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Cars 3
Lightning McQueen, Cruz Ramirez and Jackson Storm race along a beach.
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Brian Fee
Produced by Kevin Reher
Screenplay by
Story by
Starring
Music by Randy Newman[2]
Cinematography
  • Jeremy Lasky (camera)
  • Kim White (lighting)[1]
Edited by Jason Hudak
Production
company
Distributed by Walt Disney Studios
Motion Pictures
Release date
  • May 23, 2017 (2017-05-23) (Kannapolis)
  • June 16, 2017 (2017-06-16) (United States)
Running time
102 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $175 million[3]
Box office $383.9 million[4]

Cars 3 is a 2017 American 3D computer-animated 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 (2006) and Cars 2 (2011) 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.[5] 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.

The film was released on June 16, 2017, grossed $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.[6]

Contents

PlotEdit

Lightning McQueen, now a seven-time Piston Cup racing legend, and the other veterans of the Piston Cup, 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 tries to catch up to Storm and the other leaders, but loses control and gets into a violent rollover crash, leaving him badly injured.

Four months later, while recovering in Radiator Springs, McQueen isolates himself from his friends and spends his time watching footage of his late mentor, Doc Hudson, whose career ended in a similar accident, and McQueen fears that he might meet the same fate. 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. McQueen becomes impatient with Cruz's methodical approach to training, and he attempts to use a high tech racing simulator - only to end up damaging it. Sterling decides that 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 ends up competing in a demolition derby called ″Crazy Eight″ that Cruz wins, and her elation leads to McQueen's humiliation on TV. Angry for apparently wasting training time, McQueen rages at Cruz and in the process accidentally breaks her trophy. Upset, Cruz reveals that she had wanted to be a professional racer like McQueen her whole life because he inspired her, but never started a race due to feeling intimidated and outclassed by the other race cars. 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 that he should talk to Doc's mentor, Smokey in Doc's hometown of Thomasville. McQueen catches up to Cruz, and convinces her to rejoin 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, giving him 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 of his own. Sometime later, McQueen and Cruz return 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 to be Cruz's crew chief.

In the post-credits scene, Mater at his junkyard tries to answer an incoming call from his phone. Somehow he accidentally touches his reception antenna and his phone goes dead, much to his dismay.

CastEdit

ProductionEdit

Development on Cars 3 began in 2011 after the release of Cars 2,[13] and by March 2014 pre-production was underway.[14] 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.[15]

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.[16] 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."[17]

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.[8]

The production utilized a new rendering system, RIS, which made scenes like the demolition derby race possible. The system was previously used on Pixar's Finding Dory.[18] In previous movies the animators had to first do the animation before the rendering, but RIS allowed animation and rendering to take place simultaneously in a process called "hardware shading", making it much easier for the animators to see what a completed scene would look like when finished.[19]

MusicEdit

Director Brian Fee said that both the score and the soundtrack "really help support the story we are telling".[20] Both the soundtrack and the score were released in June 16, 2017.[20]

SoundtrackEdit

Cars 3 (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
Soundtrack album
Released June 16, 2017
Genre Western, Country, Pop
Length 28:40
Label Walt Disney
Singles from Cars 3 (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
  1. "Ride (featuring Gary Clark Jr.)"
    Released: April 14, 2017

The soundtrack features "Run That Race", an original song written and performed by Dan Auerbach, who stated the song is "about never giving up and always trying your best".[20] The soundtrack also features "Ride", an original song performed by ZZ Ward featuring Gary Clark Jr., which was released as a single in April 14, 2017.[20]

No.TitleArtistLength
1."Run that Race"Dan Auerbach2:43
2."Kings Highway"James Bay3:07
3."Truckaroo"Brad Paisley2:36
4."Thunder Hollow Breakdown"Brad Paisley4:49
5."Glory Days"Andra Day4:07
6."Ride"ZZ Ward featuring Gary Clark Jr.4:03
7."Drive My Car"Jorge Blanco2:42
8."Freeway of Love"Lea DeLaria4:30

ScoreEdit

Cars 3 (Original Score)
Soundtrack album by Randy Newman
Released June 16, 2017 (2017-06-16)
Recorded 2016–2017
Genre Country, classical
Length 50:15
Label Walt Disney
Pixar chronology
Finding Dory
(2016)
Cars 3 (Original Score)
(2017)
Coco
(2017)
Randy Newman chronology
Monsters University
(2013)
Cars 3 (Original Score)
(2017)
Toy Story 4
(2019)

The film's score was composed by Pixar's frequent collaborator, Randy Newman.[20] Tom MacDugall, Disney's executive vice-president of music, said that Newman has "a real connection to the Cars world" and that "His ability to capture the feelings on this film, its characters, locations, and the Americana theme through out is extraordinary-the music is so naturally fluid and inspired. It really feels like Randy is coming home with this score".[20]

No.TitleLength
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
8."Drip Pan"1:12
9."McQueen's Wild Ride"2:05
10."Biggest Brand in Racing"3:12
11."Fireball Beach"2:16
12."Pull Over, Now!/ Cruz's Racing Dreams"2:00
13."1.2%"1:21
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
20."Victory Lane"3:51
21."The Fabulous Lightning McQueen"2:11

ReleaseEdit

Cars 3 was released in theaters on June 16, 2017, in the United States, in 3D[21] and selected IMAX theaters,[22] accompanied by the Pixar short film Lou.[23] The film had a special screening for the NASCAR industry in Kannapolis, North Carolina on May 23, 2017.[24] The world premiere was held in Anaheim, California on June 10, 2017.[25]

Video gameEdit

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,[26] in Europe and Australia on July 14, 2017,[27] and in Japan on July 20, 2017.[28] 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.[29]

Home mediaEdit

Cars 3 was released on Digital HD on October 24, 2017 and was released on DVD, Blu-ray, and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray on November 7, 2017, by Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment.[30]

Short FilmEdit

BBC, Disney, and LEGO have released a short film via YouTube, on April 13, 2018, that is inspired by both the Cars animated series as well as the popular Top Gear TV series. The film tells the story of Lightning McQueen's trip to the Top Gear track where he achieves his dream of racing the Stig around the track.[31]

ReceptionEdit

Box officeEdit

Cars 3 grossed $152.9 million in the United States and Canada and $231 million in other territories for a worldwide total of $383.9 million, against a production budget of $175 million.[4]

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.[32][33] 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.[34] In its second weekend, the film grossed $24.1 million, dropping to third place, behind Transformers: The Last Knight and Wonder Woman.[35] In its third weekend the film made $9.7 million ($14.1 million over the five-day 4 July holiday weekend), dropping to 5th.[36]

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.[37] The film opened in China on August 25 and grossed $10.8 million over its debut weekend.[38] 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).[39]

Critical responseEdit

On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 68% based on 195 reviews, with an average rating of 6/10. The website'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."[40] 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".[41] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A" on an A+ to F scale.[34]

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."[42] 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."[43] 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."[44]

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."[45] 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."[46]

AccoladesEdit

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 [47]
Choice Movie Actor: Comedy Owen Wilson Nominated
Detroit Film Critics Society December 7, 2017 Best Animated Film Cars 3 Nominated [48]
St. Louis Film Critics Association December 15, 2017 Best Animated Feature Brian Fee Nominated [49]
IGN Awards December 19, 2017 Best Animated Movie Cars 3 Nominated [50]
Central Ohio Film Critics Association January 4, 2017 Best Animated Film Nominated [51]
Image Awards January 15, 2018 Outstanding Character Voice-Over Performance Kerry Washington as Natalie Certain Nominated [52]
Satellite Awards February 10, 2018 Best Animated or Mixed Media Feature Cars 3 Nominated [53]
Art Directors Guild January 27, 2018 Production Design in an Animated Feature William Cone and Jay Shuster Nominated [54]
Visual Effects Society Awards February 13, 2018 Outstanding Visual Effects in an Animated Feature Brian Fee, Kevin Reher, Michael Fong, Jon Reisch Nominated [55]
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 [56]
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 [57]
Saturn Awards June 27, 2018 Best Animated Film Cars 3 Nominated [58]

Possible sequelEdit

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."[59] 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".[60] 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.[61]

ReferencesEdit

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External linksEdit