Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Fasten Your Seatbelt for “Cars 2”

Pixar Animation Studios and Walt Disney Studios are off to the races in “Cars 2” as star racecar Lightning McQueen (voice of Owen Wilson) and his best friend, the incomparable tow truck Mater (voice of Larry the Cable Guy), jump-start a new adventure to exotic new lands stretching across the globe.

The duo are joined by a hometown pit crew from Radiator Springs when they head overseas to support Lightning as he competes in the first-ever World Grand Prix, a race created to determine the world’s fastest car. But the road to the finish line is filled with plenty of potholes, detours and bombshells when Mater is mistakenly ensnared in an intriguing escapade of his own: international espionage.

Mater finds himself torn between assisting Lightning McQueen in the high-profile race and “towing” the line in a top-secret mission orchestrated by master British spy Finn McMissile (voice of Michael Caine) and the stunning rookie field spy Holley Shiftwell (voice of Emily Mortimer). Mater’s action-packed journey leads him on an explosive chase through the streets of Japan, Italy, France and England, trailed by his friends and watched by the whole world. The fast-paced fun includes a colorful new cast of cars, boats, trains and airplanes — complete with menacing villains and international racing competitors.

Academy Award®-winning filmmaker John Lasseter, the creative leader of Pixar since its inception and chief creative officer for Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios, returns to the driver’s seat as director of this latest “Cars” adventure. The film is co-directed by Brad Lewis (producer of Oscar®-winning “Ratatouille”), who spearheaded the intense research and initial story development until Lasseter was able to slip back into the director’s chair. “Cars 2” is produced by visual-effects industry veteran Denise Ream (associate producer, “Up”; visual effects executive producer, “Star Wars: Episode III — Revenge of the Sith”). Oscar®-winning composer Michael Giacchino (“The Incredibles,” “Up”) provides the electrifying score with a surf-rock-meets-spy-thriller flavor and a variety of global accents, evoking a sense of thrills, mystery and emotion. Brad Paisley, Robbie Williams, Weezer, French singer Bénabar and Japanese girl band Perfume lend their diverse musical talents to the film’s soundtrack.

Adding to the fun and excitement of “Cars 2” is a stellar cast of actors that provides the voices for the cars, not to mention the boats and planes that this global adventure requires. Owen Wilson reprises his role as hotshot racecar Lightning McQueen, winner of four Piston Cups and now a leading contender in the World Grand Prix. Larry the Cable Guy provides the voice of Mater (proprietor of Tow Mater Towing and Salvage), Lightning McQueen’s best friend and the heart and soul of Radiator Springs. Bonnie Hunt is back as Sally, the baby-blue Porsche 911 Carrera whose motor races for Lightning. Acclaimed actor Michael Caine makes his Pixar debut as Finn McMissile, a top British spy who mistakes Mater for an undercover American agent with a genius disguise. Emily Mortimer brings charm, cleverness and cachet as Holley Shiftwell, a rookie field spy who knows every trick in the manual. Versatile actor John Turturro gives a free-wheeling performance as Francesco Bernoulli, the world-renowned Italian racing champ who is Lightning’s chief rival. Tony Shalhoub, Guido Quaroni, Paul Dooley, Cheech Marin, John Ratzenberger, Joe Mantegna, Peter Jacobson, Jason Isaacs, Eddie Izzard, Franco Nero and Vanessa Redgrave also lend their vocal talents. Real-life Formula 1 racing champ Lewis Hamilton and NASCAR racer Jeff Gordon add a touch of authenticity with their cameos in the film.

“Cars 2” is presented where available in Disney Digital 3D™ and uses the latest technical advances to maximum advantage in giving audiences a front-row seat (as well as a car’s eye view) for all the racing action, and stunning global settings. Pixar’s phenomenal technical team also takes the medium to exciting new heights, utilizing state-of-the-art tools for modeling, lighting, shading and rendering.

Opening across the Philippines in August in IMAX 3D, Digital 3D and regular format, “Cars 2” is distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures International through Columbia Pictures.

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