- "I never properly introduced myself. Finn McMissile. British Intelligence."
- —Finn introducing himself to Mater
Finn McMissile is the tritagonist of Cars 2. He's a British-Irish spy car who mistakes Tow Mater for an American spy and recruits him in the mission to solve the conspiracy to sabotage the World Grand Prix.
"Finn McMissile is a master British-Irish spy. Though charming and eloquent, it's his stealth maneuvering, intelligence and years in the field that enable him to thwart unexpected attacks from bad guys, making quick daredevil escapes. Finn's design is sleek and timeless, but he's also prepared for any tricky situation with an arsenal of ultra-cool gadgets and weaponry, including front and rear grappling hooks, a missile launcher, deployable magnetic explosives and a holographic disguise emitter. As a seasoned professional in the game of international espionage, Finn believes there is a conspiracy brewing during the World Grand Prix. His clandestine work surrounding the global exhibition race puts him on a collision course with Mater, whom he mistakes for an undercover American agent with a genius disguise."
Finn McMissile is first seen sneaking onto a suspicious oil platform and finds out the scientist Professor Z is in command of the operations there. Finn takes pictures of a seemingly ordinary camera, before a burst of fire reveals him. He is forced to escape and fake his death without getting enough information about the professor's schemes.
Later, McMissile arrives in Tokyo, Japan, where he meets with his assistant, Holley Shiftwell, at the World Grand Prix party. Privately discussing Finn's findings in an elevator, Holley explains that the oil platform he found was sitting on the largest oil field in the world. In fact, the Americans found it first and sent an agent in under deep cover and had managed to take a photograph of the car behind this. Unfortunately, Finn spots Professor Z in the crowd and sent Holley to make the rendezvous with the American agent. However, they mistake Tow Mater for their contact (Rod "Torque" Redline previously slipped a device containing classified information onto his body without Mater noticing) and the group agrees to meet the next day at the first race of the World Grand Prix. McMissile rescues Mater from Professor Z's agents at the race, before slipping away, as a rendezvous at this point was too dangerous.
The next day, at Tokyo airport, McMissile pulled Mater aside to a lounge disguised as a security guard. Dropping his disguise, he formally introduced himself and asked Mater if he was with the FBI or CIA. As Mater boasted on about his own karate skills, McMissile noticed on a camera he dropped outside the lounge that Acer and Grem were approaching. He cuts a hole in the window and drags Mater outside, where they are picked up by Siddeley.
Once safely in the air, Holley pulled off Mater the device containing the intel on who was behind this scheme. All that they find is a picture of an engine, which Mater identifies as the worst engine ever built. However, the picture did not shed much light on who the car was. Luckily, Mater noted from the background that this car had most of his parts replaced and his replacements are factory original and thus not easy to come by. Thus, they go to Paris to meet with a black market contact of Finn's, Tomber. Apparently, the buyer from the photo is never seen and had been buying a lot of parts, which Mater deduces must be for a lemon car. Putting together that the Pacer, Gremlin, Trunkov and Hugo lemon models are working together under their mystery boss, they then head to Italy to spy on the gathering. They have Mater infiltrate the meeting holographically disguised as Ivan, Victor Hugo's personal chauffeur, which McMissile and Holley listen in over the radio. However, the Lemon boss calls the meeting by video call, and had his voice disguised, which Holley is unable to unscramble. They soon learn that the Lemons were actively sabotaging the race using the very camera McMissile saw to ignite the Allinol in the racecars. Finn races to stop them but he gets ambushed by a helicopter's magnet, as the Lemons anticipated he would interfere. Holley and Mater are subsequently captured as well.
The trio are brought to London and tied up in Big Bentley to be crushed by gears. Mater then laments that he's a fool. Finn tried to reassure him that he's a good spy, but Mater shouted that he's not a spy; Finn and Holley realise he's talking seriously. As the final race began, Acer and Grem attempt to kill Lightning McQueen to fully discredit Allinol, unaware that Sarge had secretly swapped his fuel for Fillmore's organic fuel. Professor Zundapp then orders them to switch to the backup plan, in which a bomb planted in McQueen's pit would go off once he returns there. Once the Lemons had left the room, Mater manages to get free by drawing out his machine guns which cuts the rope setting him free. Though he wanted to help McMissile and Holley, they insists that he evacuate the pits, insisting that they would be okay; that was a white lie as Mater wouldn't had left otherwise. As Finn remarks that being killed by a clock gives a whole new meaning to "Your time has come", giving Holley an idea to use her taser beam on the clock's power motor box to send the gears in reverse rotation. A large thinner gear then slices their ropes, setting both of them free.
As the pair turn to leave, they spot Mater's discarded air filter and they realize that the Lemons have lied to them. Finn warns Mater over the radio that the bomb was actually on him. McMissile pursues and captures Professor Z and orders him to deactivate the bomb inside Mater. Unfortunately, the bomb can only be deactivated by a voiceprint and Professor Z was not it. They are then surrounded by the Lemons, only for the Radiator Springs residents to come to their rescue. Mater then dragged McQueen to Buckingham Palace. As everyone got into a panic over the bomb, McMissile drove up to diffuse the situation. Mater then accused Miles Axlerod (the former oil tycoon who sponsored the World Grand Prix to promote his new renewable fuel) to be the mastermind was behind the scheme, and his aim was to have the world relinquish the use of all alternative fuels in favor of gasoline, allowing Axlerod to get rich from the untapped oil reserves in his possession. He is able to prove his accusations as Axlerod hastily deactivates the bomb at the last second before popping his hood, showing the very engine from the photo.
Subsequently, Finn and Holley are present at Mater's knighting ceremony. Afterwards, Mater began introducing Lightning to McMissile and vice versa.
Finn and Holley later come back with Mater back to Radiator Springs, claiming to have received an urgent communique from Luigi. While watching the unofficial World Grand Prix race, Finn and Holley invite him to join them on another secret mission, stating that the Queen personally asked for him, but he declines, saying he's home.
Cars 2: The Video Game
McMissile has been captured by Professor Z and his agents - Mater is sent to rescue him. However, it is revealed that this is part of a mission simulation at C.H.R.O.M.E. (the Command Headquarters for Recon Operations and Motorized Espionage), an international spy-training center.
Finn is elegant, nice and kind. He is also daring and extremely brave, smart and eloquent, which is almost mandatory for a spy. He knows every trick in the book, and is always prepared for any kind of situation.
- Top Speed: 147 mph
- 0-60 MPH: 7 seconds
- Engine Type: 4.2 Liter Straight 6 with Triple 2V Carbs
- Horsepower: 290
- Vehicle type: Peerless GT
- Hometown: London, England
Finn McMissile is equipped with more gadgets than any of the other spies, including:
- Grappling hooks: Disguised as bumperettes, the hooks attach to the end of cables. They can be shot to reach an object at some distance, and are strong enough to lift and suspend Finn, giving him extra agility.
- Spy camera: Located in the right headlight, it can zoom in to see details and take pictures.
- Missile launcher: Located in the left headlight. It can fire small but powerful missiles.
- Digital read-outs: Located on the left side mirror, the screen can receive transmissions from other spies or from his surveillance probes.
- Glass cutter: Consists of a small and very compact device, launched from the left side mirror. It attaches itself to a glass surface, and deploys a long stick with the cutting unit at the end that cuts with a counter-clockwise movement a circular piece of glass that is then ejected.
- Magnetic grenade explosives launcher: Located in the front wheel hubs, it launches small explosives that stick to a metallic surface and explode after a short amount of time.
- Deployable machine guns: On both sides, hidden in the side vent. He loses these when Tony Trihull pulls them off with his magnet, but were shortly revived.
- Deployable surveillance probes: Located in the rear right wheel hub. Very small, light and compacted into a sphere. Finn can discretely drop one which then deploys feet and open its camera, which transmits an image to Finn's digital read-outs.
- Oil Launcher: Located in the rear turn signals. It can spread slippery oil, that allows Finn to lose a pursuing car. In the beginning of the film, Finn defeats a green Gremlin with this weapon.
- Mounted quad zip-line: Located on his undercarriage, it is used for a similar purpose as the grappling hooks to suspend Finn, but are much more powerful.
- Deployable holographic outfit emitter: Located on the roof. The device instantaneously makes a holographic disguise all around Finn. A known disguise is a Japanese airport security guard.
- Wheeled motorized jack: Launched from the undercarriage. A skateboard-shaped gadget that travels to a chasing car, and then deploys its jack, tipping the car over.
- Steel Magnet Wheels: Powerful magnets that deploy around Finn's wheels to clamp tightly to the tires. These permit Finn to climb up the side of a steel wall as if it was a horizontal surface. Finn also uses them to grab cars in fights, as well as to hold a fire extinguisher.
- Hydrofoil Mode: Consists of two retractable foils on the undercarriage. Used for oversea travel.
- Submarine Mode: Used for underwater escapes and travel. It includes a breathing apparatus, side directional fins, and the rear wheels transform into propellers.
Finn is also a master of martial arts, which is of a great help in car to car combats.
Character Design and Development
Originally, Finn was supposed to appear in the first Cars movie. In a sequence that never went beyond the storyboarding stage, Lightning and Sally went to the Radiator Springs drive-in theater where a James Bond-type film about a superspy car named Finn McMissile dispatching "Taxis of Death" was playing. The character was then more of a parody. In Cars 2, the team wanted him to be more serious, realistic and understated.
Character Art Director Jay Shuster summarizes Finn's design evolution as: "We started with drawings by Joe Ranft and created an English coupe with Italian touches." Finn is a Pixar in-house design. His design draws inspiration from several sports cars from the 1960s, mainly British, but also Italian. Shuster said: “We didn’t want to design Finn as a spy. We wanted him to be a really elegantly designed English sportscar from the sixties. We did this really deep search into that kind of car from that era. We took everything from all the cars we love and baked it into Finn.” Shuster said about using Italian cars for Finn's design: “We wanted to infuse a little more Italian into that. That’s why I created a rear hip, which gave that fin a place to live.”
In the Cars storyboards, Finn had imposing tailfins. While their size was ultimately greatly reduced, it remained an essential element of his design, that influenced the choice of cars used for inspiration. "The car’s name is Finn, so he had to have fins," Cars Franchise Guardian Jay Ward said.
The only car model that Pixar has named as an inspiration for Finn is the 1958 Peerless GT, a British sports car, which was the only British sports car they found that featured tailfins. According to Ward, even though Finn draws inspiration from other cars as well, the Peerless served as the basis from which the character was built.
Finn has a large resemblance with James Bond's Aston Martin DB5 from Goldfinger. In consequence, he has been widely recognized as a 1960s Aston Martin DB5, including by Michael Caine. While Finn shares similarities with the DB5, like a near identical rear end, differences can also be seen, mainly in Finn's profile design, which is more curvaceous than the DB5. Finn's submarine mode is also reminiscent of Bond's Lotus Esprit from The Spy Who Loved Me.
The animators felt it necessary to establish limitations of what Finn could do and what gadgets he had, in order to make a more earthbound character. Shuster says he found Finn to be (with Francesco Bernoulli) the hardest design to achieve, because they had to figure out where to place his spy gear. Solving this problem had some influence on his design: Finn's side vents were modified so that machine guns could get out, and his bumperettes were made with the idea they could serve as grappling hooks. Regarding how Finn would deploy his gadgets, Shuster said: "It was decided that no, we don’t want him transforming. We don’t want body panels unnaturally unfolding or doing all that stuff... So that was the trick, designing the outer shell as though he is just a normal pedestrian car, and then we went in and found places we could have stuff unfold from."
According to Story Supervisor Nathan Stanton, the idea of having Michael Caine voicing Finn McMissile came out early in the production. John Lasseter said: “As we were developing Finn McMissile, Michael Caine always came to mind because of all those fantastic spy movies he’s done.” However, Shuster says: “For the majority of these characters I didn’t know until the very end [who was voicing them]. Honestly, they announced Michael Caine when [the character] was done and all that the animators could do to go back in and start dialing in the mouth shapes and the eye shapes.” Supervising animator Shawn Krause collected photos of Caine from his earlier spy films and based Finn's expressions on them.
- Finn made a cameo in Toy Story 3 on a poster in Andy's room.
- His license plate is 314 FMCM, which includes a reference to his initials. The number 314 is his voice actor Michael Caine's birthday (March 14). However, in the video game, it is 0S0 872L.
- Finn is said to be a 1965 Faultless GT, which is a fictional model name, and an allusion to the 1958 Peerless GT, one of Finn's design main inspirations.
- Finn's tires read "Firewall".
- Finn's grille resembles a Van Dyke mustache.
- According to Cars 2: The Video Game, "Finn McMissile" may not be his real name. One of his phrases is, "Is Finn McMissile my real name? I'm sure you'll never know."
- A slightly modified version of Finn's model was used for realistic renders to promote Pixar's Renderman Studio 18. This model was featured again (under the name "Stirling") in a Renderman video tutorial published for the free release of Renderman for non-commercial use.
- "Then this shouldn't hurt at all!"
- "You are now."
- "We couldn't figure that one out, either."
- "Do you really think I'm going to let you float away, Professor?!"
- "You never feel more alive than when you're almost dead."
- "I'm looking for a car."
- —Finn McMissile's first line in Cars 2.
- Holley Shiftwell: "Oh, hello."
Finn McMissile: "Hello."
Holley Shiftwell: "A Volkswagen Karmann Ghia has no radiator."
Finn McMissile: "That's because it's air-cooled."
Holley Shiftwell: "Great. I'm Agent Shiftwell. Holley Shiftwell from the Tokyo station. I have a message from London."
- —Finn McMissile and Holley Shiftwell first meet.
- "He's so good!"
- —Finn likes how Mater pretends to be Ivan.
- Finn McMissile: "Holley!"
Holley Shiftwell: "I'm detecting an extremely strong electromagnetic pulse." (sees the lemon's camera on top of the building) "Finn, it's the camera!"
Finn McMissile: "Where?"
Holley Shiftwell: "On the tower!"
(Finn rushes to stop the lemons.)
- —Finn and Holley find the lemons' camera.
- "Being killed by a clock." (chuckles) "Gives a whole new meaning to 'Your time has come.'"
- —Finn commenting on his and Holley's unfortunate doom
- Finn McMissile: "Holley, I'll get Zündapp. You help Mater."
Holley Shiftwell: "Got it!"
- —Finn telling Holley to go help Mater.
Screenshots and Character Poses
- Disney UK - Cars 2 - Finn McMissile
- International Espionage in Cars 2
- 2011 Movie Preview: 'Cars 2'
- Queen, Ben (2011). The art of Cars 2. San Francisco, Calif.: Chronicle Books. ISBN 978-0811878913.
- The World Is Not Enough
- Cars 2 Production Notes
- The Classic Sports Car Design Behind Cars 2’s Superspy, Finn McMissile
- How to build a talking car ? Says 'Cars 2' Art Director Jay Shuster, it starts with Google.
- Cars 2: What Kind of Car is Finn McMissile?
- Fun Facts on the Cars official website
- Michael Caine Interview CARS 2
- Behind The Scenes At Pixar: Talking With The Creators Of Cars 2
- Story Supervisor Nathan Stanton CARS 2 Exclusive Interview
- Disney/Pixar (2011). Meet the Cars. Disney Press. pp. 144. ISBN 978-1423147770
-  and example
- Stirling! : Automobile rendering in RIS. Example