"Cars 2" News Roundup

With the upcoming release of Cars 2 in theaters, various news outlets around the web are covering different aspects of the production:

  • Several outlets are posting interviews or feature articles on John Lasseter, director of the film and Disney Animation Studios chief creative officer, including the Wall Street Journal, the Baltimore Sun, and the MovieWeb and MoviesOnline websites. Among other topics, Lasseter discusses Pixar’s attitude towards sequels, the origins of the Cars DTV spinoff Planes (and the way DTV movies are handled at Disney), and the real-world incidents that inspired comparable situations in Cars 2.
  • The Wall Street Journal and the Los Angeles Times both also look at the merchandising bonanza that is the Cars franchise, citing $2 billion in sales annually since the original movie was released in 2006 (vs. 2010 figures of $9 billion for Mickey Mouse, $5.7 billion for Winnie the Pooh, $4.4 billion for Disney Princesses, $2.8 billion for Toy Story, and $2.7 billion for Barbie), the amount of Cars 2 merchandise sold even before the movie is released, some of the less successful initiatives like the online World of Cars, and the absence of a standing policy at Pixar for “merchandise-able” movies.
  • The New York Times has taken a closer look at the location design in Cars 2, which sends its characters to multiple locations around the globe for the World Grand Prix auto race. Comments by Lasseter and production designer Harley Jessup discuss the amalgamation of neighborhoods for the movie’s take on Tokyo, the design cues for their London landmark “Big Bentley,” a personal reference for Lasseter in a scene in Paris, and the ideas behind the fictional Italian town of Porto Corsa.
  • Actors Emily Mortimer and Larry the Cable Guy, who play Holley Shiftwell and Mater the tow truck respectively, are interviewed by MovieWeb about how their roles impressed their kids, what they think of their characters, what they like about working with the Pixar crew, and more.

Cars 2 opens on July 24, 2011. For more details and video clips from the film, check out Toonzone’s earlier coverage here.

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  1. […] While I didn’t think the original Cars was the most original story in the world, it was certainly enjoyable enough as a wonderful embodiment of its own theme that the journey is often more of a reward than the destination. However, I will also admit that it’s not my favorite Pixar movie of their collected works, and that I was one among many looking askance at the announcement that a sequel was coming. It’s hard not to notice that Pixar’s merchandising juggernauts are the ones that have gotten the sequel treatment so far, despite the frequent declarations of the senior creative staff that they’ll only do sequels if they think they have a story worth telling. You have to wonder how much easier it is to talk yourself into thinking that a story is worth telling when you’re sitting on about $2 billion worldwide in merchandising sales a year. […]

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