More than 30,000 race fans and animation aficionados snatched up tickets for the world premiere of Disney/Pixar’s Cars at Lowe’s Motor Speedway at Charlotte, North Carolina, completely selling out the event nearly a month in advance. The latest computer-animated feature will screen before the massive crowd on Friday, May 26, with Disney CEO Bob Iger, Cars director John Lasseter, and voice cast members Paul Newman, Owen Wilson, Bonnie Hunt, Larry the Cable Guy and racing legend Richard Petty in attendance.
Cars will be shown on four giant, custom-built outdoor movie screens measuring 115-feet wide and 50-feet tall at Turn No. 2 of the famed super-speedway in North Carolina. This first-ever multi-screen outdoor digital projection will employ twelve DLP Cinema projectors from Barco, Christie and NEC. Proceeds from the Premiere, which is sponsored by Kodak, will benefit Speedway Children’s Charities and Association of Hole in the Wall Camps.
With hits Toy Story, Toy Story 2 and A Bug’s Life under his belt, Lasseter delves into the secret lives of automobiles with his latest directorial effort. In the film, Wilson voices the role of Lightning McQueen, a hotshot rookie race car who takes a detour to the sleepy Route 66 town of Radiator Springs and discovers that life is about the journey, not the finish line. The unexpected pit stop forces Lightning to slow down long enough to get to know the townspeople, including a 1951 Hudson Hornet voiced by Newman, a snazzy 2002 Porsche voiced by Hunt and a rusty tow truck voiced by Larry The Cable Guy. Also lending their voices to the production are Tony Shalhoub, Michael Keaton, Cheech Marin, George Carlin, Katherine Helmond and Pixar lifer John Ratzenberger. In addition to Petty, racing superstars Mario Andretti, Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Darrell Waltrip and Michael Shumacher also put in cameos. Cars opens in theatres everywhere on June 9.