The 2006 movie “Cars” served as one of the most notable animated films of its time. As a matter of fact, it was often hailed as one of the most important films for animation lovers because it featured a lot of new techniques that simply hadn’t been tried before. In addition, the movie also featured a number of songs that would go on to become fan favorites in their own right. Below is the soundtrack of all of the film’s songs, ranked from what most people consider their least favorite to the most popular. There’s also a YouTube link attached to each one so you can listen to the songs whenever you have a moment to do so and find out what all the buzz is about for yourself.
20. The Big Race (Randy Newman)
There are a number of instrumental songs on this particular soundtrack, all of them put together by Randy Newman. In this particular number, all of the instruments are used to give the listener a feeling of being both excited and a little bit on edge, just as you would probably feel if you were about to compete in one of the biggest events of your life.
19. Pre-Race Pageantry (Randy Newman)
As you might imagine, this particular instrumental song is a bit more relaxed, even more refined. It’s all about the pomp and circumstance that frequently goes on before some type of major organized event. The music is designed to get your attention and hold it in much the same way as attending one of these types of events would make you feel.
18. Cars: McQueen & Sally (Randy Newman)
This is a song that is designed to express the relationship between two of the major characters in the film. As such, it has elements of both strong and soft notes. These elements are designed to express the strong feelings that people often develop for one another when they form a particular bond, but also the softness that is involved with these types of relationships as well.
17. New Road (Randy Newman)
Every person has experienced at least a few situations where they were embarking on something that was new, something completely unfamiliar to them. This is a situation that typically evokes a very unique feeling in a person. It’s the same situation here in the film and the music is used to evoke the same types of emotions in the person who is listening.
16. Bessie (Randy Newman)
If you’ve seen the film, then you will remember that Bessie is the much-beloved road grader. There’s a very unique personality that is demonstrated with this particular character and the music has to suit that personality. As a result, this is more or less a theme song that is dedicated to those particular types of qualities that are expressed by the character in the film.
15. McQueen’s Lost (Randy Newman)
Imagine how you would feel if someone that you absolutely adore was lost and you had no idea where to find them. There is an element of fear, one of urgency and one of utter despair. All of these qualities are reflected in this instrumental piece, even to the point of making the listener feel those emotions whether they’re watching the film or not.
14. Find Yourself (Brad Paisley)
As you can tell from the title, this is a song about finding oneself and more importantly, being truthful to oneself. It’s also one of the relatively few songs with vocals, this time being performed by country singer Brad Paisley.
13. Sh-Boom (The Chords)
The film utilizes a couple of different songs that have been around for a number of years in order to fit the mood of the story. In this case, they’re using a song that was extremely popular back in the 1950s, one that is lively and carries a heavy beat which perfectly fits the spirit of the film.
12. Behind the Clouds (Brad Paisley)
When you stop and think about the fact that everybody faces difficulties, or clouds in their life, you understand how important it is to learn how to look behind those clouds in order to find the things that really matter. The lyrics in this song talk about that very thing, making it one of the more inspirational songs in the film. However, there’s also a certain level of melancholy involved, something that typically matches the feelings that someone might have when they’re being forced to look for that silver lining.
11. (Get Your Kicks on) Route 66 (Chuck Berry)
This is another one of the older songs on the soundtrack. It’s also the only song that is actually featured twice on the soundtrack, albeit by two different artists. As far as the song itself is concerned, it’s an upbeat and fast-paced song that fits the film perfectly, especially when you consider the fact that both the song and the film are about the same Route 66.
10. The Piston Cup (Randy Newman)
Here you have another instrumental song about the thing that everybody in the film has come together four, the race. Races are inherently intense, so that is the type of music that you hear when you listen to this particular song.
9. Goodbye (Randy Newman)
Nobody likes the idea of a long goodbye. This is especially true when you’re saying goodbye to someone that you’re very fond of. As you might have already guessed, this is a sad, slow-moving song that reflects those types of emotions. If you listen to it on a day when you’re already a bit emotional, you might find yourself reaching for a tissue.
8. Tractor Tipping (Randy Newman)
This song is designed to be a bit on the cheeky side. Most people that live in areas where cattle are very popular have heard of something called cow tipping. In this particular case, you’re seeing the same thing, only it’s being done with animated tractors. It’s meant to be funny and to be told in a tongue-in-cheek manner, something that this music reflects.
7. Dirt Is Different (Randy Newman)
This is another one of the more light-hearted instrumental songs in the film. Since it’s an instrumental song, you can more or less fit it into basically any context that you choose. In the context of the film, it’s all about finding your happy place and then not letting anyone take that away from you.
6. My Heart Would Know (Hank Williams)
This is another older song with vocals that is featured in the film. The song is sung by the late Hank Williams and the lyrics to the song tell the story of knowing when something just isn’t quite right. At the end of the day, these lyrics speak of allowing your heart to guide you instead of overthinking everything.
5. Opening Race (Randy Newman)
Here’s another instrumental song that centers around the big race. As you might have noticed by now, there are a few of these songs in the film. That’s largely because the entire film builds up to this event so there has to be enough music to denote how important racing is throughout the film. Since the whole film is about racing, this particular song accompanies the very first race that you see when the film opens.
4. Route 66 (John Mayer)
You might have noticed that this song was already featured on the soundtrack and performed by Chuck Berry. Here, you have the same song, but performed in an entirely different manner by John Mayer. It gives the listener an opportunity to get an entirely different take on the song itself.
3. Cars: Our Town (James Taylor)
James Taylor has long been regarded as one of the best folk singers around. As such, it only stands to reason that he would have been featured in a film like this. The lyrics themselves talk about being proud of where you’re from and not being afraid to let others know that you’re proud of it.
2. Cars: Life Is a Highway (Rascal Flatts)
In this vocal song, you have the highway being used as a metaphor for life. When you stop and think about it, it’s a metaphor that fits very well, indeed. It’s all about learning to navigate that highway with all of its ups and downs in order to be able to live life to the fullest.
1. Cars: Real Gone (Sheryl Crow)
Last but certainly not least, you have another song with vocals, this time performed by Sheryl Crow. At its core, this is a song that talks about not giving in to what others’ expectations might be. It’s a song about staying true to oneself, doing one’s best and not worrying about what everyone else thinks.