Cars Toons is a series of shorts based on Cars. The show airs on Disney Channel, Disney XD, ABC Family, and one was even shown in theaters. Its first broadcast was on October 27, 2008 and still airs new episodes. From 2008 to 2012, the series consisted only of episodes of Mater's Tall Tales. A new series of Cars Toons, called Tales from Radiator Springs, was debuted on March 22, 2013.
Mater's Tall Tales
All of the episodes follow the same tall tale sequence: Mater tells a story of something that he has done in the past. In the story, Mater finds himself in an inescapable predicament.
When Lightning questions Mater over whether the events in the story actually occurred, Mater always claimed that Lightning was also involved, often saying, "Don't you remember? You was there, too!" (or some other variation). Then, Mater continues to tell the story, including Lightning's sudden participation. The episodes end with Mater leaving the scene, often followed by characters or references to the story that was being told, suggesting that the story might be real.
Tales from Radiator Springs
Disney Channel debuted three new 90-second shorts during an airing of Up on March 22, 2013. The three shorts are named Hiccups, Bugged and Spinning, and were classified under the new denomination Tales from Radiator Springs. All three are directed by Jeremy Lasky and produced by Mary Alice Drumm. They are the first Cars Toons not to revolve around Mater.
In March 2014, it was announced that The Radiator Springs 500½ would be released in Spring 2014, in the Tales from Radiator Springs series, while a second short is set for 2015. The Radiator Springs 500½ was premiered on Disney Movies Anywhere on May 20, 2014, then later on Disney Channel on August 1, 2014. In October 2014, it was announced that the second short is To Protect and Serve.
The DVD/Blu-ray release of Cars Toons: Mater's Tall Tales included in its bonus features several abandoned concepts of Tall Tales:
Larry the Cable Guy, Michael Wallis, Guido Quaroni, Lindsey Collins, Elissa Knight, and others reprise their voice roles from the films. Owen Wilson did not return to voice Lightning McQueen in the episodes before The Radiator Springs 500½, which McQueen was voiced by Keith Ferguson in those episodes. Though Nathan Stanton claims that Lloyd Sherr, who voiced Fillmore in Cars 2, replaced the late George Carlin in the series, Carlin is credited at the end of several Cars Toons: Mater's Tall Tales shorts.
It was announced that Cars Toons were to be released as part of the Disney·Pixar Cars Diecast Line in mid-2009. In October 2009, they released several die-casts. Die-casts have been released for all episodes of season 1. They have produced die-casts for all of season 2's shorts except for Mater Private Eye.
On November 2, 2010, the first 7 Cars Toons episodes, plus the next 2 episodes exclusively, were released on DVD and Blu-ray, the same day on which Toy Story 3 was released on DVD and Blu-ray. With the exception of Mater the Greater, which is played first in the collection, the episodes have corresponding opening sequences of Mater appearing and saying "If I'm lyin', I'm cryin'" in different ways, when the viewer selects the "play all" option.
Air Mater was released with the DVD and Blu-ray release of Cars 2.
Also, Air Mater and Time Travel Mater were included on Pixar Short Films Collection Volume 2 (however, it didn't include the ending scene of Air Mater).
The Radiator Springs 500½ was released on Pixar Short Films Collection Volume 3.