Disclaimer: Disney, Pixar and ABC invited me to San Francisco on an all-expenses paid trip, in exchange for my coverage of events, which included a press conference with the producers and also Cars 3 Director Brian Fee. As always, all opinions are my own.
With Cars 3 set to be released in theaters everywhere NEXT WEEK (Squee!), I have only a few exclusive surprises left for you. One of which is the press conference we had at the very end of our day spent at Sonoma Raceway with the PIXAR team.
Press conferences are a unique experience to say the least.
The press conference was part of the Cars 3 Long Lead Press Days in March, months before the movie was set to be released. It’s such a rare glimpse into a movie that will have no doubt changed between March and its’ June 16th release date. Why? PIXAR is always working on the story, perfecting it. That’s why, though I’ve seen roughly half of the movie, I don’t know the ending, and am not quite sure that all of what I’ve seen will still be in the film.
This Cars 3 press conference, was held after a full day of presentations from many members of the PIXAR Cars 3 team (including how PIXAR Came up with Cars 3 Story) and racing Lightning McQueen style in a REAL race car! Oh, the screams!!
A Rare Chat with Cars 3 Director Brian Fee
Following in John Lasseter’s footsteps
Over a decade ago, John Lasseter created this world we know so well. Radiator Springs simply didn’t exist before then. Friends like Lightning McQueen and Mater weren’t household names yet. PIXAR hit it out of the ballpark with the creation of something we’d never seen before. Cars was a huge success!
Imagine what it would be like years later to be tasked with following in John Lasseter’s footsteps. That’s exactly what Cars 3 Director Brian Fee was charged with doing at PIXAR.
No pressure, right?
Brian Fee commented in referring to John Lasseter, “He let me play with his TOYS”.
I imagine that it must have been tough for Lasseter to hand that over, especially with Cars 3 being Brian Fee’s first time in a role as Director (he’s known most for his work as a PIXAR storyboard artist on movies like WALL-E, Ratatouille, and the original Cars). But as Brian Fee explained, they would meet with Lasseter regularly (and there were quite a few phone calls).
That’s respect right there. Respect for a legacy that is bigger than yourself. With that, I had no doubt that Cars 3 director Brian Fee would be successful in this (and future PIXAR ventures).
The Actors and their Characters
Cars 3 Director Brian Fee, along with Producer Kevin Reher and Co-Producer Andrea Warren, shared insights into some of our favorite modern-day actors who stepped into the world of animation.
Surprisingly, they bring the actors into the process fairly early. Nathan Fillion (of Castle), who voices Sterling in Cars 3, would fly up to PIXAR to meet the team. It seems that even the voice actors were just as eager as we are about this film!
- 250-260 people were involved in the making of Cars 3!
- Owen Wilson wears his “writer’s hat” in the voice booth.
- Cars 3 is Kerry Washington’s (Scandal) first animated film (but acts like a veteran)
- Did you realize? The characters in Cars movies have no immediate family!
- This movie has MORE LINES than any other PIXAR film!
Doesn’t every movie need a villain?
They never wanted Jackson Storm to be a villain. They just wanted him to be of a younger generation who doesn’t respect those who came before.
I think that’s what makes this film different. It’s not heroes versus villains. The good guys versus the bad guys. It’s just about different places in your life and the viewpoints at each stage.
Concerns? Messages? Beans to Spill?
For any director, much less the incoming Cars 3 Director, there will always be concerns. Brian Fee shared that with the message of this movie resonating so much with grown ups
(See –> How PIXAR Came up with Cars 3 Story), he worried that kids might not understand the message.
While I agree that kids haven’t had much life experience to appreciate what we as adults will see as the main thrust of the movie, there’s no doubt kids will LOVE the humor, the racing, and the story of new character Cruz Ramirez (voiced by Cristela Alonzo). That story, inspired by Cristela’s own life living in a border town in Texas, combined with Brian Fee’s hatred for labeling toys or activities as “for girls” or “for boys”, will make Cars 3 the next PIXAR blockbuster!
So many incredible messages in this film (if you couldn’t tell) and one special one – realizing the joy you receive when you help someone else see THEIR joy!
I’m not spilling the beans (even though I don’t have all the beans yet to spill)! 🙂
PIXAR has done it again and there is so much heart in this movie! I dare say that grownups might even just love this one more than the kids!
Let’s take a sneak peek at the trailer:
CARS 3 opens in theatres everywhere on June 16th!
More from my Pixar trip:
Follow along over the next few weeks as I bring you more from my trip to San Francisco and PIXAR for #Cars3Event! Here are some posts so far:
- How PIXAR Came up with Cars 3 Story
- Tour PIXAR Headquarters
- Cars 3 – Bringing the Next Generation to Life
- Sonoma Raceway Experience
- The Toy Box – PIXAR Visit
- Born in China Screening & Review
- Puppy Dog Pals – Exclusive Interview
- Pixar in a Box – FREE
- I’m Going to PIXAR for Cars 3 Event
If you like this post, you’ll love these that I’ve picked out just for you!