“Cars 2” marks Pixar Animation’s 12th film and a return to directing for John Lasseter, who previously helmed “Toy Story,” “Toy Story 2,” “A Bug’s Life” and 2006’s “Cars.” The Pixar chief, Disney Animation boss and avid gear-head sat down to take us behind the scenes of his latest.

For the new British spy character, Finn McMissile (voiced by Michael Caine), you pretty much had to use an Aston Martin, didn’t you?

Actually, it’s an original car that was inspired by a bunch of British sports cars from that era. There’s a number of different cars in there. We were inspired by the beautiful car designs from Italy, too, of that era — especially the Pininfarina Design Group that was doing stuff. And so we kind of mixed it all together and kind of created our own cool car.

And you use infamously awful cars as villains.

That was one of my favorite things, coming up with the idea of in a “Cars” spy movie, having the lemons of the world be the bad guys — oh, that was so much fun. Honestly, we had a big old long list of cars we wanted to have as the bad guys, but there were a lot of car companies that didn’t want to have their cars represented as bad guys.