Cars (2006) Poster



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If you look closely at one of the racing cars, it's white, has the Apple logo, and the number is 84. 1984 was the year Apple released the Macintosh, the computer that revolutionized Apple as a company. Pixar was previously owned by Steve Jobs, the CEO of Apple.
At the end of the first race at the start of the movie, the twins Mia and Tia flash their headlights at McQueen. This is a sly wink to adult racing fans, who know that "flashing their headlights" is the term for when female fans lift their shirts and show their breasts to the racers.
Every third blink of the stoplight in Radiator Springs really is slower by half a second, confirming Fillmore's observation.
Luigi's license plate reads 445-108, which is the latitude and longitude for the main Ferrari factory in Modena, Italy.
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. This idea was largely influenced by the Disney cartoon Susie the Little Blue Coupe (1952), one of director John Lasseter's favorite cartoons.
The production wanted to use a little-known version of the song "Route 66" by Chuck Berry which had appeared on the b-side of one of his singles. They approached Berry's record company who didn't know anything about such a version. It was only after they had trawled through their record vaults that they realized that Pixar were right.
The Pizza Planet truck from Toy Story (1995) can be seen in the crowd scene featuring the "Elvis" car, right next to him.
The fictional town of Radiator Springs was inspired by several real life locations along historic Route 66. In 2001, a creative team from Pixar, including directors John Lasseter and Joe Ranft, toured parts of Route 66 in Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California. Their guide along the way was author and Route 66 historian Michael Wallis. Wallis went on to provide the voice of the Sheriff car in the film.
The longest Pixar movie to date.
"Float like a Cadillac, Sting like a Beemer" is a reference to boxer Muhammad Ali's "Float like a butterfly, Sting like a bee," a catch-phrase he made popular during his rookie years.
The final Pixar film to be released on VHS, and the first to be released on Blu-Ray.
Designs of the cars:
  • Ramone is a 1959 Chevrolet Impala or Bel Air two door hardtop, a very popular car with the low riders.

  • Luigi is a 1959 Fiat 500.

  • Guido is an ISO Isetta, a "bubble car" originally designed and built in Italy by ISO; the design was later licensed to BMW and to manufacturers in France and Brazil.

  • Mater is a 1951 International Harvester L-170.

  • Sally is a 2002 Porsche 911 Carrera (Type 996).

  • Mia and Tia are modeled after the first-generation Mazda MX-5 Miata.

  • Flo isn't based on any single car but shares elements of the 1951 Buick LeSabre, the 1951 Buick XP-300, and the 1957 Chrysler Dart - all actual show cars. Her appearance closely resembles Al's vehicle in Toy Story 2 (1999).

  • Mack is based on a Mack Superliner semi-truck. The character of Mack was originally going to be a Peterbilt, but was changed because John Ratzenberger's father drove a Mack in Chicago. This is referenced during the scene where Lightning exits onto Route 66 trying to catch up to Mack: the battery truck he mistakenly follows says "I ain't no Mack, I'm a Peterbilt!"

  • The King is a 1970 Plymouth Superbird, one of Richard Petty's most famous rides. The Superbird was created to get him back into a Plymouth for the 1970 racing season and Petty himself provides the voice. The King's paint scheme is exactly as King Richard's was in the 1970 NASCAR season.

  • Mrs. "The King" is a 1974 Chrysler Town and Country station wagon, modeled after the car in which the Pettys drove themselves and their children to the races during the 1970s.

  • The car used for Mario Andretti's cameo is the Holman-Moody Ford Fairlane Andretti drove to victory in the 1967 Daytona 500, a race in which Richard Petty was one of the favorites to win. Petty dropped out of the race due to a blown engine.

  • The cars that run a sleepy Mac off the road and are later caught speeding are collectively called the Delinquent Road Hazards. Each parodies a different modification style. "Wingo," a 1994 Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX, exemplifies flashy non-performance additions often called "ricing". "Boost," a 1994 a Nissan Skyline, is a nitrous oxide street racer. "DJ," a 2004 Scion xB, is a mobile audio platform. "Snot Rod," a 1970 Plymouth Barracuda, is a classic supercharged muscle car.

  • Sheriff is a 1949 Mercury Club Coupe.

  • Fillmore is a late-1960s Volkswagen Type 2, otherwise known as the Transporter, or "Microbus." It was a very popular vehicle among hippies in the late 1960s and early 1970s, and even made its way into popular culture. It is heavily referenced in the Arlo Guthrie song "Alice's Restaurant Massacree."

If you look at any sky scenes, all the jet contrails are tire marks.
The Doc Hudson character is based on real-life NASCAR pioneer Herb Thomas, who drove Hudson Hornets to Grand National championships in 1951 and 1953. He was beaten out for the title in 1954 by Lee Petty, father of Richard Petty ("The King"). Crashes in 1955 and 1956 effectively ended Thomas's career.
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 (1995) 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.
Every time Bessie the road pavement machine spits tar on the cars pulling it (twice in the movie, once during the end credits), she makes laughing sounds, indicating that perhaps she does possess intelligence, however limited, despite having no visible eyes.
Guido is an Italian name. But it is also the Italian for "I drive".
Early drafts featured Doc Hudson having a heart attack, and being jump-started by Sarge.
HIDDEN MICKEY: Briefly formed by the rotating sign on Flo's V8 Cafe.
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 (2004). The UK release featured the outspoken Top Gear (1978) host Jeremy Clarkson as the voice of Harv.
Even with a farm of computers that ran four times faster than the ones on The Incredibles (2004) and 1,000 times faster than the ones used on Toy Story (1995), each frame of Cars (2006) took an average of 17 processor hours to render.
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. Co-star George Carlin (the voice of Fillmore) died of heart failure three months earlier.
As the jets fly over Los Angeles International Speedway, Pixar Animation Studios (taken from a satellite photo) is visible in the landscape below.
The Rust-eze brothers are played by real life brothers Tom Magliozzi and Ray Magliozzi. They are the hosts of Car Talk, a Radio Hall of Fame show, and they use the "Don't drive like my brother" catch-phrase to close the show.
Pixar Studio Trademark: The train that Lightning outruns is numbered A113 after an animation room at California Institute of the Arts, where many Pixar animators studied. Mater's license plate has the same number.
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 walking robots that McQueen attacks in his first daydream sequence are actually car spark plugs on legs.
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 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 (1960).
The film's animators drew up over 43,000 sketches for designs of the cars.
The Italian name for "tire" is "gomma" (rubber), and there are actually a widespread number of tire shops in Italy called "Casa della gomma" (House of the tire).
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 (2005).
Lightning McQueen was designed to be a cocky, arrogant yet likable character. To that effect, the animators looked at real people like Joe Namath, Muhammad Ali and Kid Rock as reference points.
The two lost tourists are both vehicles of the "minivan" type. Fittingly, their names are Van and Minni.
The character Lightning McQueen is a reference to Glenn McQueen, a Pixar animator who died in 2002.
When Lightning McQueen finally gets pulled over by the sheriff after destroying the road, the sheriff says, "You're in a heap o' trouble, boy," the signature line from Dodge commercials featuring Joe Higgins as the sheriff which aired in the early '70s.
Sold 5,000,000 copies in two days when it was released on DVD.
Paul Newman considered his performance as Doc to be the best he'd done since The Verdict (1982). Newman was known as a skilled racing driver, owner, and enthusiast.
Sally says to Van and Minni that her motel offers "a free Lincoln continental breakfast," a portmanteau of "continental breakfast" and the "Lincoln Continental" luxury car.
When Lightning McQueen is about to give a promotion speech at Rust-eze tent, there is a momentary silence, and then someone yells: "Freebird!". This is a reference to the song "Free Bird" by the Lynyrd Skynyrd band. It is said that this word is shouted frequently at music shows as a form of a popular cliché.
Some of the parked vehicles have license plates with abbreviations of previous Pixar film titles: TS (Toy Story (1995)), Inc. (not Monsters, Inc. (2001) but The Incredibles (2004), and FN (Finding Nemo (2003).
Michael Jordan was the human inspiration for Lightning McQueen.
The tires of Lightning McQueen are Buzzard models manufactured by Lightyear, a reference both to the real Goodyear "Eagle" tires used in NASCAR and the character Buzz Lightyear from John Lasseter's Toy Story (1995) and Toy Story 2 (1999). A Lightyear Blimp, spoofing the real-life Goodyear Blimp, even appears at the race events.
The original idea was about an electric car living in a gas-guzzling world.
When seen from above, the hills around Radiator Springs resemble the hoods and fenders (complete with ornaments) of classic cars.
Fillmore, the VW Microbus voiced by George Carlin, has license plate '51237'. This is Carlin's birth date; May 12, 1937. It's entirely coincidental, but 51237 is also the ZIP code for George, Iowa.
"Cars" has many of repeated character names from the Isaac Asimov short story "Sally" where robotic sentient cars are the main subject.
Lightning McQueen, being a first-year "Piston Cup" racer, displays the traditional yellow "rookie stripe" on his rear bumper.
Michael Schumacher recorded his lines in 4 different languages - English, German, French and Italian.
The last movie to be produced by Pixar before it was officially bought by Disney.
We never see the insides of any vehicle in the movie (except for a cargo compartment of the helicopter in the end, but not its cockpit). Their "windows" are always opaque, and their "doors" never open. In particular, there isn't a single convertible with an open roof in sight. This fits well with the concept of a world without humans, since living cars don't need passenger salons. For all we know, they aren't even hollow.
The hill at Radiator Springs (with the white letters RS for Radiator Springs) resembles the top of a radiator with a cap.
Chick Hicks's sponsor is Hostile Takeover Bank (htB).
The mountain range behind Radiator Springs resembles the Cadillac Ranch. This is an installation of a row of half-buried, nose-down Cadillacs, near Amarillo, TX. The map refers to the Cadillac Range.
John Lasseter's first directorial effort since Toy Story 2 (1999).
The release of the film was held up by Pixar boss Steve Jobs for a year as it acted as good leverage in his negotiations with Disney.
The 8th highest-grossing film of 2006, while also being the 2nd highest grossing animated film of 2006 and the 10th highest grossing film in the Disney canon.
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 insects seen in the film are in the shape of '60s-era Volkswagen Beetles. "Bug" is the popular nickname of that model car.
John Lasseter hatched the idea for Cars (2006) whilst taking a cross-country trip on Route 66 with his wife and five sons in 2000, mainly at the behest of his wife who felt he was spending too much time at the studios. Nancy Lasseter', wife of John Lasseter, told her husband that he needed to make this film for all the people - largely women - who don't care about cars. Hence, the film's nickname during production was The Nancy Factor. Upon returning to work, he contacted Michael Wallis, a famous historian on the subject. Wallis then took 11 Pixar animators in rented white Cadilllacs on two different road trips across the route to research the film. The animators picked up artifacts en route - such items as wheat, thistles, snake skin and road kill. All these items were attached to the cars as hood ornaments and then ceremoniously buried in the desert at the end of the trip.
The DOT regulations that Mack begins to quote to Lightning McQueen require drivers of property-carrying commercial motor vehicles to stop driving after reaching the end of their 14th consecutive hour after first coming on duty. The 14-hour limit was specifically designed to reduce fatigue-related accidents on the nation's highways.
44 different monitors are featured in the TV studio covering the Piston Cup race, which means there had to be 44 different versions of the same shot.
During the "Our Town" montage, the "Rusty Bumper" store front features the "Rust-Eze" logo in the window. Rust-Eze is Lightning McQueen's sponsor, several decades later.
The character "Fillmore" was at one time to be named "Waldmire" after Bob Waldmire, a self-proclaimed hippie artist known to Rt. 66 fans for his detailed pen-and-ink maps and postcards of the route. Though Waldmire's family owns the Cozy Dog Drive-In in Springfield, IL, Bob, now a vegan, preferred not have his name put on a character that would become a Happy Meal toy.
The code title for this film, used during production, was "Surgery".
The fictional track Motorspeedway of the South (MSS) is based on Bristol Motor Speedway, where NASCAR holds races for its premier series.
Fillmore is named after the famous Fillmore Auditorium or Fillmore West, a highly popular music venue from the 1960s and 1970s. It was the focal point of music and arts for the counterculture, or "hippie" movement.
To build the cars, the animators used computer platforms very similar to the ones that real car manufacturers use.
More than 100 unique car characters were created for the film and the merchandising.
The crowd scene at Piston Cup showdown at the end features 105,000 separately animated cars, including 13,000 cars entering the stadium alone.
In early drafts, the scene where Sally takes Lightning McQueen up into the hills to look down on the effects of the interstate on Route 66 actually had Doc Hudson telling the story of Radiator Springs' fate.
Doc Hudson's dismissal by the racing community in 1955 has some basis in history. Hudson Hornets were a popular and successful choice for stock car racing in the early 1950s due to their low center of gravity, which gave them excellent stability on the dirt tracks used at the time. However, Hudson used older flat head technology in their engines, and by 1955 GM, Ford, and Chrysler had all developed more powerful overhead valve V8 engines. Consequently Hudsons were no longer considered competitive.
The neon lights on Flo's V8 Cafe in the movie flash in the proper firing order for a Ford flathead V8.
The make of the whitewall tires Lightning McQueen gets from Guido and Luigi is "Fettuccini Alfredo." Alfredo is a white sauce.
The King's wife is voiced by Lynda Petty, who is Richard Petty's real-life wife.
When Mater and Lightning McQueen tip over the cow tractors, as the tractors are upended, they give off an electronic "Moo!" sound. The electronic "Moo!" is taken from Milky the Marvelous Milking Cow, a Kenner toy introduced in 1978. Milky the Marvelous Milking Cow would raise her head and give off an electronic "Moo!" sound when you moved her tail like a pump handle.
In the Rust-eze commercial following the first race, the green car in the background has a license plate number of "EVILLE". This is short for Emeryville, the town in California where Pixar is headquartered. Also, among the cities closed for race day is the city of Emeryville, California.
The Cozy Cone Motel's design is based on the two Wigwam Motels along Rt. 66; in Holbrook Arizona and Rialto, California. These were once two out of seven motels, with individual cabins shaped like tepees. Another motel from the chain survives in Cave City, Kentucky. The name "Cozy Cone" was inspired by the Cozy Dog Drive-In of Springfield, Illinois, which lays claim to being birthplace of the corn dog.
The character of Fillmore, voiced by George Carlin, is a version of Al Sleet, the hippie-dippy weatherman, a popular skit that Carlin performed in the '60s and '70s.
The design of "Los Angeles International Speedway" is based on 3 venues located in southern California. The outer facade is similar to the LA Memorial Coliseum, the speedway's seating bowl and interior architecture is much like the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, and the track layout is reminiscent of California Speedway in Fontana.
The two tourist cars mention a trip to Shakopee to go to Crazy Days. Shakopee is a real city in Minnesota famous for the amusement park Valley Fair, and the Minnesota Renaissance Festival. The term Crazy Days is commonly used in reference to sidewalk sales in the Midwest.
Ramone's comment about "Von Dutch style" pin-striping to Minnie and Van is a reference to Kenny Howard, the man who revived the art of pin-striping on motorcycles and vehicles in the '50s under the name Von Dutch.
Premiered at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Concord, North Carolina.
Director John Lasseter is the son of a car-parts manager.
The California Governor Humvee is an obvious caricature of then-governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, who was also the first private owner of a Humvee (High Mobility Multi-Purpose Wheeled Vehicle) in the USA.
The epilogue sequence, which shows in a small window during the final credits, is also included as a full-picture bonus on the DVD.
The rock formations on the horizon above Radiator Springs resemble Cadillac Ranch, an I-40 tourist attraction in Amarillo, TX. Cadillac Ranch is also the only place in the entire state of Texas where it is legal to spray graffiti on an object.
When leaving the track after the first race, Mack passes under road signs that point to the following cities: Bell Housing, Spark Gap, East Honkers, Ragtop, Skid Mark Ln, Truckville, Wingnut City, Kingpin and Pothole City.
The "Cars" race for the "Piston Cup". From 1972 through 2003, NASCAR's premier series was called the Winston Cup Series. It was sponsored by R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company cigarette brand Winston.
WILHELM SCREAM: Used by one of the cars in Lightning's dream sequence.
On the DVD, in the Bonus Features section, the background graphics are postcards from Route 66. The icon to return to the main menu uses the Canada Post logo.
Scenes from the movie are used in a 2008 road safety ad on US television. Oddly, the last scene in the ad has been flipped, so that the word "Lightyear" on The King's tires appears backwards. This was done because the scene takes place behind a curtain bearing the Piston Cup logo seen from behind, i.e. reversed. Viewers seeing the scene out of context would have been more likely to notice the reversed Piston Cup on the curtain than the reversed Lightyear on the tires.
Unusually for a Pixar film, the lead marketing focused on the voice talent, namely Owen Wilson and Paul Newman. Unlike other animation companies, Pixar tends not to draw attention to which stars are providing the voices.
The Piston Cup commentators, Bob Cutlass and Darrell Cartrip, are based on and voiced by real sport commentators - Bob Costas and Darrell Waltrip respectively, whose names were "vehiclized" to create the corresponding characters (Cutlass is an Oldsmobile model).
The model for Ramone's shop is an actual old-time Conoca Service Station in Shamrock, Texas, on the old Route 66.
The morning show crew from www.RadioAlice.com (a local favorite radio station) lend their voices to a number of ancillary characters in the film (like Kori Turbowitz, Not Chuck, Traffic Copter and Reporter #9).
Radiator Springs' surrounding rock formations, shaped as recognizable hood ornaments from over the years, are labeled "Ornament Valley" on the road map. This is a reference to "Monument Valley", an expanse of grand, natural rock formations spanning Arizona and Utah, though not actually near Route 66.
The city Mack is seen driving through after leaving the track seems to be Nashville, Tennessee, considering most of the roads on the signs pass through Nashville. It's also probable Mack would drive through Nashville on Interstate 40 after leaving Bristol (which MSS is based on).
Cars (2006) merchandise broke records for toys based on a Disney/Pixar film, with an estimated $1 billion in sales.
The first Pixar film to use the technique called "ray tracing" which allows the animated cars to credibly reflect their environments.
One of the race cars sports an image of Jackalope from Boundin' (2003). The model and style of the car in this film was used on Stanley, the car who founded Radiator Springs and was honored in a statue, here.
For the Spanish Castilian dubbing many sport figures had cameo voice roles. Including newsreaders and host like Antonio Lobato, Inmaculada Galván, Pedro Piqueras, Hilario Pino and Iñaki Gabilondo. And sportsman like Fernando Alonso, Pedro de la Rosa, Marc Gené, Daniel Sordo, Nani Roma, Emilio de Villota, Sr., Emilio de Villota, Jr. and Antonio Albacete.
The movie was conceived in 1999. It was originally going to be called, "The Little Yellow Car", and was going to be about an electric car living in a gas guzzling world and the staff of Pixar even agreed that the film will be next after "A Bug's Life". However, the project was abandoned when Pixar wanted to work on "Toy Story 2".
In the scene where McQueen is pulling Bessie after crashing into the cactus for the second time, he is startled when Guido starts repairing the slow leak on his rear tire. If you watch carefully, you'll see Guido make a cheeky gesture with his eyes.
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When Red sprays water on Lightning McQueen, he's blowing off bits of prickly pear cactus still stuck on McQueen from when he drove into the cactus patch for the second time. When Red sprays even more on McQueen's hood & windshield, after Sally says "You missed a spot", it's to get off one more bit of prickly pear still stuck to McQueen.


Michael Keaton:  voice of the security guard who yells "Hey, no press" during the instant replay sequence after the first race.


The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

In one of the short sequences during the end credits, a green Hummer says to Sarge at the SUV boot-camp: "Yo, I've never been off-road." This is a sarcastic reference to the tendency for Hummers, while designed as off-road vehicles, often to be purchased and used in pristine suburban surroundings.
Cars seen at the drive-in movie theater during the closing credits: left to right: front row - Mater, Sally, Lightning, Sarge, Fillmore; second row - one of the the Ferraris, Doc, Sheriff, Flo, Ramone, Guido, Luigi, and Lizzie; rows further back - Mack, Junior, Red, Mr. and Mrs. The King, and the Twins. And if you look closely, in the very back behind the fence, you see Frank and the tractors; note that more tractors appear each time they switch to an audience shot.
Chick Hicks' car number is 86. 86 is a slang for 'thrown out'. He got thrown out of the team at the end of the film. 86 is also a reference to the year of release of Luxo Jr. (1986), the first short film produced under the Pixar name.
After the credits there is a short sequence showing the tourists Van and Mini still looking for the Interstate. A small blue car/fly is flying beside them. It runs into the camera and leaves a blue "nose-print" on the lens. The car is modeled on a Volkswagen Beetle, also known as a "bug".

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