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The Tiger

The Student News Site of Elmwood Park High School

The Tiger

The Student News Site of Elmwood Park High School

The Tiger




In 2006, the world was given one of the best movies that Disney has ever produced, which is still very popular today. It’s known for its iconic backstory and racing. The movie is about a lone NASCAR racer who entered the professional racing scene unnoticed and unheard of, under the name Lightning McQueen, one of the most famous names in animated movie history. Coming into the season as a rookie and leading the Piston Cup in points, competing against top leaders from previous seasons, he took the league by storm and shocked everyone with his performance. He ended up tying the leaders, resulting in a three-way tie for the Piston Cup, a trophy every racer in the movie dreams of.

In the movie, everything revolves around cars that come to life. It depicts Lightning McQueen’s journey from the last race before the Piston Cup race to his discovery of the long-forgotten town of Radiator Springs, where he would meet the love of his life, Sally.

What is the movie about, you may ask, and how was it originally conceived? The director, John Lasseter, took a road trip in 2000 with his wife and five sons, which sparked an idea in his head for the movie. Lasseter said, “I took a road trip with my family, and the whole time while I was driving, I was thinking of new movies, and this popped into my head”.

Lighting McQueen

If you haven’t heard of Lightning McQueen, then you probably haven’t seen any of the Cars movies. Lightning McQueen is a racer in the Piston Cup, having a phenomenal first season as a rookie, setting and breaking records that a rookie in their first year shouldn’t be doing. He is one of the best racers to have ever competed for the Piston Cup.


Mater doesn’t need any introduction; everyone knows who Tow Mater is. He’s a tow truck who lives in Radiator Springs and is always causing trouble or goofing around. Tow Mater is Lightning McQueen’s best friend. They do everything together: race, travel—anything you could think of, these two do it. Mater first met McQueen when he was locked up for accidentally destroying the town, and from there on out, they became best friends. Mater is definitely one of the funniest, if not the funniest, characters in the movie Cars.


Piston Cup

The Piston Cup—where do I even start? The Piston Cup is where it all started for Lightning McQueen; that’s where he would race against his biggest competitors: The King and Chick Hicks. Two very big names in the movie Cars and in the Piston Cup. The King is the head of Dinoco, where Chick and McQueen want to be. These three end up tying in points and tying in the final race leading up to the biggest race in the movie.

Radiator Springs

The town that started it all. Radiator Springs used to be a very popular town in 1954 because of retired three time Piston Cup winner Doc Hudson. Over time the town didn’t get any new travelers or tourists; many of the shops closed there except for the people who lived there waiting for new people to come and visit the once popular town. Until Lightning McQueen stumbled upon it bringing the town popularity threw the roof again like it once was before. Upon McQueen finding the town that wasn’t the only thing he found he also found the love of his life Sally McQueen fell instantly for her and have lived happily ever after since.

Doc Hudson

Doc Hudson, The Fabulous Hudson Hornet, was a three-time Piston Cup winner in the years 1951-1953. He held the record for most wins in a single season. He was a phenomenal racer, but later on in his racing career, he crashed and wasn’t able to race anymore after that. After he was put back together, he went and lived at Radiator Springs, making a race track out of dirt and sand like the ones he used to race on. Later on, he would become the mentor of Lightning McQueen and would teach him all of his racing tricks, becoming McQueen’s crew chief and helping him win seven Piston Cups.


Meet the actors

Owen Wilson, who played McQueen, Bonnie Hunt, who plays Sally, Larry the Cable Guy, who is Mater, Paul Newman, who is the voice of Doc, Tony Shalhoub, who plays Luigi, Guido Quaroni, who plays Guido, Michael Keaton, who plays Chick, Katherine Helmond, who voices Lizze, Michael Wallis, who voices Sheriff, Jennifer Lewis, who voices Flo, and Cheech Marin, who voices Ramone. These are all of the voice actors in Cars. They have all played important roles in this movie and have collectively created one of the best movies known to mankind.


They made two sequels after it: Cars 2 and Cars 3, capitalizing on the success of the first Cars movie and the significant profit and revenue it generated. Cars is one of the most popular movies in history and is currently one of Disney’s most successful films ever made. It brought in substantial earnings, totaling $462 million worldwide and $244 million overseas. The subsequent movies continued the story and were also successful.


As a result, Cars was a major success, leading Disney to create two more movies and a series of short episodes.

Work Cited:

A CARS is Born: John Lasseter and a team of Pixar pros create an animated automotive movie that should live forever. (2006, May 28). Autoweek. Retrieved April 23, 2024, from

(Lassester J, Fee B (Director\) (2008). Cars  [Film]. Pixar.)  

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About the Contributor
Charlie Lucas
Charlie Lucas, Staff Reporter
Hi my name is Charlie Lucas. I am apart of the 2024 senior class at Elmwood Park High School. After graduating, I plan on becoming an Electrician.    
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