Fully loaded with global locales, fast-paced racing, international espionage and a touching tale of friendship, "Cars 2" also features an amped up score by Oscar® and GRAMMY®-winning composer Michael Giacchino, plus music from GRAMMY®-winning alternative rockers Weezer, country music hitmaker Brad Paisley, bestselling British singer/songwriter Robbie Williams, French superstar Bénabar and the power pop Japanese girl band Perfume. The international lineup puts the tune in tune-up as the "Cars" characters hit the road on a worldwide tour full of epic adventure.
"Cars 2" is the fourth Pixar feature score for Giacchino, who has previously composed the music for "The Incredibles," "Ratatouille," and "Up," along with half a dozen short films from the Studio. "Michael is doing such a cool score for the film," says director John Lasseter. "We did not want to do a typical spy movie score. We wanted it to be something very different–a whole new approach."
"John [Lasseter] knows the story," says Giacchino. "He knows what his characters need and what they want. That's how to discuss music—in emotions. If Mater is feeling left out, I can translate that into music. I love working with the people at Pixar because they all talk in terms of story and that's how I love to work."
Giacchino also wrote a French song called "Mon Coeur Fait Vroum," ("My Heart Goes Vroom") which is sung for the film by the popular and admired French singer/songwriter Bénabar, providing a musical introduction to Paris. The lyrics for the song are by Giacchino and Scott Langteau with French adaptation by Boualem Lamhene. Bénabar's self-titled album, released in 2001, launched a phenomenally successful singing career. In 2006, his album, "Reprise de Negociations," was a top seller in Europe, and led to several major music industry awards the following year.
Providing their own unique take on the 1984 pop hit, "You Might Think" (written by Ric Ocasek and originally performed by The Cars) is the chart-topping, multi-platinum-selling American alternative rock band Weezer. Weezer burst on the scene in 1992, and has produced nine albums to date. "The song is going to play in the scene where Lightning McQueen and Mater go to Japan," says Weezer's Brian Bell, "which is great for us because it sort of mirrors our experiences in Japan—there was a little bit of culture shock.
"Ric [Ocasek] produced two of our albums, and we're big fans of the Cars," continues Bell, "so doing the cover was doubly exciting for us. We also found out John [Lasseter] is a fan of Weezer and really wanted us to record the song. He was in the studio with us and had such amazing energy."
Multiple GRAMMY®-winning country superstar and Country Music Association Entertainer of the Year Brad Paisley, who was a major contributor to the first "Cars" soundtrack with the songs "Behind the Clouds" (written with Frank Rogers) and "Find Yourself," returns with two new songs for "Cars 2." Says Lasseter, "Brad and I became close friends during the making of 'Cars.' For 'Cars 2,' he and Robbie [Williams] have teamed up to do this really cool rock 'n roll song. It's something very different from what Brad normally does, but he and Robbie have created a fantastic song that captures the friendship of McQueen and Mater over the end credits." Adds Paisley, "The song is a rock vocal event with one of the most talented people I've ever met, Robbie Williams. It was John's idea to bring these two worlds together – combining the English and American takes on music. We're both out of our comfort zone, seeing what happens when you're forced into going new places, which is really what 'Cars 2' is about. It's totally parallel to the story."
The song, "Collision of Worlds," is written and performed as a duet with Paisley and Williams, the talented, award-winning singer/songwriter who has achieved incredible fame as a solo performer and as a member of the group Take That. Williams has sold more than 57 million albums worldwide, and is one of Britain's all-time top selling recording artists. "It's an international kind of song that's inspired very much by the film–it wouldn't exist if it weren't for the story," says Williams. "Brad turned up with his guitar and a basic understanding of what he wanted the song to sound like. He played me a few chords and we noodled and twiddled our way into forming this song. It's back and forth colloquialisms between two different countries speaking the same language and not understanding each other—until now."
A second song, "Nobody's Fool," is written and performed by Paisley. "It's inspired by the most heartbreaking scene in the movie," says Paisley. "Mater realizes that everybody thinks he's playing the fool and he becomes sort of enlightened and realizes that he's not playing the fool—he is one. But Mater realizes he is who he is and that was inspiring to me."
Japanese girl band Perfume's hit single "Polyrhythm" will also be featured in the film when Lightning and Mater attend the World Grand Prix opening night gala in Tokyo.
"Cars 2"—the music and the movie—races into theaters on June 24, 2011. The soundtrack from Walt Disney Records will be available June 14.