In the film, racecar Lightning McQueen (voiced by Owen Wilson) and tow truck Mater (voiced by Larry the Cable Guy) head to Japan and Europe to compete in the World Grand Prix, but Mater becomes sidetracked with international espionage. The film is directed by John Lasseter, co-directed by Brad Lewis, written by Ben Queen, and produced by Denise Ream. Cars 2 is also the first film John Lasseter has directed since the release of the original Cars in 2006.
The movie will be presented in Disney Digital 3D and IMAX 3D, as well as traditional two-dimensional and IMAX formats. The film was first announced in 2008, alongside Up, Newt, and Brave (previously known as The Bear and the Bow), and it is the 12th animated film from the studio.
Before the release of the movie John Lasseter talked with The Wall Street Journal in his office at the Emeryville headquarters of Pixar Animation Studios, where he is chief creative officer. In the interview Lasseter discussed the sequel, car characters and the spy elements in Cars 2.
When Lasseter stepped in as Chief Creative Officer for Disney Animation, they mostly produces sequels of old films such as Cinderella. So he began to think about a whole new story with original characters.
“In this new idea for these direct‑to‑video productions, it was like taking an offshoot of a film, a character or a notion or a world or something like that, and thinking of a whole new set of characters and new storylines that you can have multiple films based upon. I loved the world of “Cars.” It really is vast.”
“And I kept thinking about—I’m a big train fanatic. I love trains. And I started thinking about trains, and boats and airplanes. And I kept wanting to have more and more of those type of characters. Because in the world of “Cars,” I figured, every vehicle that you see out there is a character of some kind. Construction equipment, you name it.”
There is a clear spy story line in Cars 2. Lasseter explained this trend. “But to me I kind of went back to my origins of loving spy stuff in “The Man From U.N.C.L.E.” It started in 1964, and I was right at the right age. I was just eating it up as I was watching it. It was my favorite TV show, and then now I have five sons and we are fanatics for the Bourne movies.We’ve watched them 20-something times. My wife is so tired of them.”
“Coming into this film. I was saying, “I don’t want to make a parody of a spy movie. I want to make a spy movie, but with cars as characters.”
He also mentioned a great amount of details in the movie: “I love the detail in our films. I believe God is in the details. We put so much detail into this film. The more you look, the more you’ll see of car parts, car shapes. Every sign, every street name, everything… Every ad on the sides or on the buses or things like this are all unique to the car world and unique to whatever country you’re in.”
John Lasseter also discussed in his interview with The Wall Street Journal the major overhaul to his upcoming film, a revamp that makes Big Oil the bad guys. “I kept thinking about, “OK. A spy movie in the world where cars are alive. What would be a really good kind of über bad guy? Who is an über bad guy?” I kept going to big oil. This is before what happened in the Gulf of Mexico.”
“Why isn’t alternative fuel more… Why isn’t everybody jumping on that bandwagon? It makes so much sense: Electricity, solar, whatever. There’s ethanol. There’s all this stuff you could be doing. And so I thought, well, that could be really cool in that you could have big oil versus alternative fuel. That’s when we kind of crafted the bad guy’s story.”
“The greatest bad guys, you understand where they’re coming from. They believe they’re doing the right thing. Sometimes it’s for greed, sometimes it’s for other reasons, but they are what they call the center of good. They always believe they’re doing the right thing.”
This message has been widely discussed. For example The Lonely Conservative blog wrote, “We conservatives and believers in free markets are accused of being paranoid when we say the Hollywood industry is trying to indoctrinate our children with left wing propaganda. But now movie directors and producers are coming out and admitting what they’re doing. I’m just glad I found this out before I allowed my kids to persuade me to take them to see the movie ‘Cars 2.'”
John Lasseter’s words have even been called hypocritical as during the production of movies large amounts of waste is thrown to the atmosphere. Anyway after the tremendous success of 2006 Cars, the sequel is certainly worth seeing. So get prepared to visit a cinema with your children this weekend. [via The Wall Street Journal and Huffpost]