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Tech Question -- Radiator Springs Racers Animatronic Cars

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  • Tech Question -- Radiator Springs Racers Animatronic Cars

    Hi Folks,

    I don't know if this is the correct place to ask this question: Are the mouths of Luigi, Lighting, and Sally projected from within the car, or from the exterior? In some YouTube videos, it seems the animated mouths are projected onto the bumpers and not completely synchronized with the car's movements. (I gather that in the case of some animatronics, like the new dwarf's faces at Disney World, features are projected from within the head?) I have never seen these in person, only in video.


    Take care, Joe.

  • #2
    Hi Joe! Welcome to Micechat. I'm not 100% sure about Luigi, but I know the faces of Lightning and Sally are projected from the exterior. There's actually a small box that houses the projector/tracking technology. I've seen this up close so I can speak to it, but I think I also pulled a serviceable screenshot from YouTube.

    Click image for larger version

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    Like I said, I can't seem to find these exact boxes with Luigi, but I'll probably look for them the next time I ride. They might also be hidden behind side walls, mixed in with ambient scenery, or maybe even projected from the inside.


    • #3
      Hi Alec,

      Many thanks for the info and the YouTube screen cap! In one YouTube video, I saw a similar pair of boxes in front of Lighting and Sally at the split before the automobiles enter either the paint or tire shop, but I thought the boxes might be speakers. For Luigi, I see something in the ceiling that could be where a projector might be located. I have temporarily saved some YouTube videos then used the VLC player to brighten them, but I was still puzzled. The bumpers don't seem to glow like the dwarf's faces. Anyway, what a wonderful ride it must be to experience in person! Perhaps one day I might be able to visit California, or Florida (if they convert Test Track to a Cars themed ride)!

      Take care, Joe.


      • #4
        I've seen Luigi's projection be misaligned. It is an exterior projection on him.
        RIP Maliboomer - I waited my whole life to that point, and got to ride you once. I will forever miss you.


        • #5
          Hi padsquad2010,

          Thanks for the reply and observation! I guess it is difficult to keep things absolutely perfect all the time considering how these animatronics operate approximately 12+ hours everyday! A very magical effect, even when it's a little wonky!

          Take care, Joe


          • #6
            Like the Buzz Lightyear AAs in Astro Blasters the projectors are within the frame of the cars. The boxes you see in front of the cars are speakers.
            This Space For Rent


            • #7
              Hi Kram Sacul,

              Thanks for the reply and information! However it is achieved, it is a masterful effect!

              Take care, Joe.