Mater Goes Green

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During summer 2014, several of the topiaries that had been featured it Epcot’s International Flower and Garden Festival made their way to Downtown Disney. This topiary of Mater, for example, was displayed near the entrance of West Side from parking lot Q behind the Cirque du Soleil Theater. Although this representation of the self-professed “World’s Best Backwards Driver” is the handiwork of Disney’s talented horticulture team, in the world of “Cars,” many natural elements feature traits inspired by automotive design.

Perhaps the most recognizable example of this is the Cadillac Range, the mountains that make up the backdrop for Radiator Springs. Drawing their inspiration from the “Cadillac Ranch” art instillation located in Amarillo, Texas, Pixar’s artists designed the mountain range to resemble a series of Cadillacs sticking up out of the landscape. More subtly, even the film’s flora is inspired by the appearance of car parts. For example, the flowers Red the fire truck is often seen watering are based on the designs of taillights from the 1950s. In a world where mountains and flowers can look Cadillacs and taillights, suddenly a bush shaped like a tow truck doesn’t seem so outlandish.

Do you have a favorite character from Disney/Pixar’s “Cars” films? Let me know in the comments section!

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