Cars 3 is a 2017 American 3D computer-animated sports comedy film produced by Pixar and released by Walt Disney Pictures. Directed by Brian Fee in his directorial debut, the screenplay was written by Kiel Murray, Bob Peterson and Mike Rich. The film is the sequel to Cars and Cars 2 and the third installment of the Cars film series. The returning voices of Owen Wilson, Bonnie Hunt and Larry the Cable Guy are joined by Cristela Alonzo, Chris Cooper, Armie Hammer, Nathan Fillion, Kerry Washington and Lea DeLaria, in addition to a dozen NASCAR personalities. In the film, Lightning McQueen sets out to prove to a new generation of high tech race cars that he is still the best race car in the world.
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Brian Fee|
|Produced by||Kevin Reher|
|Music by||Randy Newman|
|Edited by||Jason Hudak|
|Distributed by||Walt Disney Studios
|Box office||$383.9 million|
The film was released on June 16, 2017, grossed over $383 million worldwide and received generally positive reviews, with many critics considering it an improvement over its predecessor, as well as praising its emotional story and animation.
Lightning McQueen, now a seven-time Piston Cup racing legend, and the other veterans of the Piston Cup, suddenly find themselves being displaced by the next-generation rookies such as Jackson Storm, outfitted with the latest technology to break speed records. As the season progresses, the amount of new racers begin to increase, resulting in many veterans either retiring, or being fired by their sponsors, to make way for the new generation. Then, in the last race of the season, McQueen gets into a near-fatal rollover crash while trying to catch up to Storm, leaving him badly injured.
Four months later, McQueen, recovering in Radiator Springs, isolates himself from his friends, instead watching footage of his late mentor Doc Hudson, who was forced into retirement by a similar accident and fears that this will happen to him as well. After receiving some encouragement from his girlfriend, Sally, McQueen decides to continue racing and call his sponsors from Rust-eze, Rusty and Dusty, who surprise him by telling him they opened a new state-of-the-art training center known as the Rust-eze Racing Center, only to reveal that they have sold the team to a new owner, Sterling. There, McQueen meets Sterling and is assigned to train under Cruz Ramirez. Cruz's methodical approach to training wears on McQueen's impatience, and he attempts to use a high tech racing simulator - only to end up damaging it. Sterling decides McQueen is unfit to race and instead plans to use him for promotional materials only. McQueen contests this and instead makes a deal; if he should win the first race of the season, he will get to determine when he retires, otherwise he will retire on the spot. Sterling accepts the deal but assigns him to work one-on-one with Cruz.
McQueen tries to train on the nearby Fireball Beach in order to build up his speed, but he finds most of his time spent on teaching Cruz how to drive on various terrain. McQueen then attempts to race at a dirt track called Thunder Hollow, and inadvertently becomes part of a demolition derby called ″Crazy Eight″ that Cruz wins and her elation leads to McQueen's embarrassment. Distraught at the waste of training time, McQueen rages at Cruz and in a fit of anger, accidentally breaks her trophy. Upset and in retaliation, Cruz angrily reveals that she had wanted to race professionally all her life, since she was inspired by McQueen, but never started a race because she felt intimidated by the other race cars and simply lacked confidence. She resigns as McQueen's trainer and heads back to the training center.
Guilty and with no other options, McQueen calls up his friend Mater who suggests he talk to Doc's mentor Smokey in Doc's hometown of Thomasville. McQueen catches up to Cruz and after revealing that he had fixed her trophy, apologies to her and convinces her to join him. In Thomasville, McQueen meets up with Smokey, who recounts how, despite his forced retirement, Doc found a new happiness in training McQueen. After McQueen accepts that he will never be as fast as Storm, Smokey and his friends help McQueen learn new tricks to overcome his speed disadvantage with Cruz as his sparring partner. However during the last practice race, Cruz suddenly overtakes him and he suffers a flashback to his crash, shaking his confidence.
At the race in Florida, McQueen is coached by Smokey from the pits and manages to gradually push up through the ranks. Sterling, who still believes McQueen cannot win, orders Cruz back to the center, despite her wanting to stay and watch the race. McQueen overhears this, and remembers Cruz's speech about wanting to be a racer. He devises a plan; the next time he pits, he tells his crew to outfit Cruz in his racing number to try and finally beat Storm, against Sterling's wishes. Cruz is initially shaken by her lack of confidence, but Smokey and McQueen help her to pull ahead. On the last lap, Cruz catches up to Storm. Storm, feeling threatened, tries to intimidate her - even to the point of ramming her against the wall, but she uses one of Doc's tricks to repel off it, take the lead, and win.
As Cruz celebrates her victory, Sterling offers her a role on his team, but she instead takes a counteroffer made by Tex Dinoco. Sterling reminds McQueen about his bet, but then McQueen's name is shared with Cruz's on the leaderboard as victors, since both he and Cruz raced with the winning number, thus winning the deal. Tex then goes to speak with Sterling, offering a deal. Sometime later, McQueen and Cruz have returned to Radiator Springs, decked out in Doc's old color and number, respectively. McQueen reveals that Tex has bought Rust-eze from Sterling, and McQueen decides to continue racing and be Cruz's crew chief.
- Owen Wilson as Lightning McQueen, a legendary Piston Cup veteran who lives in Route 66's Radiator Springs; racer for Rust-eze; #95.
- Cristela Alonzo as Cruz Ramirez, Lightning McQueen's trainer and racing technician, who always longed to be a racer, but lacked confidence. She later becomes a yellow and blue Dinoco; #51 racer.
- Chris Cooper as Smokey, Doc's former mechanic and crew chief, who helps Lightning McQueen train for the Florida 500.
- Nathan Fillion as Sterling, a rich business car who runs the elite training facility Rust-eze Racing Center, who challenges McQueen's position as a racer.
- Larry the Cable Guy as Mater, a jolly tow truck and Lightning McQueen's best friend.
- Armie Hammer as Jackson Storm, McQueen's new racing rival. The face of the newer generation of high-tech racers, he threatens to displace McQueen as the top racer, and McQueen's career; racer for IGNTR; #20.
- Tom and Ray Magliozzi as Rusty and Dusty Rust-eze, respectively, the owners of Rust-eze. Following Tom's death in 2014, unused archive recordings from the first film were used for Rusty's lines.
- Tony Shalhoub as Luigi, a Fiat 500.
- Bonnie Hunt as Sally Carrera, a Porsche 996, and Lightning McQueen's girlfriend.
- Lea DeLaria as Miss Fritter, an intimidating demolition derby-inspired monster school bus at the Thunder Hollow demolition derby.
- Kerry Washington as Natalie Certain, a statistical analyst.
- Bob Costas as Bob Cutlass, a broadcaster at the race track.
- Margo Martindale as Louise "Barnstormer" Nash, a Piston Cup legend and a friend of Doc.
- Darrell Waltrip as Darrell Cartrip, a broadcaster and former Piston Cup racer working aside with Bob.
- Isiah Whitlock Jr. as River Scott, a legendary Piston Cup racer who is a friend of Smokey.
- Bob Peterson as Chick Hicks, a former Piston Cup racer and ex-rival of Lightning McQueen, who now works as an RSN announcer and hosts his own TV show, Chick's Picks. He was previously voiced by Michael Keaton in the first film.
- Peterson also voices Dr. Damage, an ambulance monster truck competitor at Thunder Hollow; though the character is provided as an additional voice.
- Guido Quaroni as Guido, a forklift who is Luigi's best friend and assistant.
- John Ratzenberger as Mack, a 1985 Mack Super-Liner who is Lightning's transport.
- Kyle Petty as Cal Weathers, one of Lightning's racing friends, and a veteran racer for Dinoco.
- Lewis Hamilton as Hamilton, a voice command assistant to Cruz Ramirez. Hamilton previously voiced himself (as a WGP racer) in the second film.
- Lloyd Sherr as Fillmore, a Volkswagen Bus. He was previously voiced by George Carlin in the first film who died in 2008.
- Junior Johnson as Junior "Midnight" Moon, a former Piston Cup racer who is a 1938 Ford Standard Coupe; #11.
- Ray Evernham as Ray Reverham, Jackson Storm's crew chief.
- Paul Newman as Doc Hudson, Lightning McQueen's late mentor. He appears in the film with unused archive recordings of Newman from the first film. After Newman's death in September 2008, the character was written in a flashback for his final film eleven years ago.
- Cheech Marin as Ramone, a Chevrolet Impala Lowrider, and Flo's husband.
- Humpy Wheeler as Tex Dinoco, the owner of Dinoco.
- Katherine Helmond as Lizzie, a Ford Model T.
- Paul Dooley as Sarge, a Willys Jeep.
- Jenifer Lewis as Flo, a Motorama show car, and Ramone's wife.
- Shannon Spake as Shannon Spokes, an RSN reporter who is not afraid to ask questions to racers.
- Madeleine McGraw as Maddy McGear, a young Axxelo Microlux who is Lightning's biggest fan.
- Michael Wallis as Sheriff, a seasoned 1949 Mercury Eight police car.
- Mike Joy as Mike Joyride, the host on Lightning's radio.
- Jeff Gordon as Jeff Gorvette, a World Grand Prix competitor who now works as a Piston Cup announcer for races
- Daniel Suárez as Danny Swervez, Octain Gain's next-gen racer; #19.
- Ryan Blaney as Ryan "Inside" Laney, Blinkr's next gen racer; #21.
- Bubba Wallace as Bubba Wheelhouse, Transberry Juice's next-gen racer; #6.
- Chase Elliott as Chase Racelott, Vitoline's next-gen racer; #24.
- Richard Petty as Strip "The King" Weathers, who has retired and now acts as crew chief for his nephew Cal.
- Andra Day as Sweet Tea, a forklift waiter and singer at Cotter Pin Bar & Grill.
Development on Cars 3 began in 2011 after the release of Cars 2, and by March 2014 pre-production was underway. In October 2014, Pixar's chief creative officer John Lasseter revealed at the Tokyo International Film Festival that the film would feature a tribute to Hayao Miyazaki's film The Castle of Cagliostro, in a form of an old Citroën 2CV.
Prior to the film's release, John Lasseter, director of the previous Cars films, stated that the film had a "very emotional story", similar in tone to the first film. Co-writer Kiel Murray, who also co-wrote the original Cars, said of the return to the series roots, "With these franchises you always want to know who it's about. The first movie was about McQueen, and the second movie was a sort of off-ramp to the Mater story. We wanted to get back to the McQueen story. When we looked at what would be next for him, we wondered what that would be like both as an athlete, and also for what he was dealing with in the rest of his life."
On January 5, 2017, it was announced that Armie Hammer and Cristela Alonzo would voice Jackson Storm and Cruz Ramirez, respectively. Two months later, Nathan Fillion, Kerry Washington and Lea Delaria joined the cast.
There are two soundtracks released for the third film. The original motion picture soundtrack features rock/pop songs featured in the film, while the original score soundtrack features the score composed and conducted by Randy Newman.
|Cars 3 Original Motion Picture Soundtrack|
|Released||June 16, 2017|
|Genre||Western, Country, Pop|
|1.||"Run that Race"||Dan Auerbach||2:43|
|2.||"Kings Highway"||James Bay||3:07|
|4.||"Thunder Hollow Breakdown"||Brad Paisley||4:49|
|5.||"Glory Days"||Andra Day||4:07|
|6.||"Ride"||ZZ Ward featuring Gary Clark Jr.||4:03|
|7.||"Drive My Car"||Jorge Blanco||2:42|
|8.||"Freeway of Love"||Lea DeLaria||4:30|
|Cars 3 Original Score|
|Soundtrack album by Randy Newman|
|Released||June 16, 2017|
|Randy Newman chronology|
|1.||"Storm's Winning Streak"||1:23|
|2.||"When All Your Friends are Gone/ Crash"||3:44|
|3.||"Doc's Painful Demise"||1:25|
|4.||"Mater on the Horn"||0:29|
|5.||"Sistine Chapel on Wheels"||1:06|
|6.||"Temple of Rust-eze"||1:25|
|7.||"A Career on a Wall/ Electronic Suit"||3:21|
|9.||"McQueen's Wild Ride"||2:05|
|10.||"Biggest Brand in Racing"||3:12|
|12.||"Pull Over, Now!/ Cruz's Racing Dreams"||2:00|
|14.||"If This Track Could Talk"||2:33|
|15.||"Letters About You"||2:02|
|16.||"Smokey Starts Training/ A Blaze of Glory"||5:56|
|17.||"Starting Dead Last"||1:42|
|18.||"Flashback/ Pit Stop"||3:32|
|19.||"Through the Pack"||3:42|
|21.||"The Fabulous Lightning McQueen"||2:11|
Cars 3 was released in theaters on June 16, 2017, in the United States, in 3D and selected IMAX theaters, accompanied by the Pixar short film Lou. The film had a special screening for the NASCAR industry in Kannapolis, North Carolina on May 23, 2017. The world premiere was held in Anaheim, California on June 10, 2017.
A tie-in video game has been announced to accompany the film's release. It was developed by Avalanche Software, which was shut down by Disney in 2016, but was acquired and revived by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment. It was released on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Wii U, Xbox 360, and Xbox One on June 13, 2017, in North America, in Europe and Australasia on July 14, 2017, and in Japan on July 20, 2017. As Disney no longer develops and publishes video games after the release of Disney Infinity 3.0, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment published the tie-in game.
Cars 3 grossed $153 million in the United States and Canada and $231 million in other territories for a worldwide total of $384 million, against a production budget of $175 million.
In North America, Cars 3 was released alongside Rough Night, 47 Meters Down and All Eyez on Me, and was projected to gross $55–60 million from 4,256 theaters in its opening weekend. It made $2.8 million from Thursday night previews and $19.5 million on its first day. It went on to open to $53.7 million, finishing first at the box office and dethroning two-time first-place finisher Wonder Woman. Cars 3 had the lowest opening of the series, but nevertheless was the 16th Pixar film to debut at number one. In its second weekend, the film grossed $24.1 million, dropping to third place, behind Transformers: The Last Knight and Wonder Woman. In its third weekend the film made $9.7 million ($14.1 million over the five-day 4th of July holiday weekend), dropping to 5th.
Internationally, the film made $21.3 million from its opening in 23 markets, which was 9% more than Cars 2 and 29% more than Cars. The film opened in China on August 25 and grossed $10.8 million over its debut weekend. The biggest markets in terms of total earnings are China ($20.8 million), followed by France ($19.5 million), Japan ($16.1 million), Mexico ($15.6 million), and the UK ($15.2 million).
On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 68% based on 191 reviews, with an average rating of 6/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Cars 3 has an unexpectedly poignant story to go with its dazzling animation, suggesting Pixar's most middle-of-the-road franchise may have a surprising amount of tread left." On Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating, the film has a score of 59 out of 100, based on reviews from 41 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews". Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A" on an A+ to F scale.
In his review for Variety, Owen Gleiberman wrote, "Cars 3 is a friendly, rollicking movie made with warmth and dash, and to the extent that it taps our primal affection for this series, it more than gets the job done. Yet in many ways it’s the tasteful version of a straight-to-DVD (or streaming) sequel." David Fear of Rolling Stone gave the film a positive review, saying: "There's an emotional resonance to this story about growing old, chasing glory days and the joy of passing the baton that leaves the other two films choking on its digitally rendered dust. The end goal this time out isn't just to sell a few more toys and Lightning McQueen lunchboxes. It's actually tapping into something deeper than a corporate bottom line." Mike Ryan of Uproxx called the film 'The Rocky III Of The Cars Franchise,' and wrote "There’s a hint of sadness that seems to be present throughout Cars 3 that gives it a little more weight than the previous installments."
Alonso Duralde of TheWrap gave the film a mixed review, saying: "As a spawner of merchandise, Cars 3 fires on all pistons but, as a movie, it's a harmless but never stimulating 109 minutes." Vicky Roach gave the film 3 out of 4 stars, saying: "Returning to the iconic, backroads nostalgia of the original film, Cars 3 puts the flashy, unpopular middle film squarely in its rear vision mirror. The route that the filmmakers take might be familiar, but after gunning it, they take the corners like pros."
|Award||Date of ceremony||Category||Recipient(s) and nominee(s)||Result||Ref.|
|Teen Choice Awards||August 13, 2017||Choice Movie: Comedy||Walt Disney Pictures||Nominated|||
|Choice Movie Actor: Comedy||Owen Wilson||Nominated|
|Detroit Film Critics Society||December 7, 2017||Best Animated Film||Cars 3||Nominated|||
|St. Louis Film Critics Association||December 15, 2017||Best Animated Feature||Brian Fee||Nominated|||
|IGN Awards||December 19, 2017||Best Animated Movie||Cars 3||Nominated|||
|Central Ohio Film Critics Association||January 4, 2017||Best Animated Film||Nominated|||
|Image Awards||January 15, 2018||Outstanding Character Voice-Over Performance||Kerry Washington as Natalie Certain||Nominated|||
|Satellite Awards||February 10, 2018||Best Animated or Mixed Media Feature||Cars 3||Nominated|||
|Art Directors Guild||January 27, 2018||Production Design in an Animated Feature||William Cone and Jay Shuster||Nominated|||
|Visual Effects Society Awards||February 13, 2018||Outstanding Visual Effects in an Animated Feature||Brian Fee, Kevin Reher, Michael Fong, Jon Reisch||Nominated|||
|Outstanding Created Environment in an Animated Feature||Marlena Fecho, Thidartana Annee Jonjai, Jose L. Ramos Serrano, Frank Tai for "Abandoned Racetrack"||Nominated|
|Outstanding Effects Simulations in an Animated Feature||Greg Gladstone, Stephen Marshall, Leon JeongWook Park, Tim Speltz||Nominated|
|Annie Award||February 3, 2018||Best Animated Feature||Kevin Reher||Nominated|||
|Animated Effects in an Animated Production||Amit Baadkar, Greg Gladstone, Stephen Marshall, Tim Speltz and Jon Reisch||Nominated|
|Cinema Audio Society Awards||February 24, 2018||Outstanding Achievement in Sound Mixing for a Motion Picture – Animated||Doc Kane, Tom Meyers, Michael Semanick, Nathan Nance, David Boucher and Blake Collins||Nominated|||
|Saturn Awards||June 2018||Best Animated Film||Cars 3||Pending|||
Regarding a possible Cars 4, Cars 3 producers Kevin Reher and Andrea Warren stated speaking to Cinema Blend that "If there's a good story to tell, I mean, our heads kinda break after having gotten this one done, like "oh my God" what could you do the further adventures of? But like any sequel, from Toy Story 4 to Incredibles 2, as long as there's a good story to tell it's worth investing, we do love these characters, we love them as much as the public does." Regarding which character would be the main protagonist in the film, Reher and Warren stated that "if Cruz is a breakout character, kind of like Mater was, she would be involved in a 4". Owen Wilson stated at a Cars 3 press event that possible stories have been discussed for a Cars 4, though he would personally like for a fourth Cars film to delve into aspects of the thriller genre, akin to Cars 2.
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