Yes, there will be a Cars 2. This from a friend who attended Fantastic Fest this last week.
Coming to a theater near you in 2011. That's a year earlier than before. And that's what happens when your tie-in merchandise outsells trinkets from TOY STORY, FINDING NEMO and MONSTERS, INC..
Brad Lewis, not Lasseter, will direct the sequel, which will be something of a globetrotting affair. To tide audiences over, there will be a series of "CARS Toons", which will feature Mater (the tow truck voiced by Larry the Cable Guy) telling whoppers about his adventures as, for example, a fire truck or a matador (battling Bull-dozers, of course). We watch the first short, "Rescue Squad Mater", in which he bravely extinguishes a blaze at the Gasoline and Match Factory. Kinda funny.
I hope "globe trotting" means Lighting races Ferraris or has to compete against Grand Prix cars or something. In fact, I can see the story now, it's years later and Lightning has his own racing company, Radiator Springs Racing that's taken the racing world by storm and he has a protege who is a young upstart Formula One racer. Along the way, young Dino Berlinetta (a 1968 Ferrari concept car name) has to overcome his shyness and lack of racing desire in order to win the Monaco Grand Prix and use the winnings to help save his family's financial problems. Lighting, now in a mentor role, tries to coax some bragadocio out of the little F1 car and sends him off to New York to work as a pizza delivery car (do cars eat pizza?) The experience teaches young Dino how to drive in the heavily trafficked city streets and he uses these techniques to win the race.
Mater gets to ride on a big cargo plane and then parachuttes into Monaco.
I liked Cars a lot. I know that the movie was hit or miss with a lot of people, especially Pixar fans. It was the equivallent of musical or opera fans when seeing Cats for the first time. If you don't think about it being about living cars, it's quite a charming and funny movie. Even if you DO think about it being about living cars, that's the part I liked the most.
I can't even begin to rate the Pixar movies. I liked them all equally. Sure Incredibles was more my taste in genre but that doesn't mean it was any more or less fun to watch than the rest. Pixar has so far been ok with not doing many sequels (so far Toy Story is the only one) and I'd almost rather they didn't do another sequel. Sequels from Disney only mean one thing; toy sales. Cars was a mechandising dream, something the others didn't have. So I know that's the whole reason for a sequel. It's a cartoon about talking cars. The main character gave up the race to become a champion and he got the girl, what's left to tell? I'm glad Up is still on tap, but I'd given Pixar a lot of credit for being original, now I need to temper that if they're going to reach back into the past to pull up ideas for new movies - even their own new ideas.