Pixar lovers and Cars naysayers, rejoice! Cars 3 is not only by far the best of the franchise (and this is coming from someone who loved the first installment), but it ranks up there with some of Pixar’s more adult films (think Toy Story 3 and Up).
I’m not saying it’s as good as those flawless films, but it caters to the same audiences who appreciate depth, tough themes, and strong emotion in their animated flicks. Cars 3 is not for little boys anymore.
Okay, little boys (and girls!) will still love it, but now adults from any walk of life can hitch a ride and thoroughly enjoy themselves more than they would ever expect from a Cars film. It’s clear that Disney and Pixar did not just have merchandizing in mind when they decided to green light a third installment.
Think of Cars 3 as an apology, if you will, for Cars 2. Or better yet, a total and complete replacement.
As I predicted in my original Cars 3 post, newcomer Cruz Ramirez steals the show, a task Mater could never live up to after being given more than enough chances. (And speaking of Mater… 3 gives little mention to him except in passing glances and nods, thank goodness.)
Thanks to Cruz (voiced by Cristela Alonzo) Cars 3 takes the route of the most recent Star Wars installments and turns a primarily boyish franchise into one girls can get onboard with. And that’s great for us parents who have daughters! Cruz plays the underdog female we all love and root for (and boy, do we root!).
Her backstory alone is enough to get your windshield-eyes leaking.
To be certain, Cars 3 still suffers from the same pitfalls as the first two, primarily being that it’s still a chore to suspend total disbelief and accept a world of talking cars where opposable thumbs are virtually nonexistent in a fully-formed humanistic world. BUT! At least it doesn’t suffer a single breakdown or detour Cars 2 sputtered at us.
There’s no spies, no loud gadgets, and hardly any Mater! (Oh, have I mentioned that Mater is barely in it?)
There’s a lot of the 2005 Lightning McQueen we all know and love from twelve years ago, a killer soundtrack, dazzling scenery that is sure to keep every eyeball glued to the screen, and there’s just about every other great heart-made ingredient Pixar is so fond of mixing into their movies.
I give Cars 3 an even 8 out of 10. Time will tell where it will fall in my overall Pixar collection.
So drop all of your reserves, go see it with a loved one or with the kids, and have a speedy good time.