The creative folks over at Pixar are well-renowned for their storytelling chops and tendency to favor originality, but their next animated feature, Cars 2, is a sequel to what is generally considered their weakest (though, commercially, one of their most successful) films released to date.

Disney/Pixar have unveiled a short teaser trailer for Cars 2, along with several pieces of conceptual art that offer a glimpse at some of the non-U.S. locations that will appear in the film.

Owen Wilson will once again voice the racing superstar (car) Lightning McQueen in Cars 2, which also features the vocal talents of Daniel Lawrence Whitney (a.k.a. Larry the Cable Guy) as the redneck pick-up truck, Mater. Pixar head honcho John Lasseter is co-directing the sequel alongside Ratatouille producer Brad Lewis.

The very international Cars 2 involves a North by Northwest-inspired storyline that revolves around Mater, who gets caught up in an elaborate espionage plot after he rescues a British agent (car) named Finn McMissile. It’s safe to say that the Cars sequel will be mostly just a fun, colorful, kid-friendly romp that lacks the emotional depth of previous Pixar titles – and that’s not, per se, a bad thing.

Check out the Cars 2 teaser trailer below:

There are also several pieces of conceptual art for Cars 2 that offer a glance at the foreign countries that will be featured in the film, including England, France, Italy, and Japan. Pixar’s quality of animation has improved with every movie they’ve released and Cars 2 will undoubtedly contain both beautifully rendered and detail-rich representations of all these locales.

Check out the Cars 2 conceptual art below:

Cars 2 arrives in 2D, 3D, and IMAX 3D theaters in the U.S. on June 24th, 2011.

Source: Disney/Pixar