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#1 Peter T Chattaway

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Posted 02 October 2008 - 06:52 PM

Links to the threads on Cars (2006), 'A Bug's Life vs. Cars . . . Which least-loved Pixar film is actually least?' (Jun 2009) and 'Pixar: The studio, its history and process' (Jun-Jul 2009).

Alas, the sequel will have to make do without Paul Newman or George Carlin, both of whom have passed away since the first film came out. Hopefully Owen Wilson will be up for it, though? (Has he gone into production on any other films since his, uh, incident?)

- - -

'Cars 2' racing to theaters in 2011
The follow-up to John Lasseter's 2006 film "Cars" was originally set for release in summer 2012, but Lasseter, Pixar's chief creative officer said at a Disney presentation Wednesday, that the film has been moved up to a summer 2011 release. . . .
In the meantime, Pixar will keep the "Cars" engine humming with a series of animated shorts that it will dub "Cars Toons." The first in the series will focus on Mater, the truck character voiced by Larry the Cable Guy.
Hollywood Reporter, September 24

Edited by Peter T Chattaway, 26 June 2011 - 10:45 PM.


#2 Peter T Chattaway

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Posted 27 October 2008 - 03:45 AM

Pixar's first "Cars Toon" debuts tonight on Toon Disney
Jim Hill shares what he knows about these new interstitials, which are designed to help keep this Pixar franchise fresh 'til "Cars 2" rolls into theaters during the Summer of 2011
Jim Hill Media, October 27

#3 Peter T Chattaway

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Posted 30 October 2008 - 12:44 AM

FWIW, The Pixar Blog finds these clips "Rather underwhelming...":







#4 Jeff

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Posted 30 October 2008 - 07:34 AM

Just a quick aside: the title of this thread refers to the original Cars as Disney's least-loved film. I haven't checked Rotten Tomatoes or anything, and admit to being too lazy to do so right now, but...isn't A Bug's Life the least-loved Pixar film? Quantitatively, I have nothing to back up my hunch, but qualitatively, I know a ton of people who regard it as the slightest of the studio's work.

#5 Peter T Chattaway

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Posted 30 October 2008 - 02:07 PM

I know a number of people who have referred to Cars as Pixar's low point, but perhaps it stands out more because it came after (or in the middle of) a streak of highly praised films, whereas A Bug's Life was only the studio's second film, so it came out while they were still finding their feet as it were -- which might make some audience members more forgiving.

At any rate, A Bug's Life currently has 91% at Rotten Tomatoes (cream of the crop: 94%) and 77% at Metacritic, while Cars has 75% (cream of the crop: 74%) and 73%, respectively. So, yeah, either way, Cars has the lower rating, though by a much narrower margin at Metacritic than at RT.

#6 Peter T Chattaway

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Posted 31 October 2008 - 02:45 AM

FWIW, I have always thought A Bug's Life was more like a remake of Three Amigos!.

There were aspects of WALL*E that came dangerously close to remaking Short Circuit: the design of the character, the way he (almost) squishes an insect. But I wouldn't say the STORY was ripped off from any other particular film.

#7 Peter T Chattaway

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Posted 19 November 2008 - 12:55 PM

Will Paul Newman's Character Return For 'Cars 2'?
Lasseter is adamant, however, that the decision will ultimately be beholden to story, and not tradition, confessing he's not averse to recasting the role with a sound-alike actor, similar to what the company decided to do with Slinky Dog, a character voiced by Jim Varney in "Toy Story" and "Toy Story 2" before the actor's death in 2000.
"In 'Toy Story 3,' for instance ... we found actually an old friend of [Varney's] who sounds an awful lot like him - another actor that's going to be doing that voice," Lasseter said of the character's return. "It'll be hard to replace Paul Newman, but we don't know yet."
"Cars" voice star George Carlin also died this year, in June. His character, Fillmore, was a much smaller role than Newman's. It is unclear if he will be replaced as well, or if Fillmore will simply be written out of the sequel.
MTV News, November 18

#8 Peter T Chattaway

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Posted 24 August 2009 - 11:36 AM

Jim Hill reports that Disney recently registered these domain names:
  • CARS2-WORLDGRANDPRIX.COM
  • CARS2WORLDGRANDPRIX.COM
  • CARSWORLDGRANDPRIX.COM
  • WORLDGRANDPRIX-MOVIE.COM
Does this offer a clue to the sequel's full title?

#9 Overstreet

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Posted 10 September 2009 - 09:16 AM

From an update on Pixar projects:

QUOTE
The other big reveal at the presentation was just what Cars 2 is going to be about. The lead characters this time around still seem to Lightning McQueen and Mater, the tow truck voiced by Larry the Cable Guy, with new addition Finn McMissile thrown into the mix. He’s an Aston Martin-looking chap with something of the James Bond about him. Smooth.

Judging from Empire’s report, there’s more than a whiff of North by Northwest to the film’s set up with Mater caught up in “Hitchcockian case of mistaken identity” and “embroiled in a huge spy thriller” though, as expected, nobody believes him. Brad Lewis is making his directorial debut with the film, expected the hit screens in the summer of 2011 and bring billions of dollars of merchandising in its wake.

While the Pixar crew confirmed that the Cars cast would, where possible, return they didn’t reveal who they have added to the line up as McMissile. I’m glad it doesn’t seem to be Dalton, though - an ex-Bond would be a little too on-the-nose, I think. A little too Dreamworks. I’m much happier for him to be a pretentious toy.


#10 Rachel Anne

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Posted 11 September 2009 - 12:30 PM

Possible, kinda-spoilers, although I suspect that most or all of this would be revealed before the movie's release anyway:

http://www.empireonl...y.asp?NID=25795

The movie will evidently feature races in the UK, Japan, France, Germany, and Italy, which by an amazing coincidence are also, I believe, the largest non-US movie markets, markets where the first Cars did underwhelming business. Now the original Cars didn't do anything for me, and I know this movie is being made because of the Cars merchandizing empire and all, but still, money is clearly more in the driver's seat here (so to speak) than in any Pixar movie I can think of. That doesn't mean that Cars 2 has to be bad, of course, but so much commercial calculation piled on top of such an indifferent foundation doesn't seem to me to bode well. Not looking forward to this one.

Edited by bowen, 11 September 2009 - 12:32 PM.


#11 Peter T Chattaway

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Posted 11 September 2009 - 11:07 PM

bowen wrote:
: The movie will evidently feature races in the UK, Japan, France, Germany, and Italy, which by an amazing coincidence are also, I believe, the largest non-US movie markets, markets where the first Cars did underwhelming business.

Heh.

I'm actually curious to see how this movie turns out. The first movie romanticized a certain view of the open road that is distinctly American in nature -- so at least there was something, y'know, cars-ish about Cars. Will the sequel have anything to say about foreign attitudes towards "the road"? Will it get all romantic-nostalgic about, say, the German autobahn, the way the original film got romantic-nostalgic about certain American highways? Will Cars 2 be as intrinsically cars-ish as the original Cars? Based on all the talk of Hitchcockian spy thrillers, I'm guessing not. But we'll see.

They could certainly have a lot of fun with Italian drivers, that's for sure. I spent two weeks there back in 1990 and I swear I've never seen cars move three abreast on a two-lane road at such high speeds anywhere else. When I came home from that trip, I called a high-school buddy of mine who happens to be of Italian descent and told him I now understood why HE was such a crazy driver. He laughed.

#12 Peter T Chattaway

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Posted 18 September 2009 - 12:09 PM

Jim Hill provides a synopsis of the plot (or at least the first part of the plot), and it sounds like a bunch of contrived plot twists and Really Obvious Jokes ("Mater struggling to learn to drive on the left side of the road in London", etc.). And the whole subplot involving a non-spy who is mistaken for a real spy just sounds too similar to that running gag in A Bug's Life where the circus performers are mistaken for great warriors. (Come to think of it, there is an echo of that plot element in Toy Story and Bolt, too, where it is the non-superhero HIMSELF who believes he is actually a superhero, and for some reason events keep conspiring to maintain his delusion.)

The most interesting point Hill makes, though, is that Mater seems to have undergone a personality change between movies not unlike the personality change that Marty McFly underwent between the original Back to the Future and its back-to-back sequels. And apparently Pixar is creating (or has already created) a new series of shorts called Mater's Tall Tales as a way of trying to get audiences used to Mater's new personality.

I have to say, all the focus on Mater in the pre-release publicity is particularly strange, given that Lightning McQueen is the figure who adorns most of the merchandise, and given that Mater was one of the more unappealing aspects of the original teaser for the original Cars. (Remember how the original teaser harped on the character saying "Dad gum!" in its final seconds? As I recall, lots of people thought that that attempt to create a new catchphrase was kinda stupid, and by the time the film itself came out, the filmmakers had more or less scrubbed that word out of the dialogue; it only shows up twice in this transcript of the entire movie.)

#13 Peter T Chattaway

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Posted 10 February 2010 - 04:47 AM

The release date has been bumped to December 2011. The film was originally going to come out in June 2011, almost exactly five years after the original Cars.

In pure box-office terms, bumping the release date kind of makes sense. Of the last eight Pixar movies, the three that were released in June all had the lowest grosses. (On the other hand, the two that were released in late May, i.e. Finding Nemo and Up, had the highest grosses of all.) So bumping the film to the winter holiday season could give it a bit of a boost, box-office-wise.

On the OTHER hand... releasing an animated film in December is almost like giving up on it. The top-grossing animated film released in that month remains, to this day, The Prince of Egypt, which topped out at $101.4 million after opening in December 1998. (The Princess and the Frog, which had an extremely limited release this past November before going wide in December, has just about caught up with The Prince of Egypt, but it's been a tough slog.)

No doubt a Pixar sequel can beat this 13-year-old record. But still, you have to wonder... what's wrong with November? (Hmmm, Box Office Mojo indicates that there are two films already booked for November 2011: Happy Feet 2 and Disney's Real Steel. So Disney doesn't want to move Real Steel, and they want to avoid the sequel to Happy Feet? Is that it?)

#14 John Drew

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Posted 10 February 2010 - 10:08 PM

ComingSoon.com says that they misquoted Bob Iger, and that the original June 24, 2011 release date is still in effect.

Edited by Baal_T'shuvah, 10 February 2010 - 10:09 PM.


#15 John Drew

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Posted 17 February 2010 - 12:31 PM

Blue Sky Disney is reporting that John Lasseter is now co-directing Cars 2 with Brad Lewis, to work out some story issues that have cropped up in the past few months...

"There have been story problems that have developed late last year and into the new year that needed to be addressed. So as of now, John is riding the film as co-director. Now, will he be listed in the credits as that when the film comes out? Not yet determined if he'll get his name up there with that label. We will see as time starts to move closer to the release date."


Perhaps the reported (and then denied) delay in release is more reality than "misquote".

Edited by Baal_T'shuvah, 17 February 2010 - 12:35 PM.


#16 Peter T Chattaway

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Posted 18 February 2010 - 12:29 AM

Baal_T'shuvah wrote:
: Blue Sky Disney is reporting that John Lasseter is now co-directing Cars 2 with Brad Lewis, to work out some story issues that have cropped up in the past few months...

Interesting. This echoes, but with more detail, some rumours that were mentioned in a post that I linked to in our thread on The Bear and the Bow ... except I didn't mention the Cars 2 rumours because they were so vague. (I did, however, pass on the news that Pixar's Newt has been cancelled, as well as Disney's hand-animated The Snow Queen and possibly their adaptation of Philip K. Dick's King of the Elves. Oh, and somewhere along the way Rapunzel got re-named Tangled. Lots of turmoil at Disney-Pixar, or just business as usual?)

: Perhaps the reported (and then denied) delay in release is more reality than "misquote".

The funny thing is, Cars 2 was originally announced for a summer 2012 release, back in April 2008, before it got moved up to summer 2011 (i.e. into the spot that was originally held by Newt) sometime around October 2008.

Given that Newt's death was apparently only finalized in the last few weeks, it sounds like they may have run into story troubles on THAT film first (it would have been Gary Rydstrom's directorial debut), and so they decided to put it off and work on it some more while rushing Cars 2 into a slightly quicker release, and NOW they've put themselves in a spot where Cars 2 is running into story troubles and they have to beat the clock again anyway. Just speculating, of course. But yeah, the whole thing does cast an interesting light on that "misquote".

#17 Peter T Chattaway

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Posted 24 June 2010 - 10:06 AM

Jim Hill:

At last count, I came away from yesterday’s event with 35 different Disney-related stories. With perhaps the biggest piece of news being that John Lasseter is now officially the co-director of “Cars 2.”

I know, I know. This has been whispered about for months now. But at the holiday showcase yesterday, the Disney reps were quite up front about the fact that the chief creative officer of Pixar and Disney Animation Studios is now working side-by-side with Brad Lewis, the producer of “Ratatouille.”

So the rumours were true. And honestly? This has to be somewhat worrying, from a quality point of view. Apart from the first two Toy Story movies, which are in a class all by themselves (and they both came out in a whole other century), the only other films Lasseter has directed are A Bug's Life and Cars, both of which are generally ranked at the bottom of the Pixar pile (as in, for example, this list at Paste magazine). And Lasseter's attempts to revive things at Big Disney (including relatively last-minute replacements of the directors on Bolt and Tangled) haven't been as successful as people might have hoped.

Of course, what this development ALSO means is that, once again, the next Pixar film will be (co-)directed by someone who co-wrote or co-directed the original Toy Story movies. With the exception of the two films directed by Brad Bird, who is an old college chum of Lasseter's, Pixar has been unable to let any of its films be completed without at least one of the directors being someone who was there at Pixar in the beginning. Pixar has not yet been able to pass the baton to a new generation of filmmakers.

Edited by Peter T Chattaway, 24 June 2010 - 10:11 AM.


#18 Rachel Anne

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Posted 24 June 2010 - 01:34 PM

Pixar has been unable to let any of its films be completed without at least one of the directors being someone who was there at Pixar in the beginning. Pixar has not yet been able to pass the baton to a new generation of filmmakers.


A new generation of filmmakers? Peter, Toy Story was only released in 1995; everybody at the top at Pixar is still young. Lee Unkrich, the directory of Toy Story 3, is only 43 years old. Peter Docter, the director of Up, is only 42. Andrew Stanton, the director of Wall-E is only 45. These guys aren't exactly pricing nursing homes yet.

#19 Overstreet

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Posted 24 June 2010 - 02:14 PM

You don't understand, bowen. Pixar is on top. Thus we must make it our mission to find something wrong with them. We must speculate on all of the possible ways they might fail. We must pick at details that sound like there might be something going wrong somewhere. And anybody who is grateful and impressed must be portrayed as love-blinded and part of a Pixar cult, even if they acknowledge that the films aren't perfect. It's just intolerable that somebody might be really good and successful. :)

Edited by Overstreet, 24 June 2010 - 03:08 PM.


#20 Peter T Chattaway

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Posted 24 June 2010 - 02:43 PM

bowen wrote:
: A new generation of filmmakers?

Yes, Lasseter has explicitly said that he wants to use Pixar's short films to breed a new generation of filmmakers; Time magazine even suggested that the final scene in Toy Story 3 was a metaphor for how Pixar was going to turn its toys over to a new generation.

But what is Pixar's track record so far? They fired the director of Ratatouille (who had previously directed the short film Geri's Game) and replaced him with Brad Bird. And they cancelled Newt altogether (which would have been directed by Gary Rydstrom, director of the short film Lifted).

And now, Lasseter has decided to take Cars 2 director Brad Lewis by the hand and guide him through the filmmaking process.

And of course, Lasseter has let a few directors go at Disney -- one of whom moved to DreamWorks and went on to make a film that was both better AND more successful than the Disney films that Lasseter has produced, even by Jeff's estimation if I'm not mistaken.

Overstreet wrote:
: Thus we must make it our mission to find something wrong with them.

Ha! No, we just have to open our eyes to what's already there.

: And anybody who is grateful and impressed must be portrayed as love-blinded and part of a Pixar cult.

If they don't open their eyes, yes. :)

In any case, my point here is not about Pixar itself. My point here is about Lasseter. Deal with that, please.

Edited by Peter T Chattaway, 24 June 2010 - 02:47 PM.