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Pixar's first "Cars Toon" debuts tonight on Toon Disney

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Pixar's first "Cars Toon" debuts tonight on Toon Disney

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You all remember Lightning McQueen and Mater from "Cars ," right ?


Copyright 2008 Disney - Pixar. All Rights Reserved

Well, the folks at Disney - Pixar certainly hope that you remember these two animated autos. Given that -- come the Summer of 2011 -- they're going to be starring in "Cars 2" ...


Copyright 2008 Disney - Pixar. All Rights Reserved

... which will (according to the press release, anyway) send McQueen & Mater "around the globe" to "a new world of intrigue, thrills and fast-paced comedic escapades" where they'll then "take on the globe's fastest and finest."

The only problem is 2011 is quite a ways away. So -- to keep the "Cars" franchise fresh in our hearts 'til then -- the Disney Interactive Media Group has just created The World of Cars Online, a new virtual world that's currently in "Test Track" mode.

World Of Cars Online
Copyright 2008 Disney Interactive Media Group. All Rights Reserved

In addition to this new "Cars" -related online community, the folks at Pixar have also put together a brand-new series of "Cars Toon" animated shorts ...

Cars Toon
Copyright 2008 Disney - Pixar. All Rights Reserved

... the first of which -- "Rescue Squad Mater" -- will have its world premiere tonight on Toon Disney at 6:56 p.m. (all times ET / PT).

These three-minute-long interstitials will also go by the name "Mater's Tall Tales." During which Lightning McQueen's rusty but trusty friend will tell a story about his past that may or may not be true.

In tonight's installment, Mater's part of a rescue squad ...


Copyright 2008 Disney - Pixar. All Rights Reserved

... that has to put out a blaze at the local Gasoline & Match factory.

Cars Toon
Copyright 2008 Disney - Pixar. All Rights Reserved

Unfortunately, Lightning McQueen is injured at this infero and then has to be rushed to the hospital. But not to worry. Mater's not just a fire truck. He's also an MD.

Cars Toon
Copyright 2008 Disney - Pixar. All Rights Reserved

Can you see now why these new "Cars Toons" are also being called "Mater's Tall Tales" ? Just so you know, the further installments of this series get even sillier. In "Mater the Greater" (Which debuts tomorrow night on Toon Disney at 6:57 p.m. ET / PT), this tow truck reveals that he was once a world-famous daredevil ...

Cars Toon
Copyright 2008 Disney - Pixar. All Rights Reserved

... who persuaded Lightning McQueen to take part in his most dangerous stunt.

Cars Toon
Copyright 2008 Disney - Pixar. All Rights Reserved

And then -- on Wednesday night -- it's the world premiere of "El Materdor" (at 6:57 p.m. ET / PT on Toon Disney). Where Mater reveals that he was once the most famous bulldozer fighter in all of Spain.


Copyright 2008 Disney - Pixar. All Rights Reserved

Now what's particularly nice about these new "Cars Toons" interstitials is that they're not being produced by Pixar's B-team. John Lasseter himself had a hand in the creation of "Mater's Tall Tales." Working with Victor Navone, Rob Gibbs and Kori Rae, Lasseter made sure that these interstitials -- as crazy as they may seem -- were still a consistent part of the "Cars" universe.

In fact, if you're paying close attention, you can catch quick cameo appearances by characters from the first "Cars" movie, like Mia & Tia, the twin Miatas ...


Copyright 2008 Disney - Pixar. All Rights Reserved

... who appear as swooning senioritas in "El Materdor" ...


Copyright 2008 Disney - Pixar. All Rights Reserved

... as well as as buck-toothed members of Mater's stunt-driving support team in "Mater the Greater."

By the way, these three "Cars Toons" shorts are it ... at least for a while, anyway. Mind you, the guys at Pixar do have ideas for other interstitials starring Mater (And one hopes that they'll capitalize on that great Darth Mater that Mattel's artists created for this past Saturday night's auction at CAAF's annual Dream Halloween LA event) ...


Copyright 2008 Disney - Pixar / Mattel. All Rights Reserved

... but they're going to wait and see how the first set of "Mater's Tall Tales" are received before they put any more "Cars" - related shorts into production.

FYI: For those of you who don't get Toon Disney, all three of these "Cars Toons" will be shown through the day this coming Saturday, November 1st on the Disney Channel. And then -- starting on Tuesday, December 23rd -- "Rescue Squad Mater," "Mater the Greater" and "El Materdor" will be shown on ABC Family as part of that network's annual "25 Days of Christmas" programming event.

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