Lightning McQueen

  • Lightning McQueen Cars cartoonYear created: 2008
  • Is he cocky: Yes
  • Favorite color: Red
  • Similar to: Nemo¬†and Buzz Lightyear

Lightning McQueen Cars Cartoon Basics

The Lightning McQueen Cars cartoon, typically referred to by his surname McQueen, and occasionally called “Stickers” by his girlfriend Sally (a light blue Porsche roadster), is an anthropomorphic racecar and is the main protagonist in the 2006 animated Pixar film Cars, and the secondary protagonist of its sequel Cars 2. He was named after Pixar animator Glenn McQueen (who died from skin cancer in 2002), not actor and noted racing buff Steve McQueen. He is based on generic NASCAR vehicles, but with design influences from the Mazda Miata and Dodge Viper . Late in the film, the Lightning McQueen Cars cartoon is painted much like the Chevrolet Corvette C1.


Building Lightning McQueen

During the initial research for the film, John Lasseter met with General Motors designers to discuss the new Corvette design but subsequent changes to the storyline left both the Lightning McQueen Cars cartoon and rival Chick Hicks as generic. In order to create a cocky but likeable character for McQueen, Pixar looked at sports figures like boxer Muhammad Ali, basketball player Charles Barkley and football quarterback Joe Namath, as well as popular musician Kid Rock.

The end result is a Lightning McQueen Cars cartoon which, despite the usually-meticulous approach to “truth to material” in which each car’s animation is mechanically consistent with its respective model’s capabilities, can occasionally bend the rules to move more like an athlete than a motorcar. He is voiced by actor Owen Wilson in Cars, Cars 2, Mater and the Ghostlight, and the Cars video game; he is voiced by Keith Ferguson in Cars Toons, Cars Mater-National Championship, and Cars Race-O-Rama. In the original film, the Lightning McQueen Cars cartoon is one of three contestants in a Piston Cup tiebreaker race before an audience of “more than two hundred thousand cars” in Los Angeles, California. It is revealed in a sequel that he won the Piston Cup from 2007-2010.

Some of this article uses modified material from the Lightning McQueen Cars cartoon Wikipedia article “Lightning_McQueen“, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.