The 2006 animated film Cars received two Academy awards nominations and was the last film made by the animated film company Pixar. Having since been bought by Disney, the company still makes movies, but under the name Disney-Pixar. The movie Cars characters is a mix of veteran actors like Paul Newman and those new to the acting scene like Larry the Cable Guy.
Actor Owen Wilson voices the lead character of Lightning McQueen. On his way to the big tie-breaker race in California, McQueen accidentally rolls out of his truck Mack and ends up in Radiator Springs.
Some say the design of Larry the Cable Guy's character Mater was taken from a cross between 1951 International Harvester and a 1957 General Motors truck. Throughout filming, some of the catchphrases in Larry's stand up comedy routine find their way into the dialogue of the film, particularly, "Git 'er done."
Voiced by the late Paul Newman, Doc Hudson is another central character in the film. It is eventually discovered that Doc, who is both the town's doctor and judge, is also the Fabulous Hudson Hornet, a once great racer whose career ended with a car crash in 1951.
Actor Bonnie Hunt voices the movie Cars character of Sally Carrera. Sally is a 2002 Porsche 911 Carrera and becomes Lightning McQueen's love interest during the film.
Veteran actor Tony Shaloub voices the character of Luigi, the Ferrari loving Fiat. In fact, Luigi is such a fan of Ferrari's, creators made his license plate in the movie the numbers 445-108, which are reportedly the latitude and longitude lines of the Ferrari factory in Italy.
The 1959 Chevy Impala Lowrider is voiced by comedian and actor Cheech Marin. Since in the film, Radiator Springs is all but abandon, Ramone redoes the paint job on his car everyday.
Fillmore is a Volkswagen Microbus and is voiced by the late George Carlin. Fillmore is a reference to the club Fillmore East in the East Village of Manhattan. During the 1960's and 1970's bands like the Greatful Dead, Allman Brothers, Jimi Hendrix, and Van Morrison performed there.
The movie Cars characters are rounded out with a great supporting cast, including Jenifer Lewis (pictured here) as Flo and the following:
- Michael Keaton - Chick Hicks
- John Ratzenberger - Mack
- Katherine Helmond - Lizzie
- Richard Petty - "The King" Strip Weathers
Cars was such a success, it resulted in a number of spinoff television shows as well as billions of dollars of merchandise sold. A sequel to the film released in 2011.