- "I never properly introduced myself. Finn McMissile. British Intelligence."
- —Finn McMissile, Cars 2
Finn McMissile is a British secret agent and spy affiliated with C.H.R.O.M.E, a British espionage organization. A skilled field agent with many years of experience, McMissile has been part of many different projects and missions, including the thwarting of Miles Axlerod's plot to damage public perception of alternative fuel by destroying its users.
In universe, Finn's make is known as the 1965 Faultless GT, though his design actually draws heavy inspiration from the Aston Martin DB5, as well as other types of sports cars.
In Cars 2, when a racing competition called the World Grand Prix is announced, some American secret agents discover that there is a hidden oil reserve located in the Pacific Ocean, being run by a group of criminal cars called lemons.
Finn is sent on a reconnaissance mission to the oil reserve to discover more about the lemons' intentions (unknowingly alongside an American spy called Rod Redline, who has infiltrated the outlaws using a Gremlin disguise) as well as to reunite with his colleague, Leland Turbo, who is already there. Sneaking past security by riding on a cargo ship, Finn observes a lemon meeting and discovers that the commander of operations on the platform is a German scientist and weapons dealer named Professor Zündapp. The villains reveal that they have constructed a machine that, while appearing to be a standard television camera, is actually "extremely dangerous". Finn takes photographs of the camera and its owners, but is horrified when some henchman reveal a brutally compacted red cube, the remnants of Agent Turbo. The burst of a flame behind McMissile casts his shadow over the rig floor and reveals him, forcing him to make an escape. The lemons corner him at a helipad, but Finn leaps into the ocean, using hydrofoils to propel himself away. Grem and Acer take to security boats to fire at him, and McMissile fakes his death by moving underwater and releasing extra tires to appear as if he has drowned.
Later, Finn arrives at the World Grand Prix opening ceremony in Tokyo, Japan, where he meets with a local desk agent, Holley Shiftwell. Privately discussing Finn's findings in an elevator, Holley explains that the found oil platform is sitting atop the largest oil field ever discovered. The Americans already knew about this situation, having sent their own agent, Rod Redline, in under deep cover. Redline managed to photograph the lemon kingpin, and Finn is there to rendevous with him and obtain the image. But, noticing Professor Zündapp and his henchmen in the crowd, Finn realizes the risk and sends Holley instead. Before she arrives, some Lemons attack Redline, leaving him no choice but to plant the classified information device on the innocent Mater. As Finn and Holley are tracking the device to identify the agent, they believe Mater to be the American spy, and make plans to meet with him next day during the first race of the World Grand Prix.
During the race, Finn and Holley watch Mater from inside a building, and are surprised when they see him in Lightning McQueen's pit. Though unusual by spy standards, Finn believes this to be Mater's cover, and waits patiently for Mater to make contact. When Holley's onboard computer reveals several thugs closing in on Mater, Finn immediately springs into action, fightning them off in the back streets of Tokyo. Holley hacks into Mater's headset and informs him to leave, though Mater innocently does the opposite, moving into Finn's fray with the assassins, which he believes to be a "live karate demonstration". With the henchman defeated, Finn delicately vanishes, and they postpone the meeting with Mater.
The next day, Finn finds Mater at Haneda Airport and, disguised as a security guard, the spy leads Mater into a lounge, where he inquires which American intelligence agency he is affiliated with. Mater claims to be "triple-A affiliated", and while he is babbling about karate, Finn recognizes Grem and Acer moving towards them. Thinking quickly, Finn cuts a hole in a nearby window and pulls Mater through. They speed down the airport runway toward Siddeley, Finn's personal spy jet, while Finn shoots at the pursuing attackers. Oblivious to the danger around him, Finn takes lead and the two jump aboard Siddeley as he takes off. The device is fortunately still on Mater's undercarriage, so they and Holley analyze the photo, which depicts the unidentified kingpin's engine, a hodge-podge of rare and unusual parts. Though Mater is still unaware of the situtation's gravitas, he does prove valuable by using his extensive mechanical knowledge to identify specificities that Finn and Holley would have otherwise ignored.
Tracking down the vendor of a particular type of bolt, the trio travel to Paris where they meet with a long-time informant of McMissile's, a black-market parts dealer named Tomber. To disguise their meeting, Tomber bolts upon seeing McMissile, and they subdue and drag him to a secure warehouse, past civilians who might otherwise take suspicion. Tomber reveals that sure enough, he has a customer whose purchases line up with the ones in the kingpin's photograph. The buyer chose to remain anonymous however, and while Tomber does not know anything more, Mater realizes that only a broken-down, poorly made car would need to buy such a combination of parts. Narrowing this down to a lemon car, Mater's thoughts prompt Holley and Finn to notice a trend between all the evidence they have collected: everyone involved with a scheme is a "lemon", a derogatory term for cheaply made cars who were prone to constant breakdowns and failures. Tomber mentions there is an unusual meeting between the Gremlin, Pacer, Hugo, and Trunkov crime families taking place in Porto Corsa, Italy, exactly where the second World Grand Prix race is being held. Knowing that the mastermind will almost certainly be there as well, they board Stephenson, a spy train, and head for Porto Corsa.
At Porto Corsa, Finn and Holley have Mater infiltrate the meeting holographically disguised as Ivan, Victor Hugo's personal chauffeur, whom McMissile and Holley listen in on over the radio. The lemon boss makes an appearance, but is only by phone call, with his voice scrambled and his face hidden. Though they acquire no new leads for the perpetrator, they do learn that the lemons are actively sabotaging the races' competitors using the very camera Finn saw. By targeting them with a powerful electromagnetic pulse, the Allinol fuel in their tanks reactively ignites. Hearing this through Mater's communicator, Finn briskly tears through the city to reach Grem and Acer's camera station, but just as he leaps toward them, a magnetic field freezes him. The henchman smile, as they prepared a helicopter's hanging magnet ahead of time in case McMissile happened to interfere. Their plan exposed, Finn, Holley, and Mater are all individually captured, knocked out and brought to Big Bentley in London, where they are tied up inside the building's clock mechanisms.
When Mater comes to, Finn and Holley are tied to a giant gear, and are minutes away from being crushed by a perpendicular gear. Mater finally asserts that he is not a spy, and Finn and Holley realize he is telling the truth, not acting an extremely committed cover. Grem and Acer arrive and point their camera at Lightning McQueen, Mater's best friend, who they intend to kill because of his faithful choice to continue supporting Allinol, against the allegations of it being dangerous. They cruelly charge the generator to max and fire it at McQueen, but to everyone's confusion, nothing happens. Zündapp angrily informs them to move to the backup plan; they have placed a bomb in McQueen's pit stall that they will explode the next time he drives in. The lemons gleefully depart, but Mater cleverly uses his gattling gun deployments to break through his ropes. Mater desperately tries to find a way to save Finn and Holley, but they tell him to focus on saving McQueen. Finn knows they cannot really save themselves, but Holley realizes she can reverse the polarity of the clock to shift their direction and give them more time, which they use to cut their ropes on another cog and break free. Making their escape, they find Mater's air filter, which reveals a horrifying truth—the Lemons really planted the bomb on Mater, who is en route to McQueen's pit.
They warn Mater just in time, but McQueen chases after Mater as he flees, unaware of what is happening. Holley intercepts the Professor, who runs away with Finn on his tail. McMissile chases Zündapp through London, while the scientist heads for his transport boat. Finn latches his grappling hook to Zündapp while Trihull tries to magnetically pull him aboard. Finn tries pulling different weapons, which fly away into the magnet, so he releases an array of detonators, which go off and fatally blow up the battleship. Finn drags the captured professor into London, meeting with Holley, McQueen and Mater so he can deactive the bomb. The bomb is voice activated but Zündapp's is not the remedy. With time ticking down, Mater confidently announces he knows the true suspect, and they all head for the Queen's royal spectator pad.
Mater accuses Miles Axlerod of being the true culprit. Having discovered the oil rig, he could pretend to pioneer a remarkable alternative fuel and then use the globally publicized World Grand Prix as the perfect opportunity to paint alternative fuel in a terrible light. With other methods off the table, cars would seek traditional fuel, making Axlerod and his company of "loser cars" wealthy beyond imagination. Mater cites the bolts on his engine being the same used to secure the bomb, and the unusuality of Mater's "oil leak" in Axlerod's vicinity, as further evidence. With seconds to go before detonation, Finn and everyone else brace themselves for the explosion, but Miles finally yells "deactivate", which, sure enough, succeeds.
With Axlerod and the lemons defeated, Mater, McQueen and their friends return to their home in Radiator Springs. As Mater shares the absurd story with the townsfolk, many are skeptical, until Finn and Holley arrive and verify Mater's claims. As a make-up "Radiator Springs Grand Prix" event is held, Finn and Holley thank Mater for his help and invite him to continue working with them on another secret mission, per specific request from the Queen. Mater declines, citing that home is where he belongs, but the British agents promise Mater that their offer will always be open. Mater's only request is to keep his rocket boosters, and as he and McQueen race away, Finn and Holley depart on Siddeley for their next project.
Cars 2: The Video Game
In Cars 2: The Video Game, Finn has been captured by Professor Zündapp and his agents - Mater is sent to rescue him. However, it is revealed that this is part of a mission simulation at C.H.R.O.M.E. (the Command Headquarters for Recon Operations and Motorized Espionage), an international spy-training center. Where they are the co-commands with the Player.
In this game, Finn appears as a playable character, unlocked from the start of the game. An alternate costume of him, titled Finn - Union Jack, can be unlocked by earning the "Agent - First Class" crest. In the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions of the game, another alternate costume, Finn - Security Guard, can be purchased as downloadable content. All three versions of him are medium weights.
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Finn is a 1965 Faultless GT, a British make and model which most closely resembles the real-world Aston Martin DB5, which was dubbed "the most famous car in the world" at the 1964 New York Toy Fair for its popularity as the signature vehicle of fictional spy James Bond, of whom McMissile's personality and storyline draw inspiration from. According to Cars 2 Character Art Director Jay Shuster, the team worked from initial drawings by Joe Ranft to create "an English coupe with Italian touches," drawing influences from various 1960s British and Italian sports cars. The 1965 Faultless GT is specifically an allusion to the 1958 Peerless GT, a particularly strong influence.
His top speed is 147 mph, being able to reach 0-60 within seven seconds. Running on a 4.2 Liter Straight 6 engine with Triple 2V Carbs with 290 horsepower, Finn is able to use quick speed and acceleration if needed in the midst of a mission.
Finn's license plate in Cars 2 is 314 FMCM. In addition to translating part of his name, the number 314 is also a reference to the birthday of his voice actor, Michael Caine: March 14, 1933. In Cars 2: The Video Game, it is "0S0 872L". In the Cars 2 trailer, it is "Coming Soon". In the Cars 2 video game trailer, it is "SPIESWNTD".
Personality and traits
Finn's occupation as a secret agent requires a host of desirable qualities. He is intelligent and quick-witted, able to provide deep insight into investigations and come up with thorough and carefully-thought-out plans to ensure success. He displays a notable degree of adaptability, quickly being able to change plans on the fly the moment it becomes necessary and coming up with clever solutions to tight or unexpected situations. Finn is typically able to keep his composure amidst tense circumstances, keeping a level head while speaking clearly and concisely. His dialect is eloquent and calm, speaking with a smooth, British-accented voice.
Compared to the hardness or sarcastic wit of other secret agents, such as Rod Redline, Finn openly prefers to extend kindness and share a witty sense of humor. He is unassuming perhaps to a fault, immediately crediting Mater for his highly-committed "cover" as a dim-witted tow truck, not seeming to consider the possibility that Mater really is who he says he is.
Finn has several colleagues and friends who seem to regard him highly. In addition to fellow C.H.R.O.M.E. affiliates like Holley Shiftwell, Siddeley, and Stephenson, Finn's allies extend beyond his agency. He has connections with a transport cargo ship named Crabby and a black-market parks dealer named Tomber, the latter of whom is a frequent informant for McMissile. He had also befriended fellow agent Leland Turbo, and was horrified upon unexpectedly glimpsing his corpse.
His classification of field agent is a testament to his bravery and comfortability with putting his life on the line for a greater cause. As a result of high training and physical prowess, he is able to perform feats such as jumping off a massive oil rig platform, briskly and precisely navigating narrow backstreets and alleyways, and making use of machine guns and other dangerous weapons to disable enemies.
Weaponry and Gadgets
Finn McMissile is equipped with an extensive array of gadgets for assistance in various kinds of situations.
- Four grappling hooks: Disguised as bumperettes, the hooks attach to the end of strings. They can be shot to reach an object at some distance, and are strong enough to lift and suspend Finn, giving him extra flexibility.
- Spy camera: Located in the right headlight, it can zoom in to see details and take pictures.
- Missile launcher: Located in the left headlight. It can fire small but powerful missiles.
- Digital read-outs: Located on the side mirror, the screen can receive transmissions from other spies or from his surveillance probes.
- Glass cutter: Consists of a small and very compact device, launched from the left side mirror. It attaches itself to the glass, and deploys a long stick with the cutting unit at the end that cuts with a circular counter-clockwise movement a piece of glass that is then ejected.
- Magnetic explosives launcher: Located in the front wheel hubs, it launches small explosives that stick to a metallic surface and explode after a short amount of time.
- Deployable machine guns: On both sides, hidden in the side vent.
- Deployable surveillance probes: Located in the rear right wheel hub. Very small, light and compacted into a sphere. Finn can discretely drop one which then deploys feet and open its camera, which transmits an image to Finn's digital read-outs.
- Oil Launcher: Located in the rear turn signals. It can spread slippery oil, that allows Finn to lose a pursuing car. In the beginning of the film, Finn defeats a green Gremlin with this weapon.
- Mounted quad harpoon gun: Located on his undercarriage, it is used for a similar purpose as the grappling hooks to suspend Finn, but are much more powerful.
- Deployable holographic disguise emitter: Located on the roof. The device instantaneously makes a holographic disguise all around Finn. A known disguise is a Japanese airport security guard.
- Wheeled motorized jack: Launched from the undercarriage. A skateboard-shaped gadget that travels to a chasing car, and then deploys its jack, tipping the car over.
- Steel Magnet Wheels: Permits Finn to climb up the side of a steel wall. Finn also uses them to grab cars in fights.
- Hydrofoil Mode: Consists of two retractable foils on the undercarriage. Used for oversea travel.
- Submarine Mode: Used for underwater escapes and travel. It includes a breathing apparatus, side directional fins, and the rear wheels transform into propellers.
Finn is also a master of martial arts, which is of a great help in car to car combats.
Character Design and Development
Originally, Finn was supposed to appear in the first Cars movie. In a sequence that never went beyond the storyboarding stage, Lightning McQueen and Sally went to the Radiator Springs drive-in theater where a James Bond-type film about a superspy car named Finn McMissile, dispatching "Taxis of Death" was playing. The character was then more of a parody. In Cars 2, the team wanted him to be more serious, realist and understated.
Character Art Director Jay Shuster summarizes Finn's design evolution as: "We started with drawings by Joe Ranft and created an English coupe with Italian touches." Finn is a Pixar in-house design. His design draws inspiration from several sports cars from the 1960s, mainly British, but also Italian. Shuster said: “We didn’t want to design Finn as a spy. We wanted him to be a really elegantly designed English sportscar from the sixties. We did this really deep search into that kind of car from that era. We took everything from all the cars we love and baked it into Finn.” Shuster said about using Italian cars for Finn's design: “We wanted to infuse a little more Italian into that. That’s why I created a rear hip, which gave that fin a place to live.”
In the Cars storyboards, Finn had imposing tailfins. While their size was ultimately greatly reduced, it remained an essential element of his design, that influenced the choice of cars used for inspiration. "The car’s name is Finn, so he had to have fins," Cars Franchise Guardian Jay Ward said.
The only car model that Pixar has named as an inspiration for Finn is the 1958 Peerless GT, a British sports car, which was the only British sports car they found that featured tailfins. According to Ward, even though Finn draws inspiration from other cars as well, the Peerless served as the basis from which the character was built.
Finn has a large resemblance with James Bond's Aston Martin DB5 from Goldfinger. In consequence, he has been widely recognized as a 1960s Aston Martin DB5, including by Michael Caine. While Finn shares similarities with the DB5, like a near identical rear end, differences can also be seen, mainly in Finn's profile design, which is much more curvaceous than the DB5. Finn's submarine mode is also reminiscent of Bond's Lotus Esprit from The Spy Who Loved Me.
The animators felt it necessary to establish limitations of what Finn could do and what gadgets he had, in order to make a more earthbound character. Shuster says he found Finn to be (with Francesco Bernoulli) the hardest design to achieve, because they had to figure out where to place his spy gear. Finding how to resolve this problem had some influence on his design: Finn's side vents were modified so that machine guns could get out, and his bumperettes were made with the idea they could serve as grappling hooks. Shuster gave other details regarding how they tackled the problem: "It was decided that no, we don’t want him transforming. We don’t want body panels unnaturally unfolding or doing all that stuff… So that was the trick, designing the outer shell as though he is just a normal pedestrian car, and then we went in and found places we could have stuff unfold from."
According to Story Supervisor Nathan Stanton, the idea of having Michael Caine voicing Finn McMissile came out early in the production. John Lasseter said: “As we were developing Finn McMissile, Michael Caine always came to mind because of all those fantastic spy movies he’s done.” However, Shuster says: “For the majority of these characters I didn’t know until the very end [who was voicing them]. Honestly, they announced Michael Caine when [the character] was done and all that the animators could do to go back in and start dialing in the mouth shapes and the eye shapes.” Supervising animator Shawn Krause collected photos of Caine from his earlier spy films and based Finn's expressions on them.
- For this subject's list of appearances, see Finn McMissile/Appearances.
Profiles and statistics
"Finn McMissile is a master British spy. Though charming and eloquent, it's his stealth maneuvering, intelligence and years in the field that enable him to thwart unexpected attacks from bad guys, making quick daredevil escapes. Finn's design is sleek and timeless, but he's also prepared for any tricky situation with an arsenal of ultra-cool gadgets and weaponry, including front and rear grappling hooks, a missile launcher, deployable magnetic explosives and a holographic disguise emitter. As a seasoned professional in the game of international espionage, Finn believes there is a conspiracy brewing during the World Grand Prix. His clandestine work surrounding the global exhibition race puts him on a collision course with Mater, whom he mistakes for an undercover American agent with a genius disguise."
- Finn made a cameo in Toy Story 3 on a poster in Andy's room.
- Finn's tires read "Firewall".
- Finn's grille resembles a Van Dyke mustache.
- According to Cars 2: The Video Game, "Finn McMissile" may not be his real name. One of his phrases is, "Is Finn McMissile my real name? I'm sure you'll never know."
- A slightly modified version of Finn's model was used for realistic renders to promote Pixar's Renderman Studio 18.
- For this subject's image gallery, see Finn McMissile/Gallery.
- "Leland Turbo, this is Finn McMissile, I'm at the rally point. Over.'' - Cars 2
- "Leland, it's Finn. Please respond, over.'' - Cars 2
- "Then this shouldn't hurt at all!" - Cars 2
- "You are now." - Cars 2
- "We couldn't figure that one out, either." - Cars 2
- "Do you really think I'm going to let you float away, Professor?!" - Cars 2
- "You never feel more alive than when you're almost dead." - Cars 2
- ''I'm looking for a car.'' - Cars 2
- ''That's because it's air-cooled.'' - Cars 2
- ''He's so good!'' - Cars 2
- ''Being killed by a clock. (chuckles) Gives a whole new meaning to 'Your time has come.''' - Cars 2
- ''Holley, I'll get Zündapp. You help Mater.'' - Cars 2
- ''Tell me something, you're incredibly savvy with spy hardware, for civilian statics.'' - Cars 2: The Video Game
- ''Remember: the existance of this facility is on a need-to-know basis, and nobody needs to know.'' - Cars 2: The Video Game
Names in other languages
- Polish: Sean McMission'
- Portuguese: Finn McMíssil
- Pfeiffer, Lee; Worrall, Dave (1998). The Essential Bond. London: Boxtree Ltd. ISBN 978-0-75222-477-0.
- The World Is Not Enough
- 2011 Movie Preview: 'Cars 2'
- Queen, Ben (2011). The art of Cars 2. San Francisco, Calif.: Chronicle Books. ISBN 978-0811878913.
- Cars 2 Production Notes
- The Classic Sports Car Design Behind Cars 2’s Superspy, Finn McMissile
- How to build a talking car ? Says 'Cars 2' Art Director Jay Shuster, it starts with Google.
- Cars 2: What Kind of Car is Finn McMissile?
- International Espionage in Cars 2
- Fun Facts on the Cars official website
- Michael Caine Interview CARS 2
- Behind The Scenes At Pixar: Talking With The Creators Of Cars 2
- Story Supervisor Nathan Stanton CARS 2 Exclusive Interview
- Disney UK - Cars 2 - Finn McMissile
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