See Owen Wilson Return To His Best Disney Role

He's back!

By Joshua Jones | Published

Owen Wilson

Actor Owen Wilson was the voice of fan-favorite Pixar character Lighting McQueen in the Cars franchise. While the franchise wasn’t as praised as other classic Disney Pixar films, the series did produce a whole ton of merchandising revenue for the studio. With September 5th officially declared Lighting McQueen Day, Disney+ is celebrating with a sneak peek of the new Cars on the Road spinoff series. A new clip titled “Salt Fever” finds Tow Mater running a race at the airstrip with the help of rockets strapped to himself. At one point, McQueen even struggles to keep up with his friend. As McQueen tells Mater to slow down, Mater responds with McQueen’s classic catchphrase, “I. Am. Speed.”

Owen Wilson is back in the Cars spinoff voicing the fan-favorite race car. Along with Wilson, Larry the Cable Guy is back as Tow Mater. The soundtrack features the talents of 79 musicians and 17 singers. The new clip gives fans a preview of the type of songs they can expect to hear, as well as the opening credits and theme song. The spinoff series centers on McQueen and Mater on a cross-country road trip to meet up with Mater’s sister. The spinoff is produced by Marc Sondheimer and composed by Jake Monaco. The new clip comes as Disney prepares for Disney+ day, which leads into D23 Expo in Anaheim, CA. During the multiday event, fans will get sneak peeks at many Disney projects from its biggest brands – Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, National Geographic, and more.

As mentioned, Cars is one of Disney Pixar’s most profitable franchises, thanks largely due 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 spinoffs, those figures probably have increased since 2011. Owen Wilson’s return to voicing Lighting McQueen in the Cars spinoff means the actor has multiple projects currently in production for the mouse house. Not only will he return in the second season of Marvel’s Loki, but he’s also attached to Disney’s Haunted Mansion, currently slated for a 2023 release. The first Cars grossed over $460 million worldwide against a budget of $120 million. It was nominated for Best Animated feature 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 of the film’s characters. The first film centered on McQueen and him wanting to win the biggest race of his life, only to be stranded in a rundown dirt town called Radiator Springs.

It remains to be seen if the addition of Owen Wilson in the upcoming Cars spinoff will convince viewers to return to the franchise. Despite the first film being largely praised by critics, the subsequent sequels didn’t 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 spinoff on Disney+ will bring the franchise back to prominence.