While Pixar's films have never actually crossed over, enough major Easter eggs and references have popped up between projects to create a clear sense of shared DNA among these movies. On that note, although we have yet to see any official crossovers take place within the Pixar universe, Cars star Armie Hammer apparently wants to see the Cars franchise crossover with Up at some point. I recently sat down with the actor at a Cars 3 press event to ask about this possibility, and he explained how it could potentially work, saying:
With the upcoming release of Cars 3, the possibility of some shared themes between this franchise and Up actually makes a bit of sense when we look at the underlying stories of both projects. Cars 3 will focus heavily on the legacy of the late Doc Hudson and the impact that his passing has had on Lightning McQueen in recent years. Up similarly explores concepts of grief and mourning, so if the folks at Pixar can find a way to bring Carl Fredricksen, Russell, and Dug into the Cars universe, they could easily find some common ground to explore these mature themes. Then again, even if we just get a chance to see the Up house flying in the background, that will likely be enough to drive Pixar fans wild.
Do certain continuity issues exist that could prevent this crossover from coming together? Sadly, it looks that way. The reasons for this are simple: Cars features no human characters, and Up makes no mention of anthropomorphic automobiles. Moreover, as Armie Hammer pointed out during our chat: Carl Fredricksen loses his house during the events of Up, making it difficult to bring back for a crossover. There clearly are issues that Pixar would need to deal with to make this work, but that obviously hasn't stopped the animation giant from telling great stories in the past.
Of course, don't take my word for it. Check out a clip from my chat with Armie Hammer below to see what he had to say about a potential Up/Cars crossover.
Despite Cars 3's lack of narrative connections to other Pixar films, that doesn't mean that fans haven't already picked up on a few essential Easter eggs. Specifically, there's a quick shot of Toy Story's now famous Pizza Planet truck in one of the upcoming movie's key sequences, and we're sure that there are more hiding somewhere in the film. Obviously, this is less of a crossover moment and more of a fun gag for eagle-eyed fans, but it shows that the folks at Pixar understand how much we love seeing the connective tissue that exists within these properties.
Even without a definitive connection between its films, Pixar's hot streak remains alive and well. Make sure to check out Armie Hammer as Jackson Storm when Cars 3 debuts in theaters this weekend on June 16.