UPDATE: This post has been updated from our original discussion of Radiator Springs 500.5. We were reminded by a reader that this short was discussed at the 2013 D23 Expo. This must have slipped our minds amongst all of ‘The Good Dinosaur’ news – heck, we even discussed it during our D23 Expo wrap-up post.
UPDATE #2: The short has been released as of May 20, 2014 – you can read our full review and watch the short here.
If you are a fan of Pixar toons, shorts, and specials – 2014 is the year for you! With the already confirmed Monsters University inspired short, Party Central hitting theaters on March 21 and the Toy Story That Time Forget TV special slated for this upcoming holiday season, it’s great to be reminded that the Cars franchise will also have a spot in the 2014 roster as well (in the form of a pair of Cars Toons airing on the Disney Channel).
During the New York 2014 Toy Fair (via Inside the Magic) a spokesperson from Mattel reminded us of the new Cars Toon named Cars RS 500.5 (spoken as 500-and-a-half) – the short was first announced during the Toy Story of Terror! and the Motivation Behind Pixar’s Short Form Content panel at the 2013 D23 Expo by Pixar veteran (and Cars Toon director), Rob Gibbs. Rob described the short as “a Baja-style race which comes to Radiator Springs” and although it is mentioned that the Toons will air in the summer, the Mattel representative mentions a fall release (not sure if she’s only referencing the die-cast release schedule though).
Another rumored plot for the short (via Take Five a Day) mentions that “Lighting McQueen and other off-road racers” (including Desert Rally racers and 4×4 type vehicles) go to iconic race locations. There is also a mention of a die-cast line (which makes sense with the Toy Fair comments from Mattel) with characters named, Sandy Dunes and Baja Bug (among others). Off-road vehicles were always my favorite toys to play in a sandbox with, so I would love to see these characters produced (hopefully with rubber tires like some of the Kmart exclusive cars were a few years ago).
The other short, as mentioned in the panel will be called To Protect and Serve. I am completely guessing, but I’d like to see this as a throwback to the comedic police shows like Starsky and Hutch, with their witty banter and offbeat crime-solving. With any Cars Toon, I guess we should expect plenty of fast-moving comedy though!
The entire D23 Expo panel has been uploaded to YouTube via Mouse Info – the news about the new Cars Toons starts at 23:44 into the presentation (in case you want to skip ahead…although the entire discussion is worth the watch if you weren’t lucky enough to have been in attendance).
You can chat about the Toon and let us know your predictions about the storylines for both shorts in the Pixar Post Forum.