|Performer:|| Larry the Cable Guy (films, Mater and the Ghostlight, Cars Toons)|
Bud Luckey (Cars version of Boundin')
|Appeared in:|| Cars|
Mater and the Ghostlight
Cars Toons (except Bugged)
- Mater: "My name's Mater!"
Lightning McQueen: "Mater?"
Mater: "Yeah, like "tuh-mater", but without the tuh!"
- —Mater introduces himself to Lightning McQueen
Sir Tow Mater, better known as simply Tow Mater or Mater, is the tritagonist in Cars and the protagonist in Cars 2. He also appears in his very own short series Cars Toons: Mater's Tall Tales as the protagonist. His model is a 1955 Chevrolet Tow Truck. His best friend is Lightning McQueen. Mater also likes to go Tractor Tippin' at night, as it's his favorite hobby. Mater's catchphrases are: "Dad gum!" and "Git-R-Done!" (his voice actor, Larry the Cable Guy's signature phrase).
"Mater's lived in Radiator Springs his whole life. In his younger days, he used to be a real handful around town, playing pranks on everyone, tippin' tractors, saying inappropriate things at the wrong time, but luckily he's matured a lot since then."
"Mater's a good ol' boy with a big heart and the only tow truck in Radiator Springs. He runs Tow Mater Towing & Salvage and manages the local impound lot. Though a little rusty, he has the quickest towrope in Carburetor County and is always the first to lend a helping hand. Mater sees the bright side of any situation. He's the heart and soul of Radiator Springs, and he doesn't have a mean bolt in his chassis."
"Keep an eye on Mater, he tends to take things a little too literally."
Mater is a friendly tow truck with buckteeth. He speaks with a thick Southern accent with a dash of hillbilly twang and frequently uses incorrect syntax.
Mater runs Tow Mater Towing & Salvage. Mater is one of the first to befriend and support Lightning throughout his adventure in Radiator Springs. During the film, Mater shows Lightning how to do Tractor Tippin' and how to drive backwards without crashing by using rearview mirrors, which Lightning uses to counter Chick Hicks' dirty racing in the Piston Cup race. In the end, Lightning gives Mater an opportunity to fly in a Dinoco helicopter like he always wanted, saying to Sally that Mater is his new best friend.
Mater is also capable of racing, as well as being the (self-proclaimed) world's best backwards driver. He attributes his skill to his rear-view mirrors and his own philosophy: "Don't need to know where I'm going, just need to know where I've been."
Mater and the Ghostlight
One night, Mater plays a series of scary pranks on his friends until a blue light begins to haunt him. Mater's final prank is his most successful: Lightning sees a tow hook hanging from behind a stack of cans and, assuming that Mater is hiding behind it, approaches to foil the prank. Mater then jumps off of the roof of Flo's café, screaming behind Lightning, who then is startled and knocks over the pile of cans, revealing that the hook was actually from the sign of Mater's place of business, thus a decoy. Everyone starts to laugh at Lightning for falling for such a trick, and Mater says that Lightning looks like he's seen "the Ghostlight".
Sheriff tells Mater not to mock the Ghostlight, a character of urban legend amongst the cars. The Ghostlight is a glowing orb of blue, translucent light that haunts Radiator Springs, and hates nothing more than the sound of clanking metal -- a sound frequently made by Mater's rickety shell. Sheriff continues to tell the story of a young couple lost in the area, whose only remains were "two out-of-state license plates". He then concludes with an overly cheerful "Well, g'night!". The population of Radiator Springs then leaves within seconds, leaving a very nervous Mater all by himself in the dark.
As he reaches his garage, he is frightened by what he thought was a monster, but just a couple of junk put together. He then loses his only headlight as he enters his garage. He is then frightened by a "lightning bug" (a tiny flying Volkswagen Beetle with bright headlights). As he relaxes, a bright blue glow suddenly appears behind Mater and he goes into a blind panic, driving around in a frenzy, first going along the main road, then going through the tractor field (past Frank), then around Willy's Butte, and doing a lock-strafe move after that, until he is exhausted. However, the Ghostlight was revealed to be a glowing blue lantern to Mater's towing cable hung up by Lightning and Guido.
The short ends with Mater finally collapsing on the road with the rest of the folks surrounding him, revealing the joke to him as retribution for the pranks he did to them. The credits roll and after them, there is a closing shot where the frightened Mater finds he has a huge construction vehicle behind him, snarling and carrying the license plate "Banshee." However, Mater doesn't realize who it is and warns it of the Screamin' Banshee before driving off, bidding the Banshee good night.
Cars Toons: Mater's Tall Tales
Mater is now the protagonist in his own TV series. Each tale begins with Mater telling a story of something he has done in the past (such as him once being a firefighter, a drift racer, a rockstar, an astronaut, etc.).
In the story, Mater finds himself in an inescapable predicament.
When Lightning questions Mater over whether the events in the story actually occurred, Mater responds, "Don't you remember? You was there, too!", and continues the story including Lightning's sudden participation.
The cartoons end with Mater leaving the scene, often followed by characters or references to the story that was being told, putting up a possibility that the story might be real.
Mater returns as the protagonist.
In the now popular tourist destination of Radiator Springs, the rusty old tow truck Mater has a number of roles, including proprietor of Tow Mater Towing and Salvage, grand storyteller and the heart and soul of the town. But Mater’s favorite title is best friend to Lightning McQueen. Mater values each and every dent he’s earned on his escapades with Lightning over the years, and anxiously awaits further fun with his friend when Lightning returns with his latest Piston Cup.
Cheerful, honest and loyal to a fault, Mater rushes to his best friend’s defense, which ultimately lands the off-duty Lightning in an international racing exhibition: the World Grand Prix. When Lightning invites Mater to come along as a member of his pit crew, Mater leaves Carburetor County for the first time ever.Not long after their arrival in Tokyo, Mater learns that the world outside of Radiator Springs is decidedly different and its newfangled ways may take some getting used to. But when he’s mistaken for an American secret agent after returning from a bathroom due to an "oil leak incident" (actually Miles Axlerod's doing), he falls into an intriguing adventure of his own. Caught between supporting his best friend on a globe-trotting racing competition and his new role in international espionage, Mater ends up in an explosive chase through the streets of Tokyo and Europe alongside a team of British spies and international bad guys. During his mission as a spy, Mater is first blamed by McQueen for "accidentally" messing up the racecar's moves and causing him to lose the first race, Mater is immediately found by Finn McMissile and Holley Shiftwell at Tokyo airport where they then make a dash toward the spy jet Siddeley while escaping some Lemons who were pursuing them. Mater is then flown to Paris where Finn and Holley tell him about the mysterious Lemon "big boss" who was behind the Lemons' evil plot of the exploding racecars, and that he has to infiltrate the next Lemon meeting, which will be held in Porto Corsa, Italy, which is also where the second race will take place. While taking Stephenson to Italy, Finn and Holley install a holographic cloaking device onto Mater's roof light and has him disguise himself as a Lemon tow truck named Ivan, and upon arrival, Mater, now disguised is sent into the casino where the Lemon meeting is held. Unfortunately, during the meeting Mater accidentally breaks his hologram disguise and allowing the Lemons to identify him, but the tow truck escapes with his parachute and rockets and flies off to warn McQueen about the Lemons' evil plot only to be captured and sent to London (the final race's setting) where he, along with Finn and Holley are all tied to the gears of Big Bentley to be crushed to death. Mater then tells Grem and Acer, two of the Lemons inside the clock tower to let him go after hearing that they have installed a bomb in Lightning McQueen's pit that will kill McQueen upon his arrival (due to their EMP cannon being disabled as a result of Sarge switching the Allinol with Fillmore's fuel) so that he can warn McQueen about the bomb, but upon arriving at McQueen's pit he then realized that the Lemons tricked him, and that the bomb in question was instead inside Mater! Mater then tows McQueen away from the racetrack to save his life, and after a fight between Finn, Holley, the Radiator Springs townsfolk and the Lemons, Mater realizes that the bomb is down to only a few minutes and is actually voice activated and can only be deactivated by the Lemon Big Boss himself. Mater then returns to the finish line where he notices Miles Axlerod in the grandstand in front of Buckingham Palace and tells everyone that Axlerod is the head Lemon and was behind the evil plot of the exploding cars in the first place, as well as leaking the oil puddle back in Tokyo. With his bomb only down to the last ten seconds, Axlerod, realizing that his villainy has been exposed, is immediately forced to deactivate the bomb and is then arrested on the spot. Just right as the police is about to take Axlerod away, Mater opens the Lemon's hood revealing the exact same engine as seen in Holley's photos.
Just before the end of the film, The Queen knights Mater for his bravery. Upon returning to the US, Mater returns all of his gadgets to Finn and Holley, but decides to keep his rockets.
Mater is a friendly, loyal, silly, dim-witted, and goofy tow truck, but he also has a vast knowledge of all car parts considering his job of towing and salvaging, which proves to be useful in exposing Miles Axlerod as the one behind the conspiracy to sabotage the World Grand Prix.
- Zero to 60: 10 seconds
- Engine: V-8 with two-barrel carburetor
- Horsepower: 200
- Top speed: 90 mph
Weaponry and Gadgets
In Cars 2, since Mater plays a role in a spy affair, he is added several gadgets, however not as spectacular as those of Finn McMissile or Holley Shiftwell. Since Mater is not familiar with his gadgets, they are activated by voice commands.
- Deployable Gatling guns: One on each side. Deployed when Mater uses his catchphrase "Dad-gum."
- Twin rockets: Give Mater a powerful boost, and can serve to direct himself when gliding.
- Deployable paraglider: Of an orange color, it permits Mater to glide in the air. When used with his rockets, this gadget permits Mater to direct himself more precisely.
- Deployable holographic disguise emitter: Disguised as the flashing light on the roof. The device instantaneously makes a disguise all around Mater, and may even simulate supplementary volume or hide some.
At the end of Cars 2, it appears Mater was removed of all his gadgets. However, he obtained the favor to keep his twin rockets.
- Mater's license plate is A113, a recurring joke in Pixar films.
- Mater, along with other countless versions of him, have been released in the Cars, Cars Toons and Cars 2 Die-Cast Lines.
- Mater and Ivan are the only characters in Cars 2 that are tow trucks.
- During the credits' roll of Cars 2, Mater's passport scrolls past. His birth date is listed on it. It turns out to be the same as John Lasseter’s: January 12, 1957.
- During the last section of the World Grand Prix, Mater is described as the World's greatest backwards driver.
- It is revealed in Time Travel Mater that he always cries at weddings.
- In the credits, it is shown that he is knighted on Tuesday, July 15, 2011. However, July 15, 2011, was not on Tuesday in real life, it was on Friday.
- In the subtitles for the audio commentary on Cars 2, John Lasseter describes Mater with "two miniguns" but the subtitles say "two many guns".
- Head of story and co-director Joe Ranft got the inspiration of Mater after seeing an old abandoned rusty tow truck during a research trip to Route 66. The character was named after and partly based on Douglas "Mater" Keever, a racing fan the Pixar team met during their research trips, and also draws inspiration from several other people the team encountered.
- In Spanish and Portuguese, he is called "Mate".
- In French, he is called "Martin".
- In Polish, Mater is called "Złomek" (z-wom-eh-k).
- In German, he is called "Hook".
- In Dutch, he is called "Takel".
- In Italian, he is called "Cricchetto".
- In Swedish, he is called "Bärgarn".
- In Japanese, he is called "メーター" (me-ta-).
- In Mandarin (Taiwan), he is called "拖線".
- In Mandarin (China), he is called "板牙".
- In Cantonese, he is called "哨牙嘜".
- In Danish, he is called "Bumle".
- "Dad gum!"
"I am happier than a tornado in a trailer park!"
"Fuh - un!"
"That's funny right there!"
- —Some of Mater's catchphrases.
- Mater: "What's your name?"
Lightning McQueen: "You don't know my name?"
Mater: "Uhh- No, I know your name. Is your name Mater too?"
- —Mater and Lightning McQueen introducing each other.
- Lightning: "I'm a precision instrument of speed and aerodynamics."
Mater: "You hurt your what?"
- —Mater and Lightning McQueen speaking to each other whilst McQueen fixes the road.
From Cars 2
- "Mater -Tow Mater, that's who -is here to help you!"
- —His first line in the sequel.
- "Whatever you do, do not eat the free pistachio ice cream! It has turned! (the word "turned" echoed)"
- —Mater after he drank from the fountain to cool down his mouth from the wasabi.
- "What's everybody on the wrong side of the road for?"
- —Mater driving in London.
- "Don't you remember? You was there too!"
- —Mater's famous line in Cars Toons.