Cars Toons
Created byJohn Lasseter
Developed by
Directed by
  • John Lasseter
  • Rob Gibbs
  • Jeremy Lasky
Opening themeCars Toons Theme Song
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons2
No. of episodes
  • Mater's Tall Tales: 11
  • Tales from Radiator Springs: 4
  • Total: 15
(1 unaired) (list of episodes)
Executive producers
ProducerKimberly Adams
Running time1–7 minutes
Production companies
Original networkDisney Channel
Original releaseOctober 27, 2008 (2008-10-27) –
May 20, 2014 (2014-05-20)

Cars Toons is a television series of American computer-animated short films produced by Pixar. It features the main characters Lightning McQueen and Mater from Pixar's Cars franchise non-canonically in the original plot. Larry the Cable Guy reprises his role as Mater while Keith Ferguson replaces Owen Wilson as the voice of Lightning McQueen until The Radiator Springs 500 ½, when Wilson reprises his role.

The series premiered on October 27, 2008 on both Disney Channel, Toon Disney and ABC Family. Not exclusive to television, the shorts were also released on home media and/or as theatrical shorts. The series ended on May 20, 2014 with The Radiator Springs 500 ½ being the final short to be made.


Mater's Tall Tales

All Cars Toons in Mater's Tall Tales follow a shared formula: Each episode opens with Mater popping out of his garage door and declaring, "If I'm lyin', I'm cryin'!" (or a variation thereof as seen on the home media and television releases) before cutting to the episode's title card.

Each episode then properly begins with Lightning McQueen and Mater seeing something that results in the latter proceeding to tell the former a tall tale about something he supposedly did in the past, before the action shifts to the flashback of Mater's story. At a midway point, the action briefly shifts back to Mater and McQueen in which the former proclaims that the latter was also involved by saying, "Don't you remember? You was there too!" (or also some other variation thereof). The flashback then resumes with McQueen's sudden and usually unwilling participation in the story's events. After Mater finishes telling his tall tale (with the exception of Tokyo Mater), McQueen denies the fact that Mater's tale is real and Mater replies, "Well, suit yourself!" (or also some variation thereof) before one or more characters/elements involved in the story coincidentally appear to McQueen's shock, paradoxically suggesting that Mater's story really happened.

Each episode ends with Mater and McQueen posing in their corresponding story's costumes, with the exception of Tokyo Mater and Time Travel Mater. All episodes also feature Mia and Tia and various pit crew forklifts in supporting roles (with the exception of Time Travel Mater).

Tales from Radiator Springs

All Cars Toons in Tales from Radiator Springs simply follow the comedic antics and adventures of McQueen, Mater and their friends in their hometown Radiator Springs, following the events of Cars 2.

Voice cast

Main article: List of Cars characters


After the success of Cars, production of Cars Toons: Mater's Tall Tales began in 2006. The first nine shorts were produced by Pixar, while all the following shorts were produced by Pixar's subsidiary, Pixar Canada.[1]

"Tokyo Mater" premiered in theaters in the US with Bolt on December 12, 2008. The short is the first Disney·Pixar production presented in Disney Digital 3-D.[2] However, the DVD release features a different short, Super Rhino. Sulley and Mike from the 2001 film Monsters, Inc. (also made by Pixar) make cameo appearances in "Tokyo Mater" as their car forms from the ending of the first film.



It was announced that Cars Toons: Mater's Tall Tales was to be released as part of the Disney·Pixar Cars Die-Cast Line in mid-2009. In October 2009, they released several die-casts. They released all of the "Rescue Squad Mater" and "Mater the Greater" die-casts, and they are working on "El Materdor" die-casts and reverse.

Video game

A video game based on the series also titled Cars Toon: Mater's Tall Tales and developed by Papaya Studio, was released on October 19, 2010 for the Wii.[3][4] A PC version was also released outside the United States and on Steam worldwide in 2014.[5][6][7]

Home media

A DVD and Blu-ray compilation of the first nine shorts, titled Cars Toons: Mater's Tall Tales, was released on October 31, 2010. The compilation includes "Mater the Greater", "Rescue Squad Mater", "Monster Truck Mater", "Unidentified Flying Mater", "El Materdor", "Moon Mater", "Heavy Metal Mater", "Mater Private Eye" and "Tokyo Mater",[8] with Moon Mater and Mater Private Eye created exclusively for this set.[9] Choosing the "Play All" option from the menu gives each short (except for Mater the Greater which plays first) unique intros.

The remaining two episodes of Mater's Tall Tales, "Air Mater" and "Time Travel Mater" were released on the Pixar Short Film Collection, Volume 2. And the three episodes of Tales from Radiator Springs, "Hiccups", "Bugged" and "Spinning" were released on YouTube. The remaining episode of Tales from Radiator Springs, "The Radiator Springs 500 ½" was released on the Pixar Short Films Collection, Volume 3.


In addition to "The Radiator Springs 500 ½," which was released in 2014, director Rob Gibbs revealed at the 2013 Disney D23 Expo a fifth Cars Toons: Tales from Radiator Springs episode titled "To Protect and Serve." The short was expected to debut in 2014 on Disney Channel,[10] but to date this has not occurred.[11]


SeriesEpisodesOriginally aired
First airedLast aired
Mater's Tall Tales11October 27, 2008 (2008-10-27)June 5, 2012 (2012-06-05)
Tales from Radiator Springs4March 22, 2013 (2013-03-22)May 20, 2014 (2014-05-20)

Mater's Tall Tales (2008–12)

No.TitleDirected byOriginal air dateOriginal release
1"Rescue Squad Mater"[12]John LasseterOctober 27, 2008 (2008-10-27)Toon Disney

Mater is working as a fire truck and has to rescue Lightning McQueen from a burning building. After he saves McQueen, the ambulance rushes McQueen to the hospital where Mater reveals that he is also a doctor (with an MD, PhD, STP and GTO).

Role: Firetruck (and briefly Doctor)

Guest stars: Bret Parker as Ambulance, Laraine Newman as Nurse GTO
2"Mater the Greater"[12]John LasseterOctober 28, 2008 (2008-10-28)Toon Disney

Mater is a daredevil and dresses in a style resembling that of Evel Knievel. In a stadium, Mater attempts to jump a long line of cars, but instead merely tiptoes over them. He performs other stunts, and later claims Lightning McQueen failed to jump over Carburetor Canyon while strapped to a rocket.

Role: Daredevil
3"El Materdor"[12]John LasseterOctober 29, 2008 (2008-10-29)Toon Disney

Mater is a matador fighting a herd of bulldozers in Spain. When Lightning McQueen enters the story, the bulldozers chase after him due to his red paint job.

Role: Matador

Guest stars: Peter Sohn as Padre
4"Tokyo Mater"[13]John LasseterDecember 12, 2008 (2008-12-12)Theatrically with Bolt[2]

Mater offers to tow home a stranded Japanese car inspired by the Toyota Century (named Ito-San), but ends up in Tokyo, Japan after hauling him all the way across the Pacific Ocean. He is subsequently challenged to a race by the Drift King Kabuto (a car resembling Boost, the leader of The Delinquent Road Hazards), with the winner being crowned "King of All Drifters" and the loser being stripped of all custom modifications to become a "stock" car. "Lightning Dragon McQueen" shows up to help Mater fend off an attack from Kabuto's ninjas and then helps Mater catch up with Kabuto and win the race.

Role: Drift King Guest stars: Robert Ito as Ito San, Mach Tony Kobayashi as Kabuto

Note: Automobile versions of James "Sulley" Sullivan and Mike Wazowski from Monsters, Inc. appear in the background.
5"(U.F.M.) Unidentified Flying Mater"[14]John LasseterNovember 20, 2009 (2009-11-20)Disney Channel

Mater befriends a small flying saucer called Mator and they have a night out. When Mator is captured by the military forces, Mater sneaks up and saves him with the help of Lightning McQueen and Mator's mothership.

Role: UFO
6"Monster Truck Mater"[15]John LasseterJuly 30, 2010 (2010-07-30)Disney Channel

Mater, alias "The Tormentor", is a monster truck wrestler who works his way up the ranks from amateur to World Champion Monster Truck Wrestler, fighting against all kinds of characters along the way. These trucks include the I-Screamer, Captain Collision, The Rasta Carian, Dr. Feel Bad, and Paddy O'Concrete. When faced with his biggest opponent yet, the Monster of Dr. Frankenwagon, Mater tags in his "tag team partner", Frightening McMean (Lightning McQueen).

Role: Monster Truck Wrestler

Guest stars: Jan Rabson as I-Screamer/Dr. Feel Bad/Paddy O'Concrete, Jess Harnell as Captain Collision
7"Heavy Metal Mater"[16]John LasseterOctober 8, 2010 (2010-10-08)Disney Channel

Mater is a rock star in a heavy metal band. He starts out in a garage band called "Mater & The Gas Caps" and rises to the top with his hit song, "Dadgum" (which bears a heavy-metal style by accident when the drummer goes crazy trying to kill a fly on the drum while recording an album), a song based on the line Mater is famous for. Lightning McQueen joins him on stage in the middle of a huge concert and they rock into history.

Role: Heavy Metal Rock Star

Guest stars: Paul Eiding as Dex Dinoco
8"Moon Mater"[9][17]Rob GibbsNovember 2, 2010 (2010-11-02)Mater's Tall Tales DVD/Blu-ray

Mater is the first tow truck to land on the moon, with the mission to rescue the Impala XIII by giving him a tow and bringing him back to Earth. Lightning McQueen joins Mater and they are met with a hero's welcome.

Role: Astronaut

Guest stars: Teddy Newton as Impala XIII, Josh Cooley as Roger
9"Mater Private Eye"[9][17]Rob GibbsNovember 2, 2010 (2010-11-02)Mater's Tall Tales DVD/Blu-ray

Mater is a private investigator working on an open-and-shut case of counterfeit tires, when Tia rolls back into his life. She hires Mater to find her sister, Mia, who's been car-napped. Mater searches for clues and closes in on a major crime scene. Lieutenant Lightning McQueen arrives just in time to help bring the criminals to justice.

Role: Private Investigator

Guest stars: Carol Bach-y-Rita as Carmen, Torbin Xan Bullock as Big D, Danny Mann as Clyde, Jess Harnell as Claude, John Cygan as Stinky
10"Air Mater"[18][19]Rob GibbsNovember 1, 2011 (2011-11-01)Cars 2 DVD/Blu-ray

A tow service leads Mater to Propwash Junction, a town populated by planes. Amazed by all these flying machines, Mater gets interested in learning how to fly when he sees Skipper's Flight School, which has a sign that says they could teach anyone. After learning how to fly, he learns himself to fly backwards and amazes a group of stunt planes known as the Falcon Hawks. Since one of them has sprained a wing during practice for a stunt show, they ask Mater to take place of the injured plane. He accepts and becomes the stunt planes' new member. Lightning McQueen, also a stunt plane, helps Mater at one point when he is in trouble.

Role: Stunt Airplane

Guest stars: Stacy Keach as Skipper, Danny Mann as Sparky, Jonathan Adams as Judge Davis, Lori Alan as Blue Hawk, John Cygan as Green Hawk, Paul Eiding as Red Hawk, Bob Bergen as Black Hawk
11"Time Travel Mater"[20][21]Rob GibbsJune 5, 2012 (2012-06-05)Released with Brave

Accidentally gaining the ability to travel in time, Mater travels back to 1909 in the middle of a desert where he meets Stanley, the founder of Radiator Springs, who works as a travelling radiator caps salesman. With the realization, that if Stanley goes away there would be no Radiator Springs, Mater brings McQueen from the future to which Stanley sells him a radiator cap. Mater then suggests Stanley to settle there and build a town where he could serve broken travelling cars, and Stanley accepts. Jumping a few years forward, Stanley shows Mater and McQueen the expanding town when Mater takes a note of a broken Ford Model T, which turns out to be Lizzie. Lizzie's seemingly falling in love with McQueen makes Mater panic again about Radiator Springs' future, but it turns out that Lizzie had her eye on Stanley. After Stanley and Lizzie were introduced to each other by McQueen, he and Mater make another time jump, where they attend Stanley and Lizzie's wedding before returning to the present. There, Lizzie thanks McQueen for introducing her and Stanley.

Role: Time Traveler

Guest star: John Michael Higgins as Stanley

Tales from Radiator Springs (2013–14)

No.TitleDirected byOriginal air dateOriginal release
1"Hiccups"[22]Jeremy LaskyMarch 22, 2013 (2013-03-22)Disney Channel
Lightning McQueen gets hiccups while drinking his breakfast of champions: oil. Many of the Radiator Springs residents give him advice on how to cure the hiccups, but none of the ideas work—until Sally kisses him on the cheek and his hiccups disappear. Just then, Sheriff starts getting hiccups, which then leads to Mater (mistakenly thinking that kissing will help all hiccups due to Sally) attempting to kiss Sheriff to cure his hiccups. This startles Sheriff, which then leads to a chase between Sheriff and Mater, ending the episode.
2"Bugged"[22]Jeremy LaskyMarch 22, 2013 (2013-03-22)Disney Channel

Red's peaceful morning routine is interrupted by a pesky visitor.

Note: This is the only Cars Toon episode not to feature Lightning McQueen or Mater.
3"Spinning"[22]Jeremy LaskyMarch 22, 2013 (2013-03-22)Disney Channel

Guido discovers he has a hidden talent as a street corner sign spinner.

Note: This is the last Cars Toon episode to feature Keith Ferguson as the voice of Lightning McQueen.
4"The Radiator Springs 500 ½"[11][23]Rob GibbsMay 20, 2014 (2014-05-20)
August 1, 2014[24]
Disney Movies Anywhere,
Disney Channel

Radiator Springs celebrates a Founders Day honoring the late Stanley when a gang of racers descend on the town and challenge Lightning McQueen to an off-road race.

Guest stars: John Cygan as Idle Threat, Jess Harnell as Blue Grit, Danny Mann as Shifty Sidewinder, and Steve Purcell as Sandy Dunes.

Note: This is the first and only Cars Toon episode to feature Owen Wilson as the voice of Lightning McQueen.


Mater's Tall Tales

Characters Rescue Squad Mater Mater The Greater El Materdor Tokyo Mater Unidentified Flying Mater Monster Truck Mater Heavy Metal Mater Moon Mater Mater Private Eye Air Mater Time Travel Mater
Mater Larry the Cable Guy
Lightning McQueen Keith Ferguson
Tia Elissa Knight
Mia Lindsey Collins Uncredited actress Lindsey Collins
Guido Silent Cameo Guido Quaroni Credit only Guido Quaroni Silent Cameo
Fillmore Silent Cameo Silent Cameo George Carlin
(archive recordings)
Silent Cameo; Credit only
Sheriff Michael Wallis
Kabuto Mach Tony Kobayashi
Ito-San Robert Ito
Skipper Stacey Keach
Judge Davis Jonathan Adams
Sparky[25] Danny Mann[26]
Stanley John Michael Higgins
Lizzie Katherine Helmond

Tales from Radiator Springs

Character Hiccups Bugged Spinning The Radiator Springs 500 ½
Lightning McQueen Keith Ferguson Keith Ferguson Owen Wilson[11]
Mater Larry the Cable Guy Silent Cameo Larry the Cable Guy
Sally Bonnie Hunt Bonnie Hunt
Luigi Tony Shalhoub Tony Shalhoub
Guido Guido Quaroni Guido Quaroni
Flo Jenifer Lewis Jenifer Lewis
Sarge Paul Dooley Paul Dooley
Fillmore Lloyd Sherr Lloyd Sherr
Sheriff Michael Wallis Michael Wallis
Red Jerome Ranft Silent Cameo
Ramone Cheech Marin
Lizzie Katherine Helmond


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