My three old daughter is obsessed with the Disney/Pixar Cars movies. Her favorite toys are her cars and as I write this, she is sleeping with “Mack” and a small box containing three Lightning McQueens, two Holley Shiftwells, one Mater (the other one is MIA), Luigi, Guido, Torque, Grem, Acer, Professor Z, that three-wheeled car that she thinks is Otis, Carla Velosi, Uncle Topolino, and four Matchbox cars that go by the names of red car, white car, black car, and green car. So trust me when I tell you’ve analyzed that movie on a number of levels.
My point is this: Cars drive. It’s their natural mode of transportation. So, I present the argument that the movie Cars is actually about running. The Cars in the movie are “alive,” and they drive under their own power. Just as running is a natural movement for humans; an action that each individual controls through speed, intensity, duration, and even style. We discuss strategy regarding how to take turns in a race, we take numerous pit stops, and we need to refuel – just as Lightning McQueen does. (His blown tires in the opening race of the first movie are equivalent to a runner developing an injury from running in worn-down or ill-fitting shoes.)
Since I first started forming this idea, I’ve noticed that running is everywhere in not just kids movies, but books too (They run for fun in the hot hot sun … anyone?) – and in a lot of other non-kid movies. I like to point them out to my daughter, so she sees that running is important; and I often compare the characters to Mommy and Daddy! Here’s my list:
- Frozen: Elsa is able to run far away and conquer impressive altitude, all while wearing a dress.
- The Little Mermaid: Ariel is able to learn how to walk in just days, thanks to all the cross-training she’s done. Yet when she needs most to swim, she’s not able to with her newly found legs; showing the importance of being flexible in your training program.
- The Incredibles: Dash can run on water, he’s so fast! But – we are not that fast, so we have to learn to swim like…
- Nemo: Just as the Cars drive, the fish in Nemo swim – but it’s all really running, right? Talk about the value of distance running and finding a reliable training partner.
Please feel free to add on as I’m not capturing them all.