Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Brian Fee|
|Produced by||Kevin Reher|
|Music by||Randy Newman|
|Edited by||Jason Hudak|
Walt Disney Studios|
|Box office||$383.9 million|
Cars 3 is a 2017 American 3D computer-animated comedy-adventure film produced by Pixar Animation Studios and released by Walt Disney Pictures. Directed by Brian Fee in his directorial debut and written by Kiel Murray, Bob Peterson and Mike Rich, the film is the third installment of the Cars franchise and a sequel to Cars 2 (2011). The returning voices of Owen Wilson, Bonnie Hunt and Larry the Cable Guy are joined by Cristela Alonzo, Chris Cooper, Armie Hammer, Nathan Fillion, Kerry Washington and Lea DeLaria, in addition to a dozen NASCAR personalities. In the film, Lightning McQueen sets out to prove to a new generation of high tech race cars that he is still the best race car in the world.
Released worldwide on June 16, 2017, the film grossed $383 million worldwide against a budget of $175 million and received positive reviews from critics, with many praising it as an improvement over its predecessor as well as its emotional story and animation.
Lightning McQueen, now a seven-time Piston Cup racing legend, and the other veterans of the Piston Cup, find themselves being displaced by the next-generation rookies such as Jackson Storm who is outfitted with the latest technology to break speed records. As the season progresses, the amount of new racers begins to increase, resulting in many veterans either retiring or being fired by their sponsors to make way for the new generation. In the last race of the season, McQueen attempts to overtake Storm and the other leaders, but instead loses control due to driving too fast and gets into a violent rollover crash.
Four months later, while recovering in Radiator Springs, McQueen isolates himself from his friends and spends his time watching footage of his late mentor, Doc Hudson, whose career ended in a similar accident in which McQueen fears that he might meet the same fate. After receiving some encouragement from his girlfriend Sally, McQueen decides to continue racing and call his sponsors from Rust-Eze, Rusty and Dusty Rust-Eze, who reveal that they have sold the team to a new owner named Sterling. In a new state-of-the-art training center, Sterling assigns McQueen to train under racing trainer Cruz Ramirez. Sterling decides that McQueen is unfit to race and instead plans to use him for promotional materials only. McQueen contests this and instead, makes a deal; if he should win the first race of the season, he will get to determine when he retires, otherwise he will retire on the spot. Sterling accepts the deal, but assigns him to work one-on-one with Cruz.
McQueen tries to train on the nearby Fireball Beach in order to build up his speed but he finds most of his time spent on teaching Cruz how to drive on various terrain. McQueen then attempts to race at a dirt track called Thunder Hollow, inadvertently ending up in a demolition derby called ″Crazy Eight″ that Cruz wins and her elation unintentionally leads to McQueen's humiliation on TV. Angry for wasting training time, McQueen rages at Cruz and in the process accidentally breaks her trophy. Upset, Cruz reveals that she had wanted to be a professional racer like McQueen her whole life because he inspired her, but never started a race due to feeling intimidated and outclassed by the other race cars. She resigns as McQueen's trainer and heads back to the training center.
Feeling guilty and having no other options McQueen calls up his best friend Mater, who suggests that he should talk to Doc's mentor Smokey, in Doc's hometown of Thomasville. McQueen catches up to Cruz and convinces her to rejoin him. In Thomasville, McQueen meets up with Smokey, who recounts how, despite his forced retirement, Doc found a new happiness in training McQueen. After McQueen accepts that he will never be as fast as Storm, Smokey and his friends help McQueen learn new tricks to overcome his speed disadvantage with Cruz as his sparring partner. However, during the last practice race, Cruz suddenly overtakes him, giving him a flashback to his crash, shaking his confidence.
At the race in Florida, McQueen is coached by Smokey from the pits, and manages to gradually push up through the ranks. Sterling, who still believes McQueen cannot win, orders Cruz back to the center, despite her wanting to stay and watch the race. McQueen overhears this, and remembering Cruz's speech about wanting to be a racer, devises a plan; the next time he pits, he tells his crew to outfit Cruz in his racing number to try and finally beat Storm, against Sterling's wishes. Cruz is initially shaken by her lack of confidence, but Smokey and McQueen help her to pull ahead. On the last lap, Cruz catches up to Storm. Storm, feeling threatened, tries to intimidate her - even to the point of ramming her against the wall, but she uses one of Doc's tricks to repel off it, takes the lead and wins.
As Cruz celebrates her victory, Sterling offers her a role on his team, but she instead takes a counteroffer made by Tex Dinoco. Sterling reminds McQueen about his bet but then McQueen's name is shared with Cruz's on the leaderboard as victors, since both he and Cruz raced with the winning number, thus winning the deal. Tex then goes to speak with Sterling, offering a deal of his own. Sometime later, McQueen and Cruz return to Radiator Springs, decked out in Doc's old color and number, respectively. McQueen reveals that Tex has bought Rust-eze from Sterling, decides to continue racing and to become Cruz's crew chief.
- Owen Wilson as Lightning McQueen, a legendary Piston Cup veteran who lives in Route 66's Radiator Springs; former racer for Rust-eze; #95, now crew chief to Cruz Ramirez.
- Cristela Alonzo as Cruz Ramirez, Lightning McQueen's trainer and racing technician, who always longed to be a racer, but lacked confidence. She later becomes a yellow and blue Dinoco; #51 racer.
- Chris Cooper as Smokey, Doc's former mechanic and crew chief, who helps Lightning McQueen train for the Florida 500.
- Nathan Fillion as Sterling, a rich business car who runs the elite training facility Rust-eze Racing Center, who challenges McQueen's position as a racer.
- Larry the Cable Guy as Mater, a jolly tow truck and Lightning McQueen's best friend.
- 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, and McQueen's career; racer for IGNTR; #20.
- Tom and Ray Magliozzi as Rusty and Dusty Rust-eze, respectively, the owners of Rust-eze. Following Tom's death in 2014, unused archive recordings from the first film were used for Rusty's lines.
- Tony Shalhoub as Luigi, a Fiat 500.
- Bonnie Hunt as Sally Carrera, a Porsche 996, and Lightning McQueen's girlfriend.
- Lea DeLaria as Miss Fritter, an intimidating demolition derby-inspired monster school bus at the Thunder Hollow demolition derby.
- Kerry Washington as Natalie Certain, a statistical analyst.
- Bob Costas as Bob Cutlass, a broadcaster at the race track.
- Margo Martindale as Louise "Barnstormer" Nash, a Piston Cup legend and a friend of Doc.
- Darrell Waltrip as Darrell Cartrip, a broadcaster and former Piston Cup racer working aside with Bob.
- Isiah Whitlock Jr. as River Scott, a legendary Piston Cup racer who is a friend of Smokey.
- Bob Peterson as Chick Hicks, a former Piston Cup racer and ex-rival of Lightning McQueen, who now works as an RSN announcer and hosts his own TV show, Chick's Picks. He was previously voiced by Michael Keaton in the first film.
- Peterson also voices Dr. Damage, an ambulance monster truck competitor at Thunder Hollow; though the character is provided as an additional voice.
- 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.
- Kyle Petty as Cal Weathers, one of Lightning's racing friends, and a veteran racer for Dinoco.
- Lewis Hamilton as Hamilton, a voice command assistant to Cruz Ramirez. Hamilton previously voiced himself (as a WGP racer) in the second film.
- Lloyd Sherr as Fillmore, a Volkswagen Bus. He was previously voiced by George Carlin in the first film who died in 2008.
- Junior Johnson as Junior "Midnight" Moon, a former Piston Cup racer who is a 1938 Ford Standard Coupe; #11.
- Ray Evernham as Ray Reverham, Jackson Storm's crew chief.
- Paul Newman as Doc Hudson, Lightning McQueen's late mentor. He appears in the film with unused archive recordings of Newman from the first film. Following Newman's death in September 2008, the character was written in a flashback for his final film in 2006.[clarification needed]
- Cheech Marin as Ramone, a Chevrolet Impala Lowrider, and Flo's husband.
- Humpy Wheeler as Tex Dinoco, the owner of Dinoco.
- Katherine Helmond as Lizzie, a Ford Model T.
- Paul Dooley as Sarge, a Willys Jeep.
- Jenifer Lewis as Flo, a Motorama show car, and Ramone's wife.
- Shannon Spake as Shannon Spokes, an RSN reporter who is not afraid to ask questions to racers.
- Madeleine McGraw as Maddy McGear, a young Axxelo Microlux who is Lightning's biggest fan.
- Michael Wallis as Sheriff, a seasoned 1949 Mercury Eight police car.
- Mike Joy as Mike Joyride, the host on Lightning's radio.
- Jeff Gordon as Jeff Gorvette, a World Grand Prix competitor who now works as a Piston Cup announcer for races
- Daniel Suárez as Danny Swervez, Octain Gain's next-gen racer; #19.
- Ryan Blaney as Ryan "Inside" Laney, Blinkr's next gen racer; #21.
- Bubba Wallace as Bubba Wheelhouse, Transberry Juice's next-gen racer; #6.
- Chase Elliott as Chase Racelott, Vitoline's next-gen racer; #24.
- Richard Petty as Strip "The King" Weathers, who has retired and now acts as crew chief for his nephew Cal.
- Andra Day as Sweet Tea, a forklift waiter and singer at Cotter Pin Bar & Grill.
Development on Cars 3 began in 2011 after the release of Cars 2 and by March 2014, pre-production on the film was underway. In October 2014, Pixar's former chief creative officer John Lasseter revealed at the Tokyo International Film Festival that the film would feature a tribute to Hayao Miyazaki's film The Castle of Cagliostro, in a form of an old Citroën 2CV.
Prior to the film's release, John Lasseter, director of the previous Cars films, stated that the film had 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."
According to director Brian Fee, the production team did a lot of research, and, while they "looked at athletes in other sports", the team mainly focused on NASCAR racers. Fee said that they "even talked to a sports psychoanalyst who explained that many of these drivers can't imagine themselves doing anything else", an idea that resonated with the team. Mike Rich said that rookies taking over the sport is a "kind of endless story in sports", and compared McQueen to Wayne Gretzky and Misty May-Treanor as well as many others. Fee said that "being a parent became [his] main resource to ﬁnd and understand the emotion" in the film's storyline. Scott Morse, the film's story supervisor, said that he wanted to highlight the film's emotional core and the character's relationships, wanting the film to feel like a sports film while also focusing on McQueen realizing "what their relationship meant to Doc."
On January 5, 2017, it was announced that Armie Hammer and Cristela Alonzo would voice Jackson Storm and Cruz Ramirez, respectively. Two months later, Nathan Fillion, Kerry Washington and Lea DeLaria joined the cast.
The production utilized a new rendering system, RIS, which made scenes like the demolition derby race possible. The system was previously used on Pixar's Finding Dory. In previous movies the animators had to first do the animation before the rendering, but RIS allowed animation and rendering to take place simultaneously in a process called "hardware shading", making it much easier for the animators to see what a completed scene would look like when finished.
|Cars 3 (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)|
|Released||June 16, 2017|
|Genre||Western, Country, Pop|
|Singles from Cars 3 (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)|
The soundtrack features "Run That Race", an original song written and performed by Dan Auerbach, who stated the song is "about never giving up and always trying your best". Auerbach said that the filmmakers showed him the story and some dialogue, from which he pieced together a story for the song. The soundtrack also features "Ride", an original song performed by ZZ Ward featuring Gary Clark Jr., which was released as a single on April 14, 2017.
|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 featuring 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)|
|Soundtrack album by Randy Newman|
|Released||June 16, 2017|
|Randy Newman chronology|
The film's score was composed by Pixar's frequent collaborator, Randy Newman, who previously composed the first film's score. Tom MacDougall, Disney's executive vice-president of music, said that Newman has "a real connection to the Cars world" and that "His ability to capture the feelings on this film, its characters, locations, and the Americana theme through out is extraordinary-the music is so naturally fluid and inspired. It really feels like Randy is coming home with this score". Newman quoted tracks from the first film in moments where Fee "wanted to evoke an earlier time."
|1.||"Storm's Winning Streak"||1:23|
|2.||"When All Your Friends are Gone/ Crash"||3:44|
|3.||"Doc's Painful Demise"||1:25|
|4.||"Mater on the Horn"||0:29|
|5.||"Sistine Chapel on Wheels"||1:06|
|6.||"Temple of Rust-eze"||1:25|
|7.||"A Career on a Wall/ Electronic Suit"||3:21|
|9.||"McQueen's Wild Ride"||2:05|
|10.||"Biggest Brand in Racing"||3:12|
|12.||"Pull Over, Now!/ Cruz's Racing Dreams"||2:00|
|14.||"If This Track Could Talk"||2:33|
|15.||"Letters About You"||2:02|
|16.||"Smokey Starts Training/ A Blaze of Glory"||5:56|
|17.||"Starting Dead Last"||1:42|
|18.||"Flashback/ Pit Stop"||3:32|
|19.||"Through the Pack"||3:42|
|21.||"The Fabulous Lightning McQueen"||2:11|
Cars 3 was released in theaters on June 16, 2017, in the United States, in 3D, Dolby Cinema 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.
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, in Europe and Australia on July 14, 2017, and in Japan on July 20, 2017. As Disney no longer develops and publishes video games after the release of Disney Infinity 3.0, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment published the tie-in game.
BBC, Disney and LEGO released a short film via YouTube, on April 13, 2018, that is inspired by both the Cars animated series as well as the popular TV series Top Gear. The film tells the story of Lightning McQueen's trip to the Top Gear track, where he achieves his dream of racing against the Stig.
Cars 3 grossed $152.9 million in the United States and Canada and $231 million in other territories for a worldwide total of $383.9 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 $55–60 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 first-place finisher Wonder Woman. Cars 3 had the lowest opening of the series, but nevertheless was the 16th Pixar film to debut at number one. In its second weekend, the film grossed $24.1 million, dropping to third place, behind Transformers: The Last Knight and Wonder Woman. In its third weekend the film made $9.7 million ($14.1 million over the five-day 4 July holiday weekend), dropping to 5th.
Internationally, the film made $21.3 million from its opening in 23 markets, which was 9% more than Cars 2 and 29% more than Cars. The film opened in China on August 25 and grossed $10.8 million over its debut weekend. The biggest markets in terms of total earnings are China ($20.8 million), followed by France ($19.5 million), Japan ($16.1 million), Mexico ($15.6 million), and the UK ($15.2 million).
On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 68% based on 200 reviews with an average rating of 6.1/10. The website'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 reviews from 41 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews". Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A" on an A+ to F scale.
Owen Gleiberman of Variety 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 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."
|Award||Date of ceremony||Category||Recipient(s) and nominee(s)||Result||Ref.|
|Teen Choice Awards||August 13, 2017||Choice Movie: Comedy||Walt Disney Pictures||Nominated|||
|Choice Movie Actor: Comedy||Owen Wilson||Nominated|
|Detroit Film Critics Society||December 7, 2017||Best Animated Film||Cars 3||Nominated|||
|St. Louis Film Critics Association||December 15, 2017||Best Animated Feature||Brian Fee||Nominated|||
|IGN Awards||December 19, 2017||Best Animated Movie||Cars 3||Nominated|||
|Central Ohio Film Critics Association||January 4, 2017||Best Animated Film||Nominated|||
|Image Awards||January 15, 2018||Outstanding Character Voice-Over Performance||Kerry Washington as Natalie Certain||Nominated|||
|Satellite Awards||February 10, 2018||Best Animated or Mixed Media Feature||Cars 3||Nominated|||
|Art Directors Guild||January 27, 2018||Production Design in an Animated Feature||William Cone and Jay Shuster||Nominated|||
|Visual Effects Society Awards||February 13, 2018||Outstanding Visual Effects in an Animated Feature||Brian Fee, Kevin Reher, Michael Fong, Jon Reisch||Nominated|||
|Outstanding Created Environment in an Animated Feature||Marlena Fecho, Thidartana Annee Jonjai, Jose L. Ramos Serrano, Frank Tai for "Abandoned Racetrack"||Nominated|
|Outstanding Effects Simulations in an Animated Feature||Greg Gladstone, Stephen Marshall, Leon JeongWook Park, Tim Speltz||Nominated|
|Annie Award||February 3, 2018||Best Animated Feature||Kevin Reher||Nominated|||
|Animated Effects in an Animated Production||Amit Baadkar, Greg Gladstone, Stephen Marshall, Tim Speltz and Jon Reisch||Nominated|
|Cinema Audio Society Awards||February 24, 2018||Outstanding Achievement in Sound Mixing for a Motion Picture – Animated||Doc Kane, Tom Meyers, Michael Semanick, Nathan Nance, David Boucher and Blake Collins||Nominated|||
|Saturn Awards||June 27, 2018||Best Animated Film||Cars 3||Nominated|||
Regarding a possible Cars 4, Cars 3 producers Kevin Reher and Andrea Warren stated speaking to Cinema Blend that "If there's a good story to tell, I mean, our heads kinda break after having gotten this one done, like "oh my God" what could you do the further adventures of? But like any sequel, from Toy Story 4 to Incredibles 2, as long as there's a good story to tell it's worth investing, we do love these characters, we love them as much as the public does." Regarding which character would be the main protagonist in the film, Reher and Warren stated that "if Cruz is a breakout character, kind of like Mater was, she would be involved in a 4". Owen Wilson stated at a Cars 3 press event that possible stories have been discussed for a Cars 4, though he would personally like for a fourth Cars film to delve into aspects of the thriller genre, akin to Cars 2. In an interview with Screen Rant, Lea Delaria expressed interest in reprising her role as Miss Fritter while promoting the release of the short film, Miss Fritter's Racing Skoool with the Cars 3 DVD and Blu-ray release.
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