Cruz Ramirez at Cars Land in Disney's California Adventure.

Cruz Ramirez at Cars Land in Disney’s California Adventure. © Disney

This news item originally appeared on Episode 19 of the Disney news SATIRE podcast, “Guest Room” on the Ears News Network with Parker Byrd and Erin Dole.

PARKER: On June 16th, Cars 3 made its U.S. debut. The Pixar film, the third in the Cars franchise, centers around Lightning McQueen in the twilight years of his racing career. In it, he is faced with adversity that he must try to overcome.

ERIN: Wait! A main character faced with an adversity they must overcome? That’s original.

PARKER: I can relate to it. Anyway as part of his attempts to overcome this adversity, he is partnered up with Cruz Ramirez a young trainer who is eager to use her talents to help Lightning make his return. It is a partnership that ultimately just may be successful. But I wouldn’t want to spoil it for you.

ERIN: More than likely you stopped researching it so you wouldn’t spoil it for yourself.

PARKER: Anything is possible Erin.… The movie did take the number 1 spot on its opening weekend, even dethroning Wonder Woman for that spot. However, its $53.5 million in box office earnings from that opening weekend is lower than the $60.1 million dollar opening for Cars and the $66.1 million opening for Cars 2. Considering some had projected it would clear $80 million its first weekend there is some disappointment in the Pixar camp.

One Disney/Pixar insider says that they are beginning to second guess their decision not to go with an earlier plot twist. It seems that early on in the writing the idea was suggested to include classic Disney characters, namely Donald Duck, and a few of his singing friends in the movie.

Donald would have portrayed Mack Duck the cousin of Lightning’s original hauler, along with two new Piston Cup drivers Jose CARioca, and PanAlfa, which is short for PanAlfa Romero McLaren Fiero Toyota Ascari Volkswagen, the III. These would not have been mere cameos either. In fact, the trio’s presence in the film would have been so prominent, that plans called for changing the title of the movie from the rather bland sounding “Cars 3” to the more intriguing title “The Three Carburetors”.

ERIN: Really Parker?

PARKER: Hey, you can’t make this stuff up!

ERIN: No I CAN but apparently YOU can’t!