Monday, May 30, 2016

Back to the Racetrack: 'Cars 3' First Look Arrives

Cars 3 was actually one of the more enigmatic films on Pixar's upcoming slate...

It's hitting next summer, and up until now, we didn't know who was directing it or if it had any writers. We knew little things here and there, we knew it would go back to the road and the ideas that defined the first Cars film, and we knew that it was going to be about historic Route 99.

Well, our questions have been answered via a first look on USA Today...

Cars 3 is being directed by Brian Fee, who was a storyboard artist on Cars and Cars 2. Animation production is underway on key scenes, so it is indeed making its June 16, 2017 debut. The story will be all about racing. The story will follow Lightning McQueen's next step in his racing career as many rookies come into the field.

The world wonders if cars like Lightning are outmoded. Fee said, "Think of where he’d be in his career now in real time. (McQueen) is not an old man, but he's one of the older cars on the circuit with new rookies coming in. People start to wonder and ask when he might retire."

Now this I like. Not only will this installment go back to the racetrack, it could also be a fun commentary on how some might doubt athletes as they get older, or when they make a trip-up or two. In the story, McQueen will be beaten in a race by an up-and-comer named Jackson Storm. Fee added, "Jackson Storm is the face of these rookies who have come onto the scene, and McQueen is in a position where his entire racing generation is being pushed out. But it’s too early to be shown the door right now."

In order to adapt, McQueen teams up with Cruz Ramirez, a supercar who will teach him how to stay in the game. A sort of "teach an old dog new tricks" kind of thing. It's also cool to see that a female character will be prominent in this installment, and a Hispanic one no less. Here is concept artwork of the two of them racing on a beach, as McQueen preps for the Florida 500 - his ticket to surprising the world and showing he's still got it. It appears, however, that Route 99 may not be a focus after all...

Ramirez and rival Storm haven't been cast yet, and some story points are still being figured out, but I'm confident that this will be a turnaround for the Cars series. Unlike many, I really love the first Cars, which is John Lasseter's love letter to Americana, car culture, and lost historic towns. Not a dizzying, world-bending Pixar epic like The Incredibles or WALL-E or Inside Out, it completely succeeds at what it's trying to be - a quieter, less serious, but still heartfelt film set in a world that we shouldn't over-analyze. I don't expect Pixar to make that "big" type of movie with each movie they make, I care if the movie in question works as a story.

Cars 2 on the other hand really didn't work out so much due to behind-the-scenes drama and a rushed schedule that didn't allow the story - jampacked with lots of things, unlike its simplistic predecessor - to fully coalesce. Cars 3 was in the works for five years at this point, and had lots and lots of time to stew. The story seems a lot simpler than the spy hijinks and world racing of the previous sequel, and overall sounds promising. I'm also curious to see what Mr. Fee brings to the table with his directorial debut. I also hope that the Radiator Springs gang is much more prominent here too, they were really sidelined in Cars 2. Bonnie Hunt, Larry the Cable Guy, and Cheech Marin are confirmed to return.

The article also confirms that McQueen's design in the first Cars will be used and not his suped up Cars 2 design. I expect the teaser to pop up very soon, if not June 9th... Cars' 10th anniversay...

What say you? Do you think Cars 3 will be an improvement over the last one? Do you think it has potential? Sound off below!

1 comment:

  1. If the teaser does pop up on June 9th, then it'll play before Finding Dory in the theaters.