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Name: Cars
Date(s): 2006-
Medium: Film
Country of Origin: US
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Cars is a 2006 American computer-animated film produced by Pixar Animation Studios and released by Walt Disney Pictures. It tells the story of a rookie race car, Lightning McQueen (voiced by Owen Wilson) in world populated by other anthropomorphic vehicles.

A short called Mater and the Ghostlight was released as an extra on the Cars DVD and a series of shorts called Cars Toons were aired on Disney Channel.

The movie was followed by Cars 2 (2011) and Cars 3 (2017), with a potential Cars 4 on the way. A spinoff series of films, Planes, began in 2013.


Much of the fandom ships the characters, not as vehicles, but as anthropomorphic versions of themselves, typically as the kind of person who would drive the corresponding car persona, having the same profession as the vehicle version.

The two most popular pairings of the fandom are Sally Carrera/Lightning McQueen (with 153 works in AO3) and Doc Hudson/Lightning McQueen (with 107 works in AO3), with the first being canon.

Although the first fanfiction was published in 2006, when the movie had first come out, the fandom didn't really pick up until later. There were occasional bursts of fanfic writing whenever a movie came out (2006, 2011 and finally 2017, with 2017 being the most prolific of these). It can be said that it was after the third movie that the fandom became more productive.

It was around 2019 that interest on explicit works began to be more noticeable and since then the fandom developed on twitter and tumblr and stayed relatively small.

Objectlesson on AO3 has produced several high quality Doc/McQueen fanfics with human versions of the characters that have brought in new fans who previously had no contact or interest in the Cars Fandom. The focus on realism, lived queer experiences and history, while being immersed in its canon, deconstructing and expanding on the source material seems to be the main attraction to these works - which many times seem to be initially interacted with by new readers with curiosity and surprise (due to many fans' incredulity in regards to reading a fic based on talking cars). The writing style is attractive for its union of queerness with gay sex/homosexual desire and American queer history, which has become rarer during the later 2010s, due to the rise of more sanitized, generic gay narratives.

Due to some backlash on twitter, fans have started using hud/light as pairing name instead of doc/mcqueen, docmcqueen or doclight. This backlash is due to some fans seeing Doc Hudson as a father figure to Lightning McQueen and thus considering them an incest pairing, even though the two are cars. There is a throwaway line in the franchise where someone says "Thank the manufacturer" implying that they are truly vehicles and don't reproduce nor have any offspring.

Example Fanworks



  • Sweet Morphine by objectlesson Maybe there’s an arrangement to be had, between two lonely men who refuse to listen to anyone, but might hold their own gaze in the mirror, if only for a moment. (2019)
  • Driving With the Devil by objectlesson Lightning thinks it’s a bookmark, for a split second. But then his vision shifts into focus and he realizes it’s actually a magazine clipping being used as a bookmark. Someone cut out a picture of a young man in very low-riding jeans. The image is captioned Slender Andre has one reader drooling all over the page! Lightning stares. He squints. He feels numb all over, limbs oddly heavy and tingling, blood pounding in his ears making his own heartbeat sound exactly how it does when he’s under water: echoey, resounding, alien. (2020)
  • A Storm Needs Lightning by Blue_Gumdrop Jackson Storm may be a cocky, arrogant, next-generation racer, but no one can deny he has skill. So why is Cruz Ramirez of all people passing him on the track in her bright yellow race car, with Lightning McQueen’s racing number painted on it. It takes Storm a minute to comprehend the fact that Lightning has given up his racing number, and now plans to quit racing. That does not sit well with him, not at all. Storm doesn’t know what he’s going to do next, all he knows is that he’s worked too hard and for too long to let Lightning quit that easily. (2022)

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