If the main critical consensus is to be believed, Cars 2 is by and large the worst animated film Pixar has made in their entire (25 year) career. However, I didn’t really see anything wrong with the movie.
I believe that critics are so used to films from Pixar that resonate with adults just as much of kids, that they seem to forget that, at end of the day, they are still cartoons.
My best guess at the critical loathing of the film is the increased emphasis on the hillbilly tow truck Tow Mater, who is hands-down the most cartoonish character is the Pixar canon. However, despite the added buffoonery, I still enjoyed the James Bondish plot that saw Mater recruited by a superspy to foil an evil plot.
While not masterpieces like some of Pixar’s recent films, I still thought that Cars 2 still had plenty to like.