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Hippie vegetarian rejects Cars character namesake

“I know my name is Waldmire.”

The State-Journal Register reports that Springfield, IL native and legendary Route 66 roadtrippin’ artist hippie Bob Waldmire turned down the opportunity to have the Volkswagen minibus featured in Pixar’s latest film, Cars, named after him. Waldmire explains:

I am an ethical vegetarian. After they sent me a letter asking for my permission, another local artist friend of mine, Bill Crook, mentioned to me that the movie toys are probably going be sold in Happy Meals at McDonald’s. That made up my mind real quick. I couldn’t have them selling a bus with my name at a McDonald’s if I’m an ethical vegetarian.

(Right on, man. Right on.)

Of course, Mr. Waldmire’s concerns were founded. Pixar (which is owned by Disney) was indeed cooking up a meaty toy deal with McDonald’s. It should come as no surprise that Pixar refused Bob Waldmire’s offer to allow the corporation to use his name if a portion of the movie’s profits were donated to charity. Instead, Pixar opted to sack the idea of giving the character’s name any historical significance and decided to call the vehicle Fillmore.

P.S. Lots of folks who commented on the story at the SJ-R website seem to think Bob Waldmire owns Cozy Dog. The very un-veg eatery is actually owned by his relatives. We can’t all be a good influence on our family!

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