Disney/Pixar will premiere its first Disney Digital 3-D short film in theaters nationwide on December 12. Directed by John Lasseter, Tokyo Mater will run in front of Walt Disney Pictures’ Bolt starting this weekend. The short is the fourth in the ‘Cars Toons’ series, inspired by the hit 2006 film Cars.
In Tokyo Mater, a routine tow lands Mater (Larry the Cable Guy) in Tokyo, where he is challenged to a drift-style race against a nefarious gang leader and his posse of ninjas. With the help of friend Lightning McQueen and some special modifications, Mater attempts to drift to victory and become ‘Tow-ke-O Mater,’ king of all drifters. Standard 2D versions of the film will also be shown theaters not exhibiting Bolt in 3-D.
All of the “Cars Toons” are directed by Lasseter (Cars, Toy Story 2, A Bug’s Life,Toy Story) and co-directed by Victor Navone (animator on Cars, The Incredibles, Finding Nemo and Monsters, Inc.) and Rob Gibbs (story artist on Cars, Finding Nemo, Monsters, Inc. and Toy Story 2). Kori Rae (associate producer on The Incredibles and Monsters, Inc.) serves as producer. The previous toons in the series featured Mater as a fire truck in Rescue Squad Mater, a daredevil in Mater the Greater and as a bulldozer fighter in El Materdor. These three shorts aired on Disney Channel, Toon Disney and ABC Family.
‘I’m delighted to be back in the director’s chair for the ‘Cars Toons’ series,’ says Lasseter, who serves as chief creative officer of Walt Disney Animation Studios and Pixar Animation Studios, and most recently exec produced Bolt. ‘Mater is one of my favorite characters from Cars and is the definition of true friendship. The world has grown to love Mater as much as we do, and we are excited to take him on new adventures with his best friend, Lighting McQueen.”
Cars 2 will be released in the summer of 2011. The sequel is being directed by Brad Lewis, producer of the Oscar-winning Pixar flick >Ratatouille. In this latest adventure, all the world’s a racetrack as racing superstar Lightning McQueen zooms back into action, with best buddy Mater in tow, to take on the globe’s fastest and finest. The pals travel the globe and find themselves in a new world of intrigue, thrills and fast-paced comedic escapades.