Taking the stage this morning at Anaheim's D23 Expo, John Lasseter spoke at length about Pixar's summer 2011 film, Cars 2
which will reunite the cast of the 2006 hit, taking Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson) and friends on an international road trip.
Concept art was shown of the locations that McQueen will visit in his world tour, all decked out with automobile-inspired variations of the real world (the Eiffel tower has a wheel design at the base, Big Ben is called "Big Bentley"). The locations (which seem to be in the same order they appear in the story) included Tokyo, Japan, Black Forest, Germany, an unknown Oktoberfest town (where Lasseter showed an image of Mater (Larry the Cable Guy) wearing "mater-hosen"), Porto Corsa, Italy, Paris, France and London, England.
Also introduced was a new character, Fin McMissle, a James Bond-inspired secret agent who appears in the form of a gadget-riddled Aston Martin. One of the plot lines apparently involves Mater saving Fin's life and being mistaken for a secret agent himself, pursued around the world in a Hitchcockian "wrong man" scenario. No voice actor was announced for the role but the part seems to be screaming for Sean Connery to come out of retirement.
Other concepts that Lasseter promised for the film involve Mater learning to drive on the opposite side of the road in Europe, adventures on the Autobahn, troubles in Parisian roundabouts and scooters in Italy (which, he explained, are like gnats to the cars).
Also shown were two (of three) upcoming "Car Toons" that will air this fall on the Disney channel. The first is called "UFM: Unidentified Flying Mater" and the second "Heavy Metal Mater." Both were directed by Lasseter who promises that he'll keep making them as long as he can.
is scheduled for June 24, 2011.