In every Disney "Cars" movies there is always some kind of sign of human life. However the terrains don't support the fact of humans never existing:

  • Human language; writing and signs on billboards vary in languages and surely languages such as English and Japanese are too hard for beings with tires instead of hands
  • Door handles on buildings
  • Pretty sure the US flag is even shown at a point

In fact the biggest proof of human civilization existing is the cars themselves. If the cars evolved by themselves, then it makes no sense for them to have:

  • Doors
  • Door handles
  • Windows
  • Car mirrors
  • Their personalities/characteristics which seem to stereotype certain types of humans.

I do understand that the film is meant for children who don't pick up on things like this but I am just curious. I am not looking for theories.

  • 79
    For that we need a prequel Rise of the Planet of the Cars ;).
    – Ankit Sharma
    Jan 29, 2018 at 19:10
  • 1
    Related - movies.stackexchange.com/questions/79602/…
    – Paulie_D
    Jan 29, 2018 at 19:14
  • 11
    I'm pretty sure Cars is what happened after Maximum Overdrive. Jan 29, 2018 at 20:00
  • 8
    According to the Pixar universe theory, the events that precipitated the WALL-E story wiped them out. This is not canon, of course, but some might find it interesting.
    – jpmc26
    Jan 29, 2018 at 22:16
  • 3
    @Paulie_D The cars at various times are shown using their tires or other obviously-not-hands appendages in ways which indicate fine motor skills and the ability to grip; in other words: exactly as if they were hands. And the mirrors in the OP are a totally sensible development: Mater demonstrates that they are actually functional, effectively giving him eyes in the back of his head. Jan 30, 2018 at 23:19

1 Answer 1


There is no public canonical explanation.

However...there is a semi-official answer...

The Cars franchise has never offered an official explanation for any of these mysteries. But there is an internal document at Pixar that has never been shared with the public that answers some of these questions, and lays the ground rules for this unusual cinematic universe. It’s called “The World of Cars Owner’s Manual,” and it was written by Jay Ward, the Creative Director of the Cars universe.


Ward was asked where do the cars come from and gave this response.

"If you think about this, we have autonomous car technology coming in right now. It’s getting to the point where you can sit back in the car and it drives itself. Imagine in the near-future when the cars keep getting smarter and smarter and after one day they just go, 'Why do we need human beings anymore? They’re just slowing us down. It’s just extra weight, let’s get rid of them.' But the car takes on the personality of the last person who drove it. Whoa. There you go."

Ward acknowledged that some of them rules are occasionally broken...but

Number one on the list: “You’ll never see the doors open,” Ward said. “Because the brain and the eyes are in there, we don’t want anything falling out of the side.”

The interview continued...

Ward did offer one other possible explanation for the world of Cars.

“[Cars 3 production designer] Jay Shuster did a great drawing a long time ago of a meteor hitting the earth,” Ward said, then mimicking a “Poof!” sound effect. “And all the humans are gone and all of a sudden the cars start rising up and moving around.”

  • 33
    Fabulous answer, as ever... but the real answer is "it doesn't matter, it's a cartoon" ;) Next we'll be questioning if/how/why Scooby Doo talks, or if Muttley's 'saznfrazznrazzn' was really swearing :P
    – Tetsujin
    Jan 29, 2018 at 19:55
  • 26
    @Tetsujin I'm so sorry
    – Harris
    Jan 29, 2018 at 19:57
  • 2
    "Why do we need human beings anymore? They’re just slowing us down" - What exactly would the cars mission be? lol Jan 29, 2018 at 20:47
  • 4
    See, this is why I never swear at "Ok Google" and other AI variants since in the future, they might say "This guy was good to me. All he did was ask me to sing some songs and tell some jokes... Let's not kill him!" :P Jan 30, 2018 at 3:56
  • 12
    Humans aren't gone...they're symbiotes of the cars. When Ward says "the brain and eyes are in there" that's the vestigial human.
    – 1006a
    Jan 30, 2018 at 14:52

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