Susie the Little Blue Coupe is an Disney animated short that was released originally theatrically on June 6, 1952. The eight-minute short was directed by Clyde Geronimi and based on an original short-story by Bill Peet. The story was adapted for the screen by Peet and Don DaGradi.
The film's method of anthropomorphizing the cars, using the windshield for the eyes and eyelids, served as a stylistic inspiration for character design for the whole Cars franchise.
According to multiple online sources, the short appears to have lapsed into the public domain, although the reasons for this are unclear. However, it has been included in a number of retail releases of public domain cartoons, and remains freely available online, without any indication of legal action by the Disney corporation to assert copyright; in spite of the film's connection to the Cars franchise. A brief clip was also used as stock footage in a Mazda commercial in the U.S.A. in 2012, again with no direct involvement by Disney; which is not the usual practice for Disney "properties".
Susie is a small blue coupe on display in a dealer showroom who is bought by a well-to-do man who is taken with her. Thrust into high-society, she finds herself surrounded by much larger, more luxurious cars but eventually makes do. She is pampered, but time takes its toll on her, mechanically and cosmetically; eventually, her owner trades her in. A second man buys her but her new life is much less pampered, being left outside in the cold and being poorly maintained. One night, she is stolen, chased by the police and totaled in the resulting wreck. Rotting in a junkyard, all looks hopeless for Susie when a young man notices her, buys her, and with the help of his friends, completely restores and revives her into a brand new hotrod.
- Disneyland, episode #4.8: "Adventures in Fantasy"
- The Mouse Factory, episode #2.17: "Automobiles"
- The New Mickey Mouse Club, April 28, 1977
- Good Morning, Mickey, episode #75
- Mickey's Mouse Tracks, episode #44
- Donald's Quack Attack, episode #65
- 50 Classic Cartoons Volume 2 (VHS)
- Bonus on The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad (DVD)
- Bonus on The Love Bug (DVD)
- Walt Disney's It's a Small World of Fun!: Volume 2
Appearances in other Disney culture
- Susie makes an appearance in an episode of House of Mouse, called, "Max's New Car". She is seen in a parking lot parked between a pair of light cycles from Tron and Herbie The Love Bug. (Susie's eyes are closed.)
- A book entitled "The Auto Biography of Susie the Little Blue Coupe" was on a shelf in Mickey's garage at his house at Mickey's Toontown Fair in the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. The book also has a picture of Susie on its cover.