‘Cars 2’ Introduces Nearly 1,000 New Characters and More Fun Facts (Minor Spoilers)

Walt Disney Studios and Pixar Animation Studios have provided us with these exciting fun facts about the upcoming summer blockbuster, Cars 2 which features old friends and — as you will soon find out — just a few new ones.


‘STICKERS’ NO MORE Lighting McQueen is voiced by Owen Wilson.

AMERICA’S FAVORITE TOW TRUCK Mater is voiced by Larry the Cable Guy.

MASTER BRITISH SPY — Finn McMissile is voiced by Michael Caine.

<FRESH FROM THE ACADEMY — Holley Shiftwell is voiced by Emily Mortimer.


–   Projection lamps above headlights that emit a heads-up display

–   Headlight cameras


–   Right wheel concealed gun and electro-shock device

–   Telescoping utility arm


–   Mounted dual trackball platforms for controlling the heads-up display

–   Retractable wings for flight


IT’S A BIRD, IT’S A SPY JET— Siddeley is voiced by Jason Isaacs.

FROM RACE TRACK TO BIG SCREEN — Formula 1 racer Lewis Hamilton has a character named after him in “Cars 2,” for which he provides the voice and also chose the car’s black and yellow paint scheme.

GORDON WINS AGAIN — The character of Jeff Gorvette in the film is named after and voiced by NASCAR racer Jeff Gordon.

GUIDO X2 — The character of Guido in the film is named for the Italian verb “guidare” – “to drive.” Pixar supervising technical director Guido Quaroni, who is a native of Monza, Italy, suggested this name to John Lasseter, and was then asked to provide the temporary voice. The director liked his voice so much it made it into the finished film. Guido even got a chance to work on the character he named and voices: in “Cars,” Guido Quaroni performed shading work on Guido the car!

FAMILIAR VOICES — The World Grand Prix announcers in “Cars 2” are named after and voiced by icons of the sports world. Darrell Cartrip is voiced by NASCAR legend Darrell Waltrip; sportscaster Brent Musburger voices the character Brent Mustangburger; racing driver and sportscaster David Hobbs voices the character David Hobbscap.

PARKING LOT IS FULL — The “Cars 2” character team built 145 new character models for the film and 781 variants. These variants, which are primarily background cars, include 13 model variants – unique character models that are based on other new models – and 768 shading variants – models that are re-used from classic and new “Cars,” “Cars 2” and “Cars Toons” models, but with new, unique paint schemes. In total, there are 926 new characters in “Cars 2.”


FIRST STOP—TOKYO – The launch party for the World Grand Prix is held in Japan.

OUI OUI PARIS – Though there is no racing in Paris, Mater visits the iconic city as part of his role in the elaborate international espionage storyline.

THE BEST OF THE EUROPEAN RIVIERA –In creating the look of the fictitious Italian seaside town Porto Corsa, “Cars 2” production designers combined the racetrack of Monaco with the terrain of the Amalfi Coast.

CROWNING THE CHAMPION – The World Grand Prix comes to a close in London.



BEHIND THE WHEEL — “Cars 2” is directed by John Lasseter, who directed “Cars,” as well as “Toy Story,” “A Bug’s Life” and “Toy Story 2.” In addition to his role as a director, he is also the chief creative officer of Pixar Animation Studios and Walt Disney Animation Studios, the principal creative advisor for Walt Disney Imagineering


IT’S THE PITS — The pit lane configuration for all the races in “Cars 2” is based on the Formula 1 track in the Kingdom of Bahrain.

THE RACE IS ON – Since the racecars in “Cars 2” span a wide variety of car type, the racetracks featured in the film have different technical elements that play to each car type’s strength, thus creating an even playing field.

THE RIGHT WHEELS — The cars seen in the background throughout the film were selected specific to the location (United Kingdom, Japan, France and Italy) they represent, rather than all being US models. For example, the Toyota Magesta, Nissan Figaro, Opel Meriva and Ford Mondeo are among the cars seen in the film that were never imported to America. Even the parts used to “Car-ify” locations are specific to the countries, for example, British spark plugs were used for columns in London’s parliament building.

PASSPHRASE PLEASE — In “Cars 2,” there is a secret spy passphrase involving a certain detail about the Volkswagen Karmann Ghia. This passphrase was the brainchild of “Cars” franchise guardian Jay Ward, who drove a Karmann Ghia in high school.

CARS COME TO LIFE — Life-sized remote-controlled models of Lightning McQueen, Mater and Finn McMissile were created for “Cars 2” as part of the “Agents on a Mission” tour, presented by State Farm.  The star cars leap off the big screen and into a host of cities, including Detroit, Toronto, Phoenix, Philadelphia, New York, Boston, Washington, DC, and Miami, among others.

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