Reviewed by: Alexander Malsan
dealing with aging, slowing down
push through the negatives and become positive in your outlook
encouraging each other
mentorship / mentoring
Owen Wilson … Lightning McQueen (voice)
Chris Cooper … Smokey (voice)
Armie Hammer … Jackson Storm (voice)
Tony Shalhoub … Luigi (voice)
Kerry Washington … Natalie Certain (voice)
Cristela Alonzo … Cruz Ramirez (voice)
Nathan Fillion … Sterling (voice)
Larry the Cable Guy … Mater (voice)
Ray Magliozzi … Dusty (voice)
Bonnie Hunt … Sally (voice)
Lea DeLaria … Miss Fritter (voice)
Bob Costas … Bob Cutlass (voice)
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Pixar Animation Studios
Walt Disney Pictures
|Distributor:||Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures|
“From this moment, everything will change.”
“I… am… speed.” These are the words uttered by one of the greatest racing legends, Lightning McQueen, every time he gears up for a race. He’s come a long way since his time as a rookie, but in that time he’s grown as both a racer and as a car, learning that life is not complete unless you have family and friends by your side, such as the friends he’s made in Radiator Springs.
Time also has a way of being cruel in some ways. Lightning McQueen has had a long racing career, sure, but that also means as he’s gotten older. He starts to wonder if his time to retire has come when he races newcomer Jackson Storm. Storm is swifter and, also, to an extent, craftier than Lighting McQueen. “Perhaps…” says Lightning’s new sponsor Sterling, “Perhaps it’s time to start developing your legacy (e.g., merchandising such as Lightning McQueen mudflaps, etc.) and bring your racing career to a close.”
However, Lightning isn’t quite ready to give up. So he makes a deal with Sterling. If Lightning McQueen cannot win against Jackson Storm in the big race in Florida in three days, Lightning will retire; if Lightning wins, however, he gets to decide when to quit.
“Cars 3” is a story about speed, determination, and carries a heart-warming message of believing in yourself and never letting anyone tell that you don’t matter.
Looking back at the first “Cars,” I remember the film having a lot of heart. The message was clear, well-developed, with occasional use of humor to remind even the adult that this was a film geared mainly toward children. Many of Disney/Pixar’s films, in the past, had also focused strongly on developing quality family-friendly films that carry positive, but well developed messages, such as the “Toy Story” franchise, “A Bug’s Life,” and, of course, to this day, one of my favorite films, “Inside Out.” These messages, along with a rich, beautiful use of computer animation, are the reason that Pixar is considered the standard to which other animation studios aspire.
“Cars 3” returns to its roots by providing a strong, well-thought out plot with some excellent performances and a timely message. Some critics have mentioned that “Cars 3” carries a more serious tone that its predecessors. While it is more serious than “Cars 2,” it caries the same tone as the first “Cars” film, and I feel that this only enhanced the movie-going experience for me. Filmmakers often try to sell their movie to children through use of toilet humor or through other cautionary means (yes, “Cars 2” fell into this category, as there is quite a bit of suggestive and sometimes toilet humor). “Cars 3,” however, proves that you don’t need to lower filmmaking standards to create a solid family-friendly film that will still cater to the primary audience (kids), while also reassuring trust in children’s films with parents.
Violence: Violence is limited to a couple car crashes (one is a more extensive crash scene involving Lightning McQueen, one is a flashback of a crash involving McQueen’s mentor, the Hudson Hornet, and one is a scene where McQueen crashes into a TV screen while using virtual training).
Language: Pretty much non-existent, with the exception of some insults thrown at McQueen about his age and McQueen saying the phrase, as he’s training at a beach, “Life’s a BEACH” (possible innuendo for a curse word).
One of the central themes of “Cars 3” is encouragement. When McQueen feels like throwing in the towel (or perhaps hanging up his racing stripes), his friends, and even his trainer, encourage him to keep going, to push through, and to not back down just because someone tells you to.
Likewise, as Christians, it’s easy to give up, to accept defeat when we are presented with trials and temptations. In our minds, we sometimes feel that we just don’t have the energy to make it through. But just as McQueen relies on his friends to help, so must we rely on God to get us through. We are reminded that…
“we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us” —Phillipians 4:13)
Isaiah 41:10 also contains a message regarding encouragement and strength…
“…I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth. He will not let your foot be moved; he who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, he who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. The LORD is your keeper; the LORD is your shade on your right hand…”
“Cars 3” for me, serves as a reminder of what Disney and Pixar are hopefully returning to with their films… creating positive messages that can be shared for generations to come. I think “Cars 3” is most appropriate for viewers age 8 and up, as children younger than that may become bored. “Cars 3” is one of those rare recent family-films I highly recommend.
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.