The Cars universe (otherwise known as the World of Cars) is a franchise created by Pixar and owned by Disney. The franchise was created when Pixar released its first movie Cars in 2006. It has been expanded by both Pixar and DisneyToon Studios with a sequel, spin-offs and a television series.



In Cars, hot-shot rookie racecar Lightning McQueen is about face off in a tiebreaker race to win the Piston Cup. But on the way, he accidentally finds himself lost in the small run-down town of Radiator Springs.

Cars 2

In Cars 2, Tow Mater travels around the world with Lightning McQueen to help him compete in a global race called the World Grand Prix. But in the process, he gets caught in a spy mission with agents Finn Missile and Holley Shiftwell.

Cars 3

In March, Disney confirmed that Cars 3 is in the works. Not much is known about it, except that Michael Wallis (the voice of the Sheriff) suggested the possibility plot involving "Route 99".


In Planes, Dusty Crophopper is a crop duster that dreams of competing in a globe-trotting air race called the Wings Around the Globe. Though, in order to win this competition, he has to be trained, physically modified, and has to overcome his fear of heights.

Planes: Fire & Rescue

In Planes: Fire & Rescue, Dusty, now a world-famous air racer, discovers that his engine is damaged, and that he might not be able to race again. After this, he enters the world of fighting forest fires. Teaming up with a cast of new characters, Dusty will have to battle a massive wildfire.

Planes 3

Carlos Alazraqui stated that the Planes series will be a trilogy.[1] A Disney staff member also stated that Planes 3 is in story development.[2]


Cars Toons

Starting in 2008, Pixar released a series of short films based on Cars. There are currently two sets of shorts titled Mater's Tall Tales and Tales from Radiator Springs. The first set focuses on "tall tales" Mater tells regarding his past life experiences. The second set features a focus on different characters in various scenarios.

One short introduces the setting and some characters of the movie Planes. This short is titled Air Mater.

Planes Character Shorts

Before the theatrical release of Planes, Disney released some shorts introducing four of the film's characters. These shorts featured footage not present in the movie.


Box office performance

In its opening weekend, the original Cars earned $60,119,509 in 3,985 theaters in the United States, ranking number one at the box office. In the United States, the film held onto the #1 spot for two weeks before being surpassed by Click, and then by Superman Returns the following weekend. It went on to gross $461,983,149 worldwide (ranking number 6 in 2006 films) and $244,082,982 in the United States (the third highest-grossing film of 2006 in the country, behind Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest and Night at the Museum). It was the highest-grossing animated film of 2006 in the United States, but lost to Ice Age: The Meltdown in worldwide totals.

Cars 2 has earned $191,452,396 in the USA and Canada, and $368,400,000 in other territories, for a worldwide total of $559,852,396. Worldwide on its opening weekend it made $109.0 million, marking the largest opening weekend for a 2011 animated title.

Film Release date Revenue Rank Budget
United States Foreign Worldwide All time domestic All time worldwide
Cars 6/9/2006 $244,082,982 $217,900,167 $461,983,149 #74
#121 $120,000,000
Cars 2 6/24/2011 $191,452,396 $368,400,000 $559,852,396 #136 #82 $200,000,000
Cars films $435,535,378 $586,300,167 $1,021,835,545 N/A N/A $320,000,000
Planes 8/9/2013 $90,256,456 $129,500,000 $219,756,456 #638 #474 $50,000,000
Total $525,791,834 $715,800,167 $1,241,592,001 N/A N/A $370,000,000

Critical reception


Both installments of the Cars series have generally received more criticism than other Pixar films. Even though Cars still received mostly positive reviews (but still less than usual for Pixar), Cars 2 garnered much less warm reception with mostly negative reviews, a first for the studio.

Film Rotten Tomatoes Metacritic
Cars 74% (194 reviews) 73 (39 reviews)
Cars 2 39% (202 reviews) 57 (38 reviews)
Average ratings 57% 65%


Film Rotten Tomatoes Metacritic
Planes 25% (92 reviews) 39 (32 reviews)

Awards and nominations

Cars had a highly successful run during the 2006 awards season. Many film critic associations such as the Broadcast Film Critics Association and the National Board of Review named it the best Animated Feature Film of 2006. Cars also received the title of Best Reviewed Animated Feature of 2006 from Rotten Tomatoes. Randy Newman and James Taylor received a Grammy Award for the song "Our Town," which later went on to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Song (an award it lost to "I Need to Wake Up" from An Inconvenient Truth). The film also earned an Oscar nomination for Best Animated Feature, but it lost to Happy Feet. Cars was also selected as the Favorite Family Movie at the 33rd People's Choice Awards. Perhaps the most prestigious award that Cars received was the inaugural Golden Globe Award for Best Animated Feature Film. Cars also won the highest award for animation in 2006, the Best Animated Feature Annie Award. The film was also nominated for AFI's 10 Top 10 in the "Animation" genre.

Home media




  1. Planes trilogy confirmed; Cryer’s recasting discussed
  2. TAG Blog