Two months ago, Disney CEO Bob Iger confirmed that Cars 3 was currently in development at Pixar. The Cars feature films are the only place where the main voice cast of the franchise have worked together – while the shorts that have been released have included Larry The Cable Guy as Mater, notably absent were actors like Owen Wilson who is the main voice for Lightning McQueen. That is no longer true, as Pixar has unveiled the first Cars short to reunite the films’ cast, Radiator Springs 500 1/2 – you can watch it online, and for free!
The short is a new series of Cars shorts titled Tales From Radiator Springs, and they are taking a page out of the Toy Story franchise’s book. The Toy Story Toons, including Hawaiian Vacation, Small Fry, and Partysaurus Rex, have been able to maintain the actors and actresses that audiences fell in love with. Tom Hanks, who you may have thought would be too busy to complete voice work for a short film, was available for Pixar, and that is now filtering down to the Cars series as well, with its voice cast.
The official synopsis for Radiator Springs 500 1/2 is:
A ‘leisurely drive’ planned in honor of Radiator Springs’ town founder, Stanley, turns precarious as Baja pros descend on the town and challenge Lightning McQueen to an off-road race. Meanwhile, the townsfolk, led by a Stanley-costumed Mater, enjoy the planned ‘leisurely drive’ to retrace Stanley’s original frontier route. Thinking they’re on the same course, a wrong turn sends McQueen and the Baja pros on a treacherously wild bid for survival. The misunderstanding leaves the racing professionals in awe of the ‘legend’ of Stanley: the Original Off-Road Racer.
Billed as a western, the 6-minute long short is now available to view online, and you have to spend nothing to watch it. (EDIT: The short debuted on Disney Movies Anywhere, which you can log into either on your computer or through the iOS app, but is no longer available on the service.) You can now watch the full short below: