Cars and Cars 2 are Pixar’s least acclaimed movies, and they’re also among their lowest in terms of box office gross. But they apparently do very well in merchandising, so the studio wants to keep them going. The good thing for us is they’re also still trying to make them good enough to meet critics’ favor and also do well in theatrical release. That’s why the Cars 3 marketing has been interesting to watch.
Disney debuted the first full trailer for the animated sequel today, and it’s filled with a lot more emotional character-driven weight than broad and goofy comedy we’d expect to appeal to the series’ established fanbase. Previous spots have teased a potentially darker movie yet one that also targets the NASCAR crowd. This new trailer reveals a lot of the plot, how Lightning McQueen (voiced by Owen Wilson) is facing the end of his career — that is, his purpose in life.
Does that look like it could be better than the other Cars movies? I think so, and given the buzz going around from critics who were shown 40-50 minutes of the movie, there is reason to be hopeful that the franchise is turning a corner and will be winning over many viewers who ought to give it a chance. If you’ve never had any interest in this property, chances are you still won’t, but if you’ve only been disappointed by it, you might be surprised this time.
Here is what they’re saying about Cars 3 footage:
“The good news is that this looks like the best film in the Cars series yet, but it’s still held back somewhat by still being part of the world that doesn’t entirely feel like it fits in with the rest of Pixar’s work. Still, Cars 3 may have the most heart out of any of the films in the series thanks to one of the movie’s new characters, and it has what is probably the most exciting and entertaining sequence the franchise has seen yet.” – Ethan Anderton, /Film
“After going global with Cars 2, the third film in Lightning McQueen’s story aims to be a much more personal one, full of heart, introspection, and surprising tinges of drama. It largely worked in the footage I saw, and while that doesn’t tell the full story of the arc these characters will experience, it certainly wasn’t the Cars movie I was expecting.” – Jonathon Dornbush, IGN
“I got to say, as someone who wouldn’t put either of the previous Cars films among his top five Pixar movies … the main set piece at a demolition derby was spectacular … But perhaps the part of the footage that popped the most was the introduction of Cruz Ramirez, a young, hip trainer voiced by Cristela Alonzo.” – Sam Flynn, Heroic Hollywood