Disney-Pixar's new 3D-animated feature, CARS, will stage its World Premiere on May 26 at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Charlotte, North Carolina. Paul Newman, Owen Wilson, Bonnie Hunt, Larry the Cable Guy, NASCAR legends Richard Petty and Darrell Waltrip and others from the film's voice cast will be joined by a host of stars from the racing world and 30,000 guests that are expected to attend the CARS World Premiere, taking place at the same location as that weekend's famous Coca Cola 600 NASCAR race.
The screening of the film represents the first multi-screen digital cinema premiere ever, with Texas Instruments and its DLP Cinema technology serving as Disney's event technology partner in providing the digital cinema projectors. A series of four giant custom-built outdoor movie screens (115-feet wide and 50-feet tall) will be constructed at Lowe's Motor Speedway at Turn #2 of the track. Each screen will have three DLP Cinema 2K digital projectors dedicated to it. A state-of-the-art sound system is also being created and installed for the event. John Lasseter, the film's director and chief creative officer of the newly combined Disney and Pixar animation units, will also be attending along with producer Darla K. Anderson (A BUG'S LIFE, MONSTERS, INC.), and other key players from Pixar Animation Studios and The Walt Disney Studios.
Tickets for the premiere will be made available for purchase by the general public starting today. Proceeds will benefit Speedway Children's Charities, and Assn. of Hole in the Wall Gang Camps. For tickets, call 1-800-455-FANS, visit the Lowe's Motor Speedway box office, or order online at www.lowesmotorspeedway.com.
To cap off the weekend, the #96 DLP HDTV car will be wrapped as the film's lead character Lightning McQueen for the NEXTEL Cup series race in Charlotte the same weekend.
Lasseter said, "We're thrilled to bring the premiere of CARS to Lowe's Motor Speedway and excited to share this film with such a great community of race fans. Humpy Wheeler, the president and general manager of Lowe's Motor Speedway, has become a great friend and helped all of us at Pixar when we were developing the story and characters for the film. In fact, Humpy provides the voice of Tex, a 1975 Cadillac Coupe de Ville. I have loved automobiles and the world of racing for a long time and 'CARS' is a very personal story to me. This premiere event is the perfect way to debut our film to racing and movie enthusiasts."
Dick Cook, chairman of The Walt Disney Studios, added, "Pixar has captured the feel and excitement of the racing world in their latest film, CARS, and we felt that it would be great fun to stage the premiere in a setting that would do justice to the film. John Lasseter has done an amazing job bringing the world of cars and racing to the big screen, and combining it with that magic Pixar story sensibility that appeals to absolutely everyone. With the proceeds of this benefit going to two fantastic children's charities, we hope to launch the film in grand style and help some worthy institutions at the same time."
Wheeler said, "It's a great honor to be working with Disney, John Lasseter, and his colleagues at Pixar in hosting the World Premiere of CARS. This is a fantastic film that celebrates everything that we love about cars, and it also gives us a unique view of the world of competitive racing..."
Lightning McQueen (voiced by Owen Wilson), a hotshot rookie race car driven to succeed, discovers that life is about the journey, not the finish line, when he finds himself unexpectedly detoured in the sleepy Route 66 town of Radiator Springs. On route across the country to the big Piston Cup Championship in California to compete against two seasoned pros, McQueen gets to know the town's offbeat characters -- including Doc Hudson (a 1951 Hudson Hornet with a mysterious past, voiced by Paul Newman), Sally (a snazzy 2002 Porsche voiced by Bonnie Hunt) and Mater (a rusty but trusty tow truck voiced by Larry The Cable Guy), who help him realize that there are more important things than trophies, fame and sponsorship.
The all-star vocal cast also includes freewheeling performances by Tony Shalhoub, Michael Keaton, Cheech Marin, George Carlin, Katherine Helmond and John Ratzenberger. Delivering more authenticity to the cast are vocal performances from the racing world, including Richard Petty, plus "drive-on" roles by Mario Andretti, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Darrell Waltrip (who holds the record for five-wins at the NASCAR Coca Cola 600) and Michael Schumacher, the ace German Formula 1 racing legend, who is a seven-times world champion, and is widely considered to be the best Grand Prix racing driver of all-time.
Pixar Animation Studios (www.pixar.com) combines creative and technical artistry to create original stories in the medium of computer animation. Pixar has created six of the most successful and beloved animated films of all time: TOY STORY, A BUG'S LIFE, TOY STORY 2, MONSTERS, INC., FINDING NEMO and THE INCREDIBLES. Pixar has won 20 Academy Awards and its six films have grossed more than $3.2 billion at the worldwide box office to date. The Northern California studio's next two film releases are CARS (June 9) and RATATOUILLE (summer 2007).