This summer, Disney Pixar released Cars 3, the third and best movie of the Cars film franchise. Directed by Brian Fee, the movie provides the thrills and heart Pixar fans have come to expect, while posing some of the most provocative questions in the Disney film canon.
The movie follows “Lightning McQueen,” the charming albeit arrogant hero of the series, voiced by Owen Wilson. In his triumphant return to the sliver screen, McQueen faces his greatest challenge yet, proving himself as a viable opponent to the new crowd of rookies on the racing scene. The best of the rookies, “Jackson Storm,” voiced by Armie Hammer, leads the new generation of technologically-advanced racers, leaving McQueen and his buddies in the dust. In the final race of the season, McQueen suffers a nearly fatal crash, leaving him to recover in Radiator Springs and contemplate his future.
Amidst pressure to retire and threats of being fired by his sponsors, McQueen decides to buckle down and embrace the latest technology to train for the new season. With the moral and emotional support from his neighbors in Radiator Springs, as well as his girlfriend and attorney “Sally Carrera” (Bonnie Hunt), McQueen makes his way to a fancy new training facility where the youthful and energetic training staff will whip him into shape. At the state-of-the-art facility, McQueen meets “Sterling,” the owner, and “Cruz Ramirez”(Cristela Alonzo) who begin his training immediately.
From the moment he arrives at the training center, McQueen finds himself on a journey of self-discovery. He struggles to redefine himself as a racer and an individual, while facing his toughest opponents yet, and he and Cruz struggle to find a balanced and empathetic working relationship, then go on to face the upcoming season together. In classic Pixar form, the film tells a universal story: one of friendship, perseverance, self-acceptance, and love.
But this particular movie goes a step further to challenge the audience with questions regarding death, legacy and the futility of material goals in a fleeting and finite world. Lightning McQueen faces questions of mortality that even human movies shy away from for fear of a too-harsh reality.
Among these existential challenges, the film raises questions about reproduction, about where in the body the soul resides and about the fair treatment of poor and handicapped citizens. Cars 3 entertains audiences of all ages while proving that Pixar stands firm as a source of provocative and galvanizing modern storytelling.