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This is a mini-series that began airing on the channel in October 2008. The episodes are short films, most of which are a few minutes in length, that take place in the Cars world and feature the Mater character recounting to Lightning McQueen unbelievable situations and events in which he was involved. Lightning interrupts the story partway through, usually to express his disbelief; Mater then reminds him that he, too, was involved, upon which Lightning McQueen is magically inserted into the story at that point. Each episode typically ends with a character or element from Mater's story appearing in the present time, which humorously suggests to the viewer that there may be some truth in Mater's account.
I had watched the film Cars soon after its release to theaters in June 2006, and had enjoyed it thoroughly, so I was unsurprisingly delighted when, in or very soon after October 2008, I was watching Disney Channel one day and was greeted by one of these shorts during the breaks between the channel's programming; in the following days and weeks, as I saw new episodes and re-watched those I had already seen, I realized that this was a new, quality mini-series that had begun to air on the network.
Although the series has 15 total episodes, they were released in irregular intervals over the course of nearly 6 years (from 2008 to 2014), and it is only the first 6 that I remember: the three original shorts
Rescue Squad Mater,
Mater the Greater, and
El Materdor, which all premiered in October 2008, and which I remember the best; the fifth episode
Unidentified Flying Mater, which I also recall pretty well; and the fourth and sixth episodes,
Tokyo Mater and
Monster Truck Mater, which I remember somewhat clearly. (The
Tokyo Mater episode is noticeably longer than the others, and, perhaps because of this, was not shown on Disney Channel as frequently.)
The Cars Toons shorts aired quite frequently during the end of 2008, throughout 2009, and even a little bit into the early 2010s. Today I consider them an important part of Ribbon Era (2007–2010) Disney Channel, back when such high-quality content could be found even in the breaks between the channel's main shows. Cars Toons was one of my favorites amongst the many entertaining mini-series that were shown by the network during the breaks, and out of all such series that aired on Disney Channel back when I still regularly watched it, I would say that probably only Brian O'Brian matches it, and only Pass the Plate beats it.
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This page last modified on 30 March 2021.