Cars is a 2006 American computer-animated road-comedy film produced by Pixar Animation Studios and released by Walt Disney Pictures. Directed and co-written by John Lasseter from a screenplay by Dan Fogelman, it was Pixar’s final independently produced film before its purchase by Disney in January 2006.
Set in a world populated entirely by anthropomorphic talking cars and other vehicles, the film stars the voices of Owen Wilson, Paul Newman (in his final acting role), Bonnie Hunt, Larry the Cable Guy, Tony Shalhoub, Cheech Marin, Michael Wallis, George Carlin, Paul Dooley, Jenifer Lewis, Guido Quaroni, Michael Keaton, Katherine Helmond, John Ratzenberger and Richard Petty, while race car drivers Dale Earnhardt Jr. (as “Junior”), Mario Andretti, Michael Schumacher and car enthusiast Jay Leno (as “Jay Limo”) voice themselves.
- Starring : Owen Wilson / Paul Newman
- Genre : Animation / Comedy / Family / Sport
- Country : United States
- Language : English / Italian / JapaneseCars (2006 movie) / Yiddish
- Director : John Lasseter / Joe Ranft
- Production : Pixar Animation Studios / Walt Disney Pictures
- Distributor : Buena Vista Pictures / B&H Film Distribution / Buena Vista International (Australia) / Buena Vista International Finland / Buena Vista International Mexico / Buena Vista International / Cascade / Columbia Pictures / Falcon / Forum Film Poland / Forum Hungary / Intercontinental Film Distributors (HK) / Prooptiki / Taramount Film / United International Pictures (UIP) / American Broadcasting Company (ABC) / Audio Visual Enterprises / Buena Vista Home Entertainment / Disney Blu-ray / Disney Channel / Disney Cinemagic / Gativideo / Hrvatska Radiotelevizija (HRT) / SBS6 / SBS9 / Walt Disney Company Nordic / Walt Disney Home Entertainment / Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment
Cars release date
- March 14, 2006 : USA (ShoWest)
- May 26, 2006 : USA (Charlotte, North Carolina) (premiere)
- June 8, 2006 : Australia
- June 8, 2006 : Philippines
- June 8, 2006 : Singapore
- June 9, 2006 : Canada
- June 9, 2006 : USA
- June 14, 2006 : Switzerland (French speaking region)
- June 14, 2006 : France
- June 22, 2006 : Israel
- July 1, 2006 : Japan
- July 6, 2006 : Spain
- July 28, 2006 : UK
- July 28, 2006 : Ireland
- August 4, 2006 : India
- August 25, 2006 : Switzerland (Italian speaking region)
- September 1, 2006 : Sweden
- September 7, 2006 : Germany
- September 14, 2006 : Switzerland (German speaking region)
- March 14, 2015 : Australia (Pixar Film Festival)
- Owen Wilson as Lightning McQueen(voice)
- Paul Newman as Doc Hudson(voice)
- Bonnie Hunt as Sally Carrera(voice)
- Larry the Cable Guy as Mater(voice)
- Cheech Marin as Ramone(voice)
- Tony Shalhoub as Luigi(voice)
- Guido Quaroni as Guido(voice)
- Jenifer Lewis as Flo(voice)
- Paul Dooley as Sarge(voice)
- Michael Wallis as Sheriff(voice)
- George Carlin as Fillmore(voice)
- Katherine Helmond as Lizzie(voice)
- John Ratzenberger as Mack / Hamm Truck / Abominable Snow Plow / P.T. Flea Car(voice)
- Joe Ranft as Red / Jerry Recycled Batteries / Peterbilt(voice)
- Michael Keaton as Chick Hicks(voice)
Cars premiered on May 26, 2006 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in Concord, North Carolina and was theatrically released in the United States on June 9, 2006 to generally positive reviews and also received critical and commercial success, grossing $462 million worldwide against a budget of $120 million. It was nominated for two Academy Awards including Best Animated Feature, but lost to Happy Feet (but won both the Annie Award for Best Animated Feature and the Golden Globe Award for Best Animated Feature Film). The film was released on DVD on November 7, 2006 and on Blu-ray in 2007. The film was accompanied by the short One Man Band for its theatrical and home media releases. Merchandise based on the film (including scale models of several of the cars) broke records for retail sales of merchandise based on a Disney/Pixar film, bringing an estimated $10 billion for 5 years after the film’s release. The film was dedicated to Joe Ranft, the film’s co-director and co-writer, who died in a car crash during the film’s production.
A sequel titled Cars 2 was released on June 24, 2011 and a spin-off film titled Planes, produced by Disneytoon Studios, was released on August 9, 2013, which was followed by its own sequel Planes: Fire & Rescue, which was released on July 18, 2014. A series of short animated films titled Cars Toons debuted in 2008 on Disney Channel and Disney XD. A second sequel titled Cars 3 was released on June 16, 2017.
In a world populated by anthropomorphic talking vehicles, the final race of the Piston Cup championship ends in a three-way tie between soon-to-retire racing champion Strip “The King” Weathers, aggressive and cheating runner-up Chick Hicks, and self-skilled but arrogant rookie sensation Lightning McQueen; the tiebreaker race is scheduled for one week later at the Los Angeles International Speedway. Lightning also wants to work alone due to his selfishness, since he has fired three crew chiefs so far and refuses to listen to the advice of his pit crew, who all quit after he calls himself a ‘one-man show’. Lightning is desperate to win the race in California, since not only would it make him the first rookie to win the Piston Cup, but also allow him to leave the unglamorous sponsorship of Rust-Eze, a bumper ointment company, and allow him to take The King’s place on the prestigious and lucrative Dinoco team. Eager to get to California as soon as possible, he pushes his big rig, Mack, to travel all night long. While Lightning is sleeping, Mack drifts off and is startled by a gang of four reckless street racers, causing Lightning to fall out the back of the trailer and onto the road. Lightning wakes up in the middle of traffic and speeds off the highway in search of Mack, but instead, accidentally ends up in the rundown desert town of Radiator Springs. He gets tangled in barbed wire along with a statue. By dragging the statue behind him in his panic, he inadvertently damages the pavement of the main road.
After being arrested, impounded and guarded overnight by a rusty yet friendly tow truck named Mater, Lightning is ordered by the town judge, Doc Hudson, to leave town immediately, but the local lawyer, Sally Carrera, requests that Lightning should instead be given community service to repave the road, which Doc reluctantly agrees. Lightning tries to repave the road as quickly as possible, but does it so shoddily that he is ordered to repave it again. Lightning refuses so Doc challenges him to a race. If he wins, he can leave. If he loses, he has to repair the road properly. Lightning is confident he will win, but isn’t used to racing on a dirt road and misses a turn, thus losing the race. Begrudgingly he starts to work on the road again. During this time, he befriends several of the town’s residents and learns that Radiator Springs used to be a popular stop along the old U.S. Route 66 forty years ago, but was bypassed with the construction of Interstate 40 and mostly forgotten, as well as that Doc used to be the “Fabulous Hudson Hornet”, a three-time Piston Cup winner whose racing career ended with a crash in 1954 after which he was quickly forgotten by the sport. He bonds with Sally, who used to live a fast life in LA but was never really happy until she met the cars in Radiator Springs and now dreams of putting the town back on the map. Upon finishing repaving the road, which reinvigorates the town’s residents, Lightning decides to spend an extra day in Radiator Springs with his new friends and lets them give him a makeover. While out on his first date with Sally that evening as the residents turn on the lights for their buildings, Lightning decides to permanently stay in Radiator Springs, but Mack and the media descend on the town after having been tipped off to Lightning’s whereabouts. Lightning reluctantly leaves to reach California in time for the race. Everyone is sad to leave Lightning leave, and Sally is furious at Doc because she realizes that he lied to Lightning about his past.
At the tiebreaker race, Lightning races distractedly (as he misses Sally and his other new friends) and soon falls into last place. He is then surprised to discover that Doc, having a change of heart, has taken over as his crew chief and several of his other friends from Radiator Springs are helping in the pit. Inspired and recalling tricks he learned from Doc and his friends, Lightning quickly emerges to lead the race into the final laps, but at the last minute, Chick, refusing to lose to The King again, sideswipes The King and sends him into a dangerous crash. Recalling Doc’s fate, Lightning stops just short of the finish line, allowing Chick to win, and drives back to push The King over the finish line. As a result, the angered crowd and media decide to reject Chick, while he was celebrating his victory and is fired, while the media declares Lightning the official winner because of his good sportsmanship. However, while offering his sponsorship with Dinoco, Lightning rejects the offer and insists on staying with Rust-Eze out of loyalty for their past support. Back at Radiator Springs, Lightning reunites with Sally and announces that he will be setting up his racing headquarters there, putting Radiator Springs back on the map. He also gets Mater the helicopter ride he had promised him earlier in the movie.
In a post-credits scene, two cars, Minnie and Van, who were searching for the interstate earlier in the film, get lost in the middle of the desert.
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