Cars 2

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Cars 2
Cars 2 Poster.jpg
Theatrical poster
Directed by John Lasseter
Produced by Denise Ream
Screenplay by Ben Queen
Story by John Lasseter
Brad Lewis
Dan Fogelman
Starring Owen Wilson
Larry the Cable Guy
Michael Caine
Emily Mortimer
John Turturro
Eddie Izzard
Music by Michael Giacchino
Cinematography Jeremy Lasky
Sharon Calahan
Edited by Stephen Schaffer
Production
  company
Walt Disney Pictures
Pixar Animation Studios
Distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Release date(s)
  • June 24, 2011 (2011-06-24)
Running time 106 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $200 million[1]
Box office $559,852,396[2]

Cars 2 is a 2011 American computer-animated action comedy spy film produced by Pixar Animation Studios and released by Walt Disney Pictures. The film is the sequel to the 2006 film Cars and features the voices of Owen Wilson, Larry the Cable Guy, Michael Caine, Emily Mortimer, John Turturro, and Eddie Izzard. In the film, race car Lightning McQueen and tow truck Mater head to Japan and Europe to compete in the World Grand Prix, but Mater becomes sidetracked with international espionage.[3][4][5] The film is directed by John Lasseter, co-directed by Brad Lewis, written by Ben Queen, and produced by Denise Ream.[4][5][6]

Cars 2 was released in the United States on June 24, 2011 (five years after the first film). The film was presented in Disney Digital 3D and IMAX 3D, as well as traditional two-dimensional and IMAX formats.[7] The film was first announced in 2008, alongside Up, Newt, and Brave, and it is the 12th animated film from the studio.[8][9] Even though the film received mixed reviews from critics, breaking the studio's streak of critical success, it ranked No. 1 on its opening weekend in the U.S. and Canada with $66,135,507 and topping international success of such previous Pixar works as Toy Story, A Bug's Life, Toy Story 2, Monsters, Inc., Cars, and WALL-E.[10]

Plot

British spy Finn McMissile infiltrates the world's largest untapped oil reserves, owned by a group of "lemon" cars. After being discovered, he is forced to flee and fake his death.

Four-time Piston Cup champion Lightning McQueen returns home to Radiator Springs and reunites with his best friend Mater and his girlfriend Sally Carrera. Former oil tycoon Sir Miles Axlerod, now a green power advocate, announces a racing series called the "World Grand Prix" to promote Allinol, his biofuel. When Italian formula race car Francesco Bernoulli challenges McQueen, he and Mater - along with Luigi, Guido, Fillmore, and Sarge - depart for Tokyo, Japan for the World Grand Prix.

Meanwhile, the lemons, led by Professor Zündapp and an unknown mastermind, secretly plot to secure their oil profits by using a weapon disguised as a television camera to ignite the Allinol fuel. McMissile and his partner Holley Shiftwell attempt to rendezvous with American spy car Rod "Torque" Redline at a World Grand Prix promotional event in Tokyo, to receive information about the mastermind. However, Redline is then attacked by Zündapp's henchmen and passes his information to Mater before he is captured. Holley and Finn mistake Mater as their American contact. Zündapp tortures Redline and reveals that Allinol can ignite if impacted by a high electromagnetic pulse. Zündapp demonstrates it on Redline, killing him, but not before they realize that he passed this information to Mater.

During the first race, Finn and Holley help Mater evade Zündapp's henchmen. In the process, Mater inadvertently gives McQueen bad racing advice, which causes him to lose the race to Bernoulli. Meanwhile, Zündapp uses the weapon on several race cars. After McQueen falls out with Mater, Finn - who still thinks Mater is an real American spy - drafts him into foiling Zündapp's plot. Finn and Mater escape Zündapp's henchmen and climb aboard Siddeley. Finn and Holley remove the tracking device on Mater and discover in it a picture of a mysterious British engine, which Mater identified by the engine and some rare parts.

Finn, Holley, and Mater all fly to Paris, France, where they go into a black-market and meet an old friend of Finn's, Tomber. Finn and Holley show the mysterious engine to Tomber, who tells them that the car with the engine was his best customer, but he has never met him in person. Mater explains what he knows about the evil Lemons, and realizes that every Lemon involved with the plot is one of "history's biggest loser cars." Tomber tells Finn, Holley, and Mater that the lemons are going to have a secret meeting in Porto Corsa, Italy, where the next race in the World Grand Prix would be held.

In Italy, Mater infiltrates the criminals' meeting and discovers Zündapp's plan. Zündapp's henchmen, meanwhile, use their weapon on several more cars during the race, eventually causing a multi-car pileup on the Casino Bridge. With the Allinol fuel under suspicion, Axlerod suspends its use for the final race in England. However, McQueen chooses to continue using it. The criminals then decide to kill McQueen in the next race and upon hearing this, Mater is exposed and is captured, along with Finn and Holley, and tied up inside Big Bentley's bell tower in London, England.

Mater realizes how foolishly he has been acting. The criminals use the weapon on McQueen during the race, but nothing actually happens. Mater escapes to warn his friends of a bomb planted in McQueen's pit, but Finn and Holley find out that the bomb is actually planted Mater's air-filter. They warn him about the bomb, but he flees to protect his friends. However, he is pursued by McQueen in an attempt to reconcile, unaware of the danger until they are beyond the range of Zündapp's remote detonator. He sends his henchmen to kill McQueen and Mater, but they are foiled by the combined efforts of Finn, Holley, and the Radiator Springs residents. Upon his capture, Zündapp reveals that only the person who installed the bomb can deactivate it, and Mater realizes that Axlerod is the mastermind behind the plot. Mater confronts Axlerod, trapping him next to the bomb. Axlerod finally deactivates the bomb, and he, Zündapp and the lemons are all arrested by the police.

As a reward for his heroism, Mater receives an honorary knighthood from the Queen and returns home with his friends, where the cars from the World Grand Prix take part in the unofficial Radiator Springs race. Fillmore reveals that before the last race, Sarge replaced McQueen's Allinol with Fillmore's organic fuel (which prevented McQueen from being affected by the weapon). McMissile and Shiftwell invite Mater to join them in another spy mission, but he graciously turns it down but asks Shiftwell for a date when she returns which she accepts. He gets to keep the rockets they gave him earlier, which he now uses in the Radiator Springs race.

Voice cast

Much of the cast from the original Cars remained intact for the sequel, but three voice actors of the original film have died since its release. Joe Ranft (who voiced Red) died on August 16, 2005 due to an automobile accident, ten months before Cars was released. The first film was dedicated in memoriam to him. Red appears in the second film, but does not speak or vocalize. George Carlin (who voiced Fillmore) died on June 22, 2008 of heart failure. Fillmore was cast in Cars 2, and was voiced by Lloyd Sherr. Paul Newman (who voiced Doc Hudson) died on September 26, 2008 of cancer. After Newman's death, Lasseter said they would "see how the story goes with Doc Hudson."[11] Doc was eventually written out,[12] with a few references to the character, where he is thought to have died before the events of the movie, as Mater says that he would have been proud for McQueen's Piston Cups, which have been renamed after Doc; also, in the Tokyo race, one of the announcers says that Doc was one of the best dirt racers ever.

Main characters

Supporting

In international versions of the film, the character Jeff Gorvette is replaced with race car drivers better known in the specific countries in his dialogue scenes (however, he still appears as a competitor).[14]

In Brazil, Gorvette is replaced by Carla Veloso in his dialogue scenes (Carla appears in all other versions of the film, but with no lines); Carla is voiced by Brazilian singer Claudia Leitte. Sportspeople still appear, with Lewis Hamilton becoming Formula One champion Emerson Fittipaldi, while Brent Mustangburger and David Hobbscap were done by sports announcers José Trajano and Luciano do Valle.[18]

Production

Development

Finn McMissile (left), Mater (center), and Lightning McQueen (right) driving through Tokyo for the first time.
Finn McMissile (left), Mater (center), and Lightning McQueen (right) driving through Tokyo for the first time.

Cars is the second Pixar film, after Toy Story, to have a sequel as well as becoming a franchise.[19] John Lasseter, the director of the film, said that he was convinced of the sequel's story while traveling around the world promoting the first film. He said:

Cars 2 was originally scheduled for a summer 2012 release, but Pixar moved the release up by a year.[11]

In 2009, Disney registered several domain names, hinting to audiences that the title and theme of the film would be in relation to a World Grand Prix.[21]

In March 2011, Jake Mandeville-Anthony, a U.K. screenwriter, sued Disney and Pixar alleging copyright infringement and breach of implied contract. In his complaint he alleged that Cars and Cars 2 are based in part on work that he had submitted early in the 1990s and he sought an injunction to stop the release of Cars 2 and requested actual or statutory damages. On May 13, 2011, Disney responded to the lawsuit, denying "each and every one of Plaintiff's legal claims concerning the purported copyright infringement and substantial similarity of the parties' respective works."[22] On July 27, 2011, the lawsuit was dismissed by a district court judge who, in her ruling, wrote that the "Defendants have sufficiently shown that the Parties' respective works are not substantially similar in their protectable elements as a matter of law".[23]

Casting

In November 2010, Owen Wilson, Larry the Cable Guy, Michael Caine, Emily Mortimer, Jason Isaacs, Joe Mantegna, Peter Jacobson, Bonnie Hunt, Tony Shalhoub, Cheech Marin, and Thomas Kretschmann were confirmed as the voice talent featured in the film.[24] From November 2010 until May 2011, Disney released information about the other voice talent, including Jenifer Lewis, Katherine Helmond, Michael Wallis, Darrell Waltrip, Franco Nero, Vanessa Redgrave, Bruce Campbell, Sig Hansen, Michel Michelis, Jeff Gordon, Lewis Hamilton, Brent Musburger, David Hobbs, John Turturro, and Eddie Izzard.[25]

Soundtrack

Cars 2
Soundtrack album by Michael Giacchino
Released June 14, 2011
Genre Score
Length 63:24
Label Walt Disney
Michael Giacchino chronology
Let Me In
(2010)
Cars 2
(2011)
Super 8
(2011)
Pixar film soundtrack chronology
Toy Story 3
(2010)
Cars 2
(2011)
Brave
(2012)
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 3/5 stars
Filmtracks 3/5 stars

The Cars 2 soundtrack was released on both CD album and digital download June 14. It is the fourth Pixar film to be scored by Michael Giacchino after The Incredibles, Ratatouille and Up.[26] It also marks the first time that Giacchino has worked with John Lasseter as a director, as Lasseter had been executive producer on Giacchino's previous three Pixar films and that Lasseter hasn't worked with Randy Newman.

All music composed by Michael Giacchino, except as noted.

No. Title Writer(s) Artist Length
1. "You Might Think" (Cover of The Cars) Ric Ocasek Weezer 3:07
2. "Collision of Worlds"   Paisley, Williams Brad Paisley and Robbie Williams 3:36
3. "Mon Cœur Fait Vroum (My Heart Goes Vroom)"   Michael Giacchino Bénabar 2:49
4. "Nobody's Fool"   Paisley Brad Paisley 4:17
5. "Polyrhythm"   Yasutaka Nakata Perfume 4:09
6. "Turbo Transmission"       0:52
7. "It's Finn McMissile!"       5:54
8. "Mater the Waiter"       0:43
9. "Radiator Reunion"       1:40
10. "Cranking Up the Heat"       1:59
11. "Towkyo Takeout"       5:40
12. "Tarmac the Magnificent"       3:27
13. "Whose Engine Is This?"       1:22
14. "History's Biggest Loser Cars"       2:26
15. "Mater of Disguise"       0:48
16. "Porto Corsa"       2:55
17. "The Lemon Pledge"       2:13
18. "Mater's Getaway"       0:59
19. "Mater Warns McQueen"       1:31
20. "Going to the Backup Plan"       2:24
21. "Mater's the Bomb"       3:17
22. "Blunder and Lightning"       2:17
23. "The Other Shoot"       1:03
24. "Axlerod Exposed"       2:22
25. "The Radiator Springs Grand Prix"       1:30
26. "The Turbomater"       0:50

Release

During the Summer of 2008, John Lasseter announced that Cars 2 would be pushed forward and released in the summer of 2011, one year earlier than its original 2012 release date.[7] The US release date was later confirmed to be June 24, 2011, with a UK release date set for July 22, 2011.[27] The world premiere of the film took place at the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood on June 18, 2011.[28] Cars 2 was released in 4,115 theaters in the USA and Canada[29] setting a record-high for a G-rated film[30] and for Pixar. The latter was surpassed by Brave (4,164 theaters).[31]

Short film

Main article: Hawaiian Vacation

The film was preceded by a short film titled Hawaiian Vacation, directed by Gary Rydstrom and starring the characters of the Toy Story franchise.

Home media

The film was released on Blu-ray, Blu-ray 3D, DVD, and Movie Download on November 1, 2011. The release was produced in four different physical packages: a 1-disc DVD; a 2-disc combo pack (Blu-ray and DVD); a 5-disc combo pack (Blu-ray, Blu-ray 3D, DVD, and Digital Copy); and an 11-disc three movie collector's set featuring Cars, Cars 2, and Mater's Tall Tales. The film was also released as a Movie Download option in both standard and high definition.[32]

The Movie Download version includes four bonus features: the new Cars Toon “Air Mater,” the Toy Story Toon “Hawaiian Vacation,” “World Tour Interactive Feature," and "Bringing Cars 2 to the World." The 1-disc DVD and 2-disc Blu-ray/DVD combo pack versions include the shorts “Air Mater” and “Hawaiian Vacation,” plus "Director John Lasseter Commentary." The 5-disc combo pack includes all of the same bonus features as the 1-disc DVD and 2-disc Blu-ray/DVD combo pack versions, plus “World Tour Interactive Feature" and "Sneak Peek: The Nuts and Bolts of Cars Land." The 11-disc three movie collection comes packaged with Cars (Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital Copy), Cars 2 (Blu-ray 3D, Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital Copy), and Mater's Tall Tales (Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital Copy).[32]

Cars 2 sold 1,983,374 DVD units during its opening week,[33] generating $31.24 million and claiming first place.[34] It also finished on the top spot on the Blu-ray chart during its first week, selling 1.76 million units and generating $44.57 million. Its Blu-ray share of home media was 47%, indicating an unexpectedly major shift of sales from DVD to Blu-ray.[35] Blu-ray 3D contributed to this, accounting for 17% of total disc sales.[36]

Reception

Critical response

"Cars 2" holds a 39% approval rating on aggregate review site Rotten Tomatoes, based on 203 reviews, with an average score of 5.5/10, making it the first Pixar film to garner a "rotten" certification. Its consensus reads, "Cars 2 is as visually appealing as any other Pixar production, but all that dazzle can't disguise the rusty storytelling under the hood."[37] Another review aggregator, Metacritic, which assigns a weighted average score out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, calculated an average score of 57/100 based on 38 reviews, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[38] "The original Cars was not greeted with exceptional warmth," said The New York Times, "but the sequel generated Pixar's first truly negative response."[39] Critics generally criticized the G rating, the focus on Mater and felt the film lacked warmth and charm, while also feeling the film was made as an exercise in target marketing.[40][41][42] Reviewing the film for The Wall Street Journal, Joe Morgenstern wrote, “This frenzied sequel seldom gets beyond mediocrity."[43] Entertainment Weekly critic Owen Gleiberman said, "Cars 2 is a movie so stuffed with "fun" that it went right off the rails. What on earth was the gifted director-mogul John Lasseter thinking – that he wanted kids to come out of this movie was [sic] more ADD?"[44] Although Leonard Maltin on IndieWire claimed that he had "such high regard for Pixar and it's creative team headed by John Lasseter" he said he found the plot "confusing" and felt that Tow Mater's voice annoying saying that he'd "rather listen to chalk on a blackboard than spend nearly two hours with Tow Mater."[45] Considering the low reviews given to the Pixar production, critic Kyle Smith of the New York Post said, "They said it couldn't be done. But Pixar proved the yaysayers wrong when it made its first bad movie, Cars. Now it has worsted itself with the even more awful Cars 2."[46]

Conversely, Peter Travers of Rolling Stone gave the movie 3½ stars out of four, and said that "the sequel is a tire-burning burst of action and fun with a beating heart under its hood." He also praised its "fluid script" and called it a "winner".[47] Roger Ebert was the most effusive of the more positive reviews, writing, “At a time when some ‘grown-up’ action films are relentlessly shallow and stupid, here is a movie with such complexity that even the cars sometimes have to pause and explain it to themselves.”[48] Justin Chang of Variety commented, “The rare sequel that not only improves on but retroactively justifies its predecessor.”[49] Ticket buyers also gave the film an A– in exit polls, on par with other Pixar titles.[39] A central current of the negative reviews was the theory that Cars 2 was forced out of Pixar by its corporate parent, the Walt Disney Company, out of greed to drive merchandising sales.[43][50] Lasseter vehemently denied these claims, calling them "people who don’t know the facts, rushing to judge."[39] Some theorized that the vitriol was less about the film but more about Pixar's broadened focus to sequels. The New York Times reported that although one negatively reviewed film would not be enough to scratch the studio, "the commentary did dent morale at the studio, which until then had enjoyed an unbroken and perhaps unprecedented run of critical acclaim."[39]

Box office

Cars 2 grossed $191,452,396 in the USA and Canada, and $368,400,000 in other territories for a worldwide total of $559,852,396.[2] Worldwide on its opening weekend it grossed $109.0 million, marking the largest opening weekend for a 2011 animated title.[51] Overall, Cars 2 became seventh biggest Pixar film in terms of worldwide box office among fourteen released.

Cars 2 made $25.7 million on its debut Friday (June 24, 2011), marking the third-largest opening day for a Pixar film after Toy Story 3's $41.1 million. At the time, though, it was the third least-attended opening day for a Pixar film, only ahead of Up and Ratatouille.[52] It also scored the sixth largest opening day for an animated feature.[53] On its opening weekend as a whole, Cars 2 debuted at No.1 with $66.1 million,[29] marking the largest opening weekend for a 2011 animated feature, the seventh largest opening for Pixar,[54] the eighth largest among films released in June,[55] and the fourth largest for a G-rated film.[56] In its second weekend, however, the film dropped 60.3%, the largest second weekend drop ever for a Pixar film, and grossed $26.2 million.[57] It is the only Pixar film that missed the $200-million mark since A Bug's Life[58][59][60] and it is also the least attended Pixar film ever.[61]

Outside North America, it grossed $42.9 million during its first weekend from 3,129 theaters in 18 countries, topping the box office.[62] It performed especially well in Russia where it grossed $9.42 million,[63] marking the best opening weekend for a Disney or Pixar animated feature and surpassing the entire runs of Cars and Toy Story 3.[64] In Mexico, it made $8.24 million during its first weekend,[65] while in Brazil, it topped the box office with $5.19 million ($7.08 million with previews).[66] It also premeiered at No.1 with $5.16 million in Australia,[67] where it debuted simultaneously with Kung Fu Panda 2 and out-grossed it.[62] It is the highest-grossing film of 2011 in Lithuania ($477,117),[68] Argentina ($11,996,480).[69] It is the highest-grossing animated film of 2011 in Estonia ($442,707),[70] Finland ($3,230,314),[71] Norway ($5,762,653).[72]

Accolades

Cars 2 marks the first Pixar film not to be nominated for an Oscar. It is also the first Pixar film not nominated for Best Animated Feature in the history of that Award (2001–present).[73]

Award Category Winner/Nominee Result
British Academy Children's Awards (BAFTA) Favorite Film Nominated
People's Choice Awards[74] Favorite Movie Animated Voice Owen Wilson
69th Golden Globe Awards Best Animated Film
Annie Awards Best Animated Feature
Best Animated Effects in an Animated Production Jon Reisch
Best Animated Effects in an Animated Production Eric Froemling
Character Design in an Animated Feature Jay Shuster
Production Design in a Feature Production Harley Jessup
Storyboarding in a Feature Production Scott Morse
Editing in a Feature Production Stephen Schaffer
Kids Choice Awards Favorite Animated Movie
Saturn Awards Best Animated Film
ASCAP Award[75] Top Box Office Films Michael Giacchino Won

Video games

Main article: Cars 2 (video game)

A video game based on the movie was developed by Avalanche Software and published by Disney Interactive Studios for the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Wii, PC and Nintendo DS on June 21, 2011.[76] The PlayStation 3 version of the game was reported to be compatible with stereoscopic 3D gameplay.[77] A Nintendo 3DS version was released on November 1, 2011,[78] and a PSP version was released on November 8, 2011.[79]

An app based on the film was released on iTunes for a dollar on June 23, 2011. The Lite version was released for free that same day. The object of the game is to complete each race, unlock new levels, and get a high score. As of June 28, 2011, The app has hit No.1 on the App Store.[80]

Sequel and spin-offs

Main article: Cars (franchise)

On August 17, 2013, Michael Wallis the voice of Sheriff stated that Cars 3 was in development and it would include California's Route 99.[81] At the Disney shareholders meeting in March 2014, Disney CEO and chairman Bob Iger confirmed that Pixar is in preproduction on a third Cars film.[82]

An animated feature film spin-off called Planes, produced by DisneyToon Studios,[4] was released on August 9, 2013.[83] A sequel to Planes, titled Planes: Fire & Rescue, was later released the following year on July 18, 2014.[84]

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