Review
The Art of Cars
Jason Vanderhill · From fps #8 · June 20, 2006 | Allow me to place my partisan views into the open: I love cars, and I love art. Given these two fundamental truths, any book combining these two subjects is guaranteed to catch my attention. With the latest Disney/Pixar film Cars just around the corner, Chronicle Books has published The Art of Cars to celebrate its making, and I am suitably impressed. This is not a cartoon world of colourful but generic toy car illustrations. It is chock full of vintage automotive lore, wit and exceptional artistry that should impress even the toughest automotive critics.

The Art of Cars
Directed by Michael Wallis with Suzanne Fitzgerald Wallis
Chronicle Books, 2006
160 minutes

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Director John Lasseter begins his foreword to the book with these words: "One of the things that first drew me to computer animation was its potential to create worlds that don't actually exist—but boy, they sure look real. The more I worked with it, the more I realized that to take full advantage of the medium, you have to pay as much attention to the believable as you do to the unbelievable."

Without a doubt, there is an incredibly high level of detail and authenticity in the book's artwork. This certainly did not come by accident. Lasseter claims they did more research for this film than any previous Pixar project. For starters, to get all the details just right, the filmmakers watched every video on cars and highways they could find. They took road trips along Route 66, they spent time at racetracks across the USA, including the "mother of all stock car tracks," Lowe's Motor Speedway in Charlotte, North Carolina. Along the way, they met with legendary NASCAR driver Richard Petty, who would become the voice talent for one of the characters in the film, a 1970 Plymouth Superbird named "The King."

Want to read the rest of this review?

You'll find it and many other articles in the June 2006 issue of fps, available for only $1.49 US.
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