Cars is a 2006 American animated feature film produced by Pixar and directed by both John Lasseter and Joe Ranft. It is the seventh Disney/Pixar feature film, and thefinal film by Pixar before it was bought by Disney. Cars premiered on May 26, 2006 at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Concord, North Carolina, and was released on June 9, 2006, to mixed reviews. Despite this it was nominated for two Academy Awards, including Best Animated Feature, and won the Golden Globe Award for Best Animated Feature Film. Cars is set in a world populated by living vehicles, including automobiles, trucks, trains, and airplanes.
The last race of the Piston Cup stock car racing season ends in a three-way dead heat between retiring veteran Strip "The King" Weathers, perennial runner-up and dirty fighter Chick Hicks, and the self-centered rookie Lightning McQueen. A tiebreaker race is scheduled for one week later at the Los Angeles International Speedway. McQueen, eager to start practice in California as soon as possible in order to become Piston Cup champion and take The King's place as the sponsored car of the lucrative Dinoco team, pushes his driver Mack to travel all night long.

Mack tries (unsuccessfully) to avoid falling asleep, but becomes a victim of a gang of reckless street racers, subsequently causing the sleeping McQueen to roll out of the back of the truck unnoticed. Waking up in traffic, McQueen speeds off to find Mack, but becomes lost and ends up in the run-down town of Radiator Springs. A mishap with the local sheriff causes McQueen to inadvertently tear up the town's main road. McQueen is promptly arrested, then tried the next day by the town's judge and doctor, Doc Hudson, who at first wants him to leave Radiator Springs immediately; but at the insistence of local lawyer Sally Carrera, Doc instead sentences him to repave the road as community service.

McQueen initially tries to rush through the job, but makes a sloppy, bumpy mess of the road and is forced to start over again. As the days pass, he becomes friends with many of the townsfolk, and learns that Radiator Springs was once a popular stopover along U.S. Route 66. However, the construction of an interstate highway allowed cars to bypass the town, causing many of the businesses and residents to leave. McQueen also discovers that Doc is actually the Fabulous Hudson Hornet, a three-time Piston Cup champion who dropped out of sight after a serious racing accident ended his career over 50 years ago.

Encouraged by his new friends and a countryside cruise with Sally, McQueen successfully completes the road and spends an extra day in town, visiting the local shops to outfit himself with new tires and equipment. That night, Mack and the media converge on the town, having been tipped off by Doc as to McQueen's whereabouts, and McQueen reluctantly sets off for California. Sally is upset with Doc for thinking only of himself and not everyone else in town when he called the media.

As the tie-breaker race begins, McQueen's thoughts keep drifting back to Radiator Springs and he is distracted from performing well. However, he is surprised to discover that his new friends have come along to serve as his pit crew, with Doc — once again outfitted in his old racing colors — as his crew chief. Heartened by their presence and Guido's incredible pit stop speed, and using tricks he learned during his time among them, McQueen is able to counter Hicks' dirty driving tactics and take the lead of the race. On the final lap, Hicks, fed up with being seen as the perennial loser, purposely rams The King, causing him to veer off the track and end up in a terrible wreck.
McQueen sees the King wreck out, and stops just short of the finish line, letting Hicks win. McQueen thinks back to Doc's career-ending shunt, then backs up to push The King the rest of the way across the line so he can finish his last race and retire with dignity. Hicks is shunned and booed off the awards ceremony stage, his Piston Cup victory hollow and meaningless, while McQueen is praised by The King and his wife, Dinoco, the press and the crowd for his sportsmanship. He is offered the Dinoco sponsorship but turns it down, saying that he would rather stay with the team that brought him this far. McQueen returns to Radiator Springs and decides to move his team's headquarters there, helping to revitalize the town and its businesses, much to the pleasure of his new friends.


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