Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Cars 3: Pixar Has Kept the Magic Alive in This Second Sequel

Movie Review: Cars 3 (2017)
Version: In-theater 2-D

Finally made it to a cinema to see a movie again, and this time I took my daughter to see Cars 3. Pixar Animation Studios kept the magic alive in this second sequel to the original Cars, bringing back all the memorable characters from it and adding a few new ones.

The gist of Cars 3 is that as fast as Lightning McQueen was to win in his rookie year in Cars and his follow-up win in Cars 2, he can't keep up with the new generation of racers in this new episode. He turns back to the lessons he learned from old Doc Hudson, but there just isn't enough umph in the tank to get him to a win this time. He has a new sponsor and, with it, a new trainer. But things aren't working out at the top-of-the-line facilities, so they go old style, meeting a quirky crew of old timers who help McQueen seek out another big win. What he learns is that there is more to being a winner than crossing a finish line first. It's a great family film with lessons for everyone that don't smack you in the face with morality, just good life lessons learned watching fun characters given life through amazing digital animation.

Pixar retained the talents of Owen Wilson as Lightning McQueen, Bonnie Hunt as Sally, Paul Newman as Doc Hudson, Larry the Cable Guy as Tow Mater, and others from Cars, then introduced us to a smattering of great new voice talent, including Cristela Alonzo as trainer Cruz, Chris Cooper as Smokey, and Armie Hammer as McQueen's new rival, Jackson Storm. There really are too many wonderful characters and voice talents to adequately recognize in this fun family film.

The animation is fantastic, as usual, loaded with color and motion and wonderful imagination, including the requisite visual and textual puns and sight gags. In fact, if you haven't seen Cars 3 yet, or if you go to see it again, make sure you stay through the closing credits and read the fake ad posters along the edges of the credits -- if you can read them quickly enough.

The animated short that plays before Cars 3, titled LOU, is a blast, too. It's about a playground bully who is taught an important lesson by a very active playground LOST AND FOUND box. It's great fun!

Beat the heat some mid-summer day or evening and treat yourself to Cars 3. It's family fun for everyone.

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