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CARS...in...spaaaaaaaace!

There's about to be a Cars 3. This means there was a Cars 2 and, before that, Cars. You almost certainly know about them if you have kids: the series is Pixar's best-selling merchandise line by far. The films are also fascinatingly strange, when you scratch at their surfaces and try to explain their world. They're living cars with eyes, mouths, and a need to eat. And all of this in a world that certainly looks like it was built by humans, except there are no humans. How do these cars get oil? Refine it? Do anything that requires hands? There may be logical explanations for all of this, but keep in mind, the original Cars happened because Pixar head John Lasseter likes racing, and Cars 2 — which is a spy comedy. Really — happened because Lasseter likes The Man From U.N.C.L.E.; he and the other people who work on these films want to have fun doing them.

(The detail that makes me most interested in Cars 3, frankly, is that one of its writers is Mike Rich, who wrote Finding Forrester and who also was the uncredited writer of Miracle. Not who I'd have imagined would write for Disney Pixar, but an intriguing choice.)

So in the spirit of having fun, I can picture it: one or two or five films from now, there'll be Cars in space.

We'd meet heroic rocket Glenn Mercury (or maybe Apollo Glenn!). We'd see Lightning McQueen in a somehow-fitting helmet. We'd learn that satellites are both alive and really good at holding their breath. Mater'd get space madness (too many cosmic rays, man). We'd see a car in the moon, well, really, what looks like a car, like how we see a face in the moon. Would the International Space Station be alive? I haven't worked that out yet, but I'm guessing not. (Ooh! It could be the International Race Station! Because racing! Even in space!)

Cars 9: Space Race. This could happen. Maybe with an exclamation point in the title.