Cars film poster

Cars is a 2006 American computer-animated comedy adventure film directed by John Lasseter, produced by Pixar Animation Studios, and distributed by Buena Vista Pictures. The film was released on June 9, 2006. A sequel, Cars 2, was released on June 24, 2011. A third film, Cars 3, was released on June 16, 2017.


In a world populated by anthropomorphic cars, race car Lightning McQueen participates in the final race of the 2006 Piston Cup stock car racing season and barely manages to a three way tiebreaker with seven times champion Strip "The King" Weathers and runner-up Chick Hicks. As the three have matched in overall season points, the racing officials announce that the three will participate in a final tiebreaker race at Los Angeles International Speedway in one week to determine the winner. However, Lightning becomes stranded in the town Radiator Springs after being separated from his transport truck Mack. Lightning inadvertently damages the road at Radiator Springs and is thus sentenced to repave the road as punishment by town attorney Sally Carrera. Lightning first attempts to escape unsuccessfully, then quickly paves the road, but it is left uneven and he is thus forced to start over again.

Lightning is challenged to a race by town judge Doc Hudson. Lightning readily accepts, but crashes into a cactus patch. He is freed by tow truck Mater, but loses the race in the process. However, Lightning begins to befriend the local residents and learns that Radiator Springs was once a thriving town until it was bypassed by an interstate. Lightning also discovers Doc to have been a famous race car champion until an accident which ended his career. Lightning eventually finishes paving the road, but remains in the town instead of immediately leaving for the tiebreaker race. However, Doc informs the media of Lightning's whereabouts and he is picked up by Mack and taken to the race.

Lightning races The King and Chick Hicks at the tiebreaker race, but is distracted by Radiator Falls, which allows his competitors to remain in front of him. As Lightning realizes he may lose the race, he discovers Doc, Mater, and several other town residents have arrived to take over as Lightning's crew chief. A reinvigorated Lightning successfully passes The King and Chick Hicks and nearly crosses the finish line, but a desperate Chick Hicks sideswipes The King and causes him to crash. Lightning, remembering Doc's accident years ago, allows Chick Hicks to win the race and pushes The King over the finish line. Chick Hicks is accosted by the fans for his actions during the race while Lightning is praised.  Lightning then returns to Radiator Springs to establish his new racing headquarters.