First Paper (Visual/Textual Analysis)
Cars 2 is a movie created by Disney’s Pixar in 2011 and was the sequel to the original Pixar movie Cars which came out in 2006. The movie was a big hit and had a specific direction that it was following, which was the main character Lightning McQueen was a famous race car that was stranded in a foreign town filled with unfamiliar cars. Lightning made good friends with the cars he found himself stranded with, which are depicted on the left half of the poster and found traveling the world with these same cars in Cars 2. When looking at the poster though you may find yourself wondering why the setup of the poster is the way it is. What is the purpose behind the material found within the poster such as: the planet in the back, the big title, and the character set up? The main goal of the poster is to leave you guessing what the movie is about with the intention focused on building enthusiasm about the movie. The creator’s purpose is to create a poster that will capture your attention and direct you towards seeing this movie over some of the other movies coming out.
For starters, the taking care of the ethos, logos, and pathos will be the focus. In order to make the poster a credible source Disney had to find a way to incorporate something that distinguishes them from some of the various animation groups out there. The way that Disney stands out is by stating, “From the creators of Toy Story 3,” because when looking back at the creators of Toy Story 3 one will see that Disney’s Pixar studios also created that movie as well as numerous other ones. You can also see right above the title of the movie the words, “Disney” and “Pixar,” which will lead you to believe that those are the makers of the movie. That is how Disney distinguishes themselves from some of the various competition agencies out there such as DreamWorks. Each company has a specific branding to it that separates them from others. This “branding” gives the audience a sense of belief that what they are seeing is the real deal. You can see in the picture below what the symbol of Pixar and Disney looks like, so when the audience sees these they connect it to the company.
I believe that the creators of this poster did a very good job balancing the visual aspects with the textual aspects; where one aspect leaves off the other begins. The creator uses this type of pattern going from text to visual with a creative flow, which can help keep audience attention. When looking at the poster you look right to the textual value of the poster meaning the eyes of the viewer are going to be drawn to the big bold title Cars 2. The creator does this so that you know right away, what the movie’s name is. Just as the big brands such as Nike and UnderArmour, use their distinguishing symbols to set themselves apart from other companies, the logo is like the brand of that movie meaning when you see that symbol you will think of that movie. When the audience sees the symbol, they relate it to the movie Cars 2. When looking at the symbol you do not even need to see the word “cars” within it because you understand that the logo is what grabs your attention; just like when you see the golden arches and think of McDonalds, you see the logo of Cars and think of the movie.
When looking at it closely you see that the symbol resembles that of a hood ornament similarly found on Jaguar cars. The title along with numerous aspects really reflects the focus of the movie and that is that various cars are the focus of the movie. The Title is what really pops to let the audience know that it is the sequel to what was Cars. The reasoning is to create excitement in the audience, which usually ranges from young children all the way up to adults with families. Cars is a family oriented movie that is very enjoyable for all types of ages. Disney does a great job targeting members of the audience that grew up on the typical Disney movies such as: Aladdin, Hercules, and etcetera by keeping the similar themes throughout their movies. The theme is usually some morally structured storyline where the character starts in some act of wrongdoing, but learns from that mistake in the future. We see this within the emotional structure of the characters, whether it is in their facial expression or body tone.
The next thing that catches the attention of the audience is the character list or the layout of characters below the title. The layout forces your eyes to see the stars of the movie being Lightning McQueen and Mator are centered in the middle then panning out to the rest of the characters. The audience now sees the face of the company in Lightning McQueen. The designer is developing a face for the company/movie just as Hanes does with Michael Jordan. The designer has to take into consideration that this is a movie poster, something that at points may only be seen for a couple of seconds tops. They have to place things on the poster that connect what the audience sees with the movie. Even when the kids see the star characters with a quick glimpse they are still able to differentiate Cars from Toy Story. This is because it is easy to connect someone who is famous, with the brand displayed in the commercial.
This gives the movie credibility now, because when the star seen we relate it back to the movie now. The only thing that you wonder is who the two new characters are on the right half of the screen. The poster does this to leave the audience wondering who those two characters are. The audience will want to find out what the characters have to do with the movie therefore pushing them towards seeing the movie. Then when you look below the cars setup to see the words, “The Mission Begins,” you begin to wonder how those characters tie into this so-called mission. When thinking of missions you relate that to spies or even tasks that need to be accomplished. The audience is now going to build their own questions, sparking excitement in their minds about the movie. Now you have to know what the poster means when it talks about the mission.
The next key thing that you notice when looking at the poster is the big planet in the background. It is a picture of our planet Earth and it leaves you wondering why that has to be there. Cars is all about incorporating all types of cars into their storyline. The cars will range from American made trucks to Italian made Ferraris. The character list also shows some of the characters that were of Italian descendant in the poster. This can lead the audience to believe that Italy will be incorporated in the movie, because in the previous movie those two characters were not that important as the other ones. Without the visual aspect, the audience would only be seeing the words from the makers of Toy Story, Cars 2, and the mission begins. Without visuals, the poster does not have any eye-catching value in it. The designer’s purpose is to attack the target audience in children, so if the kids cannot relate to anything on the poster than the poster has lost the point.
None of these textual aspects would do justice towards the movie. By involving the visual aspects, the audience can create an understanding on what the movie is bringing to the table. All of the visual aspects are placed front and center with light colors such as blues and reds. Red is one of the most eye-catching colors in the marketing world so when you see the big red your eye is drawn to what it is. The other colors are soothing and inviting creating this household family feels for the audience. In addition, the characters all have a smile on their face, which can be important for children to see. No child wants to see their favorite character upset or not at ease. All of these aspects add to the appeal of the poster making it more desirable for the audience members. Kids leave the movie with a smile on their face and a satisfaction in their heart.
When analyzing this poster the audience can see and get a feel for every little aspect of the poster. The sequel is going to bring different aspects to the table such as various characters and a wide variety of locations. With the placement of the visual aspects and textual aspects where they are the audience is drawn to certain sections at different times. I believe that the creator of this poster did a great job balancing the visuals with the text and in reality; it did a great job creating a buzz for me. Without this balance and without this proper placement the creator could have lost the meaning in translation creating confusion in the desired audience. This poster leaves the audience wondering what the movie could possibly be about taking into the consideration they may only see this for a couple of seconds. The designer makes sure that the things that distinguish this movie from other movies can be see even in the smallest margin of time.