"Red may not be a fire truck of many words, but what he doesn't say, he shows through his generous actions. Whether its putting out a tire fire or caring for the beautiful flowers, Red is there to support and protect his beloved town. Red takes negative comments on the town very personally. So if you have something bad to say about Radiator Springs, you'd better watch out, because if there's one thing Red's not afraid of, it's his emotions."
In Cars, he was voiced by Joe Ranft who passed away in 2005 from a car crash. In consequence, Cars was dedicated in Ranft's memory who had worked with Disney and Pixar for a long period time and voiced some of the characters in the movies he created stories for. Ranft's brother, Jerome would go on to voice Red and other characters that Joe voiced over the years before his death.
Red is a fire truck with a red paint job like Lightning McQueen and Mack hence the color as a name option for the character in the film. He has shiny silvery detail all over him including his fire hose. He also has black water pipes stored on both sides where the water pressure gauges meet. The ladder rests in the back as another unique detail toward the character's craftsmanship.
Red is a very shy, emotional, and friendly character who lives in a firehouse in Radiator Springs, where the statue of Lizzie's late husband Stanley (the town's patriarch) appears. He can sometimes be quite childish despite his size, as he never speaks and tends to burst into tears, even making a tire tower fall a couple of times when this happens.
Powers and abilities
Red is very talented at fighting fires due to his high-pressured monitor, able to launch water at high velocities and intensities. Red was also very stealthy as he was able to take McQueen by surprise by spraying him with his hose to clean the bits of cactus off him.
Red spends a normal night watering his flowers around the statue of the founder of Radiator Springs, Stanley by the courthouse. When racecar Lightning McQueen drives out of control into town, after getting lost, Red immediately takes cover and becomes shocked when McQueen accidentally destroys his flowers before watching him demolish the road by dragging Stanley's statue with him. McQueen then manages to cause Stanley's statue to fly off into the air and land safely back to its proper place.
When McQueen comes into court the next day, Red angrily glares at him and watches the town's judge, Doc Hudson arrive and orders McQueen to leave town immediately. However, the town's attorney, Sally Carrera arrives and Red, along with the other townsfolk, agree with her to have McQueen fix the road so Doc sentences him to community service. As Lightning fixes the road by pulling Bessie, he gets his lucky lightning bolt sticker covered in oil and asks Red to help clean it off, but Red takes the flowers he was watering and drives away as he's still resentful towards the racecar for killing his flowers last night. When McQueen tries to speed up his progress, Red is horrified to see the road all bumpy and drives away, crying when McQueen makes a mean comment about it. Later, Red watches Lightning and Doc do a one-lap race around Willy Butte's and looks confused when Doc stays at the starting line when the race before watching him drive, taking Mater along with him. Red witnesses McQueen fall into a cactus pit where he is fished out by Mater and forced to fix the road at a slower pace.
The next day, when half of the road is fixed, Red joins his friends in playfully driving on the new road. As McQueen continues to fix the road, Red cleans the Leaning Tower of Tires at Luigi's Casa Della Tires before he is asked by Sally to clean McQueen who was covered in bits of cactus after failing to make another turn on the dirt track. Red takes McQueen by surprise by spraying him with his hose and getting every bits of cactus off him before he is thanked by Sally and leaves.
On the next day, Red is seen at Flo's V8 Café where Lightning announces that Doc used to be a famous racecar, but nobody believes him. Red then watches Lightning leave with Sally to go out for a drive. Later, Red waters his flowers again by the courthouse while Ramone paints yellow broken lines onto the new road when they see a stampede of tractors coming towards them. Red, not wanting his flowers to get destroyed again, honks his horn very loudly where most of the tractors tip over while the rest of them roam around town.
When McQueen finishes fixing the road the next morning, Red believes McQueen has already left to go do his race in California and drives away, crying as Red apparently started to take a liking to the racecar. However, McQueen did not leave and Red watches him get new tires from Luigi and Guido. After McQueen gets a makeover, Red turns on a radio after Lizzie forgets to do so where all of the town's shops newly fixed neon lights turn on. Red then joins his friends in partying around and having fun before the press suddenly arrives and takes McQueen away due to being informed of McQueen's whereabouts by Doc. Red sadly watches McQueen leave before going home.
Doc, regretting his decision, tells everyone of his time being a racecar and grabs a handful of Radiator Springs' residents to support McQueen at the race in California while Red, Lizzie, and Sally stay behind. As Red, Lizzie, and Sally watch the race on TV, Red chuckles when Lizzie forgets that Doc is at the race when she sees him on TV. Red continues to cheer for Lightning and smiles when he sees him forgo his chance to win the Piston Cup by helping The King cross the finish line after Chick Hicks caused him to crash. Radiator Springs is then put back on the map after McQueen sets up his racing headquarters there and Red continues spending time and having fun with his friends.
- "Red might not be part of Team Lightning McQueen, but someone has to tend the flowers he has around Radiator Springs. He makes sure he goes to the airport to wave goodbye to the team!"
Red reappears in Cars 2. Red does not speak in Cars 2. He appears with the other Radiator Springs residents congratulating McQueen on coming back home, as well as when Francesco is insulting Mater and McQueen agrees to compete in the World Grand Prix. He only makes a small appearance at the airport, crying as he sees 'Team McQueen' taking off for Tokyo. He comes with most of the rest of the Radiator Springs residents (except Lizzie and Mack) to London after McQueen called them to try to talk to Mater, who was missing at the time. He also appears in the battle against the lemons, where he arrives just in time to blast some of the lemons away with his fire hose and is seen briefly when Mater and the others return to their hometown, and when they are watching the Radiator Springs Grand Prix.
He also reappears in Cars 3. Unlike in Cars and like in Cars 2, Red does not speak. However, he still cries during the part where Lightning McQueen leaves Radiator Springs to train in the Rust-eze Racing Center in Florida.
Red appears in the Cars Toons: Rescue Squad Mater, Hiccups, Bugged, and Spinning. In Bugged, he plays as the protagonist for the first time, and is voiced by Jerome Ranft. However, he does not have any actual dialogue, except grunting and sighing.
Red appears primarily at Disney California Adventure in Cars Land in which guests of ALL ages can easily hear his siren, horn and bell go off while watching him move all over Cars Land as a "drive-around" character. He appears as an Audio-Animatronic figure who uses his hose to water his flowers in the dark ride segment of Radiator Springs Racers while smiling and blinking his eyes at the same time. He is presiding over a small show in which he enlists guests to help in his fire-engine duties around town while spraying water at the same time. Guests also can watch Red's ladder go up and down. When Red greets people during meet and greets, his mirrors turn in and out as an effective way of saying "Hi".
- A possible toy version of himself was seen in the Butterfly Room in Toy Story 3.
- A firetruck bearing a resemblence to Red is seen in The Incredibles.
- This is the last character who was originally voiced by Joe Ranft before his death in 2005. Jerry Recycled Batteries, on the other hand, is Ranft's last speaking role, since Red's dialogues is only restricted to crying and gasps. In other media, Joe's brother, Jerome is now the new voice actor behind Red.
- As of now, Red doesn't speak at all.
- Red is a meetable character in Cars Land located in Disney California Adventure.
- During recording sessions, the late Joe Ranft managed to manipulate Red's emotional sound effects in the same order as Heimlich the caterpillar from A Bug's Life. The difference between Heimlich's whimpers and Red's cries were the pitch levels of sound effects that were processed in editing after Joe Ranft's recording session. Heimlich's whimpers were high-pitched in the performance scene of A Bug's Life, whereas Red's cries were low-pitched and deeper in the sound mix before the film was made.
- "Cars Finder" (supplementary material on Blu Ray Disc release of Cars). 2007. Blu Ray Disc. Walt Disney Home Entertainment, 2007.
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