Disney and Pixar confirmed earlier this year that Cars 3 was in development. It will not arrive in theaters for a few years, so Pixar is continuing to release Cars shorts in the meantime. Disney recently unveiled its own online video-on-demand service called Disney Movies Anywhere, and that was the venue chosen to debut the most recent Cars short Radiator Springs 500 1/2. Before heading over to watch the short in full, you can watch a brief clip setting up the story of the short after the break! (UPDATE: You can view several pieces of concept art from the short’s development as well.)
The synopsis of the short is below:
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.
The clip, entitled “McQueen Gets Challenged,” shows us just what leads to the race in Radiator Springs. You will notice that the complete original cast from the films, including Owen Wilson as McQueen, is back. Watch the clip in HD below:
While the world of Cars is thriving in through shorts (and merchandise), Toy Story is continuing its adventures through television specials, the second of which is heading to ABC this December. The two franchises have been huge for both Pixar and Disney. Releasing new projects with the well-known characters allows them to drive the properties’ popularity while giving Pixar the space to focus on developing other franchises for feature films.
UPDATE: Pixar has released several pieces of concept art and pre-production work through their tumblr page. View the beautiful pieces below:
The 6-minute long Radiator Springs 500 1/2 is available for viewing (for FREE) now on Disney Movies Anywhere. You can watch it on your computer or in the iOS app. It debuts on the Disney Channel tonight at 7:55 pm EST.