I've been wary about Cars 2 for a while, like a lot of people who were underwhelmed by the first film and wish Pixar would stick to making the original stories they're so good at. But last week when I was covering the big launch of Cars 2 toys at the American International Toy Fair (read more about that here), director John Lasseter appeared for a pre-taped address and said something that convinced me: "It's not a parody of a spy movie. It is a spy movie."

That spy movie, in which the dimwitted Tow Mater gets caught up in an operation run by two British spies, is the focus of the new Cars 2 TV spot that aired last night during the Daytona 500; you can also watch it below. It isn't that the spy stuff seems all that original or hilarious, but I like the idea of Pixar working firmly within a genre, and think the characters of Cars could work better within a genre context than in the first movie, which was more of a tired stranger-in-a-strange-land setup. There's also the fact that Michael Caine is voicing an Aston Martin named Finn MacMissile, and I can't argue with that.

Check out the new TV spot below, and for more on Cars 2, which opens on June 24, visit our Blend Film Database.

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