- Actor-Shared Background:
- Crabby the Boat, voiced by Sig Hansen of Deadliest Catch fame, is based on Hansen's boat, the F/V Northwestern.
- Much like Jeff Gordon, Jeff Gorvette moved from Vallejo, California to Indiana to be closer to the racing worlda move that Gordon's family made when he was in his teens.
- Lewis Hamilton is described as British and Grenadian. His father was the son of Grenadian immigrants to England, while his mother is white British.
- Acting for Two:
- The Character Died with Him: The passing of Paul Newman on September 26, 2008 certainly caused Doc Hudson to be written out for the film.
- Creator Killer: The film's critical failure more-or-less caused John Lasseter to step down from the director's chair, giving the director positions in Cars 3 and Toy Story 4 to Brian Fee and Josh Cooley, respectively. With the news of Lasseter's sexual misconduct allegations in 2017 resulting in his resignation from Disney and Pixar, this will likely end up being the last film Lasseter ever directed.
- Development Gag: In Paris, Mater encounters a car whose eyes are placed where her headlights should be. This scares Mater away. This is a reference to the development of the first Cars; the characters were originally going to have their eyes placed on their headlights, only to have them relocated on their windshields after John Lasseter found it more appealing that way.
- Dueling Movies: In a way with Kung Fu Panda 2. While both were very successful, DWA was able to clearly K.O. Pixar on this one when Cars 2 was critically-panned and hit hard by Sequelitis, starting Pixar's first Dork Age, while Kung Fu Panda 2 became a major hit for DreamWorks though that studio would end up in their own more severe Dork Age shortly thereafter.
- Executive Meddling: It's generally assumed that Disney forced Pixar to make this sequel for merchandising purposes. Not so; the Cars universe is John Lasseter's pet project, . It's also noteworthy that the executives at Disney really couldn't have forced John Lasseter to do anything, since, as of 2006, John Lasseter is the executives at Disney. So ultimately it's more Auteur License than Executive Meddling, with The Merch being more of the reason nobody at Disney objected to making it.
- Lasseter DID note there were some objections when it came time to create the lemons; "What was interesting is that a lot of car companies didn't want us to use their cars as bad guys, so we were kind of limited." Notice more famous lemons like the Ford Pinto and Chevy Vega are entirely absent, yet cars from long-defunct companies like AMC are prevalent.
- Fake Nationality: Brooklyn-born John Turturro as Francesco Bernoulli. Oddly enough, Turturro has Italian ancestry.
- Fake Russian: Dublin native Stanley Townsend as Vladimir Trunkov and Ivan.
- Inspiration for the Work: John Lasseter said that he was convinced of the sequel's story while traveling around the world promoting the first film. He said:I kept looking out thinking, 'What would Mater do in this situation, you know?' I could imagine him driving around on the wrong side of the road in the UK, going around in big, giant traveling circles in Paris, on the autobahn in Germany, dealing with the motor scooters in Italy, trying to figure out road signs in Japan.
- Money, Dear Boy: Many questioned why Pixar would make a sequel to its worst-rated (though not exactly panned) movie. Put simply: the original had merchandising success on the level of STAR WARS. Making a sequel not only helped Pixar's bottom line, it likely helped other movies get produced. To put this into perspective, the first film grossed $462 million on a $120 million budget, not bad right? The merchandise made $10 billion dollars in the five years between the first and second film in the series. Additionally, Cars is John Lasseter's pet franchise, with the film itself having been initially conceived on the press tour of the first film.
- Old Shame: Many at Pixar have admitted that this film was short of the studio's usual best.
- The Other Darrin: Lloyd Sherr replaced George Carlin as Fillmore following the latter's death from heart failure.
- Michael Caine only voices Finn McMissile in the film. In every other piece of media he appears in, he's voiced by Martin Jarvis.
- Too Soon: Cars 2 was released to Pay Per View and DVD just weeks after a massive crash at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway killed driver Dan Wheldon, making the pileup in the Italy race a little uncomfortable.
- What Could Have Been:
- Doc Hudson was supposed to have a major role for this film. The above mentioned Author Existence Failure reduced these plans.
- Even after Newman's death, Lasseter had planned to focus more on how Doc's passing affected both Lightning and Mater, though this subplot is relegated to one scene between the two in Hudson's museum and is never brought up again in this film. The creators later decided to revisit this subplot in the next film.
- In early development, Rip Clutchgoneski was killed instead of spinning out when hit by the Lemons' radiation beam. Hence his name, Rip (R.I.P) Clutchgoneski (Clutch gone to the sky).
- Originally, the main antagonist was going to be Zil. His model was based on a racecar that did poorly in the Soviet Union, which would indicate that he was meant to be Russian.
- There was also a character named Giulia, who was a double agent that might have later pulled a HeelFace Turn. She wound up getting replaced by Holley Shiftwell.
- The race in Tokyo was originally intended to be much longer, feature a tie between Lightning and Francesco, and would not have been intercut with scenes featuring Mater and the spies.
Trivia / Cars 2