"Cars" movie influenced by Arizona town of Holbrook

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by Ryan O'Donnell

Bio | Email | Follow: @3TVODonnell

azfamily.com

Posted on June 15, 2012 at 1:02 PM

Updated Friday, Jun 15 at 1:20 PM

PHOENIX -- A new adventure land is opened up Thursday modeled after the Disney-Pixar film “Cars,” a popular movie that got its inspiration from a town in northeast Arizona.

A popular stop along route 66, Joe and Aggies cafe in Holbrook used to be known only for their good food, but that all changed in 2006.

“These are just some of the pictures that we've gotten from John Lasseter from the movie cars,” commented Steven Gallegos who’s parents own and run Joe and Aggies.

John Lasseter, who directed the popular Disney-Pixar movie that tied NASCAR historic Route 66 and the effects of Interstate 40.

“John Lasseter would sit here with my mom and they would sit here and talk for hours and hours about what it was like to do route 66 and be a business on route 66,” said Gallegos.

Visually, the easiest influence Holbrook gave to the movie is the wigwam motel. In the film the tee-pees changed to cones and renamed "the cozy cone motel."

Similar mural designs and structures that are found in downtown Holbrook also took shape in the movie.

Popular signs along route 66 were also influential, one in particular from Jack Rabbit where the bunnies turned into Mode-T Fords in Radiator Springs.

“We saw different areas that look familiar, but we weren't sure, because it's all fictitious,” said Gallegos.

Inspiration came from more than just signs and buildings. Gallegos said it was his mom who came up with the phrase,” the town got bi-passed just to save ten minutes of driving.”

Cars did more than just take ideas from Holbrook and elsewhere along route 66. Gallegos said the movie ultimately gave back, encouraging people to add ten minutes of drive time so they don’t bi-pass these "story filled" towns.

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