Disney, and to a lesser extent Pixar, have been satirized and criticized a great deal for their penchant of sequels. One of the strongest examples has rested in the computer animation studio's Cars franchise, with all three films seen as some of their weaker efforts. Thus it comes as no surprise that Saturday Night Live chose to poke fun at this with premiere host Owen Wilson, known as the voice behind Cars' star Lightning McQueen.
The sketch, which sees Wilson play himself at Pixar headquarters, features the actor voicing his lines for the proposed fourth film. He didn't even know that another film had been announced, with Mikey Day's executive claiming it's been under wraps and that "he hasn't even seen a full script."
It turns out that the script's absence could be for the best, as revealed once Wilson gets into the recording booth. The script is chock full of innuendos and expletives, with everyone's favorite red race car hitting on college (high school) fans, a stint in court before the Honorable Judge SUV, and several near-uses of the r-word.
Wilson objects to several of the lines and questions Lightning's actions, as they are "a real departure for the character." To pivot, Day's executive and the technician (Punkie Johnson) decide to bring in co-star Larry the Cable Guy (played by new cast member James Austin Johnson). The move turns out to be for the worst, however, as the lines end with McQueen winning the Piston Cup and going out with Mater's sister. Wilson's resistance is ultimately ended, however, once he receives his new contract from Disney, who has "had a very good year," as Day points out.
While not a home run of a sketch, there is a real cynicism that underscores the proceedings. It's common knowledge that voice acting is a simple paycheck for many high-profile actors, so the ending touch with Wilson is a comedic note for that reason. The edgy nature also speaks to the current times that Saturday Night Live has parodied in various sketches over the last few years. Lightning McQueen would certainly get cancelled per his actions here, and let's hope he does not have a Twitter. A true departure for the boisterous race car indeed, with the title of Cars 4: The Spinout capturing his comments and actions aptly.
Check out the sketch below:
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Rhimes will also serve as a writer on the series.
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