In “Cars 2,” the Pixar movie that opened June 24, the tow truck hero finds himself in France, where he visits the famous flea markets of Paris, the Marché aux Puces. In the world of Cars, all the humans are replaced by animated automobiles, and the flea market vendor, named “Tomber,” is a contact for the spymaster character in the film.
The “Cars 2” team also explored the car showrooms on the Avenue des Champs-Elysées and visited the Grand Palais Museum and the Louvre. They attended the Bastille Opera and the Musée d’Orsay and wanted to incorporate Les Halles into the film. Sadly the old food market was removed in the ’70s, but it was lovingly resurrected for “Cars 2,” and transformed into a marketplace of spare auto parts. “It ended up being this really evocative space,” says Harley Jessup, the Production Designer, “a vast, cast-iron structure, big enough for the cars to chase through, and there’s this whole gypsy marketplace happening inside that is texturally really remarkable.”
The entrance of the market features a banner with the words, “Marché aux Puces” — French for “Flea Market.”