Welcome back to another Disney+ battle. In this article, we will be comparing and contrasting two popular Pixar films, “Cars” and “Coco.” Both have their fans, but we are going to evaluate each of them and pick a winner. So, let’s get down to business.

1. PROTAGONIST

The main character of “Cars” is Lightning McQueen, a hotshot racecar who is trying to get to the final race for the Piston Cup. Along the way, he gets lost, arrested and forced to help a small town in the middle of nowhere fix the road he helped destroy. McQueen learns valuable lessons and develops friendships and finds a home. The main character of “Coco” is Miguel, a young boy who loves music even though he comes from a family that doesn’t allow music. He ends up in the land of the dead and must find his way back and help his ancestors be remembered. Both are great characters, but I like McQueen’s story arc better. Point to “Cars.”

Cars 1 | Coco 0

2. ANTAGONIST

“Cars” has several potential villains, but most of them aren’t villainous. Doc Hudson is really just trying to take care of the people in his small town and doesn’t want McQueen to “corrupt” them. He ends up developing a mentor relationship with McQueen. Chick Hicks is McQueen’s rival on the track, and is not a good car, but he’s also not really a villain. He only shows up at the beginning and end of the film as an obstacle. There’s also McQueen’s arrogant attitude, but that changes throughout the film. There’s no true antagonist. In contrast, “Coco” has a villain, Ernesto de la Cruz. He’s a famous Mexican musician who Miguel thinks may be his great great grandfather who his great great grandmother thought abandoned the family. In the end, we learn de la Cruz is worse than imagined because he actually murdered Miguel’s great great grandfather and stole all of his songs for himself. Point to “Coco.”


Cars 1 | Coco 1

3. SUPPORTING CHARACTERS

“Cars” features some amazing supporting characters. Mater steals the show so much that he becomes the focal point of the sequel and a series of shorts on Disney Channel. Plus, Fillmore and Sarge provide a nice dichotomy of neighbors, Luigi and Guido are excellent in their love of all things Italian. Plus, Doc Hudson, Sally, Flo, Red and all the rest make you want to be part of their community. Add in the guest appearances by voices connected to auto racing circuits around the world and this movie nails the supporting characters. Miguel’s family, both living and deceased in “Coco” is also fun, but they don’t hold up as well as supporting characters as the residents of Radiator Springs do. Point to “Cars.”

Cars 2 | Coco 1

4. MUSIC

This category really isn’t fair in this matchup. “Cars” has a solid cover of “Life is a Highway” and a decent score that drives the plot. But “Coco” is music. The entire story is about music. It features some amazing original songs that help tell the story. The music in “Coco” is just plain better. Point to “Coco.”

Cars 2 | Coco 2

5. MEMORABLE MOMENTS

It’s time for the most subjective of these categories. To me, the memorable moments in “Cars” are: the Piston Cup tie, Lightning McQueen getting lost, his trial, his budding friendship with Mater, losing the dirt race to Doc Hudson, tractor tipping and giving up the Piston Cup to help the King. The memorable moments, to me, of “Coco” are: Miguel being unable to play music, “Remember Me,” going to the land of the dead, returning and going right back, learning the truth about his ancestors and helping his great great grandfather be remembered. Both are great, but I think “Cars” is more memorable. Point to “Cars.”


Cars 3 | Coco 2

“Cars” wins this battle. It’s very close in the selected categories. But I’m going to toss it over to you. Which film do you prefer?





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Jeremy Brown

Jeremy has been a big Disney fan since he was a kid growing up during the Disney Renaissance. One day he hopes to go to every Disney Park in the world.

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