Film legend Paul Newman will be doing voice work on a new Disney animated feature, and plans a turn at the wheel for the Daytona 24 Hours to promote it.
Newman has been set to lend his voice to a car character in the upcoming animated feature, “Cars,” the latest film from Pixar Animation Studios’ Academy Award(R)-winning director John Lasseter (“Toy Story,” “Toy Story 2,” and “A Bug’s Life”) and presented by Walt Disney Pictures.
In conjunction with this new role, Newman will take the wheel of the Disney/Pixar sponsored racecar on January 31st and February 1st at “The Rolex 24 At Daytona” race in an attempt to break his own record. Newman holds a place in the Guinness Book of World Records as the oldest driver to win a professionally sanctioned race in 1995 at Daytona. Racing on a team with NASCAR champ Kyle Petty, Michael Brockman, and Gunnar Jeannette, Newman is hoping to establish a new record at the age of 79.
The car he will be driving is a Fabcar-Porsche Daytona Prototype.
“Cars,” the seventh animated feature to be created by Pixar Animation Studios and released by Walt Disney Pictures, is a high octane adventure comedy that features a wide assortment of cars as characters who get their kicks on Route 66. In addition to Paul Newman, the voice cast includes NASCAR legend Richard Petty, as well as Owen Wilson (“Shanghai Knights,” “The Royal Tenenbaums”), Bonnie Hunt (“Monsters, Inc.”), and Dan Whitney (Bravo’s “Larry the Cable Guy”). “Cars” is being produced by Darla K. Anderson (“A Bug’s Life,” “Monsters, Inc.”), and is due to be released holiday, 2005.
Commenting on the announcement, Newman said, “It’s great to have another shot at Daytona and to be teamed up with some of the best drivers in the world. We’ve got a competitive car, thanks to Disney and Pixar, and we’re ready for the challenge. I’m also looking forward to having some fun playing a car for John Lasseter in the film ‘Cars.'”
Pixar’s Lasseter added, “Paul Newman is an acting and racing legend. He is one of the greatest actors of all time, and his love and close association with automobiles makes him the perfect choice for our film. I can’t wait to see him beat his own record at Daytona and he’ll have a lot fans here at Pixar cheering him on.”
Dick Cook, chairman of The Walt Disney Studios, said, “It’s always a great pleasure working with the incredible team at Pixar. ‘Cars’ is going to deliver just what audiences have come to expect from them — great storytelling, cutting edge animation, and superb acting from the animated characters and the actors who play them. Having Paul Newman and Richard Petty providing voices is inspired casting and will add to the fun. All of us at Disney are also excited to be co-sponsoring Paul’s car at Daytona and know that he’ll do us proud.”