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Snarcasm: The Cars in ‘Cars’ Aren’t Really Cars. Obviously.

cars

Snark + Sarcasm = what you’re about to read

I’ve always liked MatPat’s “The Film Theorists” videos, because they’re entertaining, fun, and have a great energy. For that reason, I don’t usually criticize their theories, but that’s all about to change.

One of MatPat’s latest videos involves Cars, and it directly calls out my timeline for Pixar movies, assuming they all share the same universe. This was embarrassing on my end because Mat worked off of old Pixar Theory material without fully researching how it’s changed over the years, so his new theory about Cars is…well…let’s just say it could use some Snarcasm.

Oh, and here’s an important note. If you want to check out the better version of this “cars are alive” theory, check out the video SuperCarlinBros already did for it seven months ago…which MatPat doesn’t reference at all or give credit to in his video. And…well, he should have.

The Cars in the Cars Movie AREN’T CARS!

I don’t know if I’m ready for this.

Are the Cars in Cars really cars?

{Raises hand}

I mean sure, it’s the title of the movie.

[Raises hand more}

and they look and behave like cars

{hand floats away}

I mean they have eyes and tongues

Right. So there’s no way they’re cars with eyes and tongues. Eh, yeah that’s weird, but we’ll get to that.

How does a society of cars come to be in the first place?

Well, the Pixar Theory states that—

What are these creatures? I am 100% confident I figured it out.

Like I was saying. I outlined all of this in my book about how—

what started as a simple, stupid question led me down the rabbit hole of this bizarre car-themed universe, and the answers I found will upend everything you thought you knew about Mater and the gang.

Mat then cuts to an image of my Pixar Theory Timeline. Well, the old one at least. See when this video first came out, a lot of people asked me what I thought, and I felt guilty for not updating the timeline since I did the book, which is a small reason why Mat ends up working off of old information (we’ll get to that).

See, the theory itself was certainly at its most plot-holey when I did the first draft of the timeline in 2013. I haven’t even updated it with the newer movies. To rectify this, there’s a new timeline in place of the old one, but as you can tell, the damage is done.

and the details I find here pose some interesting questions about that infamous Pixar Theory

Infamous?

a theory that you all have wanted me to cover for quite a long time

Spoiler alert: MatPat is working on his own “mega” Pixar Theory. Well…bring it on?

it probably merits taking a second to acquaint you with that Pixar Theory. A theory that started with, as far as I can tell, online movie blogger Jon Negroni.

Hey.

which aims to unite all the Pixar movies to not just the same universe, but also come up with a cohesive timeline of events where one movie leads to the next, leads to the next.

Mat shows an image of the actual blog post for the theory itself, which begins by telling you that the theory has been updated. So why didn’t Mat “start up his search engines” then?

He does go on to talk about how he won’t be getting into the “nitty gritty” of the theory, but offers an example of how Buy n Large plays into multiple movies.

now the reason I wanted to start talking about this today is because I have a few problems with the Pixar Theory timeline. 

So Mat then goes on to recite some big elements of the theory that, again, are ancient history. And he gets some basic stuff wrong, like this:

that’s why you don’t see humans or animals in either car movie

Except we do, actually. We see the birds from For the Birds (a Pixar short) in the first Cars.

this whole Pixar Theory is an interesting explanation, but there are a lot of assumptions

So why didn’t you research the updated one? And spoiler alert: his entire theory is nothing but assumptions, starting with Mat’s assertion that they aren’t sentient machines brought to life like the toys from Toy Story.

The cars are actually organic creatures. Living creatures with the car body of the top exoskeleton, but containing some sort of internal organs. A soft and squishy inside like the center of a Tootsie Roll pop.

I get it. So Mat took all of the clever revelations SuperCarlinBros already figured out months ago…then made it worse. Neat.

First, they breathe oxygen. 

And they also drink oil. And we see they have engines multiple times in the movie. How does that make them organic?

See, Mat goes on to point out how the cars must be organic because they basically act like humans. They eat “food” and one car wears an underwater “breather” like in spy movies. I contend that they do this because they think they’re the humans who owned them. Multiple Pixar movies point out that human emotion (a la Monsters Inc.) is the source of energy that can bring inanimate objects to life (like in Brave and Toy Story). And in movies like WALL-E, we see that the life of these machines is sustained by interactions with human belongings, like the movie Hello Dolly that WALL-E watches all the time.

I’m sorry I have to keep saying this, but Mat is completely missing this stuff because he didn’t even seem to look for it. And now we have to suffer through what is at best an amusing sideshow full of weird body horror jokes.

Mat then goes on to say that because of a “studio stories” video by Pixar, this is all confirmed in addition to McQueen having the hiccups in a “Tales from Radiator Springs” short. He quickly cuts in and out of a quote that McQueen can’t open his doors because “that’s where his brains are.”

they have a brain! A giant, pink, pulsating brain hidden behind those car windows!

Nope.

This is terribly misleading because Mat leaves out the fact that this same animator was trying to think of ways to make Lightning capable of producing a map to Sally. He mentions that using the doors wouldn’t make sense conceptually because that’s where his “brains” would be. He also proposed that maybe a monkey drove the car and showed the map, and many more examples that are nonsensical.

So none of this comes close to confirming anything about cars having organs. Rather, it’s just an animator discussing the challenges of making the Cars world a believable one that isn’t gross or creepy. That includes avoiding this kind of “brain” implication in the first place.

so it would appear that the cars are actual living creatures and not just some highly advanced driverless cars.

“Appear” is a strong word. If anything, there’s far more evidence that the cars are, in fact highly advanced driverless cars compared to this idea that they’re animals. But Mat ignores all of that inconvenient evidence so he can champion his own theory.

Like I said before. Bring it on.

there’s an actual evolutionary chain present throughout these films. 

Go on.

[In Cars 2] we see birds. Except they’re not actually birds. They’re actually mini planes. 

Oh boy.

In another of the Tales from Radiator Springs animated shorts, you get VW beetle beetles. Tiny cars with insect wings.

Which is why the theory states that the cars work off of an unreliable narrator. Which means that to them, organic creatures on Earth look like cars to them, but elsewhere we see real birds, and we know from WALL-E and A Bug’s Life that birds and insects are still around in this post-apocalyptic wasteland.

Have you noticed that for a Pixar theory about Pixar movies, Mat doesn’t seem to include a lot of the other Pixar movies?

Mat goes on to talk about how the alien stuff from “Mater’s Tall Tales” is totally real rather than…a tall tale. And their tires being independent from their bodies must “prove” his theory rather than support the idea that they are, in fact, machines with tires. Good stuff.

these are living creatures with internal organs that are protected by a car-like exoskeleton.

Did they grow this exoskeleton themselves? And where do their engines (which we see) come from?

and with multiple differentiated animal-like species that have evolved over time from literal boats, planes, and cranes to bug-like and bird-like animals

But The Pixar Theory has too many assumptions? And my main problem with this is that Mat goes into zero detail over how and why machines would suddenly turn into bugs and insects. Or why the personified cars don’t. He just drops that evolution part in and moves on. You know, like in the original Pixar Theory!

In short, when you look at all of this evidence, there is only one possible conclusion:

Mat put as little effort as possible into tackling the Pixar Theory? Because this is just sloppy, and a bit uninspired.

the cars in Cars aren’t really cars at all, but are much more likely a highly evolved form of insect.

Remember kids: “this whole Pixar Theory is an interesting explanation, but there are a lot of assumptions.”

Mat’s entire argument here is that because cars have a metal “skin”, that must mean they’re evolved from insects, which (whoa!) also have an exoskeleton. Ignoring literally everything about science that has ever been known about how insects, you know, have evolved and are composed biologically.

Remember when Mat said, “Oh they have brains! Confirmed!” Well, he even shows diagrams of insects that don’t have brains (or eyes or tongues or teeth) like what he describes, yet that doesn’t matter because this is my life now.

I get it. The Pixar Theory is about having fun, not being scientifically accurate. But this is just weird for the sake of it and not at all informative of what the theory’s really about: telling a grander story behind all of the movies and characters.

the cars aren’t cars! They’re insects!

I mean come on, does anyone else think Mat is just spoofing at this point? He literally has to say “The cars aren’t cars.”

that does some really interesting things for the Pixar Theory

At best, it ruins the Pixar Theory and undermines everything we actually know about the Cars movies.

First and foremost, it removes Cars from the era of humans

Thus making it completely implausible. The point of Cars is that the machines are brought to life through memories of humans. Taking that out to make room for some random insect nonsense adds literally nothing to the theory. It only takes away evidence that brings everything about the machines together for what happens in Monsters Inc.

that sort of evolution is going to take a really long time, so get it away from the WALL-Es, Nemos, and Incredibles of the world.

So then what’s the point? And how would human civilization be what it is in the Cars universe if this was so far in the future? Where are the monsters? Why are the cars remembering events from the 20th Century, like the Piston Cup? If they’re so far removed from the Pixar timeline, why even suggest that the timeline is even purposeful?

but surprisingly enough, we do happen to have one film in Pixar’s lineup that does follow super intelligent bugs in their quest for survival

What about the birds? If we’re bringing A Bug’s Life into this, then you also have to point out that the birds are primal and “dumb” compared to the insects.

in a world where there are remnants of human society but you see no humans present

But we do know they’re still around because one insect had his wings clipped by a kid.

what I propose to you is that Cars isn’t so much its own entity, but rather A Bug’s Life 2, 3, and coming up on 4. The natural progression of insects evolving and taking over the planet Earth. 

So insects naturally evolve…into cars? That explains the millions of years established by the Pixar timeline (starting with Good Dinosaur) where they, you know, didn’t evolve into cars. But don’t worry, because all of these theory holes will be solved (maybe!) next time.

and with that we have the first puzzle pieces in place as we all start to build our own Film Theorists approved mega Pixar Theory!

Go for it. Seriously. These are your movies too. Just don’t be surprised when the Snarcasm rolls around, because if you’re going to build off of my initial ideas and timeline without fully looking into them for your own purposes, plus rip off another YouTuber’s theories without giving them any credit for it, then this is a Pixar Theory war. 


Thanks for reading this. Seriously. You can subscribe to my posts by clicking “Follow” in the right sidebar. 

Or just say hello on Twitter: @JonNegroni


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Snarcasm: Ezra Miller from ‘Fantastic Beasts’ Is Obviously Voldemort’s Dad

ezra miller fantastic beasts

Snark + Sarcasm = what you’re about to read.

It’s been a while since I revisited this column, so why not kick it off by Snarcasming one of my good friends?

Most of you probably know Adonis Gonzalez, recurring cohost of our Now Conspiring movie podcast since early 2015. He’s also a writer, though, and despite him writing plenty of silly things over the years, this one deserves a Snarcastic response.

Fresh off the news that Ezra Miller will portray a character named Credence Barebone in the upcoming Harry Potter spinoff movie, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Adonis ignores the obvious question — does Ezra Miller have to be in every Warner Bros. film? — and instead asks a question too obvious to even think up:

Is Credence Barebone Actually An Important Harry Potter Character?

Well wow, Adonis, way to cut Miller down before the movie even comes out. Even if your fan theory ends up being true (because the universe demands that even .00000000001% chance odds are still, by definition, possible), how does that mean he wouldn’t have been “important” otherwise?

So for those of us who think Ezra Miller still gets roles where he’s an important character, this just comes off as a bit hostile. Now, let’s see if Adonis can lend credence to his fan theory about Credence.

Miller’s character, Credence Barebone, is shrouded in mystery.

Untrue. We actually know a lot about Credence already thanks to a comprehensive preview of the character offered by EW and even Slashfilm, which Adonis credits for the story.

Tell me if this is “shrouded in mystery:”

(From EW) Credence is the adopted middle child of Mary Lou Barebone (Samantha Morton). We’re told that he “appears withdrawn, extremely shy and far more vulnerable than his two sisters. Credence is defenseless against the abuse that comes in response to the slightest infraction of Mary Lou’s strict rules. But his loneliness also makes him susceptible to the manipulation of Percival Graves (Colin Farrell), who has taken a personal interest in Credence.” Graves is a powerful guy, an auror and the Director of Magical Security in the American wizarding government.

Myyyyysssstteeeerrrryyyyyyy

I mean, sure, we know that he’s an adopted middle child, and we even know his “mother”‘s name, but do we know if he’s secretly another character entirely without any real evidence to back it up? The internet will see to that!

And believe it or not, Adonis actually points out that what he just said isn’t true.

But there’s nothing mysterious about that description, right?

Right!

No, what’s really mysterious is that reports are saying Credence will be a “notable” character in the Harry Potter universe. This seems to hint that we might have seen Credence somewhere before.

First of all, Adonis doesn’t cite a single source for these “reports.” What reports? Who reported this? The word “notable” doesn’t show up in the EW article, which broke the story, or the Slashfilm one, which reported it.

Show us your report certificate, Adonis!

Second of all, a character being “notable” does not mean the character is familiar to us viewers. A notable person within the Harry Potter universe simply has to be famous among the characters. It could also mean (because the word has disparate meanings) that Credence is simply an important character we should pay attention to.

Either way, there’s nothing here to plainly imply that Credence Barebone is somehow a character we’re directly aware of already.

For all we know, Credence could be anybody.

He could be in this VERY room!

Also, don’t forget that he could be…Credence Barebone.

Ezra Miller has been sworn to secrecy about his character, making the true identity and purpose of his character even more intriguing.

Wait, wait, wait. A movie studio doesn’t want an actor sharing too much information about the movie? How could this have happened under our watch?

Credence Barebone Is Tom Riddle!

And so it begins.

Specifically, Adonis is talking about the father of Lord Voldemort, not Voldemort himself. That would be Tom Riddle Sr. He goes on to remind tons of readers who Tom Riddle is, even though the only people who would deeply question this theory are book readers who are starting to get a crick in their neck from shaking their head so frequently.

Anyway, on to why I think that Tom Riddle, Sr. and Credence Barebone are one and the same. First off, it helps that we virtually know nothing about Credence Barebone. 

Yeah, that’s awfully convenient for your theory, isn’t it? “I can’t be wrong if you don’t know anything about what I’m talking about!”

We don’t know where he comes from, or what his purpose is in the film.

Right! We only know that he comes from America and is affiliated with Colin Farrell’s character! What are we supposed to even do with that information?

Fantastic Beasts is set in 1926 and, given the appearance of Barebone and the age of the actor portraying him, it’s safe to assume he’s in his early 20s at the start of the film. Tom Riddle, Sr. was born in 1905, meaning he’d be 21 years old in 1926, so the ages match up pretty accurately.

True, so now we’re just left wondering whether or not Ezra Miller can pull off a British accent.

Once again, Adonis goes on to disprove his own theory with a single sentence.

…age doesn’t explain how or why Tom Riddle, Sr. would be in North America with an entirely different name.

Are…are you reading my mind?

Poor Voldy could never catch a break, even in his younger years. His mother died giving birth to him, and his deadbeat father abandoned him before he was even born. But why did Tom Riddle, Sr. walk out on his family?

Because Merope wrote terrible fan theories?

Well, the only reason he married Merope Gaunt in the first place was because of the love potions she used on him. Tom Riddle, Sr. immediately ran off after seeing that he not only had a wife he didn’t love, but a son he didn’t want on the way.

To be fair, what would you do if a witch tricked you into impregnating her?

Tom retreated to his parents’ house in Little Hangleton, England. But what if that’s not exactly the case?

Then all logic and reasoning have ceased to exist.

In 1943, he and his parents were murdered by Tom Riddle, Jr., his son, in their Little Hangleton home. So we know that he definitely returned to Little Hangleton at some point.

Or…you know…he never left.

But if you think about it, between 1926 and 1943, that’s a whole 17 years of Tom Riddle, Sr.’s life unaccounted for.

Yeah! Let’s fill it with fan fiction!

Who’s to say he went straight to Little Hangleton and stayed there?

No one! Not even his family, legacy, property, money, friends, and power!

Let’s look at why Tom ran away from Merope. It wasn’t just because she tricked him into loving her, he was also disgusted and frightened at the fact that she was a witch.

Which he never told anyone, because he was too much of a muggle to let others think he was insane. According to the book, he told his family Merope “tricked” him. Also, it’s never implied that he was actually scared of her. In fact, he’s probably too aware of her devotion to him to believe that she’d want to cause him any harm.

Remember, Tom Riddle, Sr. was a Muggle, so the practice of witchcraft was likely taboo to him.

Likely…certainly…definitely…without a shred of doubt…obviously…I can’t believe this is even being questioned…

What if Tom traveled to America in an attempt to hide from Merope, afraid that she might one day use her powers to track him down.

Why? It’s never hinted that he feared her. The Gaunts were in Azkaban by the time this was happening, and they’d been tormenting the town for years and no one ever took them seriously. If anything, he’d probably welcome the chance to deal with her outright if she dared return to Little Hangleton. He has no idea that Merope is dangerous, and the pride of his name is likely too important for him to abandon it by leaving his home. This idea just doesn’t fit the character.

Also, if she can use her powers to track him down, like you say, then how does escaping to America fix that?

Going back to the town he met her in would be the easiest way to get caught, but a trip overseas and a quick name change would keep him hidden for a while!

Which would be the biggest tease of all, considering Merope’s untimely death months after this supposedly happened.

And as you probably didn’t want to expect, Adonis yet again asks a question that debunks his own theory, only so he can answer it in a way that doesn’t really fix the problems he’s pointing out himself.

If Credence has an adoptive mother, how could he possibly hail from the same pureblood family as Voldemort himself?

Gee, it’s almost like it isn’t possible.

Simple, Mary Lou isn’t his adoptive mother, she’s his REAL mother.

Oh, now we can just say things and they become true? OK! The sky isn’t made of gases…it’s made of STARBURSTS. See, I wrote it in all caps so you’d know how serious I am about wanting it to be true.

That’s right, Mary Lou Barebone is actually Mary Riddle!

What annoys me (the most) about this is that you don’t even position in an honest way. Mary Lou Barebone could actually be Mary Riddle (you know, if JK Rowling actually approved such a pointless and cheap plot twist). Just saying she is Mary Riddle and putting actually before the conclusion doesn’t make it so.

If you’ve already made up your mind, then this isn’t even a fan theory, really. It’s just a loud accusation.

Maybe he didn’t venture to America to escape Merope’s possible wrath alone. Maybe he was joined by his mother, Mary. Mary, whose son had apparently been enslaved by a witch and forced to love her, probably doesn’t have much love of her own for magic users.

See, the problem is that none of this makes sense. What indication from the text do we get that Mary Riddle isn’t keen on staying in Little Hangleton? What informs your guess that she’d want to follow her son to America and pretend to be his adopted mother? This just creates more questions upon questions, and I seriously doubt a movie that’s not even about Voldemort and his family would have the means to tackle such a left field twist.

Seriously, imagine if this “twist” actually happened in Fantastic Beasts. The movie would have to spend so much time positioning it in a way that makes sense that it would utterly distract from the plot we’re supposed to be involved in. It would have to explain all of these problems and inconsistencies, hoping that you don’t remember enough about Tom Riddle’s backstory to question it.

So what does she do when she and her son reach America? She becomes the leader of the New Salem Philanthropic Society, the organization that hates witches and wizards.

So let me get this straight. Within months (at best) of arriving in America, a female immigrant is going to show up in 1926 America with an adopted son and a bunch of random daughters, then become the leader of a secret society she shouldn’t even know about?

After all, it was a witch who took her son away from her, so now she’s got a bone to pick with the magical community.

In America?? If she was that bloodthirsty toward witches, she’d seek out Merope and the Gaunts herself, not run away to America and invoke witch trials unrelated to her own history. She had wealth and power in England, but she gave it all up to hang out with her 20-something kid who she now has to apparently say is adopted because whatever? Also, he has sisters with him for some reason and is now shy, even though that’s not his character?

She and her son live in the USA for years, until they believe it’s safe to go back home.

“Let’s wage war on witches, then go back home when it’s safe!”

So there you have it, my theory for who Credence Barebone really is! He could just be a normal guy, or he could be poor Muggle Tom Riddle, Sr., desperately trying to escape his unwanted family! What do you think?

I think you need a nap and a coloring book, Adonis.


Thanks for reading this. Seriously. You can subscribe to my posts by clicking “Follow” in the right sidebar. Or just follow me on Twitter: @JonNegroni


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