December 12, 2008 – The Cars Toons Short Film Tokyo Mater Premieres in Theaters
“Hahaha, can I!…hey, can I?”
On December 12, 2008, the short film Tokyo Mater was released to theaters alongside the Disney animated feature Bolt. The short is part of the Cars Toons series from Pixar, and includes a special cameo of Sully and Mike from Monsters, Inc. and the Harryhausen restaurant. It was directed by John Lasseter, Rob Gibbs, and Victor Navone, with story by Lasseter, Gibbs, Bobby Alcio Rubio, and Scott Morse. It stars Larry the Cable Guy as Mater, Keith Ferguson as Lightning McQueen, Michael Wallis as Sheriff, Mach Tony Kobayashi as Kabuto, and Robert Ito as Ito-San.
The short begins with some drag racers flying through Radiator Springs, and as the sheriff chases after them, Mater admits to McQueen that he used to be a drag racer, and reveals the story. A car is on the side of the road and needs a tow to a place very far away, but Mater insists on taking him anyway. He ends up in Tokyo, and Mater is shocked by what he sees. After he accidentally bumps into the Drag King Kabuto, Mater is challenged to a drift race at midnight. The only way Mater can win is through a serious modification upgrade, which he accepts. Mater and Kabuto have to race to the top of Tokyo Tower, and the winner will be the new Drag King. The loser will be stripped of all of their modifications and reduced to a stop car. The two take off, but Mater is losing horribly. He ends up going the wrong way through traffic and is nearly stopped by police. He manages to escape the police, but is soon surrounded by ninjas. He is rescued by Lightning Dragon McQueen, who then takes him through a special shortcut to reach the tower. It’s a close finish, by Mater manages to win, and Kabuto becomes nothing more than a stock car. However, no one believes Mater’s story, and they watch in silence as Mater runs off, pretending he’s been upgraded.