alking cars rediscover the quirky originality of middle America in this inventive animated film from the folks at Pixar (TOY STORY, FINDING NEMO). Owen Wilson does the voice of arrogant rookie racecar Lightning McQueen, who winds up stranded in the small desert town of Radiator Springs on his way west to a big showdown. Sentenced to community service after literally tearing up the road in a high-speed chase, at first all Lightning can think of is getting back to the world of corporate sponsorship and merchandising tie-ins he loves so well. Eventually, however, the eccentric residents of Radiator Springs begin to grow on him, especially the attractive lady Porsche lawyer (Bonnie Hunt) and a rusty old tow-truck (Larry the Cable Guy). There's also a hippie Volkswagen (George Carlin), a low-riding T-bird (Cheech Martin) and Paul Newman as the gruff, curmudgeonly Doc Hudson, the town judge who harbors his own checkered-flag past. The story may not be new, but Pixar's precision-engineered animation brilliantly illuminates the town and its surrounding cactus-studded vistas down to the minutest detail, and director/writer John Lasseter keeps the film's satiric wit and generous heart in perfect alignment. Adults in the audience should appreciate the film's celebration of old-school American eccentricity, and the kids will dig all the thunderous grit and high-octane wheel burning. Randy Newman composed the score; James Taylor sings one of the songs.