Clocking in at just under two hours, Pixar's latest computer animated epic "Cars" is a tad longer than the usual family entertainment, so by the time the final credits roll, parents may be hustling their squirming children toward the exits. Savvy parents, however, will stick around, because the animators at Pixar have become masters of post-show entertainment, tacking on bonus bits of animation while their credits roll up the screen. While we wouldn't dream of spoiling the surprises at the end of "Cars," we direct your attention to a few lines mixed in with the credit roll that that might otherwise go unnoticed, the following section for instance:
The King….Richard Petty
Darrell Cartrip…..Darrell Waltrip
Rusty Rust-eze….Tom Magliozzi
Dusty Rust-eze…Ray Magliozzi
Mrs. The King….Lynda Petty
Junior…..Dale Earnhardt, Jr.
Michael Schumacher Ferrari…..Michael Schumacher
Mario Andretti….Mario Andretti
Besides the usual roster of movie stars like Paul Newman and Owen Wilson lending their voice talents to this production, Pixar drafted several notable names from the automotive world to give their film a whiff of authenticity (or as much authenticity as a cartoon about talking cars can have). Racing legends Richard Petty, Darrell Waltrip, Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Mario Andretti and Michael Schumacher all make audio cameos as various racing machines and Petty's real-life wife Lynda voices his wife on the big screen as well
Additionally, Pixar used the vocal talents of Michael Wallis, expert on the famed vacation highway, Route 66, and author of the book "Route 66: The Mother Road," and brothers Tom and Ray Magliozzi, hosts of the nationally syndicated radio show "Car Talk."
Special Racing Consultants...Paul Newman
Tucked between the special racing consultant credits for Fox Sports director Artie Kempner and NASCAR racer Jerry Nadeau, is Paul Newman. Since 1972, Newman has been racing professionally in addition to his acting career and the oldest driver ever to be associated with a winning team when he won the 24 Hours of Daytona race in 1995.
Characters Manager…Jay Ward
Though it's not the same Jay Ward of "Rocky & Bullwinkle" fame (they're not even related), Ward gained notoriety in his own rite for co-founding the acclaimed Northern California hot rod shows Billetproof and Asphalt Invitational, as well as Pixar's own company picnic-***-car show Motorama.
Given a special mention in the credits, the 76 children born to members of the "Cars" crew from the start of production in late-2001 until earlier this year,. Most popular baby name? Michael — the only name used twice in the list.
Executive Team….Steve Jobs
Yes, that Steve Jobs. Though Pixar got its official start in 1984 as George Lucas' computer effects department, Apple Computer co-founder Jobs purchased the company two years later for $10 million. They won their first Oscar the next year for the short film, "Luxo Jr."
A Special Thanks to Those Who Inspire Us on Route 66 "The Mother Road"...
Following a two month-long family vacation across the country, director John Lassetter insisted that his core production team travel Route 66 with him to study the land and its inhabitants. Along the way, they stopped at every mom and pop joint they came across. A few of the highlights: Devil's Rope Museum, McLean, TX
: Billing itself as "The Largest Barbed Wire Historic Museum in the World," the museum and library of barbed wire literature features exhibits such as "Warwire," which highlights the more vicious uses of the stuff, and the Barb Wire Monument, consisting of two 370 pound balls of barbed wire atop limestone pedestals. Midpoint Café, Adrian, TX
: Located exactly 1139 miles from both Los Angeles and Chicago, the Midpoint has been in business since 1928 and is famous for its "ugly crust pies." How ugly is the pie crust? So ugly they have to tie a steak around it just to get the dogs to play with it. Jack Rabbit Trading Post, Joseph City, AZ
: One of the classic Route 66 curio shops, the Jack Rabbit attracted vacationers for hundreds of miles along the highway with its signs of hopping rabbits and a dancing cowgirl. When they finally reached the store, all they saw was the now-famous bright yellow "Here It Is" sign. Visitors can have their pictures taken riding the 12 foot tall jack rabbit in front of the store.