"You actually wasted your money on a crap kid's game? Should have gone with...trails off listing current top sellers in attempt to proclaim his superior tastes..."
The reaction wasn't a surprise, but turns out the joke is on him since Cars 2 is a solid and, more importantly, fun mash-up of Mario Kart, Twisted Metal and Split/Second.
Cars 2 is a visual stunner. Avalanche worked closely with Pixar, using some of the same character data used in the film. The cartoon-y elasticity adds a lot to game. Comical bounces and other movements accompany simple hits and nudges. Granted, you probably won't see much more than the back of your chosen car, though they're still making faces and other motions during play - which you can see in replays and when driving backwards.
The lone disappointment is the tracks. Each is based off recognizable locales from the movies, though compared to the racers, they lack personality. I did like how visual cues are dropped all over the map to suggest alternate routes or boost points.
Racers are also pretty talkative during races. There are a few stand-ins, but most of the voices are spot-on. The only one that sounded off, at least to me, was Mater, which is odd since I'm pretty sure it is Larry the Cable Guy. The comments are repetitive, but still fun and fit the game's atmosphere.