Cars 3

2017, dir. Brian Fee

Cars 3 poster

There’s a growing trend of films that deal with ageing, or being past your sell by date. Films like ‘Mr Holmes’, ‘Skyfall’ and ‘Logan’ all have central characters struggling with age-based performance issues.

Cars 3 is no different and actually uses the fact as a central plot device.

We are reunited with Lightning McQueen and his friends from Radiator Springs. We’ve seen him at his best and worst in the previous Cars movies. But this time we see him try and keep up with the high-tech racing cars expanding into his racing world.

McQueen’s racing buddies retire one by one, and in a final season race he almost kills himself in a devastating crash. He faces a forced retirement (like his mentor Doc Hudson) and being exploited for product endorsements.

Until he strikes a deal, desperate to be in control of his future.


The Beautiful Animation

As someone who creates 3D animations from time to time, I love watching Pixar films. From an animation perspective they exponentially get better with each film. Compare the first and third Toy Story movies – leaps and bounds in quality.

In Cars 3 you see backgrounds that look so realistic you almost think, “Why didn’t they just film the real thing?” The level of detail is so magnificent that I spotted several different types of asphalt  alone. Some smooth and clean, some worn and cracked, and one even muddy and gravelly.

Cars 3 - Fritter

It Forgets Cars 2

“Because it’s part of the collection” is probably the only reason you might have Cars 2 on your shelf. As dazzling as it may be, Cars 2 dared to steer away (pun intended) from Lightning McQueen and put all attention on his dim, but loveable best friend, Mater. Who, for some reason, becomes a high-class super spy without even realising it. It’s highly predictable shenanigans are for the kids.

Cars 3, on the other hand, is also for the kids – but it’s actually for the grown ups.

The silliness and cartoonery is gone, although the humour is VERY much still there (“The beach ate me!”)

In Cars 3, we are presented a delightfully mature movie that wisely makes no reference to Cars 2. It’s a more personal film, harking back to the first Cars film, and it has characters and storylines we can heartily connect to.

Cars 3 - Jackson Storm

The Easter Eggs

Pixar are so well-known for their easter eggs that it has become a game to spot the following in ANY Pixar movie:

  • The Luxo Ball
  • The Pizza Planet Truck
  • A113
  • Apple Mac
  • John Ratzenberger
  • A reference to their next film (in this case “Coco”)

Have fun.

Cars 3 - great characters


The Cars franchise has a wide appeal, even to little girls who aren’t as excited about cars as little boys. Because Pixar know how to speak to the heart. The majority of Pixar films have at least “that one” scene, which makes you cry your eyes out.

Whether you’ve ‘grown up’ along with the Cars characters, or not – this film has proper emotion that will guarantee a night of great family entertainment.

Cars 3 - McQueen in trouble

Cars 3







  • Gorgeous Animation
  • Watchable for adults
  • Easter Eggs!


  • Might be too mature for kiddies

Post Author: Iain

I love boardgames and books - but movies are my passion. My parents were amateur filmmakers and their thrill for cinema burns on in me. I enjoy revealing to people how watching old movies are the closest thing we have to time-travel. I enjoy chewing over the latest movie industry trends. But most of all I enjoy the magical exploration of imagination - something so vital in this day and age. I am a graphic designer, musician and filmmaker. My current favourite films: The Dark Knight, Inglorious Basterds, Lawrence of Arabia, Sunset Boulevard