Mater being interested in the French market not only because there's interesting stuff, but since it's his job to tow stuff around he'd probably like to see all the stuff and learn about it to increase his knowledge...if you call it that.
I'd definitely call it that. His knowledge of cars and parts is near encyclopaedic.
During the first race of the film, as seen in this still frame here◊, the entire audience in the background is composed of either red or blue spots, and no obvious green spots. This means that every car there is supporting either McQueen or King, and not as many obvious supporters of Chick. It certainly makes a bit more obvious why Chick is so jealous.
The cliffs surrounding Radiator Springs all look like either 50's style cars, or muscle cars stuck in the ground.
Why did parts of Axlerod's already clichéd backstory of "businessman gains more respect for the natural world after getting stranded in a rainforest or some other untouched place" sound fabricated? Because they actually were.
In Cars 2 the discussion about dinosaurs and fossil fuels are brought, chiefly that fossil fuels such as gasoline are derived from dead dinosaurs in a manner analogous if not identical to fossil fuels for us humans. So think about that for a second: gasoline serves as the main sustenance for cars in this universe and gasoline, a fossil fuel, is derived from dead dinosaurs. But in the Cars universe, everything is a car or at least some sort of vehicle, thus dinosaurs can be assumed to be cars as well. This means that when a car in Cars drinks gasoline, they are in fact eating their long dead ancestors. Charlton Hestonwas right.
Even worse, unless the (car) dinosaurs ran on another fuel, how do you think they got THEIR fuel?
Storyreels for an unmade time travel based Cars Toon show regular dinosaurs, which just means that the shift from organic to artificial life managed to occur much earlier.
Of course, if the truth is that fossil fuels are from algae, not dinosaurs, like in real life, it's all good.
Remember, at the racetrack in Cars? The cars are sentient and are just like humans, right? That means those are body parts flying all around.
Or just articles of clothing. Tires, for instance, are clearly the automotive equivalent of shoes, and replaced without anyone making a fuss over it.
So when a car crashes, it suddenly becomes nude? With these races being so popular, it'd make a car more than a little uncomfortable...
Some bits are clothing. Others... well, any NASCAR fan can let you know that it's not just tires that get knocked off in a bad enough wreck. One driver smashed into a wall hard enough to leave his engine behind. And at least one of the cars from the film's Big One was dripping oil. As the ad says, 'oil: the life blood of your engine.' Think about that one.
This is made even worse in Cars 2, where leaking oil is the equivalent of pissing your pants.
In one of the deleted scenes for this movie, while Lightning McQueen is lost, he drives into an area filled with just the outer bodies of cars, abandoned in the middle on nowhere, obviously long enough for the foliage to start growing through them. He, of course, gets freaked out, and you realize exactly how creepy it is when you think of the human equivalent of that...
Speaking of Cars, where the hell are the humans? The cars are obviously developed to fit humans in them seeing as they have seats and rear view mirrors. What did they do to the humans?
We never see inside any of the cars. Their windows are always opaque and grey. Convertible characters are always seen with their roofs up. The only time we see seats inside a car is (I've only seen Cars 2 once, so I could be wrong) the car in Paris with her eyes in her headlights. All of her windows (and windshield) are transparent, and (I think) there are seats inside. (Likely a parody of Chevron cars.)
For even more horror and disturbing imagery, think about the human version of that car...Eyes Do Not Belong There indeed!
Note that decades like the 50's are mentioned, and Mater mentions dinosaurs in Cars 2. Perhaps the humans built sentient cars, there was some sort of grand apocalypse that wiped out humanity and just about all non-mechanical life-forms... and history had to completely start over, with sentient vehicles as organic replacements?
Mater's line of work is towing... and salvage. Salvage is taking old parts from broken cars to be sold or reused. Think about that.
Well, maybe he's the car version of an undertaker? And those broken cars are the car version of people who were organ donors when they died?
Pixar's Cars 2 shows that many of the cars have weapons mounted underneath panels. So does that mean they basically have to be "surgically" altered for certain jobs?
Also, it's not just cars anymore: Cars 2 shows us a talking plane, and Pixar is considering an entire Planes spin-off. By extension, does that mean that military vehicles are sentient? If so, and at one point they were accompanied by humans, what would they do if confronted with violence that they didn't want to commit? Or, even worse, what if they did want to commit violence? Could they have grown hateful in a bigoted environment?
Not to mention, all of the trains, planes, and boats are built for specific purposes. Cars can have a certain amount of freedom in what they do, but if an individual is a boat, train, or plane, they're doomed to carting around other individuals (cars) for the rest of their natural lives. Which means their entire society is basically a caste system/slavery culture, with cars at the top. Just let that one set in for a moment...
Not quite, there are a lot of military planes and ships. Of course, that opens up a whole new barrel of Fridge Horror.
What if Miles Axlerod didn't leak oil onto the carpet at the party?
The Big Bad manipulating the lemon mobs can carry out conversations while in the middle of what could be considered open-heart surgery. Repetitive open-heart surgery. How much anaesthetic would that take?!
When we see Stephenson the bullet train take Mater, Finn McMissile, and Holly Shiftwell from Paris to Italy so they can infiltrate the Lemons' casino, pay very close attention to Stephenson's caboose (it only appears for a split-second) after emerging from the tunnel leading to Italy.
Could that be elaborated on for people without the DVD?
This troper just watched it again...and still doesn't get it.
Most bullet trains have locomotives on either end, so the inactive end will serve as the "caboose" to the one that's pulling the train. In some US commuter trains (such as Chicago's Metra), there are two motorized ends. One is an actual locomotive, the other is disguised as a caboose (there are red-and-white safety stripes painted onto the end).
So if Cars are mechanical life forms, they were probably built somewhere, not born. We know that automotive companies exist, and Lightning refers to himself as a precision machine, implying he was designed. This means that cars are created to have certain capacities and deficiencies by design. The Lemons, for example, were all designed to be kind of crappy, and Mater, being a tow truck, was designed to tow cars. And of course, if cars are built in factories, there's probably some kind of assembly line system at work. Now, imagine that in human terms. People are being made on an assembly line, specifically designed to be better or worse than others and given qualities that will determine their entire life, practically from birth. The Car society is just a few doses of Soma away from being Brave New World. The society in Brave New World was even based on the example of Henry Ford.
In one of the rejected ideas for the movie, McQueen's engine is taken out of his body and put in the machine that paves roads. And the engine of the machine that paves roads is put into McQueen's body, and runs off to live McQueen's life. The whole concept is just rife with fridge horror, imagine a human equivalent.
However, it does sort of mitigate the above bit of Fridge Horror. If the car's "brain" is its engine and can be switched out, then there's the chance of change for any of them.
The superspies' deaths in the second movie (despite being mostly offscreen) are pretty horrifying if you remember that the cars are sentient and able to feel pain.