Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Brian Fee|
|Produced by||Kevin Reher|
|Music by||Randy Newman|
|Distributed by||Walt Disney Studios
|Box office||$143.8 million|
Cars 3 is a 2017 American 3D computer-animated sports comedy film produced by Pixar Animation Studios for Walt Disney Pictures. It is the third installment in the Cars film franchise and the sequel to Cars 2 (2011). It was directed by Brian Fee. Owen Wilson, Bonnie Hunt, Larry the Cable Guy, Tony Shalhoub, Guido Quaroni, John Ratzenberger, Cheech Marin, Michael Wallis, Paul Dooley, Jenifer Lewis and Katherine Helmond reprise their roles from the previous films, along with Lloyd Sherr as the voice of Fillmore (because George Carlin died three years before the release of the second film). They are joined by Cristela Alonzo, Armie Hammer, Chris Cooper, Nathan Fillion, Kerry Washington, and Lea DeLaria who voice the new characters introduced in this movie. Drivers and racing-related personalities from NASCAR including Kyle Petty, Humpy Wheeler, Ray Evernham, Chase Elliott, Ryan Blaney, Jeff Gordon, Shannon Spake, Darrell Waltrip, Darrell Wallace Jr. and Daniel Suárez make vocal cameos in the film.
The film was released on June 16, 2017, and has grossed $143 million worldwide. It received generally positive reviews, with many critics considering it an improvement over its predecessor.
As the Piston Cup season progresses, Lightning McQueen and his fellow veteran racers find themselves overshadowed by Jackson Storm, an arrogant racer who is part of a new generation who use the latest technology to boost their performance. As more and more next generation cars begin racing, the older racers gradually retire or are fired by their sponsors. During the final race of the season, Lightning tries to overtake Storm, but loses control and suffers a violent rollover crash.
Four months later, while recovering in Radiator Springs, a primer-coated Lightning watches footage of the crash that ended the career of his late mentor, Doc Hudson. He tells his girlfriend, Sally Carrera, that he does not want to be forced into retirement as Doc was and decides to start training again, looking for new ways to regain his edge.
Rusty and Dusty, the owners of Lightning's Rust-eze racing team, send him to a newly opened racing center. When he arrives, he learns that they have sold Rust-eze to new owner Sterling, who assigns him to work with trainer Cruz Ramirez. Lightning becomes impatient with Cruz's methods and tries to use a high-tech racing simulator, only to cause severe damage to the equipment.
Convinced that Lightning is no longer capable of winning, Sterling is ready to take him off the racing circuit and use him for product endorsements. Lightning offers a deal instead: if he wins the first race of the new season in Florida, he can keep racing at his discretion; otherwise, he will retire immediately. Sterling accepts the deal and sends Cruz to work with him one-on-one at a nearby beach.
Instead of improving his own top speed to beat Storm's, Lightning spends most of the day helping Cruz get used to racing on sand. They travel to a dirt track on which Doc raced and inadvertently end up competing in a demolition derby, which Cruz ultimately wins. When Lightning rages at her for wasting his time, Cruz reveals that she had wanted to race professionally when she was younger, but never started a race because she felt outclassed by the other cars. She leaves to make the trip back to the racing center on her own.
After seeing a report on Storm's new speed record, Lightning calls his best friend, Mater, for advice. Mater suggests that he track down Doc's mentor Smokey. Lightning picks up Cruz, and the two travel to Doc's hometown of Thomasville, where they meet Smokey and several of Doc's old friends. With help from Cruz, they coach Lightning in methods to outsmart Storm instead of trying to beat him with sheer speed. Smokey reveals that even though Doc never raced again after his crash, he found a new happiness in training Lightning. During a final practice race, Lightning has a flashback to his crash and loses to Cruz, who has been taking some of Smokey's lessons to heart.
At the race in Florida, Lightning is surprised to find Smokey and Doc's old friends cheering him on. Several laps into the race, Sterling spots Cruz among them and orders her to return to the racing center. Lightning calls her back to the speedway, has his pit crew outfit her for racing, and gives her his number so she can take his place. Using both Smokey's advice and her own, Lightning coaches her through the pack until she is in second place behind Storm. On the last lap, Storm rams Cruz into the wall, but she flips away using one of Doc's old techniques and lands ahead of him to win the race. She and Lightning are both credited with the victory, and she quits her job with Sterling to accept an offer to race for Dinoco.
Later, in Radiator Springs, Lightning and Cruz put on an exhibition race for their friends. They have adopted Doc's old racing colors and number, respectively, to honor his memory. Dinoco has bought Rust-eze from Sterling, and Lightning decides to continue racing and train Cruz as well.
In a Post-credits scene, Mater is working in his lot, and when the phone rings, he inadvertently knocks over his reception antenna, and the phone goes dead. Mater then mutters about technology.
- Owen Wilson as Lightning McQueen/Fabulous Lightning McQueen, a legendary Piston Cup veteran who lives in Route 66's Radiator Springs; racer for Rust-eze; #95
- Armie Hammer as Jackson Storm, McQueen's new racing rival. The face of the newer generation of high-tech racers, he threatens to displace McQueen as the top racer, threatening McQueen's career; racer for IGNTR; #20
- Cristela Alonzo as Cruz Ramirez, McQueen's trainer and racing technician who always longed to be a racer
- Larry the Cable Guy as Mater, a tow truck, and Lightning's best friend
- Bonnie Hunt as Sally Carrera, a Porsche 996-series and Lightning's girlfriend
- Chris Cooper as Smokey, Doc's former mechanic and crew chief who helps McQueen train for the Florida 500
- Nathan Fillion as Sterling, a rich business car who runs the elite training facility Rust-eze Racing Center
- Tony Shalhoub as Luigi, a Fiat 500
- Guido Quaroni as Guido, a forklift who is Luigi's best friend and assistant
- John Ratzenberger as Mack, a 1985 Mack Super-Liner who is Lightning's transport
- Lea DeLaria as Miss Fritter, an intimidating demolition derby-inspired monster school bus at the Thunder Hollow demolition derby
- Lewis Hamilton as Hamilton, a voice command assistant to Cruz Ramirez. Hamilton previously voiced himself (as a WGP racer) in the second film.
- Bob Costas as Bob Cutlass, a broadcaster at the race track
- Darrell Waltrip as Darrell Cartrip, a broadcaster working aside with Bob Cutlass.
- Kerry Washington as Natalie Certain, a statistical analyst
- Bob Peterson as Chick Hicks, a former Piston Cup racer and ex-rival of Lightning McQueen who now works as a RSN announcer and hosts his own TV show, Chick's Picks. He was previously voiced by Michael Keaton in the first film.
- Isiah Whitlock Jr. as River Scott
- Junior Johnson as Junior "Midnight" Moon
- Margo Martindale as Louise "Barnstormer" Nash
- Humpy Wheeler as Tex Dinoco, the owner of Dinoco
- Shannon Spake as Shannon Spokes, a RSN reporter
- Angel Oquendo as Bobby Swift, one of McQueen's older racing friends who works for Octain Gain #19
- Kyle Petty as Cal Weathers, another of McQueen's older racing friends who is the nephew of Strip "The King" Weathers and the new racer for Dinoco #42
- Lloyd Sherr as Fillmore, a Volkswagen Bus
- Paul Dooley as Sarge, a Willys Model jeep
- Cheech Marin as Ramone, a Chevrolet Impala Lowrider, and Flo's husband
- Jenifer Lewis as Flo, a former Motorama show car and Ramone's wife
- Katherine Helmond as Lizzie, a Ford Model T
- Michael Wallis as Sheriff, a seasoned 1949 Mercury Eight police car
- Jerome Ranft as Red, a 1960 fire truck
- Ray Magliozzi as Dusty
- Tom Magliozzi as Rusty (archive recordings)
- Chase Elliott as Chase Racelott, a next gen racer working for Vitoline #24.
- Ryan Blaney as Ryan "Inside" Laney, an orange and teal next gen racer #21.
- Darrell Wallace Jr. as Bubba Wheelhouse, a next gen racer working for Transberry Juice #6.
- Daniel Suárez as Danny Swervez, a next gen racer working for Octain Gain #19.
- Ray Evernham as Ray Reverham, Jackson Storm's crew chief
- Paul Newman as Doc Hudson, McQueen's former crew chief who used to be the Fabulous Hudson Hornet #51. He appears in flashbacks that include previously unused recordings of Newman from the first film.
- Richard Petty as Strip "The King" Weathers, who has retired and now acts as crew chief for his nephew Cal.
- Jeff Gordon as Jeff Gorvette, a former World Grand Prix racer from the second film who now works as a Piston Cup announcer.
- Madeleine McGraw as Maddy McGear, a young girl car who appears as one of McQueen's fans during one of the races
- Douglas Keever as Albert Hinkey, an RV who is Lightning McQueen's Biggest Fan.
- Mike Joy as Mike Joyride, a host on McQueen's radio
On August 17, 2013, Michael Wallis (voice of Sheriff in the films) told radio listeners that Cars 3 would go back to Route 66, and will also include Route 99. At the Disney stockholder meeting on March 18, 2014, Disney CEO Bob Iger announced that Pixar had begun pre-production on Cars 3. In October 2014, Pixar's chief creative officer John Lasseter revealed at the Tokyo International Film Festival that the film will feature a tribute to Hayao Miyazaki's film The Castle of Cagliostro, in a form of an old Citroën 2CV.
Production began in summer 2014. On October 8, 2015, the film's release date was announced to be June 16, 2017. On June 10, 2016, during an interview, John Lasseter, director of the previous Cars films, promised a very emotional story, similar in tone to the first film. 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."
Cars 3 was released on theaters on June 16, 2017 in the United States in 3D, and selected IMAX theaters, accompanied by the Pixar short film Lou. The film had a special screening for the NASCAR industry in Kannapolis, North Carolina on May 23, 2017. The world premiere was held in Anaheim, California on June 10, 2017.
As of June 26, 2017[update], Cars 3 has grossed $101.7 million in the United States and Canada and $42.1 million in other territories for a worldwide total of $143.8 million, against a production budget of $175 million.
In North America, Cars 3 was released alongside Rough Night, 47 Meters Down and All Eyez on Me, and was projected to gross around $60 million from 4,256 theaters in its opening weekend. 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 defender Wonder Woman. It marked the lowest opening of the series, but was the 16th Pixar film to debut at number one. In its second weekend the film grossed $25.2 million, dropping to third behind Transformers: The Last Knight and Wonder Woman.
Internationally, the film made $21.3 million from its opening from 23 markets, which was 9% more than Cars 2 and 29% more than Cars.
On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 66% based on 132 reviews, with an average rating of 6.1/10. The site'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." On Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating, the film has a score of 59 out of 100, based on 39 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews". Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A" on an A+ to F scale. It was widely considered an improvement over the much-maligned Cars 2 and more on par with the more well-received first film.
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." 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." 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."
Alonso Duralde of the 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." 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."
There are two soundtracks released for the film. The original motion picture soundtrack features rock/pop songs featured in the film, while the original score soundtrack features the score composed and conducted by Randy Newman.
|Soundtrack album by Randy Newman|
|Released||June 16, 2017|
|Length||28:37 (Motion Picture Soundtrack)
50:11 (Score Soundtrack)
|Pixar film soundtrack chronology|
|Randy Newman chronology|
|Cars 3 (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)|
|1.||"Run That Race"||Dan Auerbach||2:43|
|2.||"Kings Highway"||James Bay||3:07|
|4.||"Thunder Hollow Breakdown"||Brad Paisley||4:49|
|5.||"Glory Days"||Andra Day||4:07|
|6.||"Ride"||ZZ Ward ft. Gary Clark Jr.||4:03|
|7.||"Drive My Car"||Jorge Blanco||2:42|
|8.||"Freeway of Love"||Lea DeLaria||4:30|
|Cars 3 (Original Score)|
|1.||"Storm's Winning Streak"||1:21|
|2.||"When All Your Friends Are Gone / Crash"||3:44|
|3.||"Doc's Painful Demise"||1:25|
|4.||"Mater on the Horn"||0:28|
|5.||"Sistine Chapel on Wheels"||1:05|
|6.||"Temple of Rust-eze"||1:25|
|7.||"A Career on a Wall / Electronic Suit"||3:20|
|9.||"McQueen's Wild Ride"||2:05|
|10.||"Biggest Brand in Racing"||3:10|
|12.||"Pull Over, Now! / Cruz's Racing Dreams"||1:59|
|14.||"If This Track Could Talk"||2:32|
|15.||"Letters About You"||2:02|
|16.||"Smokey Starts Training / A Blaze of Glory"||5:56|
|17.||"Starting Dead Last"||1:41|
|18.||"Flashback & Pit Stop"||3:32|
|19.||"Through the Pack"||3:41|
|21.||"The Fabulous Lightning McQueen"||2:08|
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 and it is set to be released in Europe on July 14, 2017, and Japan on July 20, 2017. As Disney no longer develops and publishes video games after the release of Disney Infinity 3.0, Warner Bros. published the tie-in game.
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