The Cars franchise has been a very lucrative and popular one for Disney and Pixar, now in its third film, but the actors still joke about how the universe, where everyone is a car, doesn’t make any sense. Cars 3 is now in theaters, and even if critics didn’t love the first two entries as much as other Pixar offerings, each installment has been a box office hit, not to mention the huge volume of toys its sold from clothes to backpacks to matchbox cars to Lightning McQueen race car beds.
The Cars universe, like that of Toy Story and various other Pixar properties, features a world in which every character is a certain inanimate object. Not only is race car Lightning McQueen a sentient car, but so are his competitors and every spectator at the race – so is every other character in the world. And because of this, a lot of people have asked a lot of questions about how things work in that universe.
In a new video from Mashable, a group of actors with speaking roles as cars in Cars 3, including Owen Wilson, Kerry Washington, Cristela Alonzo and many others, pose some of the questions posed by the Cars universe- and they don’t come up with many easy answers.
Owen Wilson asks why there are sidewalks in the Cars world, when cars can’t walk, and why the cars have doors. Armie Hammer asks if the cars go to the doctor, or a mechanic when they get sick. And that’s even before they get into the even bigger questions of how cars reproduce, are born, and die. Hammer suggests that a car riding in an airplane is similar to “a human riding a horse.” And Lea Delaria has an even more vulgar answer.
These questions are certainly amusing to consider, although the video doesn’t even come close to getting to the weeds of how the Cars world was created, whether or not cars can get married or as Matt Zoller Seitz and other critics have posited, whether the Cars films are in fact set in a post-apocalyptic, Planet of the Apes-like universe that was formerly ruled over by humans before the machines (in the form of cars) took over.
Of course, the children who are in the target audience for the Cars films aren’t going to be kept from enjoying the antics of Lightning McQueen and Tow Mater by such far-reaching existential questions better suited for late night dorm-room philosophizing. But their parents now have additional questions to ponder.
Cars 3 opens in theaters today.