Friday, October 5, 2012

It's Film Strip Friday! Cars 2


It’s Film Strip Friday!
Cars 2
Release Date June 24th, 2011

 
           
SYNOPSIS:

Star racecar Lightning McQueen and Mater head overseas to compete in the first-ever World Grand Prix to determine the world's fastest car.

FUN FACTS:

Cars 2 is a 2011 American computer-animated action comedy spy film produced by Pixar Animation Studios and released by Walt Disney Pictures. The film is the sequel to the 2006 film Cars. In the film, race car Lightning McQueen (voiced by Owen Wilson) and tow truck Mater (voiced by Larry the Cable Guy) head to Japan and Europe to compete in the World Grand Prix, but Mater becomes sidetracked with international espionage. The film is directed by John Lasseter, co-directed by Brad Lewis, written by Ben Queen, and produced by Denise Ream. Cars 2 is also the first film John Lasseter has directed since the first Cars in 2006.
The film was distributed by Walt Disney Pictures and was released in the United States on June 24, 2011. The film was presented in Disney Digital 3D and IMAX 3D, as well as traditional two-dimensional and IMAX formats. The film was first announced in 2008, alongside Up, Newt, and Brave (previously known as The Bear and the Bow), and it is the 12th animated film from the studio. The film received mixed reviews from critics, and broke the studio's streak of critical success, despite ranking No. 1 on its opening weekend in the U.S. and Canada with $66,135,507 and topping international success of such previous Pixar's works as Toy Story, A Bug's Life, Toy Story 2, Monsters, Inc., Cars, and WALL-E.

Plot

Like the first film, Cars 2 takes place in the world populated by anthropomorphic cars. British spy Finn McMissile infiltrates the world's largest untapped oil reserves, owned by a group of "lemon" cars. After being discovered, he is forced to flee and fake his death.
Four-time Piston Cup champion race car Lightning McQueen returns home to Radiator Springs and reunites with his best friend Mater and girlfriend Sally Carrera. Doc Hudson is revealed to have died by an indication with Mater and Lightning. Former oil tycoon Miles Axlerod, now a green power advocate, announces a racing series called the "World Grand Prix" to promote Allinol biofuel. When Italian formula race car Francesco Bernoulli challenges McQueen, McQueen and Mater depart to Tokyo, Japan for the World Grand Prix.
Meanwhile, the lemons, led by Professor Zündapp and Master mind (whose whereabouts are revealed at the climax), secretly plot to secure their oil profits by using a weapon disguised as a television camera to ignite the Allinol fuel. McMissile and partner Holley Shiftwell attempt to rendezvous with American spy car Rod "Torque" Redline at a World Grand Prix promotional event in Tokyo to receive information about the mastermind; however, Redline is cornered by Zündapp's henchmen and passes his information to Mater before he is captured. Shiftwell and McMissile mistake Mater as their American contact. In capture, Zündapp reveals to Torque that Allinol has one fatal flaw: it can ignite if impacted by a high electromagnetic pulse and uses both to kill him with it but not before they realize that he passed it on to Mater.
During the first race, McMissile and Holley help Mater evade Zündapp's henchmen; in the process, Mater inadvertently gives McQueen negative advice which causes him to lose the race close to Bernouilli. Meanwhile, Zündapp uses the weapon on several race cars. After McQueen falls out with Mater, who sadly claims that he is leaving, McMissile, who still believes Mater is an American spy, drafts him into foiling Zündapp's plot.
In Italy, the site of the second race, Mater infiltrates the criminals' meeting and discovers Zündapp's plan. Zündapp's henchmen, meanwhile, use their weapon on several more cars during the race, eventually causing a multi-car crash on the Casino Bridge. With the Allinol fuel under suspicion, Axlerod suspends its use for the final race in England; however, McQueen decides to continue using it. The criminals decide to kill McQueen in the next race; upon hearing this, Mater is exposed and is captured along with McMissile and Shiftwell, and tied up inside Big Bentley's bell tower.
Mater realizes how foolishly he has been acting. The criminals use the weapon on McQueen during the race, but nothing happens. Mater flees to warn his friends of a bomb planted in McQueen's pit stop, but McMissile and Shiftwell find that the bomb was planted on Mater. They warn Mater about the bomb before Mater flees to protect his friends. However, he is pursued by McQueen in an attempt to reconcile, unaware of the real danger until they are out of range of Zündapp's remote detonator. He sends his henchmen to kill McQueen and Mater, but they are foiled by the combined efforts of McMissile, Shiftwell, and the Radiator Springs residents who arrest them. Upon his capture, Zündapp reveals that only the person who installed the bomb can deactivate it and Mater realizes that Axlerod is the mastermind behind the plot. Mater confronts and forces Axlerod in front of police cars to deactivate the bomb in a final confrontation, by trapping him next to him while being strapped to the bomb. Axlerod finally deactivates the bomb, and he, Zündapp and the lemons are arrested by the police for their crimes.
As a reward for his heroism, Mater receives an honorary knighthood from the Queen and returns home with his friends, where the cars from the Grand Prix take part in the unofficial Radiator Springs Grand Prix. Fillmore reveals that before the last race, Sarge replaced McQueen's Allinol with Fillmore's organic fuel, which prevented McQueen from being affected by the weapon. McMissile and Shiftwell invite Mater to join them in another spy mission, but he graciously turns it down but asks Shiftwell for a date when she returns which she accepts. He gets to keep the rockets they gave him earlier, which he uses in the Radiator Springs race. In the credits, Mater and McQueen are seen in various locations, including London, Paris, Switzerland, Spain, Italy, Germany, Russia, Egypt, India, China, Australia, Hawaii, and Emeryville, where the Pixar studio is shown.

Voice cast

Main characters

  • Larry the Cable Guy as Mater, a Southern-accented tow truck from Radiator Springs.
  • Owen Wilson as Lightning McQueen, a Piston Cup racecar.
  • Michael Caine as Finn McMissile, a British spy car.
  • Emily Mortimer as Holley Shiftwell, a fellow British intelligence agent, new to field work. She is Mater's girlfriend.
  • John Turturro as Francesco Bernoulli, McQueen's main racing rival from Italy.
  • Eddie Izzard as Miles Axlerod, a British Allinol creator.
  • Thomas Kretschmann as Professor Zündapp, the doctor from Germany, Axlerod's assistant. He's also Finn McMissile's arch-nemesis.
  • Joe Mantegna and Peter Jacobson as Grem and Acer: Professor Zündapp's bullies.
  • Bruce Campbell as Rod "Torque" Redline, an American spy car.

Minors

  • Bonnie Hunt as Sally Carrera
  • Tony Shalhoub as Luigi
  • Darrell Waltrip as Darrell Cartrip
  • Guido Quaroni as Guido
  • Brent Musburger as Brent Mustangburger
  • Jason Isaacs as Siddeley/Leland Turbo
  • David Hobbs as David Hobbscap
  • Stanley Townsend as Vladimir Trunkov/Ivan/Victor Hugo
  • Lloyd Sherr as Fillmore/Tony Trihull
  • Paul Dooley as Sarge
  • John Ratzenberger as Mack
  • Michel Michelis as Tomber
  • Jeff Garlin as Otis
  • Patrick Walker as Mel Dorado
  • Franco Nero as Uncle Topolino
  • Vanessa Redgrave as Mama Topolino/The Queen. Sophia Loren provides the Italian dub of Topolino.
  • Cheech Marin as Ramone
  • Jenifer Lewis as Flo
  • Michael Wallis as Sheriff
  • Katherine Helmond as Lizzie
  • Lewis Hamilton as Lewis Hamilton
  • Jeff Gordon as Jeff Gorvette
  • Velibor Topic as Alexander Hugo
  • Greg Ellis as Nigel Gearsley
  • John Mainier as J. Curby Gremlin
  • Brad Lewis as Tubbs Pacer
  • Sig Hansen as Crabby the Boat
  • Richard Kind as Van
  • Edie McClurg as Minny
  • Teresa Gallagher as Mater's Computer
  • John Lasseter as John Lassetire
In international versions of the film, the character Jeff Gorvette is replaced with race car drivers better known in the specific countries.
  • Mark Winterbottom as Frosty (Australian release)
  • Fernando Alonso as Fernando Alonso (Spanish release)
  • Vitaly Petrov as Vitaly Petrov (Russian release)
  • Jan Nilsson as Flash (Swedish release)
  • Memo Rojas (Latin American release)
  • Sebastian Vettel as Sebastian Schnell (German release)
  • Jacques Villeneuve as Jacques Villeneuve (French release)
In Brazil, Gorvette is replaced by Carla Veloso, voiced by singer Claudia Leitte. Sportspeople still appear, with Lewis Hamilton becoming Formula One champion Emerson Fittipaldi, while Brent Mustangburger and David Hobbscap were done by sports announcers José Trajano and Luciano do Valle.

Production

Development

Cars is the second Pixar film, after Toy Story, to have a sequel. John Lasseter, the director of the film, said that he was convinced of the sequel's story while traveling around the world promoting the first film. He said:
I kept looking out thinking, 'What would Mater do in this situation, you know?' I could imagine him driving around on the wrong side of the road in the UK, going around in big, giant traveling circles in Paris, on the autobahn in Germany, dealing with the motor scooters in Italy, trying to figure out road signs in Japan.
Cars 2 was originally scheduled for a summer 2012 release, but Pixar moved the release up by a year.
In 2009, Disney registered several domain names, hinting to audiences that the title and theme of the film would be in relation to a World Grand Prix.
In March 2011, Jake Mandeville-Anthony, a U.K. screenwriter, sued Disney and Pixar alleging copyright infringement and breach of implied contract. In his complaint he alleged that Cars and Cars 2 are based in part on work that he had submitted early in the 1990s and he sought an injunction to stop the release of Cars 2 and requested actual or statutory damages. On May 13, 2011, Disney responded to the lawsuit, denying "each and every one of Plaintiff's legal claims concerning the purported copyright infringement and substantial similarity of the parties' respective works." On July 27, 2011, the lawsuit was dismissed by a district court judge who, in her ruling, wrote that the "Defendants have sufficiently shown that the Parties' respective works are not substantially similar in their protectable elements as a matter of law".

Casting

In November 2010, Owen Wilson, Larry the Cable Guy, Michael Caine, Emily Mortimer, Jason Isaacs, Joe Mantegna, Peter Jacobson, Bonnie Hunt, Tony Shalhoub, Cheech Marin, and Thomas Kretschmann were confirmed as the voice talent featured in the film. From November 2010 until May 2011, Disney released information about the other voice talent, including Jenifer Lewis, Katherine Helmond, Michael Wallis, Darrell Waltrip, Franco Nero, Vanessa Redgrave, Bruce Campbell, Sig Hansen, Michel Michelis, Jeff Gordon, Lewis Hamilton, Brent Musburger, David Hobbs, John Turturro, and Eddie Izzard.
Much of the cast from the original Cars remained intact for the sequel, but three voice actors of the original film have died since its release. Joe Ranft (who voiced Red) died on August 16, 2005 due to an automobile accident, ten months before Cars was released. Red appears in the film, but does not speak or vocalize. George Carlin (who voiced Fillmore) died on June 22, 2008 due to heart failure. Fillmore was cast in Cars 2, and was voiced by Lloyd Sherr. Paul Newman (who voiced Doc Hudson) died on September 26, 2008 due to cancer. After Newman's death, Lasseter said they would "see how the story goes with Doc Hudson," before he was eventually written out.

Soundtrack

The Cars 2 soundtrack was released on both CD album and digital download June 14. It is the fourth Pixar film to be scored by Michael Giacchino after The Incredibles, Ratatouille and Up. It also marks the first time that Giacchino has worked with John Lasseter as a director, as Lasseter had been executive producer on Giacchino's previous three Pixar films and that Lasseter hasn't worked with Randy Newman.
All music composed by Michael Giacchino, except as noted.
No.
Title
Writer(s)
Artist
Length
1.
"You Might Think" (Cover of The Cars)
Ric Ocasek
Weezer
3:07
2.
"Collision Of Worlds"
Paisley, Williams
Brad Paisley and Robbie Williams
3:36
3.
"Mon Cœur Fait Vroum (My Heart Goes Vroom)"
Michael Giacchino
Bénabar
2:49
4.
"Nobody's Fool"
Paisley
Brad Paisley
4:17
5.
"Polyrhythm"
Yasutaka Nakata
Perfume
4:09
6.
"Turbo Transmission"
0:52
7.
"It's Finn McMissile!"
5:54
8.
"When Life Gives You Lemons"
1:20
9.
"Mater The Waiter"
0:43
10.
"Radiator Reunion"
1:40
11.
"Team McQueen"
0:57
12.
"Grand Introductions"
1:26
13.
"Splash Zone"
0:31
14.
"Time for the Drop"
1:12
15.
"Cranking Up The Heat"
1:59
16.
"The World Grand Prix"
1:55
17.
"Tokyo Takeout"
5:40
18.
"I Don't Want Your Help"
0:46
19.
"Tarmac The Magnificent"
3:27
20.
"Finn's French Connection"
0:50
21.
"Whose Engine Is This?"
1:22
22.
"History's Biggest Loser Cars"
2:26
23.
"Mater Of Disguise"
0:48
24.
"Porto Corsa"
2:55
25.
"The Lemon Pledge"
2:13
26.
"Mater's Getaway"
0:59
27.
"Mater Warns McQueen"
1:31
28.
"Going To The Backup Plan"
2:24
29.
"Mater's The Bomb"
3:17
30.
"Blunder And Lightning"
2:17
31.
"Road Rager"
1:21
32.
"The Other Shoot"
1:03
33.
"Axlerod Exposed"
2:22
34.
"The Radiator Springs Grand Prix"
1:30
35.
"The Turbomater"
0:50

Release

During the Summer of 2008, John Lasseter announced that Cars 2 would be pushed forward and released in the summer of 2011, one year earlier than its original 2012 release date. The US release date was later confirmed to be June 24, 2011, with a UK release date set for July 22, 2011. The world premiere of the film took place at the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood on June 18, 2011. Cars 2 was released in 4,115 theaters in the USA and Canada setting a record-high for a G-rated film and for Pixar. The latter was surpassed by Brave (4,164 theaters).

Short film

The film was preceded by a short film titled Hawaiian Vacation, directed by Gary Rydstrom and starring the characters of the Toy Story franchise.

Home media

The film was released on Blu-ray, Blu-ray 3D, DVD, and Movie Download on November 1, 2011. The release was produced in four different physical packages: a 1-disc DVD; a 2-disc combo pack (Blu-ray and DVD); a 5-disc combo pack (Blu-ray, Blu-ray 3D, DVD, and Digital Copy); and an 11-disc three movie collector's set featuring Cars, Cars 2, and Mater's Tall Tales. The film was also released as a Movie Download option in both standard and high definition.
The Movie Download version includes four bonus features: the new Cars Toon “Air Mater,” the Toy Story Toon “Hawaiian Vacation,” “World Tour Interactive Feature," and "Bringing Cars 2 to the World." The 1-disc DVD and 2-disc Blu-ray/DVD combo pack versions include the shorts “Air Mater” and “Hawaiian Vacation,” plus "Director John Lasseter Commentary." The 5-disc combo pack includes all of the same bonus features as the 1-disc DVD and 2-disc Blu-ray/DVD combo pack versions, plus “World Tour Interactive Feature" and "Sneak Peek: The Nuts and Bolts of Cars Land." The 11-disc three movie collection comes packaged with Cars (Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital Copy), Cars 2 (Blu-ray 3D, Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital Copy), and Mater's Tall Tales (Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital Copy).
Cars 2 sold 1,983,374 DVD units during its opening week, generating $31.24 million and claiming first place. It also finished on the top spot on the Blu-ray chart during its first week, selling 1.76 million units and generating $44.57 million. Its Blu-ray share of home media was 47%, indicating an unexpectedly major shift of sales from DVD to Blu-ray. Blu-ray 3D contributed to this, accounting for 17% of total disc sales.

Reception

Critical response

Cars 2, upon release, was greeted with largely mixed reviews from professional film critics. "The original Cars was not greeted with exceptional warmth," said The New York Times, "but the sequel generated Pixar's first truly negative response." Several of the most influential critics cheered the movie, but far more were negative, "even gleefully so." Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reports that 38% of critics have given the film a positive review based on 198 reviews, with an average score of 5.5/10, making it the first Pixar film to garner a "rotten" certification. Its consensus reads, "Cars 2 is as visually appealing as any other Pixar production, but all that dazzle can't disguise the rusty storytelling under the hood." Another review aggregator, Metacritic, which assigns a weighted average score out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, calculated an average score of 57/100 based on 38 reviews, indicating "mixed or average reviews". Critics generally criticized the focus on Mater and felt the film lacked warmth and charm. Reviewing the film for The Wall Street Journal, Joe Morgenstern wrote, “This frenzied sequel seldom gets beyond mediocrity." Entertainment Weekly critic Owen Gleiberman said, "Cars 2 is a movie so stuffed with "fun" that it went right off the rails. What on earth was the gifted director-mogul John Lasseter thinking – that he wanted kids to come out of this movie was [sic] more ADD?" Considering the low reviews given to the Pixar production, critic Kyle Smith of the New York Post said, "They said it couldn't be done. But Pixar proved the yaysayers wrong when it made its first bad movie, Cars. Now it has worsted itself with the even more awful Cars 2."
Conversely, Peter Travers of Rolling Stone gave the movie 3½ stars out of four, and said that "the sequel is a tire-burning burst of action and fun with a beating heart under its hood." He also praised its "fluid script" and called it a "winner". Roger Ebert was the most effusive of the more positive reviews, writing, “At a time when some ‘grown-up’ action films are relentlessly shallow and stupid, here is a movie with such complexity that even the cars sometimes have to pause and explain it to themselves.” Justin Chang of Variety commented, “The rare sequel that not only improves on but retroactively justifies its predecessor.” Ticket buyers also gave the film an A– in exit polls, on par with other Pixar titles. A central current of the negative reviews was the theory that Cars 2 was forced out of Pixar by its corporate parent, the Walt Disney Company, out of greed to drive merchandising sales. Lasseter vehemently denied these claims, calling them "people who don’t know the facts, rushing to judge." Some theorized that the vitriol was less about the film but more about Pixar's broadened focus to sequels. The New York Times reported that although one negatively reviewed film would not be enough to scratch the studio, "the commentary did dent morale at the studio, which until then had enjoyed an unbroken and perhaps unprecedented run of critical acclaim."

Box office

Cars 2 grossed $191,452,396 in the USA and Canada, and $368,400,000 in other territories for a worldwide total of $559,852,396. Worldwide on its opening weekend it grossed $109.0 million, marking the largest opening weekend for a 2011 animated title. Overall, Cars 2 became sixth biggest Pixar film in terms of worldwide box office among twelve released.
Cars 2 made $25.7 million on its debut Friday (June 24, 2011), marking the second-largest opening day for a Pixar film after Toy Story 3's $41.1 million, but it was still the third least-attended first day for a Pixar film, only ahead of Up and Ratatouille. It also scored the fourth largest opening day for an animated feature, trailing only Toy Story 3, Shrek the Third ($38.4 million) and The Simpsons Movie ($30.8 million). On its opening weekend as a whole, Cars 2 debuted at No.1 with $66.1 million, marking the largest opening weekend for a 2011 animated feature, the sixth largest opening for Pixar, the fifth largest among films released in June, and the third largest for a G-rated film. In its second weekend, however, the film dropped 60.3%, the largest second weekend drop ever for a Pixar film, and grossed $26.2 million. It became Pixar's lowest-grossing film since A Bug's Life, making the film their first financial disappointment in North America.
Outside North America, it grossed $42.9 million during its first weekend from 3,129 theaters in 18 countries, topping the box office. It performed especially well in Russia where it grossed $9.42 million, marking the best opening weekend for a Disney or Pixar animated feature and surpassing the entire runs of Cars and Toy Story 3. In Mexico, it made $8.24 million during its first weekend, while in Brazil, it topped the box office with $5.19 million ($7.08 million with previews). It also premeiered at No.1 with $5.16 million in Australia, where it debuted simultaneously with Kung Fu Panda 2 and out-grossed it. It is the highest-grossing film of 2011 in Lithuania ($477,117), Argentina ($11,996,480). It is the highest-grossing animated film of 2011 in Estonia ($442,707), Finland ($3,230,314), Norway ($5,762,653).

Accolades

Cars 2 marks the first Pixar film not to be nominated for an Oscar. It is also the first Pixar film not nominated for Best Animated Feature in the 2001-present history of that Award.
Award
Category
Winner/Nominee
Result
British Academy Children's Awards (BAFTA)
Favorite Film
Nominated
People's Choice Awards
Favorite Movie Animated Voice
Owen Wilson
69th Golden Globe Awards
Best Animated Film
Annie Awards
Best Animated Feature
Best Animated Effects in a Animated Production
Jon Reisch
Best Animated Effects in a Animated Production
Eric Froemling
Character Design in a Animated Feature
Jay Shuster
Production Design in a Feature Production
Harley Jessup
Storyboarding in a Feature Production
Scott Morse
Editing in a Feature Production
Stephen Schaffer
Kids Choice Awards
Favorite Animated Movie
Saturn Awards
Best Animated Film

Video games

A video game based on the movie was developed by Avalanche Software and published by Disney Interactive Studios for the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Wii, PC and Nintendo DS on June 21, 2011. The PlayStation 3 version of the game was reported to be compatible with stereoscopic 3D gameplay. A Nintendo 3DS version was released on November 1, 2011, and a PSP version was released on November 8, 2011.
An app based on the film was released on iTunes for a dollar on June 23, 2011. The Lite version was released for free that same day. The object of the game is to complete each race, unlock new levels, and get a high score. As of June 28, 2011, The app has hit No.1 on the App Store.

Spin-offs

A direct-to-video spin-off called Planes is in production at DisneyToon Studios. It is set to be released on DVD and Blu-ray in Fall 2013. A sequel to Planes, titled Planes 2: Fire and Rescue, is also in the works.[




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