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Disney Extending the "Cars" Franchise with Cartoons, Sequel in 2011, Theme Park Exhibits, and More.

Posted on Tuesday, September 30th, 2008 7:25 PM by Scott Jentsch

Disney-Pixar is taking the franchise they built with the 2006 animated movie Cars and going for a spin to see what's under the hood! The company announced last week that they will be releasing

Animated TV Series Coming in October 2008

A series of shorts called "Cars Toons" will be directed by Academy Award(R)-winner John Lasseter and will appear on the Disney Channel, Toon Disney, and ABC Family beginning Monday, October 27th, 2008.

The new series will star Lightning McQueen's affable friend Mater the Tow Truck, where he plays everything from a doctor to a bull(dozer)-fighter.

Movie Sequel Gets Pushed Up a Year

The sequel to Cars, aptly named Cars 2 at the moment, has been given a new release date of Summer 2011, which is a year ahead of the previously announced release date. In Cars 2, all the world's a racetrack as racing superstar Lightning McQueen zooms back into action, with his best friend Mater in tow, to take on the globe's fastest and finest in this thrilling high-octane new installment of the "Cars" saga. Mater and McQueen will need their passports as they find themselves in a new world of intrigue, thrills and fast-paced comedic escapades around the globe. 

For more information about Cars 2, please see the Information Page we have for the movie.

New Attraction at Disney California Adventure

Cars already has a presence at Disneyland in California and Paris, and at Disney World in Floriday, and the company announced that a new "Cars Land" will debut at Disney's California Adventure in 2012. The 12-acre addition will feature the world of Radiator Springs with three new attractions. Radiator Springs Racers will place Guests right in the middle of the world of Mater, Lightning McQueen, Doc and Sally, where they'll find themselves in the midst of a race around hairpin turns and steep banks. Two additional family rides will feature Luigi and Mater from the movie.

Online Virtual World

In 2009, Disney will launch the "World of Cars Online" (http://www.WorldOfCars.com) virtual world, which will allow fans of the motion picture to immerse themselves in the online world of Radiator Springs and beyond, interacting with other players and creating an online community alongside their favorite characters including Lightning, Mater, and Doc.

A preview of the site will debut in October 2008.

The full press release from Disney appears below!

Press Release

Disney Channel, Toon Disney and ABC Family to Present World Premiere of Disney-Pixar's 'Cars Toons,' an Animated Short Series Beginning Monday, October 27

BURBANK, Calif., Sept. 25 /PRNewswire/ -- The world premiere of Disney- Pixar's "Cars Toons," a new animated short series directed by Academy Award(R)-winner John Lasseter, and starring Lightning McQueen's rusty but trusty friend Mater, will be presented on, Disney Channel, Toon Disney and ABC Family beginning MONDAY, OCTOBER 27.

"Cars Toons" are directed by John Lasseter, (director on "Cars," "Toy Story 2," "A Bug's Life" and "Toy Story"). Victor Navone (animator on "Cars," "The Incredibles," "Finding Nemo" and "Monsters, Inc.") and Rob Gibbs (story artist on "Cars," "Finding Nemo," "Monsters, Inc" and "Toy Story 2") are co- directors. Kori Rae (associate producer on "The Incredibles" and "Monsters Inc.") is the producer.

The shorts premiere as follows on Toon Disney (all times ET/PT):

Monday, October 27 (6:56 p.m.)

"Rescue Squad Mater" -- Mater is a fire truck that rescues Lightning McQueen from a burning building. When McQueen is rushed to the hospital, he discovers that Mater is a doctor, too.

Tuesday, October 28 (6:57 p.m.)

"Mater the Greater" -- Mater is a famous daredevil who does all kinds of stunts. And Lightning McQueen becomes an unwilling participant in Mater's greatest stunt ever.

Wednesday, October 29 (6:57 p.m.)

"El Materdor" -- Mater is a famous bulldozer fighter in Spain. He's so good, he's able to fend off multiple bulldozers at once. Lightning McQueen joins Mater in this Tall Tale just as things are at their worst.

Disney Channel will present all three shorts throughout the day on Saturday, November 1. ABC Family will present the shorts beginning Tuesday, December 23 during the network's annual "25 Days of Christmas" programming event.

About "CARS"

Directed by Academy Award(R)-winner John Lasseter, "Cars" opened in theaters on June 9, 2006. "Cars" was the 2007 Golden Globe winner for Best Animated Feature Film and received Academy Award(R) nominations for Best Animated Feature Film and Best Music -- Original Song. The film also won the 2007 Grammy Award for Best Song Written for Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media. "Cars" was the #1 animated film on DVD for 2006, and the Disney-Pixar's "Cars" Original Motion Picture Soundtrack debuted in June 2006 at #8, making it the first Pixar soundtrack to enter the Billboard Top 10 and to ship gold.

Disney-Pixar's "Cars 2" will be released in Summer 2011. "Cars 2" is being directed by Brad Lewis, producer of the Oscar(R)-winning film "Ratatouille." In this adventure, all the world's a racetrack as racing superstar Lightning McQueen zooms back into action, with his best friend Mater in tow, to take on the globe's fastest and finest in this thrilling high-octane new installment of the "Cars" saga. Mater and McQueen will need their passports as they find themselves in a new world of intrigue, thrills and fast-paced comedic escapades around the globe.

Disney-Pixar's "Cars" has become among the fastest growing franchises for Disney Consumer Products (DCP) on track to generate a projected $2.5 billion in global retail sales of licensed merchandise in fiscal year 2008 or $5 billion in sales since its box office debut. "Cars" continues to fuel the imaginations of children with products that extend the storyline from the film to books and magazines and into the home with a lifestyle merchandising program from toys and home décor, apparel and stationery to food and personal care items. DCP will soon introduce a new merchandising assortment that allows kids to make the world of "Cars" their own through customization that leverages the upcoming new virtual world featuring Lightning McQueen on Disney.com and a host of other characters from the film.

"Cars" has a presence at Disneyland Resort where life-size versions of Lightning McQueen and Mater appear daily in the Pixar Play Parade at Disney's California Adventure, at Disneyland Resort Paris with the "Cars Race Rally," where families take the ultimate spin aboard cars inspired by the film, and at Walt Disney World Resort where life-size versions of Lightning McQueen and Mater appear daily at Disney's Hollywood Studios for Guests to see them in person and pose for pictures with them.

As part of a significant multi-year expansion plan, an entirely new Cars Land inspired by the hit Disney-Pixar animated film "Cars" will debut at Disney's California Adventure in 2012. The 12-acre Cars Land will feature the world of Radiator Springs with three new attractions. Radiator Springs Racers, a major "E-ticket" attraction, will place Guests right in the middle of the amazingly detailed, dimensional Cars world of Mater, Lightning McQueen, Doc and Sally, where they'll find themselves in the midst of a race around hairpin turns and steep banks.

Cars Land will increase capacity to the park with two additional immersive family rides, featuring Luigi and Mater from the movie. Cars Land represents an unprecedented level of collaboration between Pixar Animation Studios and Disney Imagineering to create this extensive new area. The new land will substantially extend the total area of Disney's California Adventure park.

In 2009, Disney Interactive Media Group's (DIMG) Disney Online unit will launch the World of Cars Online (http://www.WorldOfCars.com) virtual world, which will allow fans of the motion picture to immerse themselves in the online world of Radiator Springs and beyond, interacting with other players and creating an online community alongside their favorite characters including Lightning, Mater & Doc. In preparation for that 2009 launch, Disney Online will launch a Test Track preview site at WorldofCars.com in October 2008 where fans can create their very own personalized car and put the pedal to the metal in a single-player racing preview. Earlier this month, DIMG also released a mobile phone game "Cars Radiator Springs 500," which is available for download through most major wireless carriers. The game includes 15 diverse and challenging tracks and players can either race as Lightning McQueen or unlock six other tricked-out racers, each with special abilities.

About Pixar Animation Studios

Pixar Animation Studios, a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company, is an Academy Award(R)-winning film studio with world-renowned technical, creative and production capabilities in the art of computer animation. Creator of some of the most successful and beloved animated films of all time, including "Toy Story," "Finding Nemo," "The Incredibles," "Cars," "Ratatouille," and most recently, "WALL-E." The Northern California studio has won 21 Academy Awards and its nine films have grossed more than $4.5 billion at the worldwide box office to date. The next film release from Disney-Pixar is UP (May 29, 2009).

About Disney Channels Worldwide

Disney Channels Worldwide represents the most successful portfolio of kids'channels in the world. It is comprised of 27 Disney Channels, twelve Playhouse Disney Channels and seven Toon Disney Channels. Through a strategic partnership with Disney ABC International Television for the distribution of Disney-branded blocks of kids' programming across the globe, Disney Channels Worldwide reach more than 600 million viewers in over 100 countries in the U.S., Europe, the Middle East, Asia Pacific, Latin America and South Africa. Disney Channel properties continue to rapidly expand into new markets across the world, playing a key role in introducing the Disney brand to new consumers.

Source: Disney/ABC Television Group



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