With the Cars on the Road series hitting Disney+, we finally get a chance to discuss some of the fun additions. Earlier concept art even dating back to last year’s Disney+ hinted at an episode including the duo of Lightning Mcqueen and Mater in prehistoric times. As it turned out, the episode also was a way for the animation team to pay tribute to Ray Harryhausen‘s claymation era.
In an exclusive interview with the creative team behind Cars on the Road, Steve Purcell shared the initial inspiration for tackling this episode and why they decided to include a tribute to Harryhausen. Plus, he praises his animation team for managing a way to bring that unique animation type to live in a new medium.
I think in that case it was really specifically wanting to see that and I think it worked because it’s in a dream environment. It helps to separate that world from the regular world but I had this itch I wanted to scratch. I wanted to see this world animated in that style and I thought our animator’s swung for the fence and they hit it.Steve Purcell
Furthermore, he also highlighted that they used the opportunity to pay homage to Harryhausen with the way they animated the prehistoric T-rex-inspired car.
There’s a little homage in there where the dino kind of let’s go and waits for a minute and then snaps him up again. It goes back to any kind of dinosaur movie from the 30s or 60s.Steve Purcell
It’s great to always see how these stories come together and use the opportunity to pay tribute to the animations that paved the way to the modern era. It also sounds like a unique challenge for the animators that wanted to add a special flair to what the Disney+ series has to offer.