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'Cars 2' is for auto enthusiasts, too

June 28, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
Sure, anyone can enjoy the story line and animation of "Cars 2," the sequel to "Cars."

But car fanatics can find lots of things to appreciate on another level thanks to the man in charge of the film.

"I'm a car guy, and therefore we had to get all the details right of the car world," said John Lassiter, the film's director and Pixar founder.

Lasseter is a big-time car guy and has the keys to the animation candy store, so he made sure the creative people behind the film did their homework.

"I want the people who are in love with that subject matter to look at our movies and go, 'Oh, they did their research, they know what they're talking about,'" Lasseter said.

For example, the character of Finn McMissile is voiced by actor Michael Caine, but it's quite obvious that the car is a tribute to James Bond's famous Aston Martin from the 1964 movie, "Goldfinger."

Most of the other characters reflect some kind of real life car as well.

Race car Francesco Bernoulli is almost spot-on as a modern Formula One car.

"Cars 2" is meant to appeal to people of all ages, but for car people, it's all about the little details. From perfectly rendered car parts to things in the background, subtle touches are everywhere.

When Mater goes into a restroom in Tokyo, we briefly see a funky Nissan called the Figaro. It was only sold in Japan but got lots of exposure in American car magazines.

Then there's the character named Lewis Hamilton, voiced by real life Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton. Most Americans probably don't know who he is, but Lasseter sure does.

"He's a great guy. We had him do the voice and we got David Hobbs from the broadcasts just to get that authenticity in there," Lasseter said.

The big challenge for car aficionados when seeing "Cars 2" is trying to take in all the detail in just one viewing.

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