Natalie Certain may be the top racing analyst on the Racing Sports Network in Cars 3, but she could have never predicted how much detail, time, and hard work went into making the film.
In the spirit of Natalie and her love of racing statistics, let’s break down some Cars 3 fun facts and other jaw-dropping details from the film. We particularly love the breakdown one you get past the number 100 — that’s the kind of “geekery” we love.
5 — Lightning McQueen sports five distinct looks in “Cars 3,” including one that pays homage to his original paint, a primer look he gets following the devastating crash, a custom wrap ordered by Sterling, and more.
5 — Five key areas in the southeast U.S. were visited to research the history of stock-car racing as well as the look and feel of racing in the area. Among these areas are Charlotte, North Carolina, where filmmakers spent time at the NASCAR Museum, the Charlotte Motor Speedway, the Hendrick Motorsport facility, consultant Ray Evernham’s garage and voice talent Humpy Wheeler’s house; North Wilkesboro Speedway; Occoneechee State Park and Speedway; Daytona, where they saw the Daytona Superspeedway, Daytona Beach (where early races took place), Daytona 500 Museum; and the Sonoma Speedway, where filmmakers were invited to ride along with professional racecar drivers.
8 — Artists designed and built eight race tracks for the film: Los Angeles International Speedway, Copper Canyon Speedway (Arizona), Heartland Motor Speedway (Iowa), Motor Speedway of the South, Thunder Hollow Dirt Track, Thomasville Speedway, Georgia Super Speedway, Florida International Super Speedway.
24 — The dramatic, slow-motion crash scene in which Lightning McQueen hits a wall and rolls several times takes 24 seconds.
25 — More than two dozen characters take part in the Crazy 8 demolition derby sequence, including Tbone, a car whose condition improves— temporarily—when he gets hit; SuperFly, who catches air; FareGame, the taxi who doesn’t get any fares; and Jimbo the pickup truck.
85 — While the clouds library for “Cars 3” features thousands of cloud pieces, 85 percent of the clouds in “Cars 3” came from the cloud library for “The Good Dinosaur.”
95 — Lightning McQueen still sports the dynamic #95 with his signature lightning-bolt graphics. The design of those graphics is a hybrid of his look from 2006’s “Cars” and his look in 2011’s “Cars 2.”
616 — “Cars 3” gets dirty, really dirty. And it turns out, dirt—particularly mud—isn’t easy to get right in an animated feature. Artists and technicians teamed up to get the look just right—not too thick, not too thin—which was important because mud, splatters, dust, sand and sacred dirt appear in 616 shots.
656 — Cruz Ramirez is a key character with a compelling and emotional story. In order to give her a dynamic range of motion and expressions, character riggers gave Cruz a total of 656 controls, including 360 for her body and 296 for her face—the mouth, lips, teeth, and tongue have 216 controls alone.
30,000 — Artists, designers, and technicians at Pixar Animation Studios were able to install 30,000 lights at the Florida Speedway for the final race of the film. They all work.
60,000 — The render farm being utilized to render “Cars 3” runs more than 60,000 cores. Memory has been upgraded recently, bringing the average per core to 10 gigabytes, compared to the 4 gigabytes per core recently used for “Inside Out”.
81,924 — Artists created more than 80,000 storyboards during the production of the movie. Just 10,102 made it into the final sequences.