Attentive viewers of the latest movie trailer for Cars 3, Released by Disney/Pixar June 16, have noticed some “easter eggs” that reveal some of the most guarded Pixar storytelling secrets. The trailer is giving Pixar fans insight into the Pixar formula many industry insiders credit for the company’s unprecedented run of box-office successes over the past two decades.
At one point in the trailer, the character of Sterling admits, “We know nobody likes these damned Cars movies.” He goes onto confess that it doesn’t matter because the movie will “make a lot of money.”
The character of Lightning McQueen, who is referred to in the trailer as “red car, whatever your name is,” expressed hope that the movie, despite its near guaranteed box-office profitability, will do more than simply turn theaters into a “two-hour holding pen for sugar-addled toddlers.”
“This trailer was not meant to be released in its current form,” Walt Disney Company CEO Robert Iger said in a statement released in response to the trailer’s wide dissemination on the Internet. “This is what’s called a ‘pre-trailer,’ which we use as a tool internally. We prefer to limit the general public’s exposure to our internal thinking and goals.” Iger gave an example of one goal the company has for Cars 3: that the moms who’ve been forced to see this God-awful movie by their insufferable 5-year-old boys won’t tear their eyes out in agony.
Iger explained that the dialog in the trailer uses this kind of “storytelling- and box-office-success shorthand” to maximize its return on investment in the film. Such “on-the-nose” dialog, he said, is typically replaced before a trailer is released. Phrases like “Look at this eye candy with no soul that will make kids beg their parents to buy more Cars shit” are taken out and replaced with more audience-friendly dialogue in the final version.
The full trailer, despite Disney/Pixar’s efforts to remove it from the Internet, is online here.