I do realize that this trailer came out months ago, but for whatever reason I didn’t pay it much attention until now when I realized that the trailer is jam-packed full of almost-normal-but-still-alternate-universe cars. Which, of course, are some of the best fake cars. These fake cars appear to be part of a sort of fantasy-oriented world, so they have some subtle influences from there, like those crystal-shaped side marker lamps on that van there.
That van seems to be a major car in the movie, and is badged as a Valor, which I suspect is the model name, and not the company name, which appears to have a pair of wings as their logo.
The Valor seems to be based on either an ‘80s Ford Econoline or a Chevy Van—they’re pretty similar, really, but fantasied-up with more angled lighting equipment, mostly.
Really, it’s remarkable how normal so many of the cars are here in a world with magic and unicorns and mermaids and all that crap. Here, look:
That could easily be a mid-2000s Daewoo we all forgot about, collectively. The strangest thing seems to be the widow’s peak-style rear window and associated rear defogger lines.
The cars here are also impressively mundane. That one on the far right looks sort of like an FSO Polonez Eastern Bloc hatchback, and the green car feels like a low-end Toyota. I especially like the gap of the bumper skin popping off. The truck next to it could be an older Tacoma.
Behind these trash-digging Unicorns, that yellow car has a very Subaru-ish vibe.
Pixar’s done a really good job here of making things feel both fantastical and mundane, all at the same time, which I guess is a big theme of this movie.
This neighborhood scene, for example, even with the obvious mushroom houses just looks and feels like a snapshot of, say, an Echo Park or Glendale neighborhood taken sometime around 2008.
Pixar has proven that it’s very good at making up cars that are extremely plausible for very implausible situations in movies like Zootopia and the Monsters, Inc. series.
Onward looks like it’ll be another weirdly compelling way to make up a bunch of fantasy cars that look impressively boring. That’s harder than it sounds.