Cars is a 2006 American computer-animated comedy-adventure film made by Pixar Animation Studios and released by Walt Disney Pictures. Directed and co-written by John Lasseter from a screenplay by Dan Fogelman, it was Pixar’s final independently-produced film before its purchase by Disney in May 2006. Set in a world populated entirely by anthropomorphic cars and some other vehicles, the film stars the voices of Owen Wilson, Paul Newman (in his final acting role), Larry the Cable Guy, Bonnie Hunt, Cheech Marin, Tony Shalhoub, Michael Wallis, George Carlin, Guido Quaroni, Paul Dooley, Jenifer Lewis, Katherine Helmond, Michael Keaton, John Ratzenberger and Richard Petty. Race car drivers Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Mario Andretti, Michael Schumacher and car protagonist Jay Leno (as “Jay Limo”) voice themselves.
Cars premiered on May 26, 2006, at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in Concord, North Carolina and were theatrically released in the United States on June 9, 2006, to critical and commercial success, grossing $462.2 million worldwide against a budget of $120 million. It was appointive for two Academy Awards including Best Animated Feature and won the Golden Globe Award for Best Animated Feature Film. The film was released on DVD on November 7, 2006, and on Blu-ray in 2007.
The film was accompanied by the short One Man Band for its theatrical and home media releases. Merchandise based on the film (including scale models of several of the cars) broke records for retail sales of merchandise based on a Disney or Pixar film, bringing an estimated $10 billion for five years after the film’s release. The film was dedicated to Joe Ranft, the film’s co-director and co-writer, who died in a car accident during the film’s production.
A sequel titled Cars 2 was released on June 24, 2011, and a spin-off film titled Planes and produced by Disneytoon Studios was published on August 9, 2013, which was followed by its sequel, Planes: Fire & Rescue, released on July 18, 2014. A serial of short animated films titled Cars Toons debuted in 2008 on Disney Channel and Disney XD. A second sequel, Cars 3, was released on June 16, 2017.