Whenever you can find a Disney movie that appeals to both kids and adults, it’s a win-win all around. And because Pixar’s Cars has recognizable voices from big names in entertainment, along with animated talking cars, it’s easy to see why it became such an instant hit when it premiered in theaters on June 9, 2006. It took a few years, but Cars eventually gave way to two sequels, making it a bona fide trilogy. And while sequels aren’t hard to come by when it comes to Disney movies, that’s a big feat for a Pixar movie specifically.
Even though the movie about a pompous race car celebrity is more than a decade old, fans young and old are still curious about how to watch Cars online. Luckily, since it has already been out in more than one capacity for so long, there are ample ways to watch it until you know every line to “Life is a Highway.” Obviously it’s not the most realistic premise, but when you have an animated film, you definitely need to suspend your disbelief. And with Owen Wilson as Lightning McQueen and Larry the Cable Guy as Mater the tow truck, it’s easy to get lost in the movie and look forward to streaming Cars. And if you’re ready for your tenth re-watch, here’s how to stream Cars right now.
How to Stream ‘Cars’ – Exclusively on Disney+
Cars is one of the fan-favorite Disney Pixar movies that will be streaming exclusively on Disney’s new subscription streaming service, Disney+.
You can sign up for a 7-day free trial of Disney+ HERE, which will allow you to stream Cars and hundreds of other movies and shows on your computer, phone, tablet, smart TV or streaming device. If you extend past the free trial, the service costs $6.99/month. You may also opt for this discount bundle of Disney+, Hulu and ESPN+ for $12.99/month.
- 1. Sign up for Disney+ here
- 2. Go to Disneyplus.com or download the Disney+ app on your device
- 3. Log in using your information
- 4. Search for “Cars”
- 5. Tap on “Cars”
- 6. Tap the PLAY button
- 7. Enjoy!
Disney+ also boasts a vast library of Disney-owned movies and series — plus several new original series coming soon. The service includes unlimited downloads so you can watch offline whenever and wherever you want. The list of compatible devices and smart TVs includes iPads, Apple TV, Amazon devices, Amazon Fire TV, Android, Chromecast, Roku, PS4, and Xbox One.
Release Date: June 9, 2006
Creators: John Lasseter, Joe Ranft, and Jorgen Klubien
Director: John Lasseter and Joe Ranft
Starring: Owen Wilson, Paul Newman, Bonnie Hunt, and Larry the Cable Guy
Synopsis: When race car champion rookie Lighting McQueen finds himself stranded in the small town of Radiator Springs, it takes a lot more than his signature charm to get him out of the jam and help him realize what really matters in life.
How Long Is ‘Cars’?
The original theatrical version of Cars was one hour and 57 minutes long.
The final Piston Cup championship race ends in a three-way tie between Lighting McQueen, a rookie is already has a big head, Strip Weathers, a longtime racing champion, and Chick Hicks, one of McQueen’s primary rivals. McQueen is driven across the country to California, where the tie-breaking race will take place. But when the semi truck carrying him accidentally unloads him in the middle of the highway, McQueen tries to race as fast as he can to get to the race himself.
It doesn’t take long for McQueen to be pulled over by the Radiator Springs sheriff and he is impounded overnight. The following day, Judge Doc Hudson sentences him to community service by repairing a road at the insistence of a local lawyer, Sally. Through repairing the road and building a friendship with both Mater and Sally, McQueen slowly begins to shed his outer layer of conceit and finds himself ready to win the Piston Cup for reasons other than simply being the best of the best.
At the big race, McQueen misses his new friends back in Radiator Springs, but they surprise him by showing up to be part of his pit crew. In the end, he loses, but he sets down roots in Radiator Springs so he can have the best of both worlds with his rising racing career and his new family.
Part of the charm of some Pixar movies is that they cast big names to fill the voice roles. Most of the time it works out and it even helps viewers see the actors in a different way because of the way they lend their voice to some characters. The same can be said for Cars, which stars a handful of big names to voice the most important characters. And even the minor ones, like Ramone and Filmore are voiced by actors like Cheech Maron and George Carlin, respectively. But for some fans, the most recognizable ones are the voices behind the main Cars characters.
Owen Wilson as Lightning McQueen
Lighting McQueen has all of the arrogance of a real life rookie race car driver. But it doesn’t take long for him to understand what really matters deep down after he is stranded in Radiator Springs and makes a whole town of friends. Outside of Cars, Owen Wilson is more well known for his comedic roles in movies rather than any other voice roles.
Paul Newman as Doc Hudson
Doc Hudson, who is later revealed to be the Fabulous Hudson Hornet, a former race car champion, starts off as a no nonsense sort of elder who sees through McQueen’s shiny exterior. In real life, Cars was actually Paul Newman’s final non-documentary role in a movie before his retirement in 2007 and his eventual death in 2008.
Bonnie Hunt as Sally Carrera
Sally was originally from a big city, much like McQueen, but also like McQueen, she welcomed the new start that moving to Radiator Springs provided her as a hard working attorney. She eventually becomes McQueen’s girlfriend and they build a fun repertoire. Bonnie Hunt reprised her role as Sally in the animated series Tales from Radiator Springs and then lent her voice to another Pixar character in Toy Story 4.
Larry the Cable Guy as Mater
Mater, who later plays a much bigger role in Cars 2, quickly becomes McQueen’s best friend, despite their very different personalities. Whereas McQueen is at first more arrogant and self-serving, Mater is consistently caring of others and it’s all part of his charm. Outside of the movie, Larry the Cable Guy continued to lend his voice to his signature character in both Mater’s Tall Tales and Tales from Radiator Springs.
‘Cars’ Songs and Soundtrack
Sometimes with Disney soundtracks, you get just one of two things. Either it is a soundtrack made up entirely of popular songs, or it is an album comprised of the movie’s musical score. With Cars, however, you get a little of both. Part of the soundtrack is made up of the film’s score, which is composed by Randy Newman, while nine tracks are lyrical songs that were already made famous before Cars was released. Newman also composed the song “Our Song,” for which he was nominated for a Grammy Award. Other performers on the soundtrack include Sheryl Crow, Rascal Flatts, and Chuck Berry, so the goal was clearly to give movie-goers a mixed bag of musicians when it came to the soundtrack.
‘Cars’ at the Box Office
Cars started what would become a Disney Pixar trilogy and it was clear from the start how successful the franchise would be. Cars earned a total of $244,082,982 domestically and $462,216,280 worldwide. Cars 2 went on to earn less than the original film, with $191,452,396 domestically, but then managed to rake in a total of $562,110,557 in worldwide sales. Cars 3 did marginally less both domestically and worldwide, with total earnings of $152,901,115 and $383,930,656, respectively.So while the second movie in the trilogy did surpass the success of the box office numbers of the first film, Cars was overall a success at the box office when compared to the third movie.
‘Cars’ Reviews – What the Critics Said
When Cars premiered in theaters, it was considered a turning point for Pixar. It set the bar high and, among plenty of fans and critics, it was considered the upper echelon of Pixar films to be enjoyed by both kids and adults. An Empire Online review called Cars “Pixar’s greatest visual achievement” to date, even though the review also said Cars was lacking some of the charm of previous Pixar films. And RogerEbert.com gave Cars three out of four stars even though the review also mentioned that the movie was missing something bigger at stake for the main protagonists. Still, the general consensus seems to be that Cars was well-received by critics, even if they didn;’t all see it as the perfect incarnation of a Pixar movie.
Where ‘Cars’ Fits in the Disney Movie Pantheon
Overall, Cars received positive reviews from fans and critics at the time of its theatrical release. Because the film gave way to two more movies in the trilogy, it proves how important it turned out to be in the grand scheme of Pixar films. Then again, Collider ranked it at 13 on a list of the best Pixar movies, which out it in the middle. Since Cars premiered in theaters in 2006, all of the merchandise related to the film has never quite gone off store shelves, including toys, games, and clothing. And with more than 800,000 fan reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, the website has Cars clocked in at 79% fresh. The movie was also Pixar’s final film to be made before the company was officially purchased by Disney.
‘Cars’ Trivia: 5 Fast Facts
Because Cars was the final movie made by Pixar before Disney acquired the production company in 2006, it remains important to Disney’s history with Pixar. At this point, it’s hard to imagine a world where Disney and Pixar aren’t one in the same. Because of how important Cars is to Pixar, it’s hard for fans to not only want to stream Cars more than 10 years after its initial release, but also look forward to all of the little factoids they might not have known about when the movie first came out.
1. Real Life Race Cars Drivers & Enthusiasts Were A Part Of The Movie
Cars is all about the trials and tribulations of a race car. It’s only natural that real life race car drivers and those associated with the sport lent their voices to the film to add some authenticity to it, despite the movie being animated. Strip Weathers is voiced by real live racer Richard Petty and Rust-eze owners Rusty and Dusty Rust-eze are voiced by real life brothers Tom and Ray Magliozzi who hosted the NPR show Car Talk.
2. ‘Cars’ Was Paul Newman’s Most Successful Film
Even though Paul Newman was in tons of important films over the course of his career, Cars ended up being the most successful. In fact, it was his highest grossing film of his career. And because it was also the last movie, aside from a documentary, before his death, it’s certainly a way to retire on a positive note.
3. Luigi’s License Plate Has A Double Meaning
Luigi is one of the charming Radiator Springs residents who ends up being part of Lighting McQueen;s inner circle later in the film. He is also Italian and happens to be a Ferrari and his licence plate, 445-108, is the latitude and longitude for the Ferrari factory in Italy.
4. There Is A ‘Toy Story’ Easter Egg In The Movie
In one scene during a race in the movie, the Toy Story Pizza delivery truck can be seen in the audience. But as Pixar movies go, Toy Story Easter eggs are something fans often look out for in new movies as they are released.
5. ‘Cars’ Is All About The Little Details
The clouds in the sky look like tire marks rather than realistic fluffy round clouds. And instead of standard bug buzzing around a traffic light in one scene, the bugs in Cars are actually tiny cars themselves.
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