Pixar has arguably one of the movie industry’s best records, but the Cars movies don’t seem to have the same universal love of say, the Toy Story or Monsters Inc. franchises. This doesn’t mean they are necessarily bad films; far from it, as Cars 3 manages to entertain nonetheless.
We kick off in high gear with Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson) at the height of his racing career until a new and younger car, Jackson Storm (Arnie Hammer), bursts onto the scene and steals the limelight from McQueen in an all too cocky fashion. This causes McQueen to question retirement, however with the racing fire still burning inside him, he enlists the help of a high-tech company that trains cars at their state-of-the-art facility.
It’s here we’re introduced to Cruz Ramirez (Cristela Alonzo), who is brought in to train McQueen. They immediately clash with the way training should be done, as McQueen quickly reverts back to wanting to train old-school style. It’s here he brings out Cruz’s desire to race herself, and a friendship is formed between them.
The racing scenes are handled very well, with the standout being McQueen and Cruz trying to survive a demolition derby they enter by mistake. The attention to detail that the animators put into not only the action scenes, but every scene, only keeps improving with each Pixar movie and that’s one of the many reasons they stand out from the rest.
The voice actors do their jobs effortlessly, mixing with the wonderfully characterised animation, giving the characters centre stage to carry the story, bringing a smile to the audience’s faces in true Pixar style. While it’s no Toy Story, the Cars franchise closes off nicely, entertaining children and adults alike. Bordering on a two hour runtime seems like a bit of a stretch for an animation, but Cars 3 manages to keep it in top gear all the way.
Make sure to get in early, as with every Pixar movie there is a short film before leading into the feature. Entitled Lou, we are introduced to a character unlike anything we’ve seen before. Even without a word of dialogue spoken, it’ll no doubt warm you up for the main event.
Director Brian Fee has mentioned that the film is a love letter to racing and the American way and it is inspired by the Americana you see traveling through the South where every small town has a dirt track.