If you’ve ever sat down and thought about the world of Pixar’s Cars you have probably been engulfed in the philosophical horror of pondering whether these cars are inheritors of a post-apocalyptic Earth or if they’ve evolved in an alternate universe to our own. Todd Gilchrist of Box Office Magazine had the chance to ask director and Pixar honcho John Lasseter all about this. Todd’s entry point was the fact that in Cars 2 it’s mentioned that there used to be dinosaurs.
I mean, in the mythology of the Cars world, the living creatures are vehicles of some kind, and so it’s like with dinosaurs. I always imagined it would be some kind of dinosaur-like car or vehicle, something like that. It would actually be an animal. And whether it would actually go down in the earth’s crust and get smushed and actually make a fossil fuel, I don’t know—we don’t go kind of that deep into the mythology of the world.
But we do, John, we do! He also shares that another Cars 2 revelation - that the cars are in fact born - came as a spur of the moment thing.
I originally had the idea that there’s no parents and kids because cars are manufactured—there’s no having babies in this world. But we did tap into that because I wanted to show Francesco Bernoulli’s mother as an old Formula-1 car. I don’t know—maybe he’s adopted. But we did go there a little bit with just that. But I’m aware of these kind of rules. And the dinosaur thing is just a funny line. We figure that if someone really wants to see it, we can figure out what a dinosaur in this world was or looks like.
A funny line? John Lasseter is predicating the mythology of the Cars universe on funny lines? Doesn’t he know that we’re out here parsing this stuff like automotive anthropologists?