to the movie characters, although this is probably due to the way that fur moves when animated. However. these Cars Toons have absolutely no loss of quality at all. The animation is just as good as the animation in the actual Cars movies, with the animators able to manipulate large crowds of cars, as well as beutifully reconstructing cities and landscapes and rendering shadows and reflections perfectly. The way that Mater is "Restyled" in each episode is absolute genius by Pixar. This is a perfect DVD for our collection, which includes most of the Pixar movies. Anyone who has read my previous reviews will know that we are HUGE Toy Story fans, and my little boy really likes the Cars franchise, as well as the toys that go with it. This DVD was great for him, because he has learning difficulties and hasn't got the patience to sit through a full length movie. With this DVD you have the option of watching all of the episodes at once, or only watching one or two, as the episodes are each only about 3 minutes long, with the whole thing playing just over half an hour, which may sound short, but it is ideal for very young kids with short attention spans. The DVD cost me £6.99 from Matalan, but I have since seen it for under a fiver on Amazon. You can check out some of the episodes on Youtube if you type "Maters tall tales" in the search bar. There is also a great one on youtube which isn't included on this DVD called Mater and the Ghostlight, which is brilliant. I was so sad it wasn't on the DVD! Another fun aspect of the DVD is that my kids keep debating whether the tales are true or not! The episodes definitely leave it open for the viewer to decide, as McQueen doesn't seem to remember any of the events taking place, but the twist at the end of each story makes it seem plausible! I bought the DVD yesterday and the kids have already watched it three times and they will probably watch it tomorrow too. This is a great way to keep the little 'uns amused on rainy days in the LONG six weeks school holidays! If you haven't seen Cars 2 at the cinema yet, save your cash and get this DVD instead. it is a lot more fun!
Premise: The lovable tow truck Tow Mater from the movie Cars gets his own DVD, a selection of short stories of his tall tales. Created by the amazing people at Disney Pixar. Review: I am probably too old to be a Tow Mater fan but I can't resist his goofy charms. Cars is one of my favourite Pixar films and in my opinion, Mater is the best character in the movie. So who better to get his own selection of shorts? My preference aside, most people will claim Cars is one of their least favourite Pixar movies, yet despite not being as popular as the others, Cars has proved a commercial success with a whole host of merchandising opportunities. Hence this DVD which you will be able to buy for around £5, it is priced similarly to the Madagascar and Kung Fu Panda spin off DVDs which also last about 30 minutes. Below is a list of the 9 tall tales: - Mater the Greater Mater stars as a daredevil stunt car - Rescue Squad Mater Mater makes two appearances in this short, once as a fire truck and also as Doctor Mater - Monster Truck Mater Mater is unleashed on the world of wrestling - UFM: Unidentified Flying Mater Mater meets Mator, a UFO - El Materdor Mater is a great matador, which means a bulldozer fighter in the world of Cars - Moon Mater Mater becomes an autonaut and travels into space - Heavy Metal Mater The rock star Mater is let loose - Mater Private Eye A film noir adventure starring Mater as a private investigator - Tokyo Mater Mater goes drifting in Japan All of the shorts above are entertaining and impressive. Despite not having a cinematic release, the great graphics everyone has come to expect from Pixar are present, as is the great storytelling. There are familiar characters from the original Cars movie and Lightning McQueen plays a big role in every short. McQueen somehow ends up being involved in every tall tale so you get to see the two reunited in many different scenarios and guises. The different paintjobs that Mater and McQueen are given for each different tale are great and well thought out. My favourite being the El Materdor short, the detail in the animation is amazing. Each tale is approximately 3-4 minutes long, so you don't have time to get bored, they just keep coming. The shorts do all follow the same pattern which may annoy some older viewers but I didn't find it a problem at all, it didn't lessen my enjoyment of the films. The shorts are suitable for all the family and I am sure that children would enjoy watching this DVD over and over again. DVD Extras: Below is a list of the extras on the DVD and a small description saying what each one is about: - Studio Stories: McQueen Has No Hands Animated recollection as to how the animators got around the problem of cars not having hands. They come up with some entertaining solutions. - Paths to Pixar: Layout What the layout artists job is-basically decide what is shown on camera, where it's positioned etc. Not that interesting to be honest. - Mater Bumper-to-Bumper How Mater came into existence, definitely worth a watch. - Cars Land Sneak Peek Disneyland LA is getting a new Cars Land in 2012, I want to go to there. Nice look into the upcoming attractions. - Making Mater's Tall Tales A look into how the shorts are made. Doesn't tell you a whole lot, a lot of description of the shorts and not much more. - Unmade Tales Ideas that didn't get made. The animated storyboards are good. - Mater Private Eye's Secret Private Trailer A trailer for the Mater Private Eye short. - Cars Toon Storyreels Three of the toons in storyreel style. - Sneak Peeks A look at what is coming up on Disney DVD. A lot of the extras are entertaining but not really for children, I think they would get bored very quickly, with the exception being McQueen has no hands. Quite a bit of effort has been put into the extras which is nice, most people don't bother watching them so quite often they consist of a rather lame documentary and some trailers. Overall I would definitely recommend this DVD no matter what age you are. The tall tales are great and the extras are pretty decent. All in all not bad for a fiver! Cast: Larry the Cable Guy - Mater Keith Ferguson - Lighting McQueen Runtime: 34 minutes Also posted on ciao under the username shabbating
**Tow Mater** For those of you who have seen the Disney/Pixar Movie 'Cars' you will be familiar with the loveable rusty old tow truck known as 'Mater' - who is in my mind the real star of the show. Anyway, it was not this film that got my two daughters hooked on the character Mater, but the 'short' movie called 'Mater And The Ghostlight', which is a hilarious little film where Mater gets tricked by his friends in Radiator Springs. Anyway, they love this and would watch it over and over again, despite it only being a few minutes long. My husband and I were not aware of this TV series spin off, (which has apparently aired on various Disney Sky channels) known as Mater's Tall Tales, until we came across the DVD in Morrisons, which we bought without even reading the back because we knew that if Mater was the star, then the kids would love it. **A Collection Of Tall Tales** Mater's Tall Tales is a collection of 9 short films, each only about 3 or 4 minutes long, and each is as the title says - a tall tale told by Mater where he is the star in each film. Each short runs along the same sort of guidelines - Mater and Lightning McQueen are usually hanging around Radiator Springs when something happens which reminds Mater of an event which happened in the past. This event is usually quite farfetched - and involves Mater being some sort of hero (fire engine, doctor, heavy metal star, astronaut - to name but a few), and he usually has brand spanking new paintwork and various modifications. We are then brought back to the present day where McQueen questions the accurateness of the story, but then Mater will say something along the lines of 'Why... don't you remember? You was there too...' and we are thrust back into the story, along with Lightning McQueen who is unwittingly forced to do something he doesn't particularly want to do, such as speeding off a giant sloping race track, or slap bang in the middle of a monster truck wrestling ring, or even in the middle of a bullfight. As the Tall Tale ends we are back in Radiator Springs and McQueen is still dubious as to whether Mater is telling the truth or not, but then a character will suddenly turn up from the story suggesting that it is all probably true... **Episodes** * Moon Mater - Houston has a problem and Mater becomes an astronaut and flies to the moon on a rescue mission. * Mater Private Eye - Mater is a detective uncovering the truth about some fake tyres. * Rescue Squad Mater - Mater is a shiny fire engine, and also a doctor! * Mater The Greater - Mater is a daredevil getting up to all sorts of daring tricks. * El Materdor - Mater is a bullfighter, interestingly enough the 'bulls' are actually bulldozers. * Unidentified Flying Mater - Mater meets a UFO, who looks remarkably like Mater (bucked teeth and goofy smile). This short is the only one where Mater is unchanged; he is his rusty old self, although he can fly... * Tokyo Mater - Mater goes to Japan and ends up in a drift race, not unlike the ones seen in the Fast & Furious films. * Heavy Metal Mater - Mater is part of a heavy metal rock band. * Monster Truck Mater - Mater gets to wrestle with some Monster Trucks. Each episode is based entirely around Mater - he is the main character, and rightly so in my opinion. Obviously Lightning McQueen is the other main character, but I think he is there to keep Mater's feet (or wheels) on the ground and to make Mater seem even more comical as McQueen attempts to quash Mater's Tall Tales. Other characters you might recognise are the twins Mia and Tia who seem to turn up in every episode as 'groupies' of whatever Mater is doing at the time, I'm sure they were McQueen's fans in the Movie Cars, but obviously in Mater's Tall Tales, he has turned this around so they are his top fans. And there are other short appearances from some of the other characters from Cars, but as I say, the main event is Mater. **Fun Factor** Every episode never fails to raise a laugh, either from me, my husband, my kids (aged 4 & 2), and even the grandparents have been known to titter at Mater's antics. It appeals to such a wide age range; a lot of the humour is directed towards the adults such as some of the comments Mater makes, some of the phrases he uses, the way he speaks and a lot of his facial expressions. But there is plenty for the children to enjoy too, such as Mater getting himself into all these ridiculous predicaments in the first place - it's this that my children find funny. One part in particular is where Mater is creeping about and he is using his wheels to 'walk' - for some reason they think this is hilarious. I think the fact that the films are so short adds to the entertainment value because they are over and the next one is starting before you even have chance to get bored watching them. I don't know what it is that makes Mater so comical, perhaps his strong accent, bucked teeth or just plain goofiness, even his facial expressions make me laugh. I think the fact that he is just a rusty old tow truck but is imagining himself in all these high profile situations, winking at the camera as he goes, and raising his eyebrows like he is some sort of superstar, just makes him even more loveable. He is definitely a funny car doing funny stuff, and I think it is fair to assume that Mater is currently my favourite Disney character; he's also my daughters' favourite too. **Extras** Some of the extras are really quite interesting from an adult's point of view because it shows some of the work that goes into creating films such as these, and you also get a lot of background information as to how some of the ideas were developed, and how the character Mater was born. But to children, especially my two - the extras are positively dull. * Paths To Pixar - A short film providing information about taking the images from the storyboards and transferring them into layouts for the film. It's all quite technical and I didn't understand much of it! * Unmade Tales - 5 tall tales that never made it to the final cut. All are in sketch format. * Mater Bumper-to-Bumper - This is the one that really interested me. You get to see the original old American tow truck that inspired the looks of Mater, you also meet the 'real' Mater - some 'local' American guy known as 'Mater', and you also meet the voice behind Mater - Larry the Cable Guy. It was the combination of these 3 characters that formed the fantastic character that we know as Mater today. Watching this short film you learn about the journey the creators went on to develop the character, and you realise that his creators quite obviously have a special place in their hearts for this loveable tow truck. * Studio Stories - McQueen Has No Hands - This is a short film trying to explain the thought processes the film makers went through when working on the film Cars when they had to get McQueen to produce a map to show his friend Sally. They went through several ideas of him showing it on his windscreen, under his bonnet, shooting out of his tail pipe - you get the idea. I think eventually they decided that it was a lost cause and McQueen just wouldn't show Sally a map because he hasn't got any hands and it would be just impossible. * Making Mater's Tall Tales - A film based around the fact that Mater loves to tell stories, and whether you can work out if it's true or not. His creators discuss how easy Mater finds it to slip into all these different roles. * Cars Land Sneak Peak - This is interesting because it unveils a massive new attraction they are creating for Disney Land - 12 acres of Radiator Springs. The whole thing, including the rides looks amazing, but the sheer amount of work and detail that goes into something like this is phenomenal! It's supposed to be opening in 2012 after 5 years in the making. * Mater Private Eye Trailer - Theatrical trailer of the Private Eye short. * Cars Toons Story Reels - Some very primitive animations of 3 of Mater's tall tales. * Sneak Peaks - Adverts for other Disney films. **Final Thoughts** I love this DVD, and so do my kids. Since we have had it, they have watched it frequently and it never seems to get boring. The animation is as you would expect from Disney/Pixar - top notch, and some of the comedy elements are laugh out loud - I really can't fault it. As you can see from above, there is a substantial amount of extras too, although these are aimed at adults rather than children, but this is what makes it a great DVD because not only does it have the entertainment value of Mater's Tall Tales, it also has a decent amount of factual information about the work that goes on behind the scenes. I recommend you buy it. DAD GUM! RRP is £9.99.