Home » Advertising, collecting, diecast, Film, Internet, Marketing, Mattel Disney Pixar CARS, Retail, Toys, TV

Disney Pixar CARS: Mater Tall Tales – Tokyo Mater Short

This is a sort-of repeat of an earlier post covering licensing for films but I’ll answer it again – more specifically regarding voice rights.

For animation, a movie star will generally will not do “additional” voice over work outside of the film and maybe a short if it’s already planned – such as Ghostlight Mater on the DVD. So, when it comes time for ancillary products that “talk,” you generally get a “sound-alike.” Of course, if you pay them enough money, they might do it but outside of a video game, it’s hard to reap a return when you have to pay the talent a few hundred thousand dollars when you can hire a voice-over actor for a few thousand … plus, it’s pretty tedious work. You feel a little odd trying to tell a movie star that he should shout “left,” one more time but with a bigger degree of panic … then to do it “left” again but 50 other different ways because when you play the video game, they have to cover EVERY scenario. So, sound-alike time.

In the case of these Mater shorts, obviously they did not plan on the longevity of this line and the Mater shorts are intended to amuse us while we wait another 2 years for CARS2. To bring in Owen Wilson would’ve meant paying him just for these shorts – especially since the focus here is on Mater. In other words, they blew the voice over budget on Larry the Cable Guy … 🙂 Not that he doesn’t deserve it, he’s a pretty good Mater 🙂

But when they start recording dialogue for CARS 2, they might have Owen Wilson redo all the dialogue for the shorts …

It’s only more noticeable in Tokyo Mater short since there’s more dialogue and acting is required and while this other guy might be able to say ka-chow like Owen Wilson, beyond that, he’s not that good of an actor but hopefully you don’t really notice. As for the voice of Sheriff, while Michael Wallis probably wouldn’t have been too expensive to bring in – but his dialogue lines are so short and fast, they probably just figured it was easier to hire someone else or maybe even one of the Pixar employees did it. They were just hoping you wouldn’t notice 🙂

Here’s an example of the AT&T ad that ran in 2006 – unless AT&T was willing to sign Owen Wilson separately because even as a CAR, his dialogue would give the appearance of his “endorsement,” so a sound-alike is used …

For those who prefer to watch it on their desktop, here is an Quicktime version – compact sized for iPods & iPhones.

Download HERE

Working on a larger version.

Check back – a larger version might be available.

«  »


  • BrakelessRunningsign says:

    Credit is given to Michael Wallis in the Tokyo Mater short.

    Keith Ferguson is given credit for Lightning McQueen. Ferguson was the voice of Lightning McQueen in Cars Mater-National video game. Ferguson is given voice credit for Lego Batman: The Video Game which, interestingly enough, has no dialogue.

    source http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1584992/

  • John in Missouri says:

    This AT&T ad sounds a LOT like Owen Wilson — are we sure it’s not him?

  • L8rM8r says:

    Very cool short I have watched it a few times now. When will they do more. I think Martin said they are gearing up for Cars 2 so maybe not.

  • djbennett22 says:

    hey guys go to chrisbennettfilms youtube channel you can see the full show!

  • GotFrank says:

    Anyone notice Frank’s head on the crane?

  • grimunderworld says:

    I think the voice of Lightning in Tokyo Mater was meant to sound different. Check out the voice of Boost. Not only was it made to sound like an American with a Japanese accent, but the voice was different. Similar to the way they do voices in Japanamation, the regular character has a ‘normal’ voice but when they ‘transform’ to their super version, in this case, normal vs. dragon Lightning, his voice gets deeper and the accent seems to change a bit.

    Although the normal LMQ voice is a bit off, I think it if mostly noticeable in this because it is meant to be different.

  • iamspeed says:

    As I’ve said before, if CARS 2 comes out without the voice of Owen Wilson, I could easily go without seeing the sequel. As I said about Tim Allen in the reply above, it’s one of those voices that you just know when you hear it. Disney, please don’t short change us by trying to fool everyone with a sound-alike when you record the voices for CARS 2.

  • Mike H says:

    The same kind of applies to Tom Hanks.

    If you go back and find the old ABC commercial-break items with characters from ‘Toy Story,’ or even the Wall-E superbowl clips, Tom does not seem to ever voice Woody outside of the films, even when it comes to the toys.

    Tim Allen is the exception to the rule. It seems that Allen is the only one who still voices Buzz Lightyear from toys, to the tv commercials.

    • iamspeed says:

      Tim Allen(from Michigan)is the background voice of a series of tourism commercials for Michigan. He has a voice that you know is “Tim the Tool Man”, Buzz Lightyear, Santa Claus……..you just know it’s him the minute you hear the voice. Nice to be that recognizable, just by the sound of your voice.

    • djbennett22 says:

      ya know on the 10th aniversary box set (which pixar strangely decided only toy story one would have) on the little easter egss..hehe lol todays easter anyways, on them tim dousent voice buzz

  • cac1959 says:

    So if we offered to do the voices… would we be providing an endorsement of the product? Oh wait, we do, every time we purchase Cars.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.