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Pixar Series | 07. Cars

Cars is the next film in my Pixar Series in which I discuss each of the 14 Pixar Animated Films. I had only ever seen Cars once before, upon its initial release. So I was happy to go back and watch it again.


Director: John Lasseter

Year: 2006


Cars is Pixar’s seventh animated feature film released in 2006. It is Pixar’s final, independently produced motion picture before its purchase by Disney. John Lasseter has said that the idea for Cars was born after he took a cross-country road trip with his wife and five sons in 2000. When he returned to the studio after vacation, he contacted Michael Wallis, a Route 66 historian. Wallis then led eleven Pixar animators in rented white Cadillacs on two different road trips across the route to research the film.


Lightning McQueen is a hot-shot race car who is convinced he will win his first ever Piston cup. However, he comes in a three-way tie and when traveling to the rematch, goes missing and ends up in a town called Radiator Springs, a run down empty town which no cars ever pass through anymore due to the new motorway. When McQueen destroys the towns road, Doc Hudson demands he fix the road before he is allowed to leave. In doing so, he makes friends with a tow truck, and even falls for Sally Carrera, a Porsche. The question is, will McQueen make it back before the big race?


  • Owen Wilson as Lightning McQueen
  • Paul Newman as Doc Hudson
  • Bonnie Hunt as Sally Carrera
  • Larry the Cable Guy as Mater
  • Michael Keaton as Chick Hicks
  • John Ratzenberger as Mack

Major Characters:

– Lightning McQueen


A very self-assured rookie race car driver.



– Mater 250px-MaterCars

A very lovable tow truck who has the best one liners of the film




He seems like a grumpy old man…well car…but he’s not really…deep down…



– Sally Sally_Cars

McQueen’s love interest for the film




He’s back! Randy Newman that is. Nine songs from the soundtrack are from popular and contemporary artists. (Including a track from John Mayer) The remaining eleven pieces are orchestral scores composed and conducted by Randy Newman.


Favourite Character:


It has to be Mater, I mean there really was no better character. Normally I am trying to decide between two characters as to which was my favourite but I knew this time around that it was Mater no doubts about it.

Mater is the lovable rusted old tow truck. He is a bit of a country hick and he has without a doubt the funniest lines in this movie. He really is the comic relief for the entire movie. I could go on about how cool Mater is but if you haven’t seen the movie then watch it and you will see for yourself and if you have seen the movie then you already know how cool Mater is.


Favourite Quote:

Without a shadow of a doubt my favourite quote of the whole movie comes from good old Mater…I’ll just let you watch. What’s funnier is little kiddies wouldn’t get the joke, thanks Pixar!


Favourite Scene:

Is it bad that my favourite scene was the end credits? Probably, but not for the reasons you may initially think!

The end credits for most Pixar films are pretty funny but I especially love this one. It takes classic Pixar characters and turns them into cars, watch for yourself…

The funniest part by far is John Ratzenberger!! And you will only get it if you are a true Pixar fan!



If you are unaware as to what A113 is, it is an Easter egg (inside joke) that is present in all 13 of the Pixar animated feature films.

A113 stands for the number of the classroom used for graphic design and character animation in the school used by John Lasseter and Brad Bird.

In Cars, it is the number on Trev Diesel, the freight train that Lightning McQueen out runs while he is first on his way to Radiator Springs. Trev Diesel was also made as a carrying case for the die-cast line and has A113 on it.



Fun Facts:

  • This movie was originally titled “Route 66”. The name was changed to “Cars” so as not to imply a connection with the TV show Route 66
  • Instead of making the cars’ headlights the eyes, as is done on most cartoons, the Pixar artists decided to put the eyes up on the windshield, because that made the characters more expressive.
  • The film’s animators drew up over 43,000 sketches for designs of the cars.
  • Lightning McQueen’s original number was to be 57, director John Lasseter’s birth year. It was later changed to 95 to represent the year that Toy Story was released. The car in the final film who has the number 57 (who wins the race in the first teaser) vaguely resembles McQueen, and is probably an earlier production design for that character.
  • Sally the Porsche’s profession as an attorney is a reference to Portia, a nickname for female lawyers, named after the character in William Shakespeare’s “Merchant of Venice”.
  • The voice of Lightning McQueen’s agent Harv is provided by Jeremy Piven who also plays Vincent Chase’s agent in the TV-series Entourage. The UK release featured the outspoken Top Gear host Jeremy Clarkson as the voice of Harv.
  • HIDDEN MICKEY: Briefly formed by the rotating sign on Flo’s V8 Cafe.
  • The Michael Schumacher Ferrari, voiced by Michael Schumacher, speaks Italian to Guido, saying, “Spero che il tuo amico si riprenda. Mi dicono che siete fantastici.” This translates to “I hope your friend recovers. I was told that you are fantastic.”
  • This was the last feature film for Paul Newman before his death of lung cancer in 2008. It also turned out to be the highest-grossing movie of his career
  • The last film worked on by Joe Ranft who ironically died in a car crash in 2005. The film is dedicated to his memory, as is Corpse Bride.
  • The longest Pixar movie to date.
  • Every now and then, Lightning McQueen’s tongue pops out when he’s thinking about something. This is actually a characteristic of director John Lasseter which his animators gleefully incorporated into the film.
  • The final Pixar film to be released on VHS, and the first to be released on Blu-Ray.

My Rating:

8/ 10

I am actually surprised with myself by how much I enjoyed this film. I did see it when it initially came out back in 2006, but I was only 14 then so I don’t think I appreciated Pixar as much as I do today. I was such a little tomboy growing up and I was big into my cars so this movie is kind of fun for me in that respect.

As far as storyline goes, it wasn’t all that predictable, as children’s film does always intend to be. The characters were great and really well established and it was actually way funnier than I remembered. I did find myself laughing quite a bit.

So if you have never seen this film because you don’t think you would like it because it’s about Cars (I have come across people who thought this before) then please go see it because I promise you, you will enjoy it. You may not love it but it really is a great film. I can see now why they made a sequel to it (which I still have not seen!)

– Bee

Next in this series: Ratatouille


2 responses »

  1. Just brace yourself for the sequel. Nearly everyone hates it!

    • Unfortunately the thing about sequels is 1) people have such high expectations after seeing the first 2)companies generally only produce a sequel because the first one did so well and the want to make more money 3) they want to keep interest so rush the production
      So I am fully prepared for Cars 2 not to be great, I don’t even think my little cousins like it and they loved the first Cars film!


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