Precious Moments has released a slew of new additions to its Disney Showcase Collection including several inspired by Disney/Pixar properties. Pictured here is one of their best-sellers, ‘Keeping it Wheel‘ featuring Lightning McQueen from Cars.
Other Pixar-inspired entries include Ride Like the Wind Bullseye, Yodel-Ay-Hee-Ho I Sure Like You and To Infinity and Beyond from Toy Story and Everything Is Less Scary With A Friend from Monsters, Inc.
You’ll also find several other new Disney-inspired figurines including those inspired by Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Disney Princesses, Peter Pan and much more. To find them, just search for Disney in the search box (at this time, not all of them show up in the Disney category). Most can even be personalized for a nominal charge.
Plus as an added holiday bonus, when you purchase an item through this link on PreciousMoments.com, shipping is free (no minimum) with code FREESHIP11. Offer valid only through December 17 so hurry. Otherwise, free shipping applies for orders above $50 with code HLFRSH50.
Earlier this week, the iconic Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles, CA unveiled its latest exhibit, ‘From Silver Screen to Die-cast: Disney/Pixar Cars Imagined by Mattel.’
Since the launch of the first Cars film in June 2006, Mattel has produced more than 200 million die-cast Cars vehicles featuring more than 500 unique designs that represent the many beloved characters from the films. This special exhibit, part of the Petersen Automotive Museum’s ‘Hollywood Gallery,’ includes a comprehensive collection of the Disney/Pixar Cars die-cast vehicles and gives Cars fans and collectors alike an entertaining and informative glimpse into the history of Mattel’s blockbuster toy line.
Exhibit highlights include:
- Diorama Movie Scene Recreations Featuring Cars Vehicles: Hundreds of die-cast vehicles representing the many beloved characters from Cars and Cars 2 – from the popular Lightning McQueen and Mater to the big-wheeled Haulers and their corresponding racers. Each display showcases the character’s distinct automobile model and design bringing their personalities and storylines to life.
- Rare and Never-Before-Seen Cars Vehicles: Highlights of some of the most exclusive and never released Cars die-cast vehicles such as the elusive ‘Apple Car’ from the Speedway of the South set, to special collections never released to the general public including Trev Diesel and others. Each display also features the behind-the-scenes stories that make these collectibles so rare.
- Evolution of Cars Die-cast Packaging: Display features the evolution of the Mattel product packaging from the original Cars design introducing fans to Radiator Springs in 2006, to how the franchise’s unique merchandising revolutionized the die-cast packaging category.
- Cars Super Chase Die-cast Collection: For the die-hard collector, a first look at Mattel’s ultra-exclusive 2012 line of die-cast cars that will feature one-time only, limited-run vehicles of very special Cars 2 characters. Display will include first Super Chase vehicle to launch – Flash – inspired by the real-life race car driver featured exclusively in the Swedish version of Cars 2.
- Lightning McQueen Alive Showcase: A celebration of the innovative technology used to authentically bring the big personality of Lightning McQueen from the film screen into the playroom in miniature 1:55 scale. Product design highlights the cutting-edge micro-technology developed to create the life-like mouth, eye and shoulder movements of this little electronic vehicle that will be sure to top wish lists this coming holiday season!
Photos courtesy of Disney Consumer Products
In an industry first, Disney introduced today Disney AppMATes™ Mobile Application Toys, a new toy line that comes to life digitally when used with an Apple iPad by allowing kids to use the tablet’s screen as a virtual play mat. Developed in collaboration between Disney Consumer Products (DCP) and Disney Mobile and featuring patent-pending technology, the Appmates toy line features miniature Disney·Pixar Cars 2 vehicles with sensors on the base of each toy that are recognized as a unique footprint by an app with no cable or Bluetooth connection required. Simply download the free Cars 2 Appmates app from the iTunes app store, place your favorite Appmates toy character on the screen and play.
“We have cracked the technology code in changing the way kids play with their toys,” said Sunny Lauridsen, director of digital toys for DCP. “Kids will always use toys to play out their favorite Disney stories, but Disney Appmates now allows them to include technology which has become a way of life for them through a beautifully rich app.”
The magic begins when kids place their vehicle on the iPad and begin to explore the world of Cars. Available for download in early to mid-October Cars 2 Appmates app is a free app created by Disney exclusively for use with Appmates toys. By guiding the Appmates vehicle on the screen, the iPad becomes a virtual play mat where kids can experience the world of Radiator Springs.
“We believe iPad is becoming a critical canvas for the next generation of storytelling, and with Appmates we’re bringing Disney characters to life in a way never previously imagined,” said Bart Decrem, general manager of Disney Mobile.
Cars 2 Appmates features include:
- Exploration — Drive around the world of Radiator Springs to discover landscapes and hidden secrets by simply placing the Cars toy character on the screen and turning it in any direction. Drive through mud and up ramps, visit friends at Flo’s V8 Café or check out your Car’s reflection, showing off your latest gear and gadgets.
- Directed Game Play — Perform missions unique to each character. Completed missions — like helping bring a tow hook back to Mater — gain hubcaps, the virtual currency. Collect enough hubcaps to personalize each car with special features like a unique horn sound, customized tire tracks, and cool gear like a rocket launcher or spy vision goggles.
- Racing — Rev up the action by racing against World Grand Prix opponents and your Radiator Springs friends. Five racetracks are available at launch. Race around Willy’s Butte, jump off Carburetor Mesa and roar through downtown Radiator Springs earning hubcaps in day or night races.
Each toy unlocks different features and content within the app specific to the character, allowing kids to come back over and over to enjoy an imaginative, open-ended play experience using the Appmates toys. Fans can download and test the app by simply using their fingers to drive a virtual car through the world, but the play experience is optimized to come to life with the Appmates toy vehicles.
Created in collaboration with Spin Master, Disney Appmates toys launch Oct. 1 at national retailers, Apple Store, Apple Store online, Disney Store and DisneyStore.com with vehicle two-packs (SRP $19.99) featuring four characters including Lightning McQueen, Tow Mater, Finn McMissile, and Holley Shiftwell. Two additional characters — Francesco Bernoulli and Shu Todoroki — will launch in November and be available exclusively through Apple Store and Apple Store online.
With dominant market share, the Apple iPad has become the leading tablet and a shared family device. Just in time for the holiday season, DCP will also introduce an expanded line of ‘appcessory’ products to engage and inspire creativity with kids using the iPad. Products include a durable and protective iPad case featuring a Disney·Pixar Cars design (SRP $49.99); Disney Pix Camera that allows kids to take their own pictures and connect them back to the iPad to personalize photos and create albums (SRP $79.99); and Disney Spotlight mic that gives kids a fun way to sing along — karaoke style — with their favorite Disney music (SRP $59.99 wired mic, $99.99 wireless)
Disney/Pixar’s fast-action summer hit “Cars 2” comes home on Blu-ray Combo Pack, Blu-ray 3D, Movie Download and DVD — November 1, 2011 (now available for pre-order). Celebrating the 25th anniversary of Pixar Animation Studios, the high octane in-home release invites families and fans of all ages to come along on a journey around the world with the #1 animated film of the year and introduces an exclusive all-new animated short “Air Mater,” featuring the fan favorite characters pinning his tales in an exciting adventure high above Radiator Springs. The must-own animated release also includes fascinating commentary from award-winning director John Lasseter and “Hawaiian Vacation,” the delightful animated short that accompanied the film in theatres.
The immersive “Cars 2” bonus features include an one-of-a-kind interactive “World Tour” map that
takes viewers through nine different locations, including those featured in the film and more. A global
thrill-ride, it allows viewers to go behind-the-scenes with the Pixar artists and filmmakers as they circle the globe finding inspiration for the most international of all Pixar films to date. “Cars 2” is also the first Pixar film to be released in spectacular Blu-ray 3D.
Academy Award®-winning filmmaker John Lasseter, chief creative officer for Walt Disney and Pixar
Animation Studios, returns to the driver’s seat as director. “Cars 2” is produced by visual effects industry veteran Denise Ream (associate producer, “Up”; visual effects executive producer, “Star Wars: Episode III — Revenge of the Sith”). Oscar®-winning composer Michael Giacchino (“The Incredibles,” “Up”) provides the electrifying score with a surf-rock-meets-spy-thriller flavor and a variety of global accents, evoking a sense of thrills, mystery and emotion. Brad Paisley, Robbie Williams, Weezer, French singer Bénabar and Japanese girl band Perfume lend their diverse musical talents to the film’s soundtrack.
The film features an all-star vocal cast including Owen Wilson who reprises his role as hotshot racecar
Lightning McQueen. Larry the Cable Guy provides the voice of Mater (proprietor of Tow Mater Towing
and Salvage), Lightning McQueen’s best friend and the heart and soul of Radiator Springs. Bonnie Hunt is back as Sally, the baby-blue Porsche 911 Carrera whose motor races for Lightning. Acclaimed actor Michael Caine makes his Pixar debut as Finn McMissile, a top British spy who mistakes Mater for an undercover American agent with a genius disguise. Emily Mortimer brings charm, cleverness and cachet as Holley Shiftwell, a rookie field spy who knows every trick in the manual. Versatile actor John Turturro gives a free-wheeling performance as Francesco Bernoulli, the world-renowned Italian racing champ who is Lightning’s chief rival. Tony Shalhoub, Joe Mantegna, Peter Jacobson, Jason Isaacs, Eddie Izzard, Paul Dooley, Cheech Marin, John Ratzenberger, Franco Nero and Vanessa Redgrave also lend their vocal talents. Real-life Formula 1 racing champ Lewis Hamilton and NASCAR racer Jeff Gordon add a touch of authenticity with their cameos in the film.
BONUS FEATURES FOR 2 DISC BLU-RAY/DVD COMBO PACK:
- Cars Toon “Air Mater” – Exclusive All-New Short
- Toy Story Toon “Hawaiian Vacation” – Theatrically Released Short
- Director John Lasseter Commentary
BONUS FEATURES FOR 5-DISC BLU-RAY 3D/2 BLU-RAY/DVD/DIGITAL COPY
- Cars Toon “Air Mater” – Exclusive All-New Short
- Toy Story Toon “Hawaiian Vacation” – Theatrically Released Short
- Director John Lasseter Commentary
- “World Tour” Interactive
- Sneak Peek: The Nuts and Bolts of ‘Cars Land’
Also available is an 11-pack collector’s edition featuring Cars 2, Cars and Mater’s Tall Tales.
Available in limited quantities for pre-order beginning August 8 at 12 pm ET/9 am PT, each will sell for $19.99 and has a maximum order quantity of six pieces. Additional items will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis at the D23 Expo, but the pre-order guarantees the items will be available for pick-up at anytime throughout the convention.
Woody’s Roundup pays homage to Sheriff Woody Pride’s start as the star of a popular children’s television serial program. It features a black and white marionette Woody that you can move like a puppet along with three interchangeable backgrounds showing key scenes from the show. As a final nod to the series, the package is styled like an old-fashioned television set.
The Cars 2 Submarine Finn McMissile die-cast remembers the opening scene of the film in which Finn McMissile transforms himself into an underwater Submarine to escape Professor Z and his Minions. The D23 exclusive features a 1:55th scale, die cast Submarine Finn McMissile with double ransberg paint for an extra special look. The diorama package brings the underwater scene to life with Finn in his submarine mode and his ejected tires floating to the surface.
For more information on the D23 Expo exclusive collectibles, visit MattyCollector.com
A few weeks ago, we brought you a photo essay looking at a day in the life of John Lasseter, chief creative officer of Walt Disney Animation Studios and Pixar Animation Studios, as he worked on Cars 2. Now, Walt Disney Studios has released the documentary version of ‘A Day in the Life of John Lasseter’ which you can view below.
The documentary, which clocks in at just over 25 minutes, gives unprecedented access to Lasseter’s life both at his home and at work. From getting up close and personal with pet cat Moocher to exploring the secret staircase that leads to the train library and his personal screening room (which is connected to Pixar) to the storage area for wines meant for gifts and charities, decorated with labels celebrating the Pixar library of films. Lasseter also takes us inside his famed Hawaiian shirt closet, where he shows off some of his 370 shirts in ‘active rotation.’ While Lasseter describes his attraction to Hawaiian shirts as being ‘toys you can wear’ and having the added benefit of ‘you can spill something on it and no one’s gonna know,’ he also shares wife Nancy’s advice to ‘match what you’re doing in that day’ to determine his shirt du jour.
While being driven to the office, Lasseter demonstrates the custom iPad app written for him which allows him to review footage from Cars 2 as it’s being worked on, and make audio comments and notes that are immediately delivered via email to their intended recipients.
There, it’s time for a tour of Pixar Animation Studios from a non-traditional sense as Lasseter reviews and offers input on lighting, effects and more. We get to see animation in all stages and even catch glimpses of things we don’t get to see in the final film, such as an explicit reference to Paul Newman (jacket) and an executive decision that changes a line of dialogue in the film to be more sensitive to real-world concerns about radiation levels in Japan. We also see Lasseter at work preparing presentations of the film for CinemaCon, where things don’t go quite as hoped, and for the Wondercon ChromeA113 viral video introduction.
Other moments of note include Lasseter showing off some of the contents of his toy-filled office which include the custom LEGO bust, the custom Mr. Potatohead John Lassetater and a cat bus bust gifted to him by famed Japanese animation director Hayao Miyazaki.
Recently I had the opportunity to meet with Disney Store as part of the Disney Consumer Products holiday preview and get a first look at some of the new and exciting items coming this fall exclusively to Disney Store and DisneyStore.com. The two major franchises to expect more of in the holiday season at Disney Store are Disney Princesses and Disney/Pixar’s Cars 2, both of which will be offering some amazing limited edition items that any fan will be sure to appreciate.
On the Disney Princess side, the big ticket item is the limited edition Rapunzel dress from Disney’s Tangled. dancing in the footsteps of Snow White and Belle, this costume is sure to make any young princess the
belle Rapunzel of the ball. Retailing for just $149.50, it will be limited to an edition size of 2,000 worldwide and comes complete with a certificate of authenticity. Some of the other princesses are also receiving new dresses, the skirts of which are decorated with amazing glittery details paying homage to their respective Princess, including a new deluxe Belle costume to be released in the fall.
For princesses with aspirations of being a different princess every day, Disney Store is also debuting a virtual closetful with the Enchanting Princess 5-in-1 Wardrobe Set. Packaged as a transluscent garment bag, this role-playing fantasy set includes costumes for Ariel, Aurora, Belle, Cinderella and Rapunzel, all in a convenient easy-to-travel-with bag.
Guests that have visited an ‘Imagination Park’ style Disney Store will be sure to appreciate the ‘magic mirror’ jewelry box. Designed to look just like the magic mirror found in the store, the front features a lenticular panel which magically transforms its image between Disney princesses and opens to reveal a dress-up dream in children’s toy jewelry.
Also of note is Disney Store’s venture into the world of radio controlled toys aimed at girls. Here, for example, is a little video of the Beauty and the Beast in action. Belle and Beast take to the ballroom dance floor as the toy plays the theme to the music as they move in all directions, including the ability to twirl. Beast’s head and jacket are also removable, transforming him back to the Prince. It will retail for $49.50.
And, of course, one can’t forget the amazing ‘Disney Animators’ Collection‘ line of dolls designed by famed Disney animators Glen Keane and Mark Henn. For more information and photos, be sure to check out our article on this holiday season’s must-have here.
For Cars 2, Disney Store will be offering a limited edition Lightning McQueen with Mia and Tia die-cast collectibles. The vehicles are to 1:18 scale and will be limited to an edition size of 5,000 sets and will retail for $149.50. A first of its kind, the bottom plate of Lightning McQueen can be removed to expose his undercarriage, as faithfully reproduced directly from Pixar Animation Studios’ digital files.
Also of note for Cars 2 is the Stephenson die-cast carrying case which features lights and sounds and comes with three die-cast vehicles (Mater, Holley Shiftwell and Finn McMissile as seen in the film) and a great boys’ leather motorcycle jacket which includes a large Piston Cub trophy emblem on the back along with Lightning McQueen’s number 95. The jacket will be available both in-store and online for $49.50.
Building on the popular exclusive lines of merchandise recently debuting at Disney Store, guests can look forward to new fragrances (including Disney Store’s first personal scent) and new collectibles and jewelry.
Beginning with its line of fragrances exclusive to Disney Store, new fragrances will continue to be launched throughout 2011. Imagination is now available, with Magic currently rolling out in July, to be followed by both Pixie Dust and Imagination Winter in October. Pixie Dust will also be the first of the scents to be considered a personal scent, being released as an eau de toilette in addition to the body mist, hand soap and body lotion. At this time, there are no plans to remove any of the scents from the stores as new ones debut and ‘Imagination Park’ style Disney Store locations will continue to offer the Imagination scent piped in at the store entrance until Imagination Winter debuts in October, at which time it will be piped in instead for the season.
The Kidada for Disney Store line by Kidada Jones line will also receive new additions to its family come fall. Belle, Cinderella, Snow White and Tiana will welcome Alice, Ariel, Jasmine and Tinker Bell. While only the Wish-a-Little secrets collection was previewed at the event, expect the new additions to fully be supported by the line.
There’s good news for fans of Disney Vinylmation as well. In addition to the Robots series debuting this summer, there will be two new series being released this fall from Disney Store. The Disney Villains line, released earlier this year, will see a followup Disney Villains 2 series which will include Shere Khan from The Jungle Book, Snow White‘s Evil Queen (with clear plastic as part of the form’s ears) and Runaway Brain Mickey Mouse. The Disney Store is also releasing a set of four, open-boxed Vinylmation figures called ‘Jingle Smells,’ which — as you may have guessed it — are scented, holiday figures. The 3″ figures have been modified to appears as if they have ornament hooks on top and will be available in gingerbread, marshmallow, chocolate and peppermint scents. The ‘Jingle Smells’ collection may also be available at the Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resorts, although that has yet to be decided.
I hear the Disney Store also has more surprises and announcements planned for D23 Expo taking place in Anaheim, CA this August, so be sure to watch this space for even more Disney Store news. Until then, please enjoy this gallery of images of things to watch out for later this year when you visit your local Disney Store and DisneyStore.com.
Obviously this will only be a partial list by nature because Pixar Animation Studios is the absolute champ when it comes to building in hidden messages and images and it can often take until well after the blu-ray is released before many of them are found, but here’s our feeble attempt at finding just some of the easter eggs in Cars 2, hopefully in a spoiler free way. We’ll provide mentions and hints about what we’ve found and heard about and will put more details inside a hidden paragraph that can be found by clicking on the text displayed beneath it.
If anyone has any additions or corrections they would like to share, please use the contact form above. We ask kindly that you do not use the public comments with anything that can be perceived as a spoiler.
Let’s start with the basics. These are nods to that appear in most every Pixar film:
A113 – Referring to the classroom at CalArts attended by many of Pixar long-time animators. Pixar has freely mentioned it’s used twice in Cars 2 (which includes Mater’s license plate), but we found at least one more.
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Pizza Planet Truck (aka the YO Truck)
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Luxo Jr – The star of Pixar’s first animated short, he’s become so synonymous with the animation studio, he’s part of their official tag.
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Other Pixar Films… - Pixar is known (quite well) for placing references to other Pixar films, not just past films (like Buzz Lightyear in Finding Nemo) but even future ones (Dug in Ratatouille, Lotso in UP and even Finn McMissile in Toy Story 3). We’re not sure who from Brave or even Monsters Inc. 2 can be spotted in Cars 2, but we did catch references to at least two previous films.
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and Pixar Shorts Too!
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Pixar’s tributes to.. themselves – They’re there. Although you’d almost have to live, breathe and eat Pixar and — to be honest — they’re just a little high in fiber for us. Still, here’s a few things we know of to watch out for.
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Separated at Birth – One major Cars character shares the exact birth date of someone very famous. Warning: there is no partial credit for this one!
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A Disney Theme Park Attraction? – With Cars 2 on the way at Disney California Adventure, wouldn’t it be neat if we spotted a nod to the Magic Kingdom? We think we just may have.
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Please send any additions/corrections via the contact form.
You know him better than you know your own brother, even if you don’t have a brother. He’s the Caddy with the golden touch, Mel ‘Are you there, Caller?’ Dorado — host of the 14 Gold Fender-winning syndicated talk show, the ‘Mel Dorado Show.’ With a career spanning more than three decades, when he started as an assistant at WCNC (World Car News Chicago), nobody steers an interview quite like Mel.
If you haven’t caught Mel’s show lately, you’ve missed more than you know, but how could you know if you’ve missed it? Fortunately, Walt Disney Studios and Pixar Animation Studios have provided us with actual transcripts of Mel’s interviews from the Tokyo National Art Center where a party was being held in honor of the World Grand Prix Racers. It was here that Mel caught up with some of the race participants and even a couple of eager fans.
Francesco Bernoulli grew up in the shadow of the famous Monza race course in Italy where he and his friends would sneak onto the track and race the famous Pista di Alta Velocita bank turn. He was an instant winner on the amateur circuit and soon became an international Formula Racer champion. The ladies love Francesco’s open wheels, youngsters look up to his winning spirit and fellow racers envy his speed. But Francesco’s biggest fan is Francesco himself, as evidenced by his racing number. As the most famous race car in Europe, #1 Francesco is a favorite to win the World Grand Prix.
MD: So Francesco Bernoulli, here we are on the eve of the World Grand Prix. What do you think of this new race and its three courses?
Francesco Bernoulli: There is so much beautiful scenery to drive through – it gives Francesco something to enjoy after he’s pulled so far ahead of his competitors.
MD: Are you looking forward to the second race in your hometown of Porto Corsa, Italy?
FB: Si, si. Francesco grew up racing on that track – he could win it blindfolded. But that would not be fair to the women who love to see Francesco’s beautiful eyes.
MD: Some are saying you might be the “Greatest Race Car in the World.” What do you say to that?
FB: Francesco puts his wheels on one at a time, just like everyone else. Of course, everyone else cannot do the stupendous things with their tires like Francesco can.
MD: What makes Francesco Bernoulli so fast?
FB: What makes Lightning McQueen so slow? Some questions can never truly be answered.
MD: Growing up near the famous Monza race course, did you always want to be a world champion race car?
FB: From the moment Francesco first raced the famous Pista di Alta Velocita bank turn he knew: he would be handsome, irresistible and the fastest race car in the world.
MD: You’re quite a popular race star. How do you deal with the fame?
FB: One “auto”-graph at a time.
MD: The field of racers is quite impressive. What do you think of your competitors and your chances of winning?
FB: These cars are all champions, Mel – most are undefeated in their racing leagues. In that way they are inexperienced, like babies. And so Francesco will make them cry, like babies.
MD: But one of your chief competitors, Lightning McQueen, has an advantage on those tricky dirt sections.
FB: What was that, Mel? Lightning McQueen likes to play dirty? Francesco would like to see him try!
MD: Finally, how fast is Francesco Bernoulli?
FB: When Francesco was very young he broke the speed limit. They still cannot repair it.
LIGHTNING McQUEEN AND MATER
Number 95 Lightning McQueen is still a hotshot racecar, but his rookie days are past him. Now a permanent resident of Radiator Springs, Lightning has become a bona fide worldwide celebrity as winner of four Piston Cups.
After his latest win, Lightning’s off-season is unexpectedly cut short when his best friend Mater, a rusty tow truck, inadvertently prompts Lightning to enter the World Grand Prix by calling into my show, “The Mel Dorado Show.” Lightning invites Mater to come along to the races as a member of his pit crew, and Mater leaves Carburetor County for the first time.
MD: So Lightning McQueen, how do you feel about your friend Mater here getting you involved in the World Grand Prix?
Lightning McQueen: I couldn’t be more excited. I mean, come on: I get to race against the greatest champions in the world with my best buddy at my side.
(Lightning looks around puzzled.) Was right here at my side. Mater?
(Mater arrives, licking his lips.)
Mater: Mmm-mmm. Free food just tastes better, I’ll tell you what.
MD: Mater, I understand you’re part of the Team Lightning McQueen pit crew for these races?
Mater: Yeah, Guido and Luigi are doing his tires, Fillmore’s on the fuel, Sarge is keeping an eye on some other stuff. And I… shoot, what is my job anyway?
LM: Uh, well —
Mater: It’s so important he can’t say it publicly.
MD: Lightning, there are some worthy competitors, like Francesco Bernoulli and Lewis Hamilton. How do you feel about your chances?
LM: I leave the handicapping up to you guys, Mel. I just go out there, race hard, leave everyone in the dust. Hopefully.
MD: But these tracks are really different than the Piston Cup ovals.
LM: I see where you’re going with this, Mel. Listen, if I can “turn right to go left” I can definitely turn right to go right. Right?
MD: Mater, this is your first time overseas. What have you seen and experienced since your arrival in Tokyo?
Mater: I thought Radiator Springs had a lot of neon but dadgum this place has us beat, I’ll tell you what! Plus everyone here treats me like a king – bowing and stuff when I enter a room. And sumo wrestling? Where’s that been hiding my whole life? I saw a Kabuki show, which I didn’t fall asleep in, and then tonight I ate some bad pistachio ice cream, met a Pacer and a Gremlin in the craziest bathroom you ever seen and then got asked on a date by the most beautiful car in the whole world! Just an average Tuesday for Mater.
FINN McMISSILE AND HOLLEY SHIFTWELL
In addition to dignitaries, celebrities and the World Grand Prix competitors, I also spoke to some of the many other guests in attendance at the Tokyo gala on the eve of the first race.
Among the party guests were British natives and race fans Finn McMissile and Holley Shiftwell. While both claimed to be in Tokyo for the race, their evasive responses and furtive glances around the room lead me to believe they may have had interests on other clandestine levels. Miss Shiftwell was beautiful, young and engaging, though seemed to be following the lead of her colleague, McMissile – suave, eloquent and clearly a seasoned professional in his business, whatever that may be…
MD: Welcome to the World Grand Prix. What brings you to the party this evening?
Holley Shiftwell: (Surprised) Oh! Well, uh… The race, of course. We love racing. I’ve been a fan for years. And, uh —
Finn McMissile: We’re straight from London on urgent business. I’m in the import/export business.
MD: What kind of things do you import?
FM: Nothing of import.
MD: Do you have a favorite race car to win the World Grand Prix?
HS: I like Lewis Hamilton. He’s very good looking. And sweet, too. But of course, I’m biased, being British. The Japanese racer, Shu Todor… Todoroku. Or is it Todoroki? He seems formidable. I wouldn’t count him —
FM: Actually, as it turns out, we have a colleague on Lightning McQueen’s team.
HS: (Turning to Finn) We do? Oh, you mean the lorry.
FM: (To Mel) Yes, the lorry. Or a “tow truck” as you American’s say.
HS: (To Mel) Well, this lorry is definitely American. But he seemed sweet.
(Finn eyes Holley.)
HS: What? He did.
FM: Either way, we’ll be watching Lightning McQueen’s pit tomorrow. But we’ll be keeping our eyes on all the racers. Just in case.
MD: “In case” of what?
MD: I don’t under —
FM: You hope for the best and plan for the worst. But Miss Shiftwell and I are ready for anything that comes speeding toward us.
MD: Is this your first time in Tokyo? Will you be traveling to Porto Corsa and London for the other two races?
FM: Wherever my job leads me, I follow, even if it involves danger or certain death.
MD: We’re still talking about the import/export business, right?
FM: (Laughs knowingly, then turning to Holley, referencing Mel) I like this one. He gets it.
HS: I’ll be going home, Mel. My mission — I mean, my job here, is done after tonight.
FM: We’ll see about that.
FM: Something tells me you may be of more use to us than you think.
MD: Well, there are a lot of interesting cars here. I think I even saw a Pacer and Gremlin!
HS: Yes, we’ve been observing them as well.
FM: I’d keep my distance if I were you. Those cars drive angry.
As we turn the corner to reach the final lap before Cars 2 makes its theatrical debut in North America tomorrow, Walt Disney Studios and Pixar Animation Studios have provided us with two new stills for Cars 2 which feature the classic Cars gang checking out the streets of Tokyo, as well as the Tokyo National Art Center where the pre-race party takes place.
We also have a new featurette titled ‘Racing Styles’ which takes a look at the various supporting characters and the different types of racing and, of course, F1 challenger Francesco Bernoulli. Co-directors John Lasseter and Brad Lewis are joined by Owen Wilson and racing celebrity Lewis Hamilton as they discuss the different elements you’ll see and the developing rivalry between McQueen and Bernoulli, as witnessed on the Mel Dorado show (with a Larry King-esque host) in some of much of the newly featured footage here.
As a sidebar, Pixar Animation Studios has advised that only theaters showing Cars 2 in digital projection will be showing the hotly anticipated teaser trailer for Brave, which we hear will not be available online.