Hot Wheels: The First Movie is a 1999 Canadian-American computer-animated action-adventure science fiction fantasy film based on Hot Wheels toy cars and video games by Mattel. Directed by Andrew Duncan, Dick Zondag and Steve Ball, it is Vancouver-based production company Mainframe Entertainment 's first full length feature film. The film featured the voices of Tobey Maguire, Tom Kenny, Angelina Jolie, Dave Franco, Matthew Lillard, Christian Bale, Ali Larter, Lorenzo Music, Scott Caan, Jon Voight and Tony Jay.
The plot centres on a young racer named Jack "Rabbit" Wheeler who has been recruited to take part in the World Realm Grand Prix, a racing tournament. But, it later turns to saving the world from an invasion of evil robot drivers called the Racing Drones, led by Cortana.
Production began in early 1996 after being inspired by the successful release of the first ever computer animated film, Toy Story (1995). At the time of the 1990s, Mainframe was a Canadian animation company that made the famous CGI animated series; ReBoot, and Beast Wars: Transformers.
Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, Hot Wheels: The First Movie was released on November 17, 1999. The film received positive acclaim from both critics and audiences, and was a box office hit, grossing over US$274.2 million worldwide. It is widely regarded as one of the best animated films of the 1990s. The film won the MTV Movie Award for Best feature Film in 2000.
The film served as an inspiration for The Fast and The Furious film franchise.
In 1991, a group of scientists develop an alternate power source, opening new worlds featuring unique race tracks called the Racing Realms, which can only be accessed by the Wheel of Power. However, the scientists are betrayed by Cortana and are killed in the process. She then takes control of the Racing Drones, a race a dangerous robot drivers. Doc Warren finds a prophesy, showing that a person called "the Speed" will stop Cortana and the Racing Drones.
Twelve years later, Jack "Rabbit" Wheeler, a young and hot head, but caring 17 year old skateboarder moves to Los Angeles, California with his divorced mother and starts a new year at his new school. On his first day at school, Rabbit meets Dexter Carter and Kip Chogi and their other friends Finn Huston, and and they become unlikely friends, but get into trouble with the school bullies as well.
One day, after Rabbit passes his driving exam, he arrives at work to find a Deora II parked inside the store (literally). He then receives a video message telling him he has been invited to take part in the World Realm Grand Prix: a contest between seasoned professionals and talented drivers. He accepts. Driving to a secret location in the Californian desert, the drivers are informed of the race along an inter-dimensional racetrack called "Highway 68″ in inter-dimensional worlds called the "Racing Realms", created by extraterrestrial beings called Accelerons. At the end of each track, each Realm contains two sets of magical keys called, "Accele-keys". At the end of the race is the Wheel of Power. To enter the Highway, each driver must be doing 300 mph, with the help a flying launch starter, at specific points around the world. During the start, Rabbit immediately starts a rivalry with Winnie the Pooh, leader of the Scorchers team; and Ciara Keyes, a driver of another Wave Riders car like Rabbit’s.
During the first leg, the drivers are given a test of the type of track Highway 68 is, and the abilities of their cars. One such stunt is a mile-high loop followed by a jump over a lava river. Further on, in a volcano, a mysterious black racer named Z-50-9, detonates a rigged bottle of Nitrox2 (an enhanced Nitrous system) which causes lava to flow over the road. Rabbit and Little Bear make it through, but Lani gets caught in the flow and is forced to jump onto a nearby boulder. Winnie the Pooh immediately drives back to help her, eventually followed by Rabbit. All drivers finish the leg last, with the leader of the Street Breed team, Brian Wylde (the head bully from Rabbit's school), and the leader of the Ice Breakers, Garfield, being victorious.
Before the second leg, each leader must make up seven teams of seven: the Wave Riders, Street Breeds, Ice Breakers, Tech Speeds, Dune Pokez, Road Beasts, and Scorchers. Rabbit recruits Dexter and Kip, and Brian's little brother Paulie, after watching him joyride in Brian’s car. During the next leg, a city that resembles Paris, France, the leader of the Tech Speeds, Sonic the Hedgehog, discovers a possible shortcut through a small town. The Wave Riders, curious of the Tech Speeds’ decision, follow suit. Things seem to go well for the Tech Speeds until they come across a large wheel obstacle, which they’ll need to cross. Whilst crossing it with the Wave Riders, Z-50-9 had a slingshot weapon ready to fire at the wheel, but hesitates after seeing Paulie race towards it. After clipping the wheels as he crosses, which causes one of his Nitrox to detact and deonate, the wheels speeds up forcing Rabbit and Sonic to jump at speed. Meanwhile, both Winnie the Pooh and the leader of the Dune Pokez, Pikachu, reach the portal first, causing a second tie.
During the third leg, a mountainous stage, the leader of the Road Beasts, Little Bear, spots a disc on top of a tree. On the disc, he collects info about a powerful object called the Wheels of Power, which will be found at the end of the race.
In the fourth leg, in a desert, Pikachu discovers ancient hiragrams showing her the full history of the Accelerons and that they build the Racing Drones 100 years ago. Z-50-9 attacks. After a minor scuffle, Z-50-9′s helmet is knocked off and he’s revealed to be Brian Wylde. Revealing to Rabbit, she had hoped that he would win the race so she would use the prize money to aid her war-torn people in Africa. Meanwhile, as Brian scarpers from the race, he is found by his employers CLYP, led by Evil Cop, Cortana's lieutenant.
As the drivers are about to start the fifth leg of the race, Brian, with several CLYP racers, make a break for the portal, enticing the other racers to follow. Throughout the ice leg, the CLYP racers try and sabotage the race by blocking the track and dropping mines. When Paulie, who was leading detonates a mine which sees himself unconscious naging over a cliff, Brian betrays the CLYP drivers, revealed to be drones, to help Paulie. However, he continues to race Paulie, then Rabbit, to retrieve the Wheel of Power for Cortana. He is defeated by Rabbit, who contunies out of the ice and into a mysterious city, with the Wheel of Power perched on top of a spire in the city’s center. Rabbit and the Wave Riders are named the winners and are awarded $5 million prize money.
However, wanting to race on Highway 68 again, storm into the Professor’s lab where the Professor had been researching the Wheel. After the Wheel’s powers short-circuits the facility’s power, the Professor admits the Wheel is too powerful and ask the racers to return it. Meanwhile, Cortana and her drones surround the facility demanding the wheel. The racers managed to subdue the drones, even bringing Cortana’s chopper down as well, revealing she is a robot as well.
Racing into the Metro Realm, the racers, including a defecting Brian after realizing what Cortana was, race the Drones. The Drones bring the city to life by causing a power rift to make any machine or electrical appliance come to life. However, the plain backfires and Rabbit and Cortana race head-to-head to the end. As they reach the gate to the world of the Accelerons, Rabbit stops Cortana by hitting her car. Cortana, enraged, attacks Rabbit, but he is saved by Accelerons. The Accelerons return the Wheel of Power to Hot Wheels City and everyone returns home. Rabbit and Keyes become a couple and Garfield and Friends play some movie ending pop music.
- 1. Tobey Maguire as Jack "Rabbit" Wheeler.
- 2. Matthew Lillard as Dexter Carter
- 3. Christian Bale as Kip Chogi
- 4. Mariah Milano as Ciara Keyes
- 5. Scott Caan as Finn Huston
- 6. Vin Diesel as James Lester
- 7. Zac Efron as Paul "Paulie" Wylde
- 8. Dave Franco as Brian Wylde
- 9. James Marsden as Mark Tristen
- 10. Eliel Swinton as Sam Dono
- 11. Jamie Red-Sands
- 12. Wendall Bern
- 13. Darcy Lance
- 14. Grisham Naomi
- 15. Lorenzo Music as Garfield
- 16. Greg Berger as Odie
- 17. Thom Huge as Jon Arbuckle
- 18. Nermal
- 19. Charlie Brown
- 20. Snoopy
- 21. Lucy van Pelt
- 22. Ryan Drummond as Sonic the Hedgehog
- 23. Corey Bringas as Miles Tails Prower
- 24. Michael McGaharn as Knuckles the Echidna
- 25. Amy Rose
- 26. Big the Cat
- 27. E-102 Gamma
- 28. Inspector Gadget
- 29. Ali Larter as Pikachu
- 30. Michael Benyaer as Meowth
- 31. Charmander
- 32. Pete Dickson as Pichu
- 33. Alexander Gould as Squtrle
- 34. Ron Dickson as Babasaur
- 35. Eevee
- 36. Kristin Fairlie as Little Bear
- 37. Grace Park as Emily
- 38. Chris O'Donnell as Cat
- 39. LL Cool J as Owl
- 40. Elizabeth Hanna as Hen
- 41. Tracy Ryan as Duck
- 42. Tutu
- 43. Matt Dillon as Winnie the Pooh
- 44. Piglet
- 45. Tigger
- 46. Rabbit
- 47. Kanga
- 48. Woody
- 49. Buzz
- Tom Kenny as Professor
- Ron Lester as Doc Warren
- Angelina Jolie as Cortana.
- Jon Voight as Mr. Bret K. Magnet
- Tony Jay as Kurus Thrain
Hot Wheels: The First Movie was originally conceived in late 1995 by ReBoot series creators Gavin Blair, Ian Pearson, Phil Mitchell, John Grace and directors Dick Zondag and Steve Ball after attending a Auto Show convention in Halifax, Ontario, Canada. After finishing the ReBoot episode "To Mend and Defend", Zondag, Ball, and the Berenstains returned their attention a project based on Hot Wheels. Mainframe went to Warner Bros. Pictures to meet up with then former Warner Bros. president Lorenzo di Bonaventura to pitch their idea for an animated film based on Hot Wheels. At first di Bonaventura wasn't into the project, but then later changed his mind after watching Mainframe's series, ReBoot. Warner Bros. Pictures purchased the rights for a film adaptation based on Hot Wheels from Mattel in March 1997, allowing Mainframe to star work immediately.
Having been inspired by the success of Toy Story, the crew visited Pixar in Emeryville, California, where they met Pixar CEO John Lasseter, the director of Toy Story. While visiting Pixar, Lasseter gave the crew a lesson on how to make good computer animation by feeling the need and courage.
|“||"No matter how hard you face with new challenges, you start to feel like you really belong here. And that you finally make your dreams a reality."||„|
|~ John Lasseter|
Inspired, the team set out to make their first ever full length feature film. Andrew Duncan, Dick Zondag and Steve Ball became the film's top three directors.
Also having been inspired by Toy Story being made for children, the directors and producers wanted to hire professional screenwriters that would make the film for children. Rocko's Modern Life creator Joe Murray was hired by Mainframe to help write the storyline. ReBoot writers Joe Fallon and Kathy Waugh came on board for the project.
The character, Jack "Rabbit" Wheeler, was written to be the film's main protagonist. Murray said that "casting a character from the original Hot Wheels series, would please fans of the classic". Scooby-Doo & Mystery Inc. were originally suppose to be a team in the film, but due to limitation to 3-D animation at the time, they were cut from the film.
Voice casting started in January 1998. Mainframe Entertainment CEO Ian Pearson wanted to have some voices from famous actors heard in the film, for people to recognize. During casting, child actor Pete Dickson, at age 3, auditioned for the film as he was a Hot Wheels fan back then. The crew were impressed by Dickson's youth acting, they cast him as Pichu. Later on, Matthew Lillard and Christian Bale were cast as Dexter Carter and Kip Chogi, respectively.
In March 1999, Tobey Maguire was given the lead as Jack "Rabbit" Wheeler In February. Tom Cruise was originally consisted for the role of Rabbit, but the directors felt he wasn't right for it. Lorenzo Music reprised his role as Garfield from the 1980s series Garfield and Friends along with Greg Berger and Thom Huge, respectively.
The Canadian actors had to recorded their lines from Canada while the American actors recorded theirs from the United States.
The film began with animated storyboards to guide the animators in developing the characters. 27 to 38 animators worked on the film, using 400 computer models to animate the characters.
Similar to Toy Story 's production; recruiting animators for Hot Wheels was brisk; the magnet for talent was not the pay, generally mediocre, but rather the allure of taking part in the first computer-animated feature. Like on how Toy Story created it's characters, each character was either created out of clay or was first modeled off of a computer-drawn diagram before reaching the computer animated design. Once the animators had a model, articulation and motion controls were coded; this would allow each character to move in a variety of ways, such as talking, walking, or jumping. The animators used the Menv program to set the character into a desired pose. Once a sequence of hand-built poses, or "keyframes", was created, the software would build the poses from the frames in-between.
Every shot in the film passed through the hands of eight different teams. The art department gave a shot its color scheme and general lighting. To sync the characters' mouths and facial expressions to the actors' voices, animators spent a week per 8 seconds of animation. During post-production, the film was sent to Skywalker Sound, where the sound effects were mixed with the music score.
On September 1, 1999, a controversy with both Hot Wheels and Pokémon fans rose concerning the film's title. When it was announced on February 28, 1999 that the film would be titled Hot Wheels: The First Movie, there was criticism that it's title sounded a lot like Pokémon: The First Movie. Director Zondag released a statement that the reason for the title was because the team felt that Pokemon and Hot Wheels would be more connected to each other as they were both being released in the same month.
Similar to Pokémon: The First Movie 's marketing campaign, for the film's theatrical release, select theaters would give away exclusive Hot Wheels toy cars based on the ones from the film, to capitalize on the success of the toy cars.
The film was released in both Canada and the United States November 17, 1999 and went international on November 18. The original release date was November 19, but was later moved up to November 17 on September 12, 1999.
Hot Wheels: The First Movie grossed $14,097,106 on it's Wednesday opening day, debuting at number one on the U.S. box office charts. The film achieved $35,053,778 during its first weekend and went on to generate a total of $54,901,882 since its Wednesday launch in 3,054 theaters, averaging to about $14,199 per venue over the three-day span, breaking the record previously held by Pokémon: The First Movie. It also held the record for being the animated feature with the highest-grossing weekend, which would later be broken by Toy Story 2 the next week. Although it dropped to #3 on it's second weekend to $13,971,445, the film came out with $67,386,173 within 11 days.
It closed from theaters on February 27, 2000, with $100,112,786 in North America, and $174,101,000 in other territories for a worldwide total of $274,213,786 making it the second highest-grossing computer animated film of 1999 and the fourth highest-grossing animated film of 1999. It was also the highest-grossing film based on a toy line until 2007's Transformers.
Home video release
The film was released on VHS and DVD on March 25, 2000. A DVD Extended Cut titled, "Extended Play Time Cut", was released on March 28. During it's first week on home video, the film sold over 3.1 million DVD copies. Hot Wheels topped the weekend video sales charts for more than two weeks. In audition, the first week of release VHS rentals totaled $5.1 million.
The film was released on Blu-ray with The Iron Giant, Pokémon: The First Movie, and Shadow the Hedgehog as a double feature on November 30, 2009.
Hot Wheels: The First Movie received critical acclaim from both critics and audiences upon its release. The review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reported a 97% approval rating with an average rating of 8.1/10 based on 153 reviews. The consensus reads: "Burn rubber, fast. Hot Wheels lands in it's first full length feature film". On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 85 out of 100 based on 25 reviews, meaning "generally favorable reviews". In addition to its response from film critics, CinemaScore reported that audiences gave the film an "A" grade. The Reel Source forecasting service calculated that "96–97%" of audiences that attended recommended the film. As of 2015, Rotten Tomatoes ranks it the fourth most-acclaimed animated film made in the 1990s.
The Advertiser 's Sean Fewster found the visual effects so adorable yet tempting to take on the hardest challenge in a Canadian-American film. Empire 's Ian Nathan praised Tobey Maguire's performance saying "No tomboy would go through such a risk like Rabbit with Maguire behind the voice". Lorenzo Music, Greg Berger and Thom Huges' reprisals as Garfield, Odie and Jon Arbuckle from the 1980s was well recieved by Garfield and Friends fans.
|Award||Date of ceremony||Category||Result||Recipient|
|Annie Awards||November 6, 1999||Best Animated Feature Film||Nominated|| Dick Zondag, Steve Ball, Gavin Blair, Ian Pearson, Phil Mitchell and John Grace|
Warner Bros. Pictures
|Outstanding Individual Achievement in Effects Animation||Allen Foster and Michael Gagné|
|Outstanding Individual Achievement in Character Animation||Jim Van der Keyl and Steve Markowski|
|Outstanding Individual Achievement for Directing in an Animated Feature Production|
|Outstanding Individual Achievement for Music in an Animated Feature Production|| Harry Gregson-Williams|
|Outstanding Individual Achievement for Production Design in an Animated Feature Production||Won|
|Outstanding Individual Achievement in Storyboarding in an Animated Feature Production||Mark Andrews|
|BAFTA Awards||April 9, 2000||Best Film Music||Hot Wheels: The First Movie|
|Best Visual Effects|
|Blockbuster Entertainment Awards||May 9 2000||Favorite Family Film|
|MTV Movie Awards||June 3, 2000||Best Comedic Performance||Scott Caan|
|Best Feature Film||Won||Hot Wheels: The First Movie|
|Santa Fe Film Critics Circle Awards||January 9, 2000||Best Animated Film||Nominated|
|Saturn Awards||June 6, 2000||Best Home Video Release|
|Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America||May 20, 2000||Best Script|| Joe Murray|
|Teen Choice Awards||August, 6 2000||Choice Movie Actor: Action Adventure||Tobey Maguire|
|Choice Movie Actress: Action Adventure||Mariah Milano|
Hot Wheels: The First Movie Music From and Inspired by the Motion Picture
|Hot Wheels: The First Movie Music From and Inspired by the Motion Picture|
|Released||November 17, 1999|
Hot Wheels: The First Movie Music From and Inspired by the Motion Picture is the film's soundtrack. It was released on November 17, 1999, on Compact Disc and Compact Cassette. The CD contains extra features, such as Hot Wheels videos and a screensaver.
|1.||"All Star"||Smash Mouth||3:20|
|2.||"Take Me There"||Blackstreet, Mýa, Mase & Blinky Blink||4:04|
|3.||"Billie Jean"||Michael Jackson||4:54|
|4.||"What a Girl Wants"||Christina Aguilera||3:53|
|5.||"I'll Be Your Everything"||Youngstown||3:37|
|6.||"...Baby One More Time"||Britney Spears||3:30|
|7.||"Step by Step"||New Kids on the Block||4:29|
|9.||"Everybody (Backstreet's Back)"||Backstreet Boys||4:48|
|11.||"Music of My Heart"||NSYNC ft. Gloria Estefan||4:31|
|12.||"Men in Black"||Will Smith||3:48|
- 1<span id="endnote_1" />^ These tracks were featured in the actual film.
- 2<span id="endnote_2" />^ These tracks were featured in the end credits.
|Australian Albums Chart||9|
|Austrian Albums Chart||8|
|French Albums Chart||2|
|Canadian Albums Chart||1|
|Finnish Albums Chart||17|
|New Zealand Albums Chart||18|
|Swedish Albums Chart||14|
|Swiss Albums Chart||13|
|U.S. Billboard 200||1|
|U.S. Billboard Top Internet Albums||3|
|Australia (ARIA)||2× Platinum||140,000^|
|Canada (Music Canada)||2× Platinum||2,200,000^|
|United Kingdom (BPI)||Platinum||1,100,000^|
|United States (RIAA)||2× Platinum||2,000,000^|
|^shipments figures based on certification alone|
Hot Wheels: The First Movie Original Motion Picture Score
|Hot Wheels: The First Movie Original Motion Picture Score|
|Released||May 9, 2000|
Alongside the film's soundtrack, the orchestral score from the movie was also released on the CD Hot Wheels: The First Movie Original Motion Picture Score. The score was composed by Harry Gregson-Williams and Robert Buckley. Buckely has composed for three of Mainframe's animated series; ReBoot, Beast Wars: Transformers, and War Planets: Shadow Raiders.
In 2003, Hot Wheels celebrated its 35th anniversary with a full-length computer animated Hot Wheels movie called Hot Wheels: highway 35 - World Race, a feature-length made-for-TV movie. The film was distributed on DVD by Family Home Entertainment and distributed on TV by Warner Bros. Television. It premiered on Cartoon Network on July 12, 2003 and was released on VHS and DVD on December 2, 2003. The movie tied into the Highway 35 line of cars that featured 35 classic Hot Wheels cars with special graphics and co-molded wheels. Another celebrating moment in the 35th anniversary was the creation of a full-sized model of the Hot Wheels Highway 35 World Race Deora II shown at the Hot Wheels Hall of Fame event at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles, California.
Also in commemoration of Hot Wheels' 35th anniversary, recording artist and Hot Wheels supporter Rick Tippe was commissioned by Mattel to write a song about Hot Wheels. CD singles featuring the song were given out in grab bags at the 35th Anniversary Convention in California.
Also, the continuation of the movie Hot Wheels Highway 35 World Race called Hot Wheels AcceleRacers was created, taking place two years after Vert Wheeler won the World Race. It is featured in four movies and many short segments where the drivers (old ones, gangs, like Teku, Metal Maniacs, the evil Racing Drones, and the stealthy Silencerz). All of the shorts and previews of the movies were placed on a temporary website that was deleted shortly after the last movie.
On January 30, 2003, Columbia Pictures announced they had gained exclusive rights to developing a feature film based on the toy line Hot Wheels with McG attached to direct. Although unwritten, the premise involved a young man "trying to reconcile with his father. It's a kid who steals his dad's racecar and ends up going through a sort of Back to the Future portal into this world, and he has to reconcile his relationship with his father." In 2006, McG said that he dropped out as director and chose to produce instead. In 2009, with no recent developments, the film was put into turnaround, and the rights were handed over to Warner Bros. Joel Silver is now producing with Matt Nix writing the script. The movie will be produced by Columbia Pictures, Flying Glass of Milk Films and Silver Pictures, under license to Mattel. On June 17, 2011, it been announced that Legendary Pictures is developing a movie based on Hot Wheels due to success of Fast Five by developing an edgier film. On July 10, 2013, Simon Crane and Juan Carlos Fresnadillo are named as the frontrunners to direct the film, Art Marcum and Matt Holloway will be writing the film as which is intended to be more Mission: Impossible than Fast & Furious. On September 28, 2016, Justin Lin signed on to direct the film, which will be produced through his production company Perfect Storm Entertainment.
[after Professor divulges that the winner of the World Grand Prix will receive $5 million]
- Rabbit: Way cool! [to Winnie the Pooh] What would you do if you had that kind of money?
- Sonic the Hedgehog: Give me some room, Brian! You're NOT winning this race!
- Brian Wylde: With my eyes closed, Sonic!
- Winnie the Pooh: This time, NO tie.
- Pikachu: No tie indeed! When I win.
- Sonic the Hedgehog: Pooh, bad news: I'm gonna pass *YOU*!
- Winnie the Pooh: Not today!
- Mark Tristen: You should've stayed with Street Breed, Bri! You could've had 5 million dollars!
- Brian Wylde: Talk is cheap, Tristen!
- ↑ Hot Wheels: The First Movie. Retrieved on 2015 December 18.
- ↑ australian-charts.com - Soundtrack - Pokémon - The First Movie, australian-charts.com
- ↑ Soundtrack - Pokémon - The First Movie, austriancharts.at
- ↑ Soundtrack - Pokémon - The First Movie, lescharts.com
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 [[[:Template:Allmusic]] Pokémon: The First Movie > Charts & Awards > Billboard Albums], allmusic
- ↑ Soundtrack - Pokémon - The First Movie, finnishcharts.com
- ↑ Soundtrack - Pokémon - The First Movie, charts.org.nz
- ↑ Soundtrack - Pokémon - The First Movie, swedishcharts.com
- ↑ Soundtrack - Pokémon - The First Movie, hitparade.ch
- ↑ KJB (2003-01-30). McG to Direct Hot Wheels Movie. IGN. Retrieved on 2009 January 31.
- ↑ Edward Douglas (2006-12-18). Exclusive: We Are Marshall Director McG!. Comingsoon.net. Retrieved on 2009 January 31.
- ↑ Hot Wheels, Barbie, He-Man in Development. WorstPreviews.com (2009-01-03). Retrieved on 2009 January 31.
- ↑ http://screenrant.com/hot-wheels-movie-fast-and-furious-five-schrad-120021/
- ↑ 'Hot Wheels' Director Search Nearing Finish Line (Exclusive)
- ↑ Patrick Hipes (2016-09-28). Justin Lin Picked To Steer 'Hot Wheels'. Deadline.com. Retrieved on 2016 September 28.
- ↑ Kit, Borys (September 28, 2016). 'Star Trek Beyond' Director Justin Lin Tackling 'Hot Wheels' for Legendary (Exclusive). The Hollywood Reporter.