I’m sure it will come as no surprise to anyone, but I’ve been waiting months for this film, so of course I had to get tickets for opening weekend, unfortunately I couldn’t make the first day work, but boy was it worth the wait! And as always I’ve decided to share my thoughts on the film with you, I’ll try and keep it spoiler free, and despite being a huge Cars fan I’ll try and give a fair review of both positive and negative aspects.
First of all, the animated short, Lou. I really enjoyed this story, my favourite thing about the animated shorts is when they tell such an in depth story without any dialogue, just from the way the characters move and carry themselves and their expressions, teamed with an emotive backing track, can really get across the point and constantly leaves me glued to the screen and a little amazed, Lou is certainly no exception to this.
Now the first thing I noticed about cars 3 itself, was that where our favourite friends from the first movie were back for cars 3, none of the characters introduced in cars 2 made a repeat appearance, now even as a huge cars fan I can admit cars 2 wasn’t great, I didn’t hate it and I have re watched it, but it certainly doesn’t live up to the first cars film at all, was this a deliberate decision by Pixar to bypass the second film and make no reference to it ever happening? Or was it simply that those characters didn’t fit? We’ll never know for sure but I’d be surprised if that didn’t come into it.
We find ourselves back in a more familiar setting, following Lightning McQueen racing towards his next piston cup, of course the world has moved on a little and instead of competing with the likes of Chick Hicks and the King Strip Weathers, Lightning now has some new racing friends, they’re the top cars on the circuit and you can tell they have a great time pranking each other and fighting for each win.
That is until a new race car joins the field, rookie Jackson Storm is part of a new age of race car, more technologically advanced than ever before, Lightning is not one to be beaten without a fight though, he pushes himself to the limit against Jackson, but suddenly he blows a tyre and it all goes horribly wrong.
4 Months later we find our hero back in radiator springs recovering from the crash, he doesn’t want this to be the end of his career like it was for his mentor Doc Hudson, however the racing world has changed a lot in the time Lightning has been away and Jackson isn’t his only high tech new age rival now. Rusty and Dusty the owners of Rusteze decide to sell Rusteze to give lightning the best chance and best training to allow him to get back to top form. This is where we meet Sterling the new owner, and Cruz who trains all the cars.
Cruz and Lightning have a rocky start, she’s incredibly lively and up beat but is also aware that lightning isn’t the young rookie he once was, Lightning wanting to push himself takes things a little too far with some of the new equipment and is eventually given one last chance by Sterling, Lose the next race and he’ll be forced to retire, win and he’ll get to decide when to end his racing career. As it’s his last chance lightning takes Cruz and teaches her how to train and race his way, and their friendship grows from strength to strength as they train for the big race, but will it be enough?
I really enjoyed the story, though at times it felt a little predictable and little re-used it was a good solid story with plenty to get emotionally invested in. I loved that our friends from radiator springs were included, but that we got new characters who felt strangely familiar right from the start because they fitted in so well.
The animation is truly stunning, and at times it was possible to believe you were watching real race cars, I was hugely impressed with the quality and some of the effects, especially during Lightning’s crash scene. Especially with them racing on different terrains etc it was a good chance to show off all the different animation possibilities.
The soundtrack was also something that I really liked in this film, though I’m not sure I’ll be signing along quite like the first film I did think it was incredible and I’ll definitely look to purchase the sound track soon! I loved the instrumental parts that conveyed so much emotion without the need for lyrics, and I hope these will all be included on the CD soundtrack as it is those I want most.
Out of the new characters Cruz is definitely my favourite, and I guess I do see a lot of myself in her, the Disney store sell an awesome plush of her so that will be going on the wish list for sure. I also liked the return of some lesser known characters, in particular Bob Cutlass and Darrell Cartrip the two commentators.
The film does have a post credits sequence which truly is right at the end of the credits, it features Mater and although it was a fun touch, it’s not necessarily something I would stay behind for on every viewing, I love that Disney have started to continue these as the Marvel films do, though I’m never sure if I should wait or not!
Overall I really really enjoyed this film, and most of all I’m glad cars went back to radiator springs and back to it’s roots, Cars 2 really could have been so much more, and is the weak link of the trilogy and I was a little apprehensive before I saw cars 3 that it could so easily go the same way.
I found the story to be emotional and compelling with a strong moral message, even if it was in parts a little predictable, I love that they brought back the original characters but i would have loved to see more of Mater and Sally.
Have you seen Cars 3 yet, are you going soon, let me know!
*Please note: All images taken from the Pixar Website*