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  1. #1

    • Faith, Trust & Pixie dust
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    I went to the Cars premiere and all I got was this lousy t-shirt.

    I am back from my short trip to North Carolina for the Cars premiere and thought I would share my experience. I'm sure the staff here will have a better report since they were able to attend as press, but here is my report. A report from one of the minions.

    My day began on Friday, waiting in the Pittsburgh airport for a seat to open up to Charlotte. I can fly for free as long as there is a seat open. After two planes took off without me, I got on the third one and landed in Charlotte around 1pm. After renting a car and finding my hotel, I was ready for the trip out to Lowes Motor Speedway. It was a perfect day in Charlotte until around 5pm. That is when the Heavens broke loose and rain came pouring down. It look me over an hour from downtown Charlotte to the racetrack 15 miles away. The rain slowed everyone down and once close to the track, the cars were standing still, waiting for their turn to get on property and find a parking spot. Thankfully the parking for the event was free. (Did you know Lowes wants $20 to park in their lot? I thought Disney was bad!) I actually got a good spot. I opened up my umbrella and headed towards the gates.

    The line to get in was huge. People had been lining up for awhile, but they didn't let anyone in till 6pm. Since it was still raining, they handed out ponchos but told me I had to leave my umbrella at the gate. It was a Tinker Bell umbrella and I did not want to part with it, but I did. (I managed to find it again after the show.) Seating for me and 30,000 of my closest friends was around curve #2. They had erected four huge screens for the show. They were currently "down" because of the rain and would take a bit of time to get them up again. I bought a shirt and some pins for my kids back home and went to find a seat. I scored a good seat in the stadium in front of the stage they built on the field. Next to each screen was a much smaller TV screen that would broadcast the red carpet and close-ups of the performances on stage.

    Entertainment was to begin at 6:30pm. A military band started it off with the National Anthem while some country singers sang (sorry, can't remember who, I am not a big country fan) and four F-16s flew by overhead. Real cool. Next a military persision(sp?) team entertained us. I use the term entertained very loosely. The crew at Lowes was working very hard to dry the track for a racing demonstration. There were eight cars and the pace car was manned by none other then Dick Cook. I'm sure the racers were somewhat big in the industry, but once again, I am not a big race fan so I'm afraid I couldn't tell you who they were. Some guy named D.W. won. He was in a Cars car and wearing a Cars jumpsuit. What were the odds on that?

    During this "entertainment", an announcer would report on the red carpet while video was being fed to the TV screens. All the actors who provided voices were there, including Paul Newman, Owen Wilson, Bonnie Hunt and Larry the Cable Guy. John Lassetter and Bob Iger walked the carpet as well as race car drivers Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt Jr. The rain had stopped by now but the carpet was pretty wet! All the celebs were seated in the stands by screen #2. I don't know where Iger and Lasseter watched the movie, but it probably was not in the stands since it would sprinkle every now and then. You really needed to keep your poncho on.

    Larry the Cable Guy was the MC and he introduced Iger, Lassetter, Newman and two charity CEOs to the stage where they presented two checks, each worth $500,000 to the CEOs. Unfortunately, that is all they did. Neither Iger nor Lassetter spoke. I was very disappointed. Now the musical portion of the night began with the musical group Dance on the Moon, or something like that. They had a lot of energy, but I'm afraid the audience was not too crazy about them. Country singer Brad Paisley was next and he got the stands rocking. Then a surprise appearance by Chuck Berry singing Beethoven and Route 66. I'm afraid he needs to retire. It was actually sad watching him perform. But that's just my opinion. Finally the movie began!

    Now here is where I am going to disappoint you all and make you think I am crazy. I did not stay for the entire movie. The movie did not start till after 10pm and I had a 8am flight to catch the next morning and the thought of trying to leave with 30,000 people in an area I am not familiar with was enough to make me panic. I was sitting in the rain, watching a movie with the sound blaring and knowing I would be seeing it with my family in two weeks. I decided I had enough. I did see about 30 minutes of it and all I can say is I hope it gets better. Pixar's animation is beautiful, full of detail, but I just could not get into it. Like I said, maybe it will get better for me in a comfortable movie theater instead of watching it in the rain. Larry said to stick around for the fireworks, but I just couldn't.

    Am I glad I went? I honestly don't know. I guess I am because I would have been wondering what it was like if I hadn't gone. I bought the tickets when they were first offered and booked a hotel and a car for the day so I kind of felt I needed to go. It was a bit of a hassel getting there and getting back home and the rained sucked, but that had nothing to do with the folks at Disney/Pixar. I believe they gave it their best shot and am glad they allowed so many "common folk" to attend, I was just not impressed. But I did get a t-shirt out of it and some good memories. I wish I could share some pictures, but I was afraid they would take my digital camera so I smuggled in a disposable that was not that great. It turns out I could have gotten my camera in since they barely looked in my backpack. Oh well, I'm sure the pros will have a fine report this week complete with pictures.

    I hope you enjoyed my report. Thanks for reading.

  2. #2

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    Re: I went to the Cars premiere and all I got was this lousy t-shirt.

    Sorry about the rain and all the hassle - just for the record, D.W. is Darrell Waltrip - he is a retired driver and now announces races for fox. He's really a hoot.

    So, was the shirt at least cool?

    Will trade husband for Disneyland and DCA Pins!

  3. #3

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    Re: I went to the Cars premiere and all I got was this lousy t-shirt.

    The t-shirt and pins are very cool BFJen, thanks for asking. And thanks for the info on Darrell Waltrip. I'm real bad at remembering names, especially when they are not important to me.

    There were some funny moments with the people seated around me. They all knew the country stars and the race car drivers, but I was the only one who could point out Lassetter and Iger. What a Disney geek!
    Last edited by Nancywitt; 05-28-2006 at 04:40 PM.

  4. #4

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    Re: I went to the Cars premiere and all I got was this lousy t-shirt.

    gotta love it!!!

    Will trade husband for Disneyland and DCA Pins!

  5. #5

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    Re: I went to the Cars premiere and all I got was this lousy t-shirt.

    Thanks for the report. I was wondering how it went. As one who encouraged you to go I guess my weather report analysis from weather.com was seriously off. I watched Regis and Kelly Friday morning and they broadcast from there live and it was sunny and beautiful but they also mentioned the approaching thunderstorm and I thought "oh, no". There is a review of the whole thing with lots of pictures under the news forum.

  6. #6

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    Re: I went to the Cars premiere and all I got was this lousy t-shirt.

    thanks for sharing


  7. #7

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    Re: I went to the Cars premiere and all I got was this lousy t-shirt.

    Well. Sorry that it sucked.

    Ok, what I saw in News was just articles... Was someone from the site there? Was anyone else here there? I'm looking for a more first hand report with names and such.
    Good morning, son
    In twenty years from now
    Maybe we'll both sit down and have a few beers
    And I can tell you 'bout today
    And how I picked you up and everything changed
    It was pain
    Sunny days and rain
    I knew you'd feel the same things...





  8. #8

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    Re: I went to the Cars premiere and all I got was this lousy t-shirt.

    I'm sorry people think I didn't like it because I did. Don't get me wrong, it wasn't the best time of my life, but it didn't suck. I'm glad I went.

  9. #9

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    Re: I went to the Cars premiere and all I got was this lousy t-shirt.

    I'm glad you're glad you went!

    Jim Hill has two articles about the event today. He sent someone down to cover it.

  10. #10

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    Re: I went to the Cars premiere and all I got was this lousy t-shirt.

    Thanks Wendygirl for the info. And don't worry about the forecast. You said there was a 30% chance of rain but these things have a way of changing. I had a poncho to keep me dry and it wasn't so bad. I can't wait to read the Jim Hill article. I love that guy!

  11. #11

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    Cool Re: I went to the Cars premiere and all I got was this lousy t-shirt.

    Thanks for the report! that's something I would have liked to see.

    Chuck Berry. Cool. Even though he is not good anymore still would have wanted to see him because I am a fan of his work and his awesome songwriting. I've never seen him live before. At least they didn't have some rap group. I guess it could have been worse.

    D. W. Darryl Waltrip. I am a big fan of him on TV. I would like ABC/ESPN to hire him for their NASCAR telecasts next year. I wish he could do both Fox and ABC in the same season. Watching a race is never the same without "Boogity Boogity Boogity..." as the green flag drops.

    Anyways I can't wait to see Cars. I have a cousin that works at Pixar, Rich Quade. I am sure he worked on this movie. Look for him in the credits somewhere. I've never met him before but proud to have him in my family. Hopefully there will be a reunion on that side of the family sometime so I can meet him.

    thanks for sharing your experience with us. We appreciate it!


    Quote Originally Posted by aashee View Post
    We are 100% grade A Disney Dorks.

  12. #12

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    Re: I went to the Cars premiere and all I got was this lousy t-shirt.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nancywitt
    I am back from my short trip to North Carolina for the Cars premiere and thought I would share my experience .
    Thanks for sharing your experiences. You've now joined the ranks of the Walt Disney Pictures' fondly nicknamed "bleacher creatures", glad you had a chance to go an experience one of the studios' big nights.
    "If you don't know how to draw, you don't belong in this building" - John Lasseter 2006

  13. #13

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    Re: I went to the Cars premiere and all I got was this lousy t-shirt.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nancywitt
    I did see about 30 minutes of it and all I can say is I hope it gets better. Pixar's animation is beautiful, full of detail, but I just could not get into it. Like I said, maybe it will get better for me in a comfortable movie theater instead of watching it in the rain.
    Thanks for the report! A friend of mine who saw it in the theater (dry and comfortable of course!) absolutely adored it, so I have to imagine that your theater experience will be a better one that allows you to really enjoy the film without 30K screaming fans- although that size crowd sounds like a lot of fun to me! But anyway, I am certain you will get an opportunity to really enjoy the film soon enough!

  14. #14

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    Re: I went to the Cars premiere and all I got was this lousy t-shirt.

    I liked the idea of the outdoor racetrack screening. It reminded me of the
    "underwater" screening that WB did MANY years ago for The Incredible Mr. Limpet.

    I wish I had been at either. Oddly enough, the folks at the racetrack were the only ones to get wet!

    Check out my podcast: www.drunkondisney.com

  15. #15

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    Re: I went to the Cars premiere and all I got was this lousy t-shirt.

    Today is Friday, June 9th, and my two sons and I just got back from watching Cars. I have to make a quick review and say that I loved it! It was tough watching it in the rain in North Carolina at the premiere, but at my local theater with fresh popcorn, a Diet Coke and comfy chairs, the viewing was much better.

    I believe it did get better for me as I continued to watch it. I guess you can't judge a film by the first 30 minutes. The scenery just kept getting better and the characters really grow on you. There was even a part that brought tears to my eyes as fond memories of driving in a souped up school bus with my family came to mind. It made me want to jump in a convertible and hit Route 66. (But since my husband is a pilot and prefers flying over driving, I don't think that will happen any time soon.)

    All the critics are telling people to stay for the credits and wait for the very end. It was hilarious! I felt bad for the people who left right after the end. Almost the best part of the show. At least some of the biggest laughs.

    Anyway, I felt like maybe I gave Cars a hard time at the premiere and wanted to set the record straight. I love this movie and since I was at the premiere, I almost feel like part of the movie belongs to me. Thank you Pixar for such a wonderful film.

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