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'Cars' decoded - Los Angeles Times 6/4/06

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  • 'Cars' decoded - Los Angeles Times 6/4/06

    CRITIC'S NOTEBOOK
    A grease geek will guide you: `Cars' decoded

    Auto allusions are part of the ode to the road's fun. Perhaps a glossary can help clear the dust.
    Spoiler
    understand what, exactly, the guys in overalls are cackling about.

    Marbles: You know the moviemakers have it bad if they go to the trouble of getting the dirt right. In the race sequences, we see clouds of little black balls being swept along the racetrack. These are "marbles," bits of tire that get shed from race cars and pill together on the outside of the racing line. They are very slippery and cause crashes, giving stock-car racing one of my personal favorite phrases: "Yep, he done got into them marbles." They have marbles in Formula 1 racing too, but they are pronounced "mahh-bels," as in: "Those mahh-bels are a spot of bother, eh wot?"

    "The Big One": Piston Cup: Lightning: Doc Hudson: Oversteer: The movie's story turns on Lightning learning an old racing trick from his adopted mentor, Doc: Turn right to go left. This refers to what is known in competitive driving as counter-steering or "opposite lock." To maintain speed around a corner, drivers will force the car's rear end to fishtail to the outside while steering in the direction of the slide. The car will arc around the corner in a controlled four-wheel drift, literally turning right to go left. A reality check: This trick works well on dirt and gravel but on asphalt it tends to result in piles of very used auto parts.

    Driver cameos: In the film, famous race-car drivers provide voice cameos. Three-time Winston Cup winner Darrell Waltrip costars as the excitable announcer, Darrell Cartrip. Petty, of course, is the King. NASCAR rock star Dale Earnhardt Jr., Mario Andretti and even seven-time F1 world champion Michael Schumacher make an appearance. "Schumacher was great," says Lasseter. "He did his lines in English, German and Italian." Interestingly, because Petty has a relatively minor following in, say, Finland, the cast of voices changes as the film is dubbed for other countries. For Germany, the King is voiced by three-time F1 champion Niki Lauda. In Spain, F1 ace Fernando Alonso steps into those fireproof shoes.

    Radiator Springs: In 2001, Lasseter and members of his creative team loaded up in four white Cadillacs for a nine-day cruise along parts of Route 66, the famous Mother Road between Chicago and Los Angeles, the Oregon Trail of American auto-mobility. The architecture of Radiator Springs is drawn from the postcard folk-art structures along Route 66. The Cozy Cone Motel, a collection of huts that look like orange traffic cones, was inspired by tepee villages such as the Wigwam Motel in Holbrook, Ariz., which won no awards for cultural sensitivity.

    Even the mountains that loom over Radiator Springs are inspired by Route 66. The Cadillac Range, a series of red-rock promontories that look like the baroque tailfins of late-'50s Caddies, was inspired by the Cadillac Ranch, the kitsch-art installation on Route 66 near Amarillo, Texas, where a row of the cars are submerged nose-first in the ground. Insert GM joke here.

    For as closely observed as the "Cars" universe is, the happy ending might ring a little false with racing fans, when Lightning turns down the big sponsorship deal to stay with his small-time backers, Rust-eze Bumper Ointment. In the bottom-line, money-equals-speed world of NASCAR, that ain't gonna happen.
    http://www.latimes.com/entertainment...dlines-entnews
    "If you don't know how to draw, you don't belong in this building" - John Lasseter 2006

  • #2
    Re: 'Cars' decoded - Los Angeles Times 6/4/06

    I'll check this out after I've seen the movie, cuz I'm sure I won't have gotten a single one.

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    • #3
      Re: 'Cars' decoded - Los Angeles Times 6/4/06

      As a car nut myself, I found this fascinating. Thanks for posting it. I'm also betting that I'm the only MiceChatter who actually knows the firing order of a Ford flathead V-8 by memory!


      1-5-4-8-6-3-7-2
      "Yesterday, a man walked up to me and said, 'Isn't it a shame that Walt Disney couldn't be here to see this?' and I said, "He did see this, that's why it's here."
      -Art Linkletter July 17, 2005-


      When you wish upon a star your dreams come true.

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      • #4
        Re: 'Cars' decoded - Los Angeles Times 6/4/06

        Doesn't matter... this movie is phenomenal even if you don't catch that stuff. The depth of research and detail only provide a better reason to see it again!

        Best Pixar picture yet!

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        • #5
          Re: 'Cars' decoded - Los Angeles Times 6/4/06

          its stuff like this the tying of bits to the actual character design that the other CGI studios lack..

          Movies like shark tale are simply people actors talking over people animated to look like sharks.. compared to Nemo where the real fish drive the character look, actor choice, behaviors, etc

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          • #6
            Re: 'Cars' decoded - Los Angeles Times 6/4/06

            Originally posted by flynnibus
            its stuff like this the tying of bits to the actual character design that the other CGI studios lack..

            Movies like shark tale are simply people actors talking over people animated to look like sharks.. compared to Nemo where the real fish drive the character look, actor choice, behaviors, etc
            Exactly!! The others are cute and may even have nice storys, but Disney/Pixar put real work and research into everything they do!! Its the attention to DETAIL that make them a cut above the rest.




            Help me get more security in Pingvinivlle! Click here!


            Originally posted by AGhostFromThePast
            all you need to know about the mommy stick is.. out of all the bad things that could happen to you... it's right between wetting yourself and death.

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