Monday, June 12, 2006

On the road with ‘Cars’

Enid News & Eagle | On the road with ‘Cars’
The well kept woman was the focus of a field trip undertaken by one of the most innovative minds in the film industry today — Academy Award-winning director, and recently named head of Disney animation, John Lasseter, who walked into the Rock Cafe in 2001 with his entourage.

“We’re here to hear your story,” Welch said, recounting the meeting with Lasseter for 175 people gathered in the governor’s mansion recently. They were there for a VIP reception hosted by the Oklahoma Library Association after a premiere showing of Disney/Pixar’s new animated feature movie “Cars.”

“They took pictures of everything. Lasseter told me to bring one of everything on the menu. For me, meeting John Lasseter was a big deal,” Welch said.

And what Lasseter has produced, “Cars,” is becoming a big deal for Oklahoma. The projected summer smash hit opened nationwide Friday. The film is set in a small town along Route 66 — a composite of the many towns that dot the Mother Road in Oklahoma and elsewhere.


During the VIP reception at the governor’s mansion, Wallis spoke of his love for Oklahoma — its rich literary history that includes John Steinbeck’s classic novel “The Grapes of Wrath” and its vital contribution to the lore of Route 66.

“It’s a state to be proud of,” Wallis said while adding some chiding remarks about Oklahoma’s neighbor to the south, Texas. “It (Oklahoma) is a badge of courage and Route 66 is a road that’s paid its dues.”

The special screening of “Cars” and the reception at the governor’s mansion raised approximately $30,000 for the state’s Department of Libraries. The money will be put into a library association endowment for operation improvements and programs such as children’s book awards, continuing education of current librarians and student scholarships.

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