Cars 3 Movie Review

“From this moment, everything will change”

The latest release from the imaginations of Disney/Pixar is now in theaters with Cars 3.  The story line of this latest animated movie in the trilogy is of the quality that should have been in Cars 2, harkening back to the original plots of racing and relationships instead of a sophisticated “James Bond” type of spy novel.

Cars 3, starring all of our favorite Radiator Springs characters is now in theaters. (©Disney/Pixar)

We find our favorite race car still winning race after race, with the occasional loss.  But then the inevitable happens:  Along comes a younger, faster car (Jackson Storm) who turns the racing world upside down.  Lightning McQueen, in an attempt to get back on top, pushes his limit to its unfortunate consequences and we next find him back in Radiator Springs, along with all the characters we have grown to love.

Lightning is facing a future similar to Doc Hudson’s – one of forced retirement.  Determined that he will go out on his terms and not those dictated by fate, he agrees to sign on with the new owner of Rust-eze, Mr. Sterling where Cruz Ramirez will train him to compete with the newer technology cars.

Not fitting in with the new methods in training, Lightning must reach back to his roots to find his way to return to racing.  It is here we are introduced to Doc’s friends who take liberties with Lightning by joking about his age.

As we mentioned, this movie returns the Cars story back to racing and relationships.  We are introduced to Cruz Ramirez, a racing instructor who shares with Lightning her desire to race; and Lightning making new friends with Doc’s past.  Within all this, Lightning must come to the realization that the race now goes to the younger generation and the fact that his racing friends are all retiring.  When Lightning hears that Cal Weathers is leaving, he questions him and Cal responds that he had once asked his dad the same question and he told him that the “young ones would let him know when it’s time to go.”  This develops into unexpected twists on how Lightning passes the torch to the next generation.

This movie has something for all ages as it pays homage to some classic Disney as well as Doc Hudson.  When Mater is rearranging his corral, he sings a revised version of “The Humphrey Hop” from the 1956 short “In the Bag.”  After the movie credits, there is a short outtake of Mater singing a reprisal of “Davy Crocket.”

Doc Hudson is resurrected in a few scenes of the movie, giving advice to Lightning.  Since the voice of Doc, Paul Newman, passed away in 2008, it is puzzling to wonder how they did it.  Apparently, John Lasseter had an extensive conversation with Paul Newman and he recorded the whole thing, resulting in more than 28 hours of tapes from which they were able to extract snippets of dialog for the new movie.

Cars 3 is actually rated “G” (not PG as are many other animated movies) and it is going to be another in a long string of Disney blockbusters; and there is still more to come in 2017 with “Coco,” arriving in November.  And while not necessarily Disney, there are some exciting animated movies coming this year.  2017 should be a great year for fans of animated features.

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