The world of Pixar's Cars is one of the most curious in all of cinema. How do they exist? Why don't cars eat? Why does the world even have sidewalks? There are so many unanswered questions. However, we now have an answer to another of our burning questions about the world of Cars. Why don't motorcycles exist there? As it turns out, it's mostly an issue of, well, mechanics. It's simply too difficult to animate a living motorcycle in a way that makes it look enough like a person. Cars creative director Jay Ward spoke exclusively to our own Sean O'Connell and explained...
You know, it has come up many times. In fact, in Cars 2, we really tried to put in little Vespa scooters for the Italy scenes. The problem is the eyes and the mouth. A motorcycle has one eye. It has a headlight, not headlights. So that's difficult. Where do you put the eyes when they don't have a windshield? ... And then the mouth is somewhere south of the headlight? It really is difficult to bring a motorcycle to life as a character. With the shape of a car, it's like the head of a horse, or the head of a dog. It has a long snout, you can put the eyes back in the windshield, and it works very well to emote.
A motorcycle done in the style of Cars would certainly be an odd-looking creature. While some motorcycles do have windshields, they're not attached to anything, which would make the eyes just sit there in the open. They'd also have to be a lot closer together than in the case of the cars. For the motorcycles without windshields, using the headlights could work, but as Jay Ward explains, there's only one. Every motorcycle would by a cyclops and that would creepy as all hell.
And it's too bad that adding two-wheeled vehicles to the Cars world doesn't really work. The idea of seeing scooters in Italy as Jay Ward mentioned could have happened in Cars 2 would have been awesome. It could have added a unique flavor to the area as it would have been the first time we saw vehicles like that.
The fact that these sentient automobiles are incredibly relatable is one of the things that makes the Cars movies so unique. A lot of that has to do with the way that they're designed. If a vehicle can't emote in the same way, the magic is lost.
So while the Cars universe saw a Disney spinoff in the form of Planes, it looks like we won't be looking forward to the Bikes spinoff anytime soon.
Cars 3 is out on digital on Oct. 24, and on Blu-ray on Nov. 7.