Movie, Reviews

“CARS 3” Gets the Checkered Flag

Charging down the track Disney PIXAR’s first entry into theaters for 2017 Cars 3 crosses the finish line a winner for kids and families. As usual PIXAR goes straight for the heart and delivers an uplifting tale of friendship, determination and good values with which the children can aspire. To set everyone up for the movie, a cartoon about a troubled youth should bring a heartwarming glow from LOU.

Winningest racer Lightning McQueen (voice Owen Wilson) has been burning up the track taking all the glory from the field of top notch competitors. But, that’s about to change when Jackson Storm (voice Armie Hammer) crosses the finish line with a high powered car that seems unbeatable. After several losses, the press are saying that McQueen is washed up and predicting he will retire.

Jackson Storm takes the lead on Lightning McQueen in Disney/PIXAR’s CARS 3

Heading back to Radiator Springs after a wreck that nearly destroyed his car, McQueen wants to sort it out and find a way to beat the high powered competition. He gets word that his sponsor Rusteze wants him to train at a new facility in Florida. There he meets Cruz Ramirez (Cristela Alonzo) a wiz at training cars to increase their speed and agility. Cruz feels she has McQueen under control, until he loses his ambition to return to the track.

Lightning McQueen and Cruz Remariez try to work out a problem in Disney/PIXAR’s CARS 3

Director Brian Fee knows a lot about Cars as he has been the storyboard artist for PIXAR since the first of the series in 2006. Here he ups the game with a lot of action, comedy and important principles to which most all children can relate. He brings on a flashy new set of cars that are raring to beat McQueen and upend the king of racing with a story that’s inspiring and even a little romantic. It’s one of the better of the Cars series and the ending actually shows hope for a future 4th edition.

McQueen takes a flyer during the Piston Cup in Disney/PIXAR’s CARS 3

All the main characters voices are back and a few have been added that make Cars 3 familiar to the kids and adults who have become fans of the animated adventure. Lightning McQueen (voice Owen Wilson), Doc Hudson (voice Paul Newman), Mater (voice Larry the Cable Guy), The King (voice Richard Petty), Sally Carrera (voice Bonnie Hunt,) Mack (voice John Ratzenberger), Ramone (voice Cheech Marin), Luigi (voice Tony Shalhoub) and more. Newcomers include Armie Hammer as Jackson Storm, Nathan Fillion as Sterling, Chris Cooper as Smokey and Cristela Alonzo as Cruz Ramirez.

Cars 3 has been rated G for everyone by the MPAA. With the advent of the character Cruz Ramirez voiced by Cristela Alonzo, even the young ladies should enjoy this nicely crafted adventure. The 3D is on par with most of the Disney releases.

A scene from the PIXAR short LOU

FINAL ANALYSIS: Cars 3: A cool fast and exciting racing film for kids. 

Additional Film Information:
Cast: Owen Wilson, Cristela Alonzo, Armie Hammer, Larry the Cable Guy, Paul Newman, Cheech Marin, John Ratzenberger, Nathan Fillion, Chris Cooper and a bevy of returning voices
Directed by: Brian Fee
Genre: Family, Adventure, Kids, Sports, Animation
MPAA Rating: G
Running Time: 1 hr. 49 min.
Release Date: June16, 2017
Distributed by: Disney/PIXAR
Released in: 2D, 3D and select giant screen theaters

The comments within this review are the critic’s expressed opinions.

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Film Editor John Delia has been on all sides of the movie business from publications to film making. He has worked as a film critic with ACED Magazine for more than 12 years and earned a Bachelors degree in communications from the University of Florida. John is a member of the Southeastern Film Critics Association. Follow John on Twitter @staragent1 or send John a message at jdelia@acedmagazine.com