Coast to Coast

Saturday 8 July 2006, 6:04 pm

It took us from April 5 until June 20 to reach the Atlantic Ocean (75 days). It took us only 15 days to make it back to the Pacific Ocean. We were really racing the last few days to make it home quickly.
In the movie Cars, Pixar chief creative officer John Lasseter incorporates his family's cross-country adventure, including toe dips in both the Pacific and Atlantic oceans.

After directing three films, and getting an Oscar nomination, and then becoming an executive producer of others, Lasseter heard his wife express her fears. She suggested he'd look up one day and his sons would be off at college "and you will have missed it."

So, in summer 2002, they toured the United States in a recreational vehicle. They started at the Pacific "and turned east. We had one goal -- to put our feet in the Atlantic." Most thought they'd drive each other nuts. Instead, he said, "we got so close as a family. I came back changed. This is what I wanted with 'Cars.' "

In it, a hot-shot racer named Lightning McQueen gets sidetracked on his way to the big race in California in the forgotten Route 66 town of Radiator Spring. His time there changes him, convincing him of the importance of friends, experiences, slowing down.