This past weekend, Disney hosted a very special event to promote the release of Cars 2. Stars like Owen Wilson, Larry the Cable Guy, and Emily Mortimer were all on hand to answer questions about the film. But one of the most interesting interviews came from director John Lasseter, who also happens to be the chief creative officer of Pixar.
“Cars 2 was so much fun for me,” he said at the exclusive press conference. “It’s a spy movie and [the characters] get to travel all over the world.”
The Cars franchise is obviously a labor of love for Lasseter. His father was a parts manager at a Chevrolet dealership, so he actually grew up around all kinds of classic rides. The inspiration helped him develop the original Cars back in 2006, which turned into a massive hit (and a merchandising bonanza) for Disney.
“I think Cars has turned into Disney’s third or fourth biggest franchise after one movie,” John explained. “But that’ s not why we made the sequel. We made it because we found a great story.”
And keep in mind, sequels for Pixar are rare. As of right now, only Toy Story has received the follow up treatment. Classics like Finding Nemo, WALL-E, andUp have all remained standalone films. John was quick to emphasize that Pixar is rather picky when it comes to making a Part 2.
“We don’t like to do sequels just to print money or just to rehash the same story. The sequels that Pixar do are all very different from the original.”
Just look at the previews from the latest Cars movie and you’ll see that’s clearly the case. Lead character Lightning McQueen is now taking his famous wheels to countries like Japan, Italy, and England. But don’t worry, he’s still bringing along several lovable characters from the original, particularly Mater the tow truck.
“I really enjoyed the story between Lightning McQueen and Mater,”Lasseter said. “There is a great friendship there.”
You can see Lightning, Mater, and all the rest of your favorite four-wheeled favorites when Cars 2 arrives this Friday.
By Michael Lopez