Cars 2

Inciting Event: Mater and the others see the World Grand Prix race being announced by Sir Miles Axelrod on television. When Mater gets into it with Italian racecar Francisco Bernouli as a live caller into the show, Lightning accepts the challenge and agrees to race. As it turns out, this is in the Inciting Event of both the race and the central spy plot, which revolves around the race.

First Plot Point: While in Japan for the first leg of the race, Mater unwittingly becomes the carrier of a secret chip of data from an American spy. He meets British spies Finn McMissile and Holly Shiftwell—who both think Mater is the American spy. Mater enters his “adventure world” of secret agents.

First Pinch Point: The evil Pacer cars close in on Mater (they also think he’s a spy), and when Holly tries to get Mater to live the pit during the race, Mater fails in his job of crew chief. Lightning ends up losing because of Mater, and they have a falling out. Mater decides to go back home to Radiator Springs. Cars blow up as a part of the bad guys’ plans

Midpoint: In Paris, Mater, Finn, and Holly learn from an informant that all the lemon cars in the world are behind the blown gas tanks during the race. They also learn that the lemon dons are gathering for a bit sitdown in Italy—where the second leg of the race is taking place.

Second Pinch Point: More cars are destroyed in the second leg of the race, and an undercover Mater learns this is all happening in order to bolster the lemons’ monopoly on oil. Finn is captured trying to save Mater after he’s discovered.

Third Plot Point: Mater, Finn, and Holly are left to die in Big Bentley—in London, where the third leg of the race is taking place. The Pacers want Mater to watch while they blow up Lightning. This is also where Mater endures his personal low moment as he faces the fact that he’s perceived as a fool by others (the themes are a little murky here, since the essential message is “be yourself—and if others don’t like it, they’re the ones who need to change”—but that’s Lightning’s ultimate lesson more than Mater’s, especially Mater did need to learn that his oblivious actions were hurting his friends).

Climax: Mater escapes to warn Lightning—only to discover he’s had a bomb installed in his engine. He tries to run away from Lightning, but Lightning follows, wanting to make up.

Climactic Moment: Mater figures out that Sir Miles is the culprit, and he maneuvers Sir Miles into revealing himself and deactivating the bomb.

Resolution: Back home in Radiator Springs, Mater tells the story of his escapades. The town hosts the first-ever Radiator Springs Grand Prix.

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