106 minutes (1 hour, 46 minutes)
- "Going where no car has gone before."
Cars 2 is a 2011 American computer-animated action comedy spy film produced by Pixar Animation Studios and released by Walt Disney Pictures. The film is the sequel to the 2006 film Cars and features the voices of Owen Wilson, Larry the Cable Guy, Michael Caine, Emily Mortimer, John Turturro, and Eddie Izzard. In the film, race car Lightning McQueen and tow truck Mater head to Japan and Europe to compete in the World Grand Prix, but Mater becomes sidetracked with international espionage. The film is directed by John Lasseter, co-directed by Brad Lewis, written by Ben Queen, and produced by Denise Ream. Cars 2 was released in the United States on June 24, 2011. The film was presented in Disney Digital 3D and IMAX 3D, as well as traditional two-dimensional and IMAX formats. The film was first announced in 2008, alongside Up, Newt, and Brave, and it is the 12th animated film from the studio. It grossed $562 million worldwide. A sequel, Cars 3, is scheduled for release on June 16, 2017.
PlotThe film begins with a red British car named Leland Turbo transmitting a warning via video to British spy car Finn McMissile. Later, Finn, with help from a boat named Crabby, sneaks onto an oil platform to find that evil scientist Professor Z is in command of suspicious operations. Finn is shortly discovered,and is forced to escape without getting enough info about the Professor's schemes. Meanwhile after winning the Piston Cup for the fourth time, Lightning McQueen returns to Radiator Springs and rejoins his best friend tow truck Mater.
While watching the announcement of the first ever World Grand Prix sponsored by former oil tycoon Sir Miles Axlerod to promote his new renewable fuel Allinol, Mater gets angry when F1 car Francesco Bernoulli starts boasting about how he is far faster than McQueen, and manages to contact the TV studio (The Mel Dorado Show) by phone to confront him. McQueen intervenes and accepts Bernoulli's challenge to race against him in the Grand Prix.
By suggestion of McQueen's girlfriend Sally Carrera, Mater travels with him to Tokyo, Japan to the first race of the Grand Prix. But McQueen is worried if Mater could manage to behave properly. His fears are confirmed when Mater creates a series of ruckus in the debut party. While going to the bathroom, Mater comes across two thugs confronting an American secret agent named Rod "Torque" Redline, who slips a device containing classified info into his body without him noticing, and is approached by McMissile's assistant Holley Shiftwell who mistakes him for the agent, and they agree to meet during the race in the following evening. Rod is then captured and brought to Professor Z, who reveals that cars fueled with Allinol explode when hit with an electromagnetic pulse. He makes a demonstration on the agent himself after figuring that Mater has the info, and orders his men to capture him.
The race in Tokyo begins, and Bernoulli soon takes the lead until he is surpassed by McQueen. Zündapp's agents make use of an electromagnetic pulse generator disguised as a camera to ignite the Allinol in some competitors, leading to some accidents. McMissile and Shiftwell find that the agents are coming after Mater, and manage to have him flee to the streets by hacking the transmitter he is using to pass instructions to McQueen, which ends up having McQueen surrendering the lead to Bernoulli by mistake. McMissile manages to save Mater from his pursuers, but McQueen blames Mater for losing the race and claims that he does not need his help anymore. Saddened for having his best friend angry on him, Mater leaves to the airport to take a plane home. But once again, he is pursued by the Professor's thugs just to be rescued in time by McMissile. Still mistaking him for a secret agent, McMissile and Shiftwell ask Mater to help them thwart Zündapp's plans.
In Porto Corsa, Italy, where the second leg of the Grand Prix is being held, Mater manages to infiltrate one of the criminals' meetings disguised as another tow truck. He finds that the mysterious chain of accidents occurring during the races is part of a plan to discredit the Allinol and ensure that all cars keep using conventional fuel to secure the profits of their organization, who managed to secure the largest unexplored oil resources in the world.
With most cars out of the race due to the explosions, McQueen and Bernoulli end up in first and second respectively. Sir Axlerod states that with the Allinol under suspicion, he decides to suspend use of the fuel for the third and final leg in the UK, but McQueen states that he trusts Axlerod's fuel (by Fillmore's advice) and will keep using it. The criminals then decide to have McQueen killed in the next race. Mater reveals himself by accident and rushes to warn his friend, but is captured along McMissile and Shiftwell before being able to do so.
Mater wakes up finding himself tied up in London inside Big Bentley with McMissile and Shiftwell, also tied up, minutes away from being crushed by its gears. The last race begins, and the criminals use the electromagnetic pulse device on McQueen. But surprisingly, nothing happens. Mater learns that a bomb was put into Lightning's pit crew area, set to explode when McQueen stops there. Mater then manages to escape to warn his friends. McMissile and Shiftwell succeed in freeing themselves as well. But they find that the bomb is actually on Mater, swapped with his air filter. They warn him about the bomb just when he is about to rejoin the others. And Mater flees to protect them, with McQueen going after him unaware of the situation.
Professor Z tries to detonate the bomb remotely, only to find that the device is out of the signal's range. He then orders his thugs to corner Mater with his friends to have them explode together, but McMissile, Shiftwell, the army and police (helped by Sheriff and Sarge) intervene and have him arrested. McMissile orders Zündapp to deactivate the bomb on Mater, but he claims that only the one who installed it is able to do so. Mater then figures out that the true mastermind behind the criminal acts is none other than Sir Axlerod himself, whose aim was to have the world relinquish the use of all alternative fuels in favor of the oil reserves in his possession. Axlerod ends up confirming Mater's suspicion when he is confronted by him and forced to deactivate the bomb with a voice command to prevent it from killing himself.
For exposing Axlerod as a criminal mastermind, Mater is knighted by the Queen and returns home with his friends where the cars from the Grand Prix take part into their own unofficial Radiator Springs Grand Prix. Fillmore reveals that Sarge replaced McQueen's Allinol before the last race with his own organic fuel mixture, which is what prevented McQueen from being affected by the electromagnetism. McMissile and Shiftwell pay a visit to Mater, and invite him to join them in another secret mission. But he declines, claiming that he is in the place he should be.
During the credits, Lightning McQueen and Mater are shown to be driving through various locations around the world before finally returning to Radiator Springs.
John Lasseter conceived the sequel's story while traveling around the world promoting the first film. He said, "I kept looking out thinking, 'What would Mater do in this situation,' you know? I could imagine him driving around on the wrong side of the road in the UK, going around in big, giant traveling circles in Paris, on the autobahn in Germany, dealing with the motor scooters in Italy, trying to figure out road signs in Japan."
The spy theme of Cars 2 emerged from a scene developed for Cars, which would have seen Lightning and Sally go to the drive-in movie theater, where they would have seen a spy film. Although the scene didn't make it to the final film, John Lasseter, who says to be an avid spy films fan, liked so much the idea of spy cars that he kept it in mind, and it became a main element in Cars 2.
Several members of the team watched spy movies, and studied the scenarist techniques and filming process. Lasseter watched as many spy movies as he could get to figure out the genre. While looking at spy films, story supervisor Nathan Stanton payed particular attention to how car chases are shot.
Some members of the Cars 2 production team made a research trip in Europe in May 2009 where they visited 15 locations in 12 days. They also got to Japan in October 2009.
Many animators had the opportunity to test real sports cars at their full speed, by themselves or with a pilot, to gain experience on how to animate the characters of the movie. Some also attended to racing events.
It took a long time for the team to decide the emotional center of the film. Notably, Doc Hudson's death was envisaged as the emotional center of the film, as he could be considered as Lightning and Mater's father, but this idea was finally abandoned, and Lightning and Mater's friendship was retained.
It was originally planned that the World Grand Prix would be composed of five races rather than three, but two of them were removed because it was too much story to tell. The movie was also supposed to open in Prague, but Lasseter moved it to the ocean and the oil rigs, which he though would be a much more spectacular way of debuting the film and to announce its spy theme.
In the original Cars, the landscapes and buildings included numerous car elements and mechanical pieces. In Cars 2, this technique, referred to as "Car-ification", appears more prominently due to the important number of places visited. Lasseter wanted as much monuments as possible to be "car-ified". Therefore, all famous buildings in the real towns visited received important modifications to integrate in their architecture car grills, headlights, pistons, spark plugs and many other car pieces, although the general appearance is conserved. Some buildings are even renamed, as Big Ben becomes Big Bentley. Many also get bigger proportions to fit a car scale. For example, the Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame's Cathedral in Paris are 50% bigger than the originals. The process extends itself to the culture. The use by gambling cars of fuzzy dices similar to those hanged in a decorative purpose inside a car, or the periodic table of elements that becomes the automotive table of elements, can be given as examples.
In 2009, Disney registered several domain names in relation to the title "World Grand Prix". However, only the title "Cars 2" has been released.
The teaser trailer for Cars 2 appeared on the Blu-ray and DVD editions of Toy Story 3 when it was released on November 2, 2010.
The full length trailer for Cars 2 was released on Pixar's official YouTube account on November 15, 2010 and later appeared in front of the animated Disney film Tangled.
From early 2011 to the opening of Cars 2, Disney/Pixar massively published stills, video clips and concept art from the movie. Characters of the film were also regularly revealed, and a turntable video was provided for most of them.Life-sized remote-controlled models of Lightning McQueen, Mater and Finn McMissile were created for Cars 2 as part of the “Agents on a Mission” tour, presented by State Farm, to promote the film. The cars were exposed in several North American cities, including Detroit, Toronto, Phoenix, Philadelphia, New York, Boston, Washington, D.C. and Miami, among others.
At the occasion of the 2011 WonderCon, Disney also led a viral marketing campaign. Outside the convention center was an AMC Pacer parked with an inscription leading to the Twitter account @ChromeLeaks. This account gives a URL that redirects to a video, Cars N' Deals of Emeryville Sale-A-Bration!, which contains a number of Pixar-related references, plus a hidden message that will bring you to a video with new Cars 2 footage. In June, Disney/Pixar released another viral video, of lesser importance, V12 TV, which uses clips from Cars 2 to spoof popular television programs.
Jake Mandeville−Anthony v. The Walt Disney Company
On March 14, 2011, British screenwriter Jake Mandeville-Anthony filed a lawsuit against Disney and Pixar, saying the Cars franchise had similarities to characters and multiple screenplays "Cookie & Co." and "Cars", which he developed in the early 1990's, alleging copyright infringement and breach of implied contract. Mandeville-Anthony claims he sent his story to a number of studios, including Disney and Pixar, and met with Jim Morris, then at Lucasfilm. He requested an injunction to stop the release of Cars 2 and actual or statutory damages. On July 27, 2011, the case was dismissed, preventing it from going to jury trial or ever being refiled. Disney’s attorneys proved that Mandeville-Anthony’s story, reportedly full of crude language and dialogue and highly offensive racist stereotypes, were very different from the Cars films.
During the summer of 2008, John Lasseter announced that Cars 2 would be pushed forward and released in the summer of 2011, one year earlier than its original 2012 release date. The US release date was later confirmed to be June 24, 2011, with a UK release date set for July 22, 2011. The world premiere of the film took place at the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood on June 18, 2011. Cars 2 was released in 4,115 theaters in the USA and Canada, setting a record-high for a G-rated film and for Pixar. The latter was surpassed by Brave (4,164 theaters).
The film was released on Blu-ray, Blu-ray 3D, DVD and Movie Download on November 1, 2011. The release was produced in four different physical packages: a 1-disc DVD; a 2-disc combo pack (Blu-ray and DVD); a 5-disc combo pack (Blu-ray, Blu-ray 3D, DVD and Digital Copy); and an 11-disc three movie collector's set featuring Cars, Cars 2 and Mater's Tall Tales. The film was also released as a Movie Download option in both standard and high definition.
The Movie Download version includes four bonus features: the new Cars Toon “Air Mater,” the Toy Story Toon “Hawaiian Vacation,” “World Tour Interactive Feature," and "Bringing Cars 2 to the World." The 1-disc DVD and 2-disc Blu-ray/DVD combo pack versions include the shorts “Air Mater” and “Hawaiian Vacation,” plus "Director John Lasseter Commentary." The 5-disc combo pack includes all of the same bonus features as the 1-disc DVD and 2-disc Blu-ray/DVD combo pack versions, plus “World Tour Interactive Feature" and "Sneak Peek: The Nuts and Bolts of Cars Land." The 11-disc three movie collection comes packaged with Cars (Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital Copy), Cars 2 (Blu-ray 3D, Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital Copy), and Mater's Tall Tales (Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital Copy).
Cars 2 sold 1,983,374 DVD units during its opening week, generating $31.24 million and claiming first place. It also finished on the top spot on the Blu-ray chart during its first week, selling 1.76 million units and generating $44.57 million. Its Blu-ray share of home media was 47%, indicating an unexpectedly major shift of sales from DVD to Blu-ray. Blu-ray 3D contributed to this, accounting for 17% of total disc sales.
"Cars 2" holds a 39% approval rating on aggregate review site Rotten Tomatoes, based on 203 reviews, with an average score of 5.5/10, making it the first Pixar film to garner a "rotten" certification. Its consensus reads, "Cars 2 is as visually appealing as any other Pixar production, but all that dazzle can't disguise the rusty storytelling under the hood." Another review aggregator, Metacritic, which assigns a weighted average score out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, calculated an average score of 57/100 based on 38 reviews, indicating "mixed or average reviews". "The original Cars was not greeted with exceptional warmth," said The New York Times, "but the sequel generated Pixar's first truly negative response." Critics generally criticized the G rating, the focus on Mater and felt the film lacked warmth and charm, while also feeling the film was made as an exercise in target marketing. Reviewing the film for The Wall Street Journal, Joe Morgenstern wrote, “This frenzied sequel seldom gets beyond mediocrity." Entertainment Weekly critic Owen Gleiberman said, "Cars 2 is a movie so stuffed with "fun" that it went right off the rails. What on earth was the gifted director-mogul John Lasseter thinking – that he wanted kids to come out of this movie was [sic] more ADD?" Although Leonard Maltin on IndieWire claimed that he had "such high regard for Pixar and it's creative team headed by John Lasseter" he said he found the plot "confusing" and felt that Tow Mater's voice annoying saying that he'd "rather listen to chalk on a blackboard than spend nearly two hours with Tow Mater." Considering the low reviews given to the Pixar production, critic Kyle Smith of the New York Post said, "They said it couldn't be done. But Pixar proved the yaysayers wrong when it made its first bad movie, Cars. Now it has worsted itself with the even more awful Cars 2."
Conversely, Peter Travers of Rolling Stone gave the movie 3½ stars out of four, and said that "the sequel is a tire-burning burst of action and fun with a beating heart under its hood." He also praised its "fluid script" and called it a "winner". Roger Ebert was the most effusive of the more positive reviews, writing, “At a time when some ‘grown-up’ action films are relentlessly shallow and stupid, here is a movie with such complexity that even the cars sometimes have to pause and explain it to themselves.” Justin Chang of Variety commented, “The rare sequel that not only improves on but retroactively justifies its predecessor.” Ticket buyers also gave the film an A– in exit polls, on par with other Pixar titles. A central current of the negative reviews was the theory that Cars 2 was forced out of Pixar by its corporate parent, the Walt Disney Company, out of greed to drive merchandising sales. Lasseter vehemently denied these claims, calling them "people who don’t know the facts, rushing to judge." Some theorized that the vitriol was less about the film but more about Pixar's broadened focus to sequels. The New York Times reported that although one negatively reviewed film would not be enough to scratch the studio, "the commentary did dent morale at the studio, which until then had enjoyed an unbroken and perhaps unprecedented run of critical acclaim."
Box Office Results
Cars 2 grossed $191,452,396 in the USA and Canada, and $368,400,000 in other territories for a worldwide total of $559,852,396. Worldwide on its opening weekend it grossed $109.0 million, marking the largest opening weekend for a 2011 animated title. Overall, Cars 2 became seventh biggest Pixar film in terms of worldwide box office among fourteen released.
Cars 2 made $25.7 million on its debut Friday (June 24, 2011), marking the third-largest opening day for a Pixar film after Toy Story 3's $41.1 million. At the time, though, it was the third least-attended opening day for a Pixar film, only ahead of Up and Ratatouille. It also scored the sixth largest opening day for an animated feature. On its opening weekend as a whole, Cars 2 debuted at No.1 with $66.1 million, marking the largest opening weekend for a 2011 animated feature, the seventh largest opening for Pixar, the eighth largest among films released in June, and the fourth largest for a G-rated film. In its second weekend however, the film dropped 60.3%, the largest second weekend drop ever for a Pixar film, and grossed $26.2 million. It is the only Pixar film that missed the $200-million mark since A Bug's Life, and it is also the least attended Pixar film ever.
Outside North America, it grossed $42.9 million during its first weekend from 3,129 theaters in 18 countries, topping the box office. It performed especially well in Russia where it grossed $9.42 million, marking the best opening weekend for a Disney or Pixar animated feature and surpassing the entire runs of Cars and Toy Story 3. In Mexico, it made $8.24 million during its first weekend. In Brazil, it topped the box office with $5.19 million ($7.08 million with previews). It also premiered at No.1 with $5.16 million in Australia, where it debuted simultaneously with Kung Fu Panda 2 and out-grossed it. It is the highest-grossing film of 2011 in Lithuania ($477,117), and Argentina ($11,996,480). It is the highest-grossing animated film of 2011 in Estonia ($442,707), Finland ($3,230,314), and Norway ($5,762,653).
- Main article: Cars 2 Awards
Cars 2 marks the first Pixar film not to be nominated for an Oscar. It is also the first Pixar film not nominated for Best Animated Feature in the history of that Award (2001–present).
Attached Short Film
Hawaiian Vacation, the first episode of the Toy Story Toons series stars the Toy Story characters, was attached to Cars 2.
Sequel and spin-offs
On August 17, 2013, Michael Wallis, the voice of Sheriff, and a Route 66 consultant for the first two films said in an interview with WGBZ radio that Pixar will make a third film in the series which will go back to Route 66 and will also include Route 99.
At the Disney shareholders meeting in March of 2014, Disney CEO and chairman Bob Iger confirmed that Pixar is in pre-production on the third Cars film.
- Owen Wilson as Lightning McQueen
- Larry the Cable Guy as Mater
- Michael Caine as Finn McMissile
- Emily Mortimer as Holley Shiftwell
- John Turturro as Francesco Bernoulli
- Bonnie Hunt as Sally Carrera
- Tony Shalhoub as Luigi
- Guido Quaroni as Guido
- Paul Dooley as Sarge
- Lloyd Sherr as Fillmore and Tony Trihull
- Cheech Marin as Ramone
- Jenifer Lewis as Flo
- Thomas Kretschmann as Professor Z
- Joe Mantegna as Grem
- Peter Jacobson as Acer
- Eddie Izzard as Miles Axlerod
- Michel Michelis as Tomber
- Michael Wallis as Sheriff
- Katherine Helmond as Lizzie
- John Ratzenberger as Mack
- Bruce Campbell as Rod "Torque" Redline
- Barbara Kottmeier as Carla Veloso
- Jeff Gordon as Jeff Gorvette
- Lewis Hamilton as Lewis Hamilton
- Franco Nero as Uncle Topolino
- Vanessa Redgrave as Mama Topolino and The Queen
- Jason Isaacs as Leland Turbo and Siddeley
- Darrell Waltrip as Darrell Cartrip
- Brent Musburger as Brent Mustangburger
- David Hobbs as David Hobbscap
- Sig Hansen as Crabby
- Sonoko Konishi as Chuki
- John Lasseter as John Lassetire
- Edie McClurg as Minny
- Richard Kind as Van
- Jeff Garlin as Otis
- Stanley Townsend as Ivan, Victor Hugo and Vladimir Trunkov
- John Mainieri as J. Curby Gremlin
- Brad Lewis as Tubbs Pacer
- Patrick Walker as Mel Dorado
- Velibor Topic as Alexander Hugo
- Daisuke "Dice" Tsutsumi as Sushi Chef
- Teresa Gallagher as Mater's Computer
Three voice actors of the original Cars have also died since the first film had been released. Joe Ranft, who voiced Red and Jerry Recycled Batteries, died in a car accident in August 2005 during production of the first film. Red appears in the movie, and does an inaudible cry.
Paul Newman, who voiced Doc Hudson, died in September 2008 after losing an ongoing cancer battle. Lasseter was at first adamant that Newman would return, even though he had announced his retirement from acting. After Newman's death, Lasseter said that they would see how the story goes with Doc Hudson. Finally, it was chosen that Doc wouldn't be voiced by another actor in the movie, instead they made it where he would be deceased.
In international versions of Cars 2, Jeff Gorvette is replaced in one scene by a different character, voiced by a regionally better known racer than Jeff Gordon:
- Australia: Mark Winterbottom: Mark "Frosty" Winterbottom
- Spain: Fernando Alonso: Fernando Alonso
- Russia: Vitaly Petrov: Vitaly Petrov
- Sweden: Jan Nilsson: Jan "Flash" Nilsson
- China: Unknown: Long Ge
- Mexico: Memo Rojas, Jr.: Memo Rojas, Jr.
- Germany: Sebastian Vettel: Sebastian Schnell (Max Schnell)
- Brazil: Claudia Leitte: Carla Veloso
- France: Unknown: Raoul ÇaRoule
Notable voices in the international versions are Sophia Loren, who voices Mama Topolino in 21 non-English countries, and Jacques Villeneuve, who voices David Hobbscap in the French versions. In the Brazilian version, sportspeople still appear, with Lewis Hamilton becoming Formula One champion Emerson Fittipaldi, while Brent Mustangburger and David Hobbscap were done by sports announcers José Trajano and Luciano do Valle.
Below is a list of cameos, in-jokes, re-used animation and other trivia from Cars 2.
References to Cars
- Near the beginning of the movie, Mater asks Lightning McQueen if he can handle Mater's plans, and Lightning says that he can handle anything. He also said that he can handle anything after Mater asks him if he wants to go Tractor Tipping in the first movie.
- Several brands that sponsored Piston Cup teams in Cars appear in Cars 2 on advertisements in Tokyo. These includes Nitroade, RPM, Easy Idle, Vitoline, Mood Springs, Clutch Aid, Tank Coat, Gasprin, an allusion to Lil' Torquey Pistons and Dinoco. Also, Lightning McQueen had the same Rust-eze sponsor in the beginning of the movie.
- At the end of the movie, Finn McMissile tells Mater that if he needs anything, just ask, and Mater says that there is one thing. That was very similar to at the end of Cars when Tex Dinoco tells Lightning McQueen that if he needs anything, just ask, and Lightning McQueen says that there is one thing.
- Both movies end on a flying machine getting in the view of the camera, while Lightning McQueen races away on the roads of Radiator Springs in the background.
- Both films include numerous guest stars appearances.
- Some ideas that didn't made the cut of Cars made their way into Cars 2. In a scene that never went beyond storyboarding, Lightning and Sally went to see a movie featuring a British spy car called Finn McMissile. From there came the spy theme of Cars 2 and its main spy car. In early versions of Cars, Lightning McQueen organized a Radiator Springs Grand Prix to bring back interest on the town. This idea was found as a good way to end Cars 2.
- The Porto Corsa big crash is similar to the Piston Cup crash in the beginning of the first film.
- In Cars 2, Carla Veloso is the only female race car in the World Grand Prix. That's similar to Misti Motorkrass being the only female race car in the Piston Cup.
- Both movies end with the main character getting a girlfriend.
- When the Japanese toilet shoots water at Mater's undercarriage, he makes the same scream that he made in the first film when he was spinning like a tornado while he was driving backwards.
- In the closing credits, Mater uses his hook to make the Leaning Tower of Pisa upright, then it leans to the other side. This is a reference to in the first film when Mater uses his hook to try to make his sign upright, but then it leans to the other side.
- Also, when Mater gets covered in soap from the Japanese toilet, he makes the same babbling that he makes in the first film when he's driving backwards.
- The first car you see in each movie is red (color).
- Francesco Bernoulli is similar to Chick Hicks (except Hicks' cheating).
References to Cars Toons: Mater's Tall Tales
- Several characters from Tokyo Mater, including Kabuto, appear at the World Grand Prix welcome party at the Tokyo National Art Center.
- Tokyo as it appears in Cars 2 reuses many elements from how it appeared in Tokyo Mater. Notably, many advertisements appear without a change in both films.
- The priests and altar boys have the same design as the ones that appear in El Materdor. Additionally, bulldozers from El Materdor appear during the credits.
- Many of the British Army vehicles appear to be reused models from Unidentified Flying Mater.
- In the end of the film, Mater tells everyone his story, but one car doesn't believe him, finding it a nonsense. But then, Holley comes in the town proving that Mater's story is real. This is very similar to the end of the episodes of Cars Toons: Mater's Tall Tales.
- Gusteau's from Ratatouille appears under the name of Gastow's.
- In Tokyo, a billboard of Harryhausen's from Monsters, Inc. makes a cameo.
- Also in Tokyo, an advertisement for a Lotso bear from Toy Story 3 is seen.
- In the beginning of the movie, while McQueen and Mater are in Radiator Springs, the drive-in they pass by is playing a movie titled "The Incredimobiles", a reference to The Incredibles. The Incredimobile is also the name of Mr. Incredible/Bob Parr's car seen in that film's prologue.
- The Incredibles is again mentioned on a French poster in the entrance of the Marché Aux Pièces. It bears the French title of the film, Les Indestructibles.
- Also at the entrance is a poster for A Bug's Life, using the French title of the film, 1001 Pattes (1001 Legs). This marks the second time this movie is mentioned in the Cars franchise, with the first time being in the credits of Cars.
- The jungle from which Miles Axlerod emerges during the clip on the Mel Dorado show is the jungle from Up.
- Brave characters (specifically Princess Merida and her family) appear "car-ified" on a tapestry in the Ye Left Turn Inn in London.
- A113 appears three times in Cars 2:
- As in Cars, A113 is present on Mater's license plate.
- A113 also appears on Siddeley's tail.
- When Finn, Holley and Mater are examining the photo of the mystery engine, the digits "A113" are pictured in a sort-of VIN number Digiting.
- Some references to the film's director John Lasseter appear in Cars 2:
- Jeff Gorvette's pit crew chief John Lassetire is a cameo of John Lasseter.
- An advertisement on the sidelines of the race in London is for "Lassetyre".
- A road in London is named "Lasseter Way".
- In the credits, it was shown that Mater's birthday was January 12, 1957, which is the same as John Lasseter's.
- In the credits, Vitaly Petrov, a character from the Russian version of the film, can be seen on a Russian postcard.
- In the credits, while the camera pans through a cartoon San Francisco, the Pixar Animation Studios appears on the map with a giant Luxo Lamp above it.
- In the credits, some of the travel brochures passing by have pictures of Luxo, Jr. and the Luxo's Ball, as well as a fictional airline company called "Pixair", a reference to Pixar.
- Todd the Pizza Planet Truck returned again in this film, where he appears twice.
- Cars 2 is the first sequel Pixar has produced that is not based on the Toy Story movies.
- The world globe that appears on some posters has geographical differences with the real Earth: some regions have been stretched and modified to get the silhouette of main characters of the movie; Ireland is shaped as Lightning McQueen, Labrador as Mater, the island of Hispaniola as Finn McMissile, the Lake Superior as Francesco Bernoulli, and Iceland as Professor Z. Also, on the posters (except on the Cars 2 Video Game button on PS3 console menus and the Cars 2 video game starting menu), Iceland is closer to Britain and Ireland than on the real Earth. However, when the Earth is shown in Moon Mater, the countries that were changed on the Cars 2 posters are normal-shaped as well as Iceland still being at its normal distance from Britain and Ireland. So in the Cars world, the countries are still normal shaped and in normal distances.
- The character team built 145 new character models for the film and 781 variants. These variants, which are primarily background cars, include 13 model variants – unique character models that are based on other new models – and 768 shading variants – models that are re-used from classic and new Cars, Cars 2 and Cars Toons models, but with new, unique paint schemes. In total, there are 926 new characters in Cars 2.
- Mater says that his line of work is towing and salvage. Finn replies by saying, "Right. And Ms. Shiftwell's is designing iPhone apps." This is a reference to Apple's smartphone line.
- State Farm is mentioned briefly. When McMissile and Shiftwell tell Mater that he is a secret agent, he thinks they mean an insurance agent, and sings, "Like a good neighbor, Mater is there!", a reference to the State Farm jingle.
- Cars 2 has the lowest score Rotten Tomatoes has given to Pixar, with an average score of 38% based of 193 reviews by well known critics and stated as rotten. This is also the first Pixar film to earn a rotten ranking.
- At the Marché aux Pièces in Paris, one car has eyes in her headlights, which is an allusion to their standard location on anthropomorphic cars. It refer to how John Lasseter felt it was more appealing for the eyes to be on the windshield instead.
- A large number of background characters (including the World Grand Prix racers Miguel Camino and Max Schnell) have the tire codes "P215/65R15 89H" and "Traction A Temperature A". Raoul ÇaRoule is a rare exception, having a different tire code reading "P210/70R18 99S".
- Cars 2 is the third Pixar movie to feature an entirely non-human cast after A Bug's Life and Cars.
- In the short YouTube documentary A Day in the Life of John Lasseter, it is shown that during the end of production of Cars 2, Professor Z's lines in the interrogation scene with Rod "Torque" Redline were changed to remove any references to radiation ("electro-magnetic pulse" was originally "blast of radiation"). John Lasseter asked that the lines be changed out of respect for Japan, due to the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster that happened there three months before the film's release in the United States, which it was caused by the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami. However, in the Cars 2 Junior Novelization and the Cars 2 magazine, "blast of radiation" was used, probably because they were made before they changed the line.
- One of the film's posters can be seen in the 2011 Muppets movie.
- Cars 2 is the fourth Pixar film to contain subtitles over foreign languages, with the first being The Incredibles, the second being Ratatouille and the third being Toy Story 3.
- Cars 2 is Pixar's fourth longest film, with a running time of 1 hour and 46 minutes, with Ratatouille in third, Cars in second, and The Incredibles in first (however, Cars is longer than The Incredibles).
- This was the second time in the Cars series when Mater was flying. The first was in Unidentified Flying Mater, and the third was in Air Mater.
- The first character seen in the movie, Leland Turbo, and the last character seen in the movie, Siddeley, are both voiced by Jason Isaacs.
- During the Mel Dorado show, in the picture of the scientists examining the Allinol, in the background is a picture saying "Automotive Table of Elements." This is a reference to the "Periodic Table of Elements." The table has the same chemical symbols as the actual Periodic Table.
- The story of Cars 2 kind of reverses the story of Cars Mater-National. In Cars 2, Lightning and Mater visit the world. In Cars Mater-National, the world visits them.
- The bathroom fight in Tokyo between Rod "Torque" Redline, Acer and Grem is a reference to the pre-credits sequence of the James Bond film Casino Royale.
- This is the last Pixar film to use the words "Walt" and "Pictures" in the Disney logo at the very beginning.
- In the movie, Rod "Torque" Redline dies after radiation. But in the video game, you can choose to play as him when you download him. However, it could be that he is part of a simulation, as the tracks are part of a simulation.
- This is the last Pixar film released before Steve Jobs' death.
- For the Tokyo race, Lightning McQueen has logically on his racing wheels. However, in one scene, when the start lights are showing, McQueen is seen with his party wheels on instead of his racing wheels. In the rest of the race, he has his race wheels on.
- When Mater was at the airport entering the terminal, you could see a mark on his side that showed that his symbol was scraped off. But when he was going through the gate, the mark wasn't there anymore.
- Some cars in the crowd attending the Porto Corsa race have sunk through the floor.
- Although Lightning McQueen had not joined the World Grand Prix yet, you can see him forming the globe in the ad on The Mel Dorado Show. However, it could have been finished with every racer that was invited before Lightning declined the invite. But even then, it is inconsistent that he appears with his World Grand Prix customizations, that he hadn't then. It could be that they had McQueen's World Grand Prix customization planned before he declined the invite.
- In the bathroom scene: When Mater enters the bathroom, none of the stalls are open except the one he goes into. When Rod "Torque" Redline comes in, they are all open except the one Mater is in. There is only about 15 seconds in between Mater and Rod "Torque" Redline, so it is very unlikely that all the cars had exited their stalls by then. However, it could be that the cars exited their stalls when Mater sees the toilet and before he went into his stall, as well as that when a mini blue car exits the stall Mater goes into.
- After Lightning McQueen, Mater, Finn McMissile and Holley Shiftwell confront Professor Z, you can clearly see that he is attached to Finn. But right before Holley tazes him, he is not attached at all. But it might be that Finn unattached Professor Z while the bomb was taking a minute off.
- When Mater goes to hook up to Victor Hugo from Karl Haulzemoff, he attaches his hook to the front left wheel. As Mater pulls him in to the back room of the casino to join the rest of the cars, the hook is attached to the front right wheel. However, it is possible that Victor made Mater change wheels.
- In the Radiator Springs Grand Prix, Lightning had his Allinol sign when he introduced Francesco to Sally. But when he backed up, you can see it's not there.
- When Holley, Finn and Mater are trapped in Big Bentley, it is emphasized that they move closer to their death every minute, starting at the top of the hour. Later, when the clock is being reversed, it shows fifteen minutes had passed. Originally, when Holley and Finn were moving closer to the gears, they only moved a few times, suggesting only a few minutes had passed.
- At the World Grand Prix welcome party, Francesco Bernoulli appears during a short scene with different wheels, with gray wheel trims and no inscriptions.
- When Mater was on the phone, he was not on screen on the TV. But when Francesco was being mean to McQueen, he somehow knew that Mater was a tow truck even though he wasn't on screen. However, it could be that Mater said that he is a tow truck before McQueen and Sally came in. Another explanation is that Francesco thinks that all tow trucks sound like Mater, and so he calls him one as well. The most likely explanation of this is that McQueen is world-famous and thus various details about him, including his friends, are widely known as is the way with celebrities, although Darrell Cartrip said that he doesn't know Mater when he actually did in the Cars video game.
- After the bomb was deactivated, two police cars surrounded Miles Axlerod. One of them was black and the other one was grey/gray with blue and green squares. After Mater opens Axlerod's hood/bonnet to show his engine, the black police car then changes, matching the other one.
- When Mater wakes up from his nightmare, the time on Big Bentley says 3 o'clock, but it chimes 5 times.
- When Guido tries to take the bomb off Mater, the time on it said 2 minutes and about 38 seconds. But when Mater bows to the Queen just before the guards notice the bomb, the time on it said 1 minute and about 52 seconds. McQueen and Mater's conversation and them flying to Buckingham Palace took more than a minute between these scenes.
- When the bombs on Tony Trihull's magnet explode, the explosion was big enough to kill Finn McMissile and Professor Z. However, in the following scenes, they were still alive. Although, it is likely that the two were able to escape the detonation range before it exploded.
- In the credits, there was a paper revealing that Mater was knighted on Tuesday 15th July 2011. In real life, 15th July in 2011 was on a Friday, not Tuesday.
- In the scene right when Mater and Lightning enter Buckingham Palace, look in the background. There is a mountain there. Then the scene shows Finn and Holley entering, then it has Lightning and Mater moving closer to the Queen. In that scene, the mountain is a now a big building.
- When Mater was driving away from McQueen due to the bomb, Darrell Cartrip says he doesn't know Mater, even though he does in Cars: The Video Game.
- When Mater was driving through London using the rockets, and had McQueen holding on to him, there was a blue Gremlin telling Grem and Acer that Mater and McQueen are coming their way. Beside the blue Gremlin was a sign on a wall which was mentioning about some drinks in a cafe, including oil teas. One of the words on the sign was "favorite", which was spelled "favorite" on the sign, even though it was being shown in London (and showing the British name for gasoline: "petrol"), as the UK spells "favorite" with a "u", spelling it as "favourite".
- Although Tokyo Mater ended with the villain Kabuto being stripped of his modifications after losing to Mater in a drift race, in his appearance here, he can be seen with his modifications again. However, it could be that was another car that looks like Kabuto, perhaps the story never happened, or it is most likely that Kabuto got his modifications back after the story.
- In the film, Holley Shiftwell gets a dent when she prevents Grem and Acer from getting Lightning McQueen and Mater. However, in Cars 2: The Video Game, Kinect Rush: A Disney/Pixar Adventure and Disney Infinity, the dent isn't there.
- When Acer and Petey Pacer discover that Finn is still alive when they try to get Mater, Finn was holding a fire extinguisher and shoots foam onto their eyes. Acer and Petey Pacer then couldn't see where they're going. Petey Pacer and Acer were driving in the same direction until Petey Pacer turns left and runs into a police car while Acer went on straight ahead. In the shot when Petey Pacer starts to turn left, Acer is driving towards the poles holding the crowd and past the pit building. But in the shot when Petey Pacer runs into the police car, Acer is then shown driving past some buildings. Wrong place. However, it could be that when Petey Pacer is driving left, Acer was driving left as well, and Petey Pacer drives left again before Acer goes on straight ahead.
- On the race track in Tokyo, the road leading to Rainbow Bridge seemed to have a few mistakes. In reality, the road has a railway in the middle. However on the race track in the film, the railway track isn't there. Two roads connect to Rainbow Bridge. In the film, the road that was part of the race track goes over the other road on Rainbow Bridge. But in reality, the two roads are the opposite.
- When McQueen says that he will still use Allinol in the final race in London, he mentions about Mater, which Mater had his eyelids pointing up. In the next shot, when Brent Mustangburger mentions to the audience what McQueen said about still using Allinol, Mater's eyelids then suddenly change their position, so it should be that it might have skipped a bit.
- When Grem uses the pulse generator to try to kill McQueen in the last race, the racers seem to be driving across Westminster Bridge and past Big Ben/Big Bentley. However, when Mater got free and drove out of the clock tower, it looks as if there is traffic on that same road leading to Westminster Bridge.
- In the introduction before the first race in Tokyo starts, when the announcers mention Lightning McQueen, there was a box showing McQueen from on the track when the rest of the screen shows an aerial view. Miguel Camino is between McQueen and Nigel Gearsley, which all of the racers are turning side to side in the test before the start of the race. Camino is only seen once on the box showing McQueen from his front, and only Gearsley is seen on it for the rest of the time that it is being shown.
- When John Lassetire (John Lasseter) is in his World Grand Prix customization, his eyes were brown. However, when he changed it after the World Grand Prix, which he was green with wooden doors, his eyes then changed to blue, which is actually Lasseter's eye color.
- During the introduction before the race in Porto Corsa, when Darrell starts talking, the DVD and Blu-ray subtitles accidentally say Brent's name when it shows who is talking when that character's mouth is not shown.
- The circuit of the London heat of the World Grand Prix goes through the middle archway of Admiralty Arch. In reality, this archway is opened only for (rare) State occasions, and only the Royal entourage is allowed through it; in everyday traffic use, only the other two arches are used. However, it could be that in the film, they were allowed permission to use the middle archway in the circuit.
- Before you see Finn McMissile at the party, on a bridge, there is Kabuto, but his eyes were brown instead of green. However, it may be due to the fact that Kabuto was probably wearing green contacts in Tokyo Mater, and that being of Asian origin, that brown is actually his normal eye color.
- Despite the above, Ramone and Flo, despite being implied to be Latino and African American judging by their accents, actually both have blue eyes.
- When Grem and Acer leave Big Bentley, they use a lift/elevator. In real life, the Elizabeth Tower does not have a lift/elevator (though one will be added during the tower's restoration from 2017 to 2021). This is most likely artistic licence; unless cars in the Cars universe have abilities we haven't seen, there's no way they could drive up or down the narrow, steep and winding staircases in the real-life version of the tower.
- In the international version of the DVD/Blu-ray, several instances of written English text have been replaced with universal symbols or removed. However, on several occasions, they switch back to the original appearance, or that the original appearance is shown, then the new appearance. For instance: The World Grand Prix racers' names on the wall of the pit building and the box with text showing when McQueen is talking about what fuel he will use in the final race in London.
- The red telephone boxes in London are still human-sized in the Cars world, making them not big enough for the cars to get in.
- When Mater goes into the bathroom, Denise Beam can be seen leaving the bathroom. This is a mistake because Denise Beam is a female, but she was in the bathroom for males.
- For some reason, like the oil rigs, the Pyramids of Giza in Cairo, Egypt as seen in the closing credits aren't car-ified. However, the Sphinx of Giza is.
- In the subtitles for the audio commentary on Cars 2, John Lasseter describes Mater with "two miniguns" but the subtitles say "two many guns".
- In the subtitles for the iTunes and Apple TV versions of the film, Stephenson's name is misspelled as "Stevenson."
- At the World Grand Prix race in Tokyo, there is a short dirt track section of the course during which Francesco loses his lead and is "brought to a screeching halt." However, at the end of the film when the racers compete in Radiator Springs, Francesco does not seem to have any trouble driving or turning on the dirt.
- Tony Trihull was shown when Finn McMissile starts chasing Professor Zündapp. It also shows the scene when Tony is using his magnet. When it was used, Finn's equipment was pulled by the magnet, which also includes his bullets. The bullets were colored black when all of them were going out. However, they turn gray when they are pulled onto the magnet.
- When Mater tows Otis onto the road, Otis' tire seems to go through the oil leaked by him. However, no oil trail was made by it.
- When Mater and Shiftwell are talking in the corridor, Mater's reflection is cast on the wall. However, Shiftwell's reflection isn't.
- For this subject's image gallery, see Cars 2/Gallery.