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 (voice of Cristela Alonzo), 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!
Okay, let’s start with the animation. It is absolutely amazing. When we talked with the directors, we were told they used a different platform this time, and you can tell. There are scenes in Cars 3 that look “real”. Many of us talked about how in certain scenes it literally looked like they took a video camera out and did the shots outside. It was that good. I love that animation is getting that good!
Next, lets talk about the characters. “Cars 3” pays homage to NASCAR with four characters based on real-life stock car racing legends. Chris Cooper (“Adaptation,” “American Beauty”) voices Doc Hudson’s crew chief Smokey; team owner and NASCAR racing legend Junior Johnson lends his voice to Junior “Midnight” Moon; three- me Emmy® winner Margo Martindale (FX’s “The Americans,” FX’s “Justified,” Amazon’s “Sneaky Pete”) provides the voice of Louise “Barnstormer” Nash; and Isiah Whitlock Jr. (HBO’s “The Wire,” “Cedar Rapids,” HBO’s “Veep”) is the voice of River Scott. The film also features NASCAR drivers and the voices behind the sport, as well as a host of returning characters from Radiator Springs and the “Cars” racing world. “Cars 3”also features Owen Wilson (“The Royal Tenenbaums,” upcoming “Wonder”) as the voice of Lightning McQueen. Cristela Alonzo (“The Angry Birds Movie”) voices tech-savvy trainer Cruz Ramirez, who tries to help #95 return to greatness, and Armie Hammer (“The Birth of a Nation”) lends his voice to next-gen racer Jackson Storm, whose high-tech speed leaves Lightning McQueen behind. Kerry Washington (ABC’s “Scandal,” HBO’s “Confirmation”) was called on to voice stats cal analyst Natalie Certain, Nathan Fillion (ABC’s “Castle,” ABC’s “Modern Family”) provides the voice of brilliant businesscar Sterling, Lea DeLaria (Netflix’s “Orange is the New Black”) lends her voice to formidable school bus Miss Fritter, and Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton helps bring voice command assistant Hamilton to life.
I loved being able to dive right into the movie and I forgot these were actors in these roles. The old near and dear characters still tug at your heartstrings. I also loved the new characters. The contributed to an amazing storyline.
My thoughts on the movie itself? Loved it! If you are a fan of the first cars movie, you will LOVE Cars 3. There are definite parallels between the two. However, I find the message of the film can be applied in each and all of our lives — the end isn’t always the end.
Go see Cars 3 on June 16th! You will laugh, you will cheer, and you may even tear up a little!