Goodyear Goes Digital for Disney-Pixar’s Cars 2

The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company has announced the details of its promotion of Disney and Pixar’s high-octane animated comedy adventure “Cars 2,” which opens in theaters on June 24, 2011. 

Inspired by Goodyear and the iconic Pixar character Buzz Lightyear, “Lightyear” tires will reprise the role as animated rubber on the road for the sequel’s star, Lightning McQueen. In honor of the film, Goodyear also transformed its website homepage and iconic blimp to read “Lightyear.”

“Director John Lasseter approached Goodyear during production of the first ‘Cars’ movie because he wanted it to feel authentic — right down to the tires,” said Garth Ely, Goodyear brand director. 

“Many experts, such as the drivers in NASCAR, choose Goodyear tires for superior performance, so to receive such an homage from Lasseter and Pixar really means a lot. The connection between Goodyear’s racing heritage and Disney-related films that feature racing storylines is important to us.”

In addition to its role in the movie, Goodyear helped bring “Cars 2” to life for the film’s World Premiere at El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood on June 18.

Not only did Goodyear transform its California-based blimp to read “Lightyear,” but the company also provided thousands of real Goodyear tires to help Disney bring “Tire Town,” an activity within the “Cars 2” World Grand Prix Attraction, to life.

The 25,000-square-foot outdoor attraction invites guests to immerse themselves into the world of “Cars 2.”

In the digital space, Goodyear “re-skinned” its website ( by applying a “Lightyear” treatment to graphics and copy. The transformation allows fans, kids and parents alike, to celebrate the fun of “Cars 2” and still be only a click away from shopping for tires and finding Goodyear retailers. The site features behind-the-scenes content from the movie.

Goodyear will also be taking the leap into electronic gaming by offering exclusive downloadable characters to the “Cars 2” videogame with select purchases at Walmart.  Characters offered to consumers include the specially designed “Lightyear Racing” car, skinned in Goodyear’s Wingfoot paint scheme that corresponds with the company’s More Driven brand campaign.

Star racecar Lightning McQueen (voice of Owen Wilson) and the incomparable tow truck Mater (voice of Larry the Cable Guy) take their friendship to exciting new places in “Cars 2” when they head overseas to compete in the first-ever World Grand Prix to determine the world’s fastest car.

But the road to the championship is filled with plenty of potholes, detours and hilarious surprises when Mater gets caught up in an intriguing adventure of his own: international espionage.

Mater finds himself torn between assisting Lightning McQueen in the high-profile race and towing the line in a top-secret mission orchestrated by master British super spy Finn McMissile (voice of Michael Caine) and the stunning rookie field spy Holley Shiftwell (voice of Emily Mortimer).

Mater’s action-packed journey leads him on an explosive chase through the streets of Japan and Europe, trailed by his friends and watched by the whole world. The fast-paced fun includes a colorful new all-car cast, complete with menacing villains and international racing competitors.

John Lasseter returns to the driver’s seat to direct this follow-up to his 2006 Golden Globe-winning “Cars.” “Cars 2” is co-directed by Brad Lewis, producer of the Oscar-winning film “Ratatouille,” and produced by visual effects industry veteran Denise Ream (associate producer, “Up”; visual effects executive producer, “Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith”).

The film hits the track on June 24, 2011, and will be presented in Disney Digital 3D and IMAX 3D in select theaters.

Photo courtesy: Disney

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