Watch Owen Wilson return to his best Disney role

Owen Wilson

By Joshua Jones | published 26 minutes ago

Actor Owen Wilson was the voice of favorite Pixar character Lighting McQueen in the cars franchisee. While the franchise wasn’t as acclaimed as other classic Disney Pixar films, the series did bring in a lot of merchandising revenue for the studio. With September 5 officially declared Lighting McQueen Day, Disney+ is celebrating with a taste of the new Cars on the road spin-off series. In a new clip titled “Salt Fever,” Tow Mater runs a race on the runway using rockets tethered to itself. At one point, McQueen even struggles to keep up with his friend. While McQueen tells Mater to slow down, Mater responds with McQueen’s classic catchphrase: “I. Ben. Speed.”

Owen Wilson is back in the cars spin-off that pronounces the favorite race car. Larry the Cable Guy is back with Wilson as Tow Mater. The soundtrack features the talents of 79 musicians and 17 singers. The new clip gives fans a taste of the kind of songs to expect, as well as the closing credits and theme song. The spin-off series revolves around McQueen and Mater on a cross-country road trip to meet Mater’s sister. The spin-off is produced by Marc Sondheimer and composed by Jake Monaco. The new clip comes as Disney prepares for Disney+ day leading up to D23 Expo in Anaheim, CA. During the multi-day event, fans will get a taste of many Disney projects from the biggest brands – Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, National Geographic and more.

As mentioned, cars is one of Disney Pixar’s most profitable franchises, thanks in large part to the merchandise revenue it produces. In 2011, former Pixar boss John Lasseter claimed that the first film’s merchandise had sold over $10 billion. With the addition of sequels and multiple spin-offs, those numbers have likely increased since 2011. Owen Wilson’s return to voicing Lighting McQueen in the cars spin-off means the actor currently has multiple projects in production for the mouse house. Not only will he return in Marvel’s second season loki, but he’s also attached to Disney’s haunted housecurrently slated for release in 2023. The first cars grossed over $460 million worldwide against a budget of $120 million. It was nominated for Best Animated Film at the Academy Awards in 2007, but ultimately lost to happy feet. A video game inspired by the feature film was released in 2006 and featured many characters from the film. The first film was about McQueen and him who wanted to win the biggest race of his life, but got stranded in a run-down dirt town called Radiator Springs.

It remains to be seen whether the addition of Owen Wilson in the coming cars spin-off will convince viewers to return to the franchise. Despite the first film being largely acclaimed by critics, the subsequent sequels did not receive the same admiration. In fact, the second cars film was the first Pixar film not to be nominated for an Academy Award. Perhaps the new spin-off on Disney+ will bring the franchise back to the fore.