Cars has always been the odd man out of Pixar franchises. Not hated, but never receiving the universal praise most Pixar films get. In fact, Cars 2 sits at a low 39% on Rotten Tomatoes. Which is weird considering the same people behind some of Pixar’s most beloved films worked on it and it follows the Pixar formula of bringing to life any random object or animal.
Although, there was always an eerie element hanging over the Cars films which made the series wholly different from the studio’s other works. In every other Pixar film we see normal human people to one degree or another, but never in Cars. It’s strange because tiny details seem to indicate humans were once there. We see the American flag at one point in Cars, all of the buildings seem to be designed for people, and we even hear one character say, “Thank the manufacturer!”. What could have happened to all of the humans?
It turns out the explanation may be pretty dark for a series of kids movies. In a recent press junket the creative director of the Cars universe, Jay Ward, was asked, “Where do the cars come from?” His answer was, to say the least, surprising.
“If you think about this, we have autonomous car technology coming in right now. It’s getting to the point where you can sit back in the car and it drives itself. Imagine in the near-future when the cars keep getting smarter and smarter and after one day they just go, ‘Why do we need human beings anymore? They’re just slowing us down. It’s just extra weight, let’s get rid of them.’ But the car takes on the personality of the last person who drove it. Whoa. There you go.”
A pretty bleak concept for a Disney film, and kind of creepy with the thought that the cars become the last person who drove them. Apparently not satisfied with presenting the apocalypse from Maximum Overdrive in animated form, Ward elaborated on how the titular vehicles work saying, “You’ll never see the doors open… because the brain and eyes are in there, we don’t want anything falling out.”
Is Cars just the first body horror movie from Disney? It is important to note that Ward offered this as more of an opinion, and neither Disney nor Pixar has stated his explanation is official. But it certainly makes the upcoming release of Cars 3 this coming June 16 a lot more interesting.
What do you think of this theory? Is it too dark for the popular kids franchise? Let us know in the comments section below!