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June 17, 2006

Pixar Cars from Disney on Route 66; a Puritan Message

John Calvin, the French theologian, once said that "self-denial is the sum total of the Christian life." Which is why Hollywood doesn't care for faith or self-sacrifice themes. And creative marketers are sometimes confused by timeless basics.

route_66_jackrabbit.jpg


The Penta-Posse
at the famous
Jack Rabbit Trading Post
on Rt. 66
But sometimes marketers and Hollywood lurch into Calvin's truth.

The Puritanical is not tyrannical.

Two items:
1. Disney's new movie "Cars" ended with the hero making (what for Hollywood is) the supreme sacrifice. And,
2. The movie took in $60 million on its opening weekend.

They are connected. By an old road.

Lisa Baertlein, from Reuters, reports, 'Cars' marks Disney-Pixar's third biggest opening:

"Cars," a heavily marketed film whose star is a talking race car named Lightning McQueen, is competing for the family audience with animal cartoon "Over the Hedge," which had weekend receipts of over $10 million.

Chuck Viane, Disney's president of distribution, expects "Cars" to cross the $100 million line sometime next weekend.

"Cars," featuring the voices of Owen Wilson, Paul Newman, Bonnie Hunt and racing icon Richard Petty, is the first Disney-Pixar collaboration since Disney acquired Pixar in January for $7.4 billion.

The feature, which is rated G for all ages, tells how Lightning McQueen learns valuable life lessons during a forced pit stop in a sleepy town. It is directed by John Lasseter, whose "Toy Story 2" opened at $57.4 million.

The sleepy town is located on the by-passed Route 66. John Steinbeck, in The Grapes of Wrath, blessed Route 66 as the "Mother Road." As in apple pie and America. Alert Drivers west of Chicago will know the road and the story well. The 2400 mile road links The Windy City to LA.

route_66_map.jpg

route_66_corvette_tv.jpg


Get Your Kicks on
Route 66
TV from the 1960's
Last year Charmaine and Your Business Blogger took the Penta-Posse out west down parts of Route 66. Self Discovery, just like the early 60's TV series Route 66. We didn't take a Corvette -- we took another Chevy, the monster Suburban.

Down parts of Route 66. A Car Guy's Highway. It is the subtext of the "Cars" movie. An earlier time when America and Hollywood were proud to be great.

Today this greatness, this self-denial can only be marketed with a cartoon. But it's a start.

cars_route66_disney_pixar.jpg


Pixar Animation Studios/Walt Disney Studios
A scene from "Cars," directed by John Lasseter,
which Pixar Animation Studios hopes
will be its seventh consecutive hit.

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Thank you (foot)notes:

See Route 66 News.

We took the Penta-Posse and other assorted family to see "Cars." Tickets, popcorn, drinks, candy; a great time. Thank goodness financing was available. Heatsongs reminds us to stay well past the credits after the movie.

More history at the jump.

See Your Business Bloggers' nostalgia for old Vettes, old times and getting kicks. On Route 66.

Seth Godin has ideas on entertainment marketing.

Mudville Gazette has Open Post.

Brand Autopsy has more on money in movies

Best of Me Symphony is up with self selected best posts over 60 days seasoned.

From Route 66 A Concise History.

Although entrepreneurs Cyrus Avery of Tulsa, Oklahoma, and John Woodruff of Springfield, Missouri deserve most of the credit for promoting the idea of an interregional link between Chicago and Los Angeles, their lobbying efforts were not realized until their dreams merged with the national program of highway and road development.

While legislation for public highways first appeared in 1916, with revisions in 1921, it was not until Congress enacted an even more comprehensive version of the act in 1925 that the government executed its plan for national highway construction.

Officially, the numerical designation 66 was assigned to the Chicago-to-Los Angeles route in the summer of 1926. With that designation came its acknowledgment as one of the nation's principal east-west arteries.

From the outset, public road planners intended U.S. 66 to connect the main streets of rural and urban communities along its course for the most practical of reasons: most small towns had no prior access to a major national thoroughfare.

The Formative Years

Route 66 was a highway spawned by the demands of a rapidly changing America. Contrasted with the Lincoln, the Dixie, and other highways of its day, route 66 did not follow a traditionally linear course. Its diagonal course linked hundreds of predominantly rural communities in Illinois, Missouri, and Kansas to Chicago; thus enabling farmers to transport grain and produce for redistribution. The diagonal configuration of Route 66 was particularly significant to the trucking industry, which by 1930 had come to rival the railroad for preeminence in the American shipping industry. The abbreviated route between Chicago and the Pacific coast traversed essentially flat prairie lands and enjoyed a more temperate climate than northern highways, which made it especially appealing to truckers.

The Depression Years and the War

I n his famous social commentary, The Grapes of Wrath, John Steinbeck proclaimed U. S. Highway 66 the "Mother Road." Steinbeck's classic 1939 novel, combined with the 1940 film recreation of the epic odyssey, served to immortalize Route 66 in the American consciousness. An estimated 210,000 people migrated to California to escape the despair of the Dust Bowl. Certainly in the minds of those who endured that particularly painful experience, and in the view of generations of children to whom they recounted their story, Route 66 symbolized the "road to opportunity."

Posted by Jack at June 17, 2006 09:48 AM

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