Zachary Berry
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[VIDEO] Lightning McQueen Faces “Mid-Size Crisis” in New ‘Cars 3’ Trailer

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The latest trailer released for Cars 3 reveals more about the mature narrative and tone surrounding the third film in the franchise

Disney Pixar Cars 3 2017 teaser trailer movie image animated lightning mcqueen crash

More like “KA-chOW”
Photo: Walt Disney/Pixar Studios

In a movie industry that has become saturated with animated features, one name that has continued to shine through year after year is Pixar. With classics like Toy Story and Finding Nemo under the company’s belt, it can be difficult for some of the studio’s more mediocre movies to meet such a high standard. That is precisely where the Cars franchise finds itself.

While the first Cars movie was not exactly bad, it lacked that signature Pixar charm. The sequel, Cars 2, cast a shadow of doubt in regards to the quality of Pixar sequels. The Cars movies simply didn’t have the same level of emotional depth or nuanced storytelling that other films in the Pixar pantheon embodied. So when a third Cars movie was announced, few fans of cinema were all that excited.

And then the teaser trailer hit.

With a dark atmosphere and a foreboding glance at the fate of protagonist Lightning McQueen and his career, the teaser of the third film in the Cars trilogy came as quite the surprise. This jarring shift in tone from the first two Cars films toward a bleak image of a possibly career-ending accident definitely caught the attention of viewers, who were hungry for more details.


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Disney and Pixar recently provided more of those details through an official trailer, broadcast during the college football national championship game earlier this week. The trailer gives audiences a little more clarity in relation to the story.

Additionally, an official synopsis of the film has been released.

“Blindsided by a new generation of blazing-fast racers, the legendary Lightning McQueen (voice of Owen Wilson) is suddenly pushed out of the sport he loves. To get back in the game, he will need the help of an eager young race technician, Cruz Ramirez, with her own plan to win, plus inspiration from the late Fabulous Hudson Hornet and a few unexpected turns. Proving that #95 isn’t through yet will test the heart of a champion on Piston Cup Racing’s biggest stage.”

For the latest installment of the Cars franchise, Lightning McQueen will face his biggest challenge yet: the race against time. It would appear that McQueen will undergo a mid-life crisis of sorts, facing the reality of younger and more robust automobiles, such as new racer Jackson Storm, voiced by Armie Hammer, entering the racing scene. Whereas Lightning was the rookie hotshot in the first film, he now seems to have more in common with his mentor, Doc Hudson, who left the sport of racing after he was involved in a devastating crash.

This is not the first time that Pixar has tackled the complex theme of a mid-life crisis. In 2004’s The Incredibles, Mr. Incredible faces a crisis of his own, onset by his dissatisfaction toward his suburban life and job and his constant longing for his former glory days.

With this more mature theme and accompanying tone, Cars 3 could easily transform from an unwelcomed sequel to the best film of the Cars franchise, perhaps even joining the other giants in the Pixar family.


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  • Zachary Berry

    Zachary Berry currently resides in the Dayton, Ohio area. However, he enjoys traveling from place to place, as he was born in Oklahoma City and has also lived in Albuquerque and Orlando (such is the life of a military brat). Zachary graduated from Ohio University with a major in Strategic Communication, which is fancy talk for advertising and public relations. Beginning his career at The News Wheel as a lowly intern, he was able to climb his way to the top, eventually claiming his place within the last cubicle on the left. Other jobs that Zachary has held include driving around a safari truck at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. When he’s not putting his nose to the grindstone, Zachary enjoys watching and critiquing movies and television. See more articles by Zachary.