Star race car Lightning McQueen and his pal Mater head overseas to compete in the World Grand Prix race. But the road to the championship becomes rocky as Mater gets caught up in an intriguing adventure of his own: international espionage.
Larry the Cable Guy,
The Madagascar animals fly back to New York City, but crash-land on an African nature reserve, where they meet others of their own kind, and Alex especially discovers his royal heritage as prince of a lion pride.
Manny, Sid, and Diego discover that the ice age is coming to an end, and join everybody for a journey to higher ground. On the trip, they discover that Manny, in fact, is not the last of the woolly mammoths.
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Blindsided by a new generation of blazing-fast racers, the legendary Lightning McQueen is suddenly pushed out of the sport he loves. To get back in the game, he will need the help of an eager young race technician with her own plan to win, inspiration from the late Fabulous Hudson Hornet, and a few unexpected turns. Proving that #95 isn't through yet will test the heart of a champion on Piston Cup Racing's biggest stage!Written by
The film features more than sixty-five different individual racers, more than the previous films combined. Cars (2006) had thirty-six racers, and Cars 2 (2011) had eleven. See more »
During the scene where Mater has sneezed and his tow cable comes undone, he says to, "watch your step". Since they're cars, they do not step like humans do. This therefore could reveal that cars killed humans (since they can talk and blink like humans can). See more »
entertaining, moving, has a good moral for children, and a quantum leap up from Cars 2
Aside from what should be obvious to most of those who are over the age of 5 - merchandising, merchandising! I can hear Yogurt from Spaceballs say (which this movie does try to sort of, kind of, almost satirize but doesn't quite get there, and I'll get to that later) - I wondered going in why Pixar would make Cars 3. The first Cars, one of those unlikely passion projects for John Lasseter, was fine though not remarkable unless one didn't mind getting their Paul Newman fix (last movie too!) if it meant wading through the "comedy" of Larry the Cable Guy, and the sequel was one of the most mediocre films of the past decade, from anywhere (again, Larry the Cable Guy as the protagonist). But then I thought that this was exactly why it would be interesting to see the movie - what would the Pixar creative team come up on this one. What they came up with was a good movie, no more but no less either.
Aside from a far smaller quotent of scenes with that grating Mater character (I'll get off it now but, really, who really was hungering for more of Mater in their movie theater in 2017?), this is another example like Monsters University where the filmmakers are favoring a strong message over having a simple villain. And, curiously enough, while both movies do feature Nathan Fillion as an almost/would-be antagonist, it's not about that (it can't be coincidence that in both movies he voices the show-off, cocksure figure, right? - actually Armie Hammer is more-so that character here, but nevermind), I suspect that the message was what was key for those in the story room. What could make Lightning McQueen interesting again after all these years? Was he even interesting to begin with? It's not even him so much as it is what a character's arc is, and what Pixar taps in pretty well here is the idea of moving on and what education means.
In the story of Cars 3, McQueen gets into a terrible accident as the first turning point - one remembers that from the surreal teaser trailer where it made it look as though this might be the Saving Private Ryan of Cars movies or something - and though he wants to get back into racing there's constant trepidation, about his age, about his ability, about everyone else out on the track... and then comes, ironically enough, his trainer (thanks sponsor Fillion!), with a good voice job by Cristela Alonzo by the way, who of course didn't grow up as a, uh, small car wanting to become a trainer of other cars, she wanted to be race car herself! But she lacked the confidence and the wherewithal to keep at it (those who can't do teach sort of thing). Matter of fact, that may be the whole point of the movie, but it's also saying that isn't necessarily a bad thing - if you want it, it can be great.
It reminds me too of what happens in other professions like in the movies where actors find they aren't getting the good roles or aren't being challenged enough so they decide to direct, and it takes on a whole new feeling and passion. All of this noted, Cars 3 doesn't exactly make this some big surprise, it's actually a predictable story that, at least for me and I'm sure many others, one will see coming a mile away as far as whether or not Lightning McQueen is going to do that first race (really the only question is how much or how little will he really race before passing on the baton). But Pixar was sneakily impressive here with how it brought real emotion, or as much as can happen with these cars, and Owen Wilson and Alonzo have a good pairing in the film that has an arc and develops over the course of the story.
There's a little shakier ground that Pixar tip-toes up to as far as what it means to have, say, branding and merchandising - the Fillion "Billionaire" car Sterling (I wondered if he had ever wanted to race or as a tiny car wanted to be a, uh, Billionaire car, however they can spend it) looks at Lightning as a vehicle, no pun intended, for money-making, that his admiration for McQueen is for what he is *valued* as a commodity, as a presence or a thing, as opposed to his ability (which goes a way to explain why he's not impressed when he begs Sterling that he can do one more race). But I'm not sure Pixar developed that side of it enough, or perhaps they could only do so much satire in a G-rated movie for all audiences. It may be enough, though a little more could've gone a longer way to make a decent movie into one of their REALLY good sequels like Monsters U or Toy Story 3.
At the end of it all though, Cars 3 is entertaining, occasionally quite funny (some puns and jokes hit better than others), and eschews typical villainy or the usual antagonists and embraces more like existential questions, which is probably more than a kid-friendly blockbuster like Cars 3 of all things had to concern itself with. I give Pixar points for that, and if seems like something that had... effort put into it, at least up to a point. Not to mention, last but not least, what seems to be a fitting coincidence (or it may be just what Lasseter intended) that a first-time director was promoted up to do this movie within Pixar, Brian Fee. It was time to get in the race, I suppose, and he showed up to do well.
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