Cars 3 is now driving to theaters worldwide, but has anyone stopped to ask why these vehicles can talk? And where are all the people? Jay Ward, the creative director of the franchise from Disney, sat down in an interview to talk about the upcoming animated movie and react to an on-going fan theory about the nature of Lightning McQueen and other talking vehicles.
A Post-Apocalyptic World
To recall, Cars and Planes are set in a world that looks very much like Earth, but humans seem to have disappeared. The only living things are motorized vehicles who does not seem to have developed a way of living that is similar to our own but has taken over human society.
So, what happened to all the humans? Cracked has a theory that posits that the movie franchise is actually set in a post-apocalyptic world. In a video, the site suggested that the humans were sent into space (Wall-E) after all the sentient objects (Toy Story) and machines have started an uprising and, eventually, caused the degradation of Earth.
The message seems so dark for a series of animated movie geared toward younger audiences. However, Ward agrees to the theory.
“If you think about this, we have autonomous car technology coming in right now,” he told Screen Crush. “It’s getting to the point where you can sit back in the car and it drives itself. Imagine in the near-future when the cars keep getting smarter and smarter and after one day they just go, ‘Why do we need human beings anymore? They’re just slowing us down. It’s just extra weight, let’s get rid of them.'”
The site pointed out that the franchise never really addressed this mystery, but there was an internal document that was never released to the public. It was called The World of Cars Owner’s Manual and it was written by Ward.
The creative director did not confirm whether the absence of humans in all three Cars movies was caused by a machine uprising. But he offered an equally grim theory pertaining to the fate of the humans.
Ward revealed that Cars 3 production designer Jay Shuster once drew a meteor that is about to hit Earth. “And all the humans are gone and all of a sudden the cars start rising up and moving around,” he mused.
Disney/Pixar Connected Universe
Many believe that all of the animated movies from Disney/Pixar are set in the same universe. The animators have scattered Easter Eggs that connects each movie from the next like Nemo of Finding Nemo in Monster Inc. and Dug of Up in Ratatouille. Of course, the Pizza Planet truck which appears in every movie. Pixar even highlighted the connection in a video post on Facebook.
Oh my spurs! You ain't never seen Easter eggs like these, partner. 👀
Posted by Toy Story on Sunday, January 15, 2017
That said, the theory of a connected animated cinematic universe is not unsubstantiated.
Cars 3 Movie Details
Whether toys and cars did eventually evict humans on Earth remains to be seen. But the adventure continues in Cars 3 where Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson), because of the rise of the newer generation of racers, had to pull out from the sport he so dearly loves.
In order to get back to the race, he employs the help of an eager young technician, Cruz Ramirez (Cristela Alonzo), who has a plan to win. He also gets inspiration from the late Fabulous Hudson Hornet.
Will he come back in time to win the Piston Cup Racing’s biggest stage yet or is it time to retire #95?
Cars 3 also stars Nathan Fillon, Armie Hammer, Bonnie Hunt, Tony Shalboub, Margo Martindale, Chris Cooper, Lea DeLaria, Cheech Martin and Kerry Washington. The movie is set to be released on June 16.