Lightning McQueen is Back in Worldwide Adventure 'Cars 2'
LIGHTNING: "Wish me luck."
MATER: "You go get 'em, buddy."
In the original Cars, celebrity racecar "Lightning McQueen" is stranded way off the beaten track, in the town of Radiator Springs where he learns to appreciate life in the slow lane.
In this sequel, "Lightning" is back for a star-studded series of international hearted, but dimwitted, competitions „and he brings good-
Mater along as part of his crew.
LIGHTNING:"Oh, look at this! Okay, now, Mater remember: best behavior."
MATER:"You got it, buddy. Hey, what's that?"
From Tokyo to Paris to Rome, Mater skids from one misadventure to another until he crashes into a team of spies trying to solve a mystery affecting the world's energy supply.
AGENT HOLLEY: "There's an American liaison operating under deep cover."
MATER: "Domo arigato" (thank you)
AGENT FINN: "These Americans are clearly master spies."
AGENT HOLLEY: "Oh, you've got to be joking."
And "joking" is the key word for John Lasseter, a co-founder of the Pixar animation studio and director of both the original and "Cars 2."
"We can take things that you've seen in our world or other movies and re-imagine them - or, as we say, 'car-ify' them - and it's fun."
Lasseter, a pioneer of computer animation, is now chief creative officer at the Walt Disney studio, which purchased Pixar in 2006. While that takes up most of his time, Lasseter could n-o-t resist getting behind the wheel again for the "Cars" sequel.
"I am so passionate about cars. My father was a parts manager at a Chevrolet dealership in Los Angeles, and I worked summers there as a parts delivery boy. So I just love cars and it's so much fun to bring cars to life and take a look at their world and everything about that."
AGENT FINN: "I never properly introduced myself: Finn McMissile, British Intelligence."
MATER: "Tow Mater, average intelligence."
The voices for Cars 2 include Oscar-winning English actor Michael Caine who admits he also was driven to make the film.
"I've got three grandchildren, and the reason I really wanted to do it was because I wanted them to see me, because if you think about it, the films that I make little children can't go and see them. So I've got this tremendous bond with my grandchildren through this film. It was a wonderful opportunity for me."
Caine joins the ensemble from the first film, especially comic actor Daniel Lawrence Whitney, better known by his stage name "Larry the Cable Guy." Whitney „or Larry „says his homespun humor is a good match for playing Mater.
"He likes people for what they are. He doesn't judge anybody by how they look or anything like that. He's just an easygoing, friendly guy who just wants to be friends with everybody. And so that's why I like Mater," Larry
PIT CREW: "Your suspension stats look good „tire pressure is
excellent „he's got plenty of fuel."
MATER: "And he's awesome."
Even with all the action, Cars 2 is ultimately about two best friends:
Mater and Lightning McQueen. Owen Wilson is back for the sequel as the bright-eyed racecar.
"With this movie, it was sort of this exciting new adventure with the world grand prix „and that the friendship between them has a sweetness to it. But there is also the hilarity of seeing Mater as a kind of fish out of water in this sort of spy intrigue and stuff. I think it's very appealing."
In what has become a Pixar trademark, Cars 2also advances the art of
computerized animation with realistic depictions of international landmarks. However, as this is a world of cars, each is imaginatively fashioned from wheels, fenders, grillwork and other motor vehicle parts.