Cameos, in-jokes, re-used animation, and other trivia from Cars 2.
References to Cars
- Near the beginning of the movie, Mater asks Lightning McQueen if he can handle Mater's plans, and Lightning says that he can handle anything. He also says that he can handle anything after Mater asks him if he wants to go Tractor Tipping in the first movie.
- Several brands that sponsored Piston Cup teams in Cars appear in Cars 2 on advertisements in Tokyo. These include Nitroade, RPM, Easy Idle, Vitoline, Mood Springs, Clutch Aid, Tank Coat, Gasprin, an allusion to Lil' Torquey Pistons, and Dinoco. Also, Lightning McQueen had the same Rust-eze sponsor in the beginning of the movie.
- At the end of the movie, Finn McMissile tells Mater that if he needs anything, he should just ask, and Mater says that there is one thing. That was very similar to the end of Cars when Tex Dinoco tells Lightning McQueen that if he needs anything, he should just ask, and Lightning McQueen says that there is one thing.
- Both movies end with a flying machine getting in the view of the camera, while Lightning McQueen races away on the roads of Radiator Springs in the background.
- Both films include numerous guest voices.
- Some ideas that didn't make the cut of Cars made their way into Cars 2. In a scene that never went beyond storyboarding, Lightning and Sally went to see a movie featuring a British spy car called Finn McMissile. From there came the spy theme of Cars 2 and its main spy car. In early versions of Cars, Lightning McQueen organized a Radiator Springs Grand Prix to bring back interest on the town. This idea was found as a good way to end Cars 2.
- The Porto Corsa big crash is similar to the Piston Cup crash in the beginning of the first film.
- In Cars 2, Carla Veloso is the only woman racer in the World Grand Prix.
- Both movies end with the main character getting a girlfriend.
- In several ways, Otis is simillar to Fred. They are both rusty, have a closely resembilng design and are both considered "lemons".
- The first car you see in each movie is red (color).
- Francesco Bernoulli is similar to Chick Hicks (except for Hicks' cheating and he is nice to McQueen near the end of the movie).
- The famous Wilhelm scream is heard in both films.
- When the Japanese toilet shoots water at Mater's undercarriage, he makes the same scream that he made in the first film when he was spinning like a tornado while he was driving backwards.
- Also, when Mater gets covered in soap from the Japanese toilet, he makes the same babbling that he makes in the first film when he's driving backwards.
- In the closing credits, Mater uses his hook to make the Leaning Tower of Pisa upright, then it leans to the other side. This is a reference to the scene in the first film when Mater uses his hook to try to make his sign upright, but then it leans to the other side.
References to Cars Toons: Mater's Tall Tales
- Several characters from Tokyo Mater, including Kabuto, appear at the World Grand Prix welcome party at the Tokyo National Art Center.
- Tokyo as it appears in Cars 2 reuses many elements from how it appeared in Tokyo Mater. Notably, many advertisements appear without a change in both films.
- The priests and altar boys have the same design as the ones that appear in El Materdor. Additionally, bulldozers from El Materdor appear during the credits.
- Many of the British Army vehicles appear to be reused models from Unidentified Flying Mater.
- In the end of the film, Mater tells everyone his story, but Van doesn't believe him. But then, Holley comes in the town, proving that Mater's story is real. This is very similar to the ending of the episodes of Cars Toons: Mater's Tall Tales.
- Gusteau's from Ratatouille appears under the name of Gastow's.
- Billboards for Harryhausen's and a Lots-o'-Huggin' Bear-Car appear in Tokyo.
- The Radiator Springs Drive-In Theatre's sign reads "The Incredimobiles", a reference to The Incredibles. The Incredimobile is also one of the names for Mr. Incredible's car.
- The Incredibles is later referenced on a poster in the entrance of the Marché Aux Pièces. It bears the French title of the film, Les Indestructibles.
- A poster for A Bug's Life also appears in Marché Aux Pièces. Like The Incredibles' poster, it uses the film's French title, 1001 Pattes (1001 Legs).
- In the Mel Dorado Show's opening clip, Miles Axelrod emerges from the jungle from Up.
- A "car-ified" version of the DunBroch Family Tapestry from Brave appears in the Ye Left Turn Inn in London.
- A113 appears three times:
- As in Cars, A113 is present on Mater's license plate.
- The number on Siddeley's tail.
- In the file name of Finn and Holley's mystery-engine photo.
- Todd the Pizza Planet Truck appears twice:
- On the TV program before the Mel Dorado Show.
- Next to Van at the Radiator Springs Grand Prix.
- John Lasseter, the film's director, is referenced several times:
- Vitaly Petrov, a character exclusive to the Russian version of the film, can be seen on a Russian postcard during the credits.
- Similarly, a "China" banner incorporates the hood and trunk ornamentations of Long Ge, a character from the Chinese version.
- While the camera pans through a cartoon San Francisco, Pixar Animation Studios' campus appears on the map with a giant Luxo lamp above it.
- The credits also feature travel brochures for "Air Luxo" and "Pixair", references to Luxo, Jr. and Pixar.
- Cars 2 is Pixar's first non-Toy Story sequel, making Cars Pixar's second franchise.
- During Mater's flashbacks to him embarrassing Lightning, it shows that other cars are laughing at him. But in reality, no cars were laughing at him during those scenes. This shows that Mater had a distorted memory of his "foolish" events.
- The world globe that appears on some posters has geographical differences with the real Earth: some regions have been stretched and modified to get the silhouette of main characters of the movie; Ireland is shaped as Lightning McQueen, Labrador as Mater, the island of Hispaniola as Finn McMissile, the Lake Superior as Francesco Bernoulli, and Iceland as Professor Z. Also, on the posters (except on the Cars 2 Video Game button on PS3 console menus and the Cars 2 video game starting menu), Iceland is closer to Britain and Ireland than on the real Earth. Nevertheless, it has been shown that continents in the Cars world are actually as in the real world. Indeed, when the Earth is shown in Moon Mater, the countries that were changed on the Cars 2 posters are normal-shaped and Iceland is at its normal distance from Britain and Ireland.
- The character team built 145 new character models for the film and 781 variants. These variants, which are primarily background cars, include 13 model variants – unique character models that are based on other new models – and 768 shading variants – models that are re-used from classic and new Cars, Cars 2, and Cars Toons models, but with new, unique paint schemes. In total, there are 926 new characters in Cars 2.
- Misunderstanding Finn and Holley naming him a secret agent, Mater sings "Like a good neighbor, Mater is there!", referencing the State Farm jingle.
- After Mater claims his line of work is towing and salvage, Finn remarks, "Right, and Ms. Shiftwell's is designing iPhone apps.", a nod to the iPhone.
- Cars 2 has the lowest score Rotten Tomatoes has given to Pixar, with an average score of 39% based on 204 reviews by critics and stated as rotten. This is also the first Pixar film to earn a rotten ranking.
- At the Marché Aux Pièces in Paris, one car has eyes in her headlights, which is an allusion to their standard location on anthropomorphic cars. It refers to how John Lasseter felt it was more appealing for the eyes to be on the windshield instead.
- A large number of background characters (including the World Grand Prix racers Jeff Gorvette and Lewis Hamilton) have the tire codes "P215/65R15 89H" and "Traction A Temperature A". Francesco Bernoulli is a rare exception, having a different tire code reading "P210/70R18 99S".
- In the short YouTube documentary A Day in the Life of John Lasseter, it is shown that during the end of production of Cars 2, Professor Z's lines in the interrogation scene with Rod "Torque" Redline were changed to remove any references to radiation ("electro-magnetic pulse" was originally "blast of radiation"). John Lasseter asked that the lines be changed out of respect for Japan, due to the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster that happened there three months before the film's release in the United States, which was caused by the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami. However, in the Cars 2 Junior Novelization and the Cars 2 magazine, "blast of radiation" was used, probably because they were made before they changed the line.
- One of the film's posters can be seen in the 2011 Muppets movie.
- The first character seen in the movie, Leland Turbo, and the last character seen in the movie, Siddeley, are both voiced by Jason Isaacs.
- This was the second time in the Cars series when Mater was flying. The first was in Unidentified Flying Mater.
- During the Mel Dorado show, a picture of the scientists examining the Allinol has a table in the background saying "Automotive Table of Elements," a reference to the "Periodic Table of Elements." The table has the same chemical symbols as the actual Periodic Table.
- The bathroom fight in Tokyo between Rod "Torque" Redline, Acer, and Grem is a reference to the pre-credits sequence of the James Bond film Casino Royale.
- Cars 2 is the last Pixar and only Cars film to use the 2006 Walt Disney Pictures logo. Cars 3 used the 2011 Disney logo.
- This is last Pixar film of the following:
- The last Pixar film released before Steve Jobs' death.
- The last Cars film to feature Mia and Tia.
- The last Cars film to feature Minny and Van.
- The last Pixar film to be directed by John Lasseter before his departure from Pixar and Disney animation at the end of 2018. It also marks the only time Randy Newman did not scored a Pixar film directed by Lasseter.
- This is the only Cars film of the following:
- The only Cars film not to have a post-credit scene.
- The only Cars film not to be composed by Randy Newman.
- The only Cars film not to feature Paul Newman as Doc Hudson, Doc is only mentioned in the film.
- The only Cars film not to have the main character appear in a new paint job at the end.
- The only Cars film where the Tractors do not appear.
- The only Cars film with co-director Brad Lewis' involvement, who left Pixar after the film was release.
- In the first Cars film, all background cars are completely fictional car models (using generic designs like "sedan", "coupe", "hatchback", "station wagon", "SUV", and "pickup truck"), but in this movie, all background cars are now real car models.
- The Wilhelm scream is heard when the cars in the Ye Left Turn Inn beat Grem and Acer up.
- This is the only Cars film in Australia to be given a PG rating.
- Cars 2 marks Pixar's 25th anniversary.
- Some of the World Grand Prix racers do not speak in this film, but they do in Cars 2: The Video Game and Cars: Fast as Lightning.
There was originally going to be a race that would be held in Germany. The race track would've been completely taken place on a dirt road. It was cut to save time.
The opening party, which was held in Tokyo was originally going to be an Oktoberfest party in Germany. There was also going to be a scene where Mater gets lost in a haunted house amusement ride and comes across an agent, who dies from injuries after crashing into the bad guys. Before he dies, he tries to tell Mater something about Finn McMissile.
An alternate scene where Mater meets Finn. Originally Mater was traveling in a train, where a car lured Mater to a train wagon, which turned out to be Finn McMissile in a disguise. As Mater was shocked about what was going on, Finn told Mater about a secret plan where the bad guys target the Queen of England at the races. Finn and Mater then travel in a memory interface where Finn shows Mater about the bad guys sabotaging the racers.
There would've been a race which would been held in Paris. During the race, Mater sees the weapon, which the bad guys are using to sabotage the racers. As Mater arrives to the place, it just turns out to be a schoolteacher who had a red plastic ball. The cops surround Mater, about to put him in jail. It was cut due to being too confusing.
There was an alternate opening to the film, which included an agent driving away from the bad guys in Prague. The agents catch up to him and try to destroy him but fail. The agent eventually finds a hiding place, which turns out to be a scrap yard. The bad guys find him and put him in a car crusher, which starts to crush him. Before dying, the main bad guy comes and asks the agent, "Where is Finn McMissile?", to which he replies "You'll never catch him, he will stop you!", and then the main bad guy replies, "Ha! We'll see about that.". The main bad guy leaves, as the other bad guys watch as the agent gets crushed to death. The opening was removed because it was too dark and scary.
Train To Spain
Just like in the final version, Mater made a mistake and decides to go back home, on a train he meets the handler of Team McQueen named Guilia and they we're chased through the wagons by a early version of tomber. mater press the emergency brake button and he and Guillia run off the train to Pamplona to with was having a Bulldozer race in the location, mater lets the bulldozer free to stop tomber from chasing them, as the Other cars are running away from the bulldozers, mater tries to make the bulls follow him, but to no success as they're running towards a Guilia who's having dificultes to start her engine, but fortunately, mater and Guilia get into a shop avoiding the bulldozers, that moment, mater knew that McQueen needs him as he rushes back to McQueen, we discover that Guillia is a Double spy who works for Zil. This scene was removed for some reason and its available only in the digital copy blu ray of cars 2.