See The Designers Of Pixar's Cars 3 Draw A Never-Before-Seen Character

The Tatra isn’t the character, I just liked him.
The Tatra isn’t the character, I just liked him.

You may recall that I confronted the brains behind Pixar’s Cars franchise about the difficult conceptual issues inherent in the Cars universe. That was a partial success. Now, I’d like to show you a conversation I had with the people behind the visual look of Cars 3. It’s a bit more fun, and a bit less disturbing.

I talked with three of Pixar’s talented artists, Jude Brownbill (Directing Animator), Jay Shuster (Production Designer), and the wonderfully-named Michael Comet (Characters Supervisor). Together, they’re responsible for the way the Cars universe looks, and they decide all of the visual rules that govern that universe.


I’ve accepted that Pixar will never accept my fervent belief that car eyes are headlights; I’ve made my peace with that, and accept they have their reasons. The therapy helps, as do the pills.

Even so, I still challenged them to try to Cars-thropomorphize a car with a very prominent natural face, and they gave it a very good go. We also discussed the nature of trunks in the Cars universe (can they open?) and whether a car’s body panels can ever be used as a mouth.

The biggest treat was that Jay was willing to do the Cars-treatment on a car that has yet to actually be in any of the movies, and it was great seeing a talented artist quickly sketch out a new, never-before-seen character right there on the whiteboard.

We didn’t give it a name, yet, though, so feel free to come up with one and a backstory in the comments.

Senior Editor, Jalopnik • Running: 1973 VW Beetle, 2006 Scion xB, 1990 Nissan Pao, 1991 Yugo GV Plus, 2020 Changli EV • Not-so-running: 1977 Dodge Tioga RV (also, buy my book!:

Share This Story

Get our `newsletter`



Some thoughts expressed as bullet points so they seem more businesslike:

  • I didn’t know Jason Torchinsky can draw.
  • Jay Shuster thinks Jason cannot draw, and fixes the “problem.”
  • Jay Shuster is Mater.
  • Jude Brownbill looks more cozy than I have ever been in my life, and she’s in a conference room.
  • I want to work someplace where I can be like that all day.
  • The Pixar team looks like they have great communication. She smiles and nods when Jay starts fixing Jason’s problem. They both saw the same issues.