As the Disney/Pixar partnership races for the Oscar with Finding Nemo, the studios have announced lead voice casting for their upcoming CG-animated feature Cars. Film legend Paul Newman will take the wheel, leading an all-star cast from the worlds of film and NASCAR racing.
This will be the first feature animation voice gig for Newman, who has been involved with stock car racing for many years, owning and managing his own team. In conjunction with the new role, the veteran actor will attempt to break his own record driving the Disney/Pixar sponsored Fabcar-Porsche Daytona Prototype at “The Rolex 24 At Daytona” race on Jan. 31 and Feb. 1. Newman earned a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records in 1995 at Daytona when he became the oldest driver to win a professionally sanctioned race. At the age of 79, he is hoping to establish a new record and take the cup with team members Kyle Petty, Michael Brockman, and Gunnar Jeannette.
Cars, the seventh animated feature to be created by Pixar Animation Studios and released by Walt Disney Pictures, is described as a high octane adventure comedy that features an assortment of cars as characters who get their kicks on Route 66. In addition to Newman, the voice cast includes NASCAR legend Richard Petty, as well as actors Owen Wilson (Bottle Rocket, The Royal Tenenbaums), Bonnie Hunt (Monsters, Inc., TV’s Life With Bonnie) and Dan Whitney (Bravo’s Larry the Cable Guy). Cars is being produced by Darla K. Anderson (A Bug’s Life, Monsters, Inc.), and is due to be released during the 2005 holiday season.