Have you seen Cars 3? My boys were obsessed with Cars 1 and Cars 2. They owned a stack of cars from the movie: from Lightning McQueen and his vehicle pals, to members of rival Dinoco gang.
So we were excited to attend the Cars 3 Charity Gala premiere** held at Westfield London.
Director Brian Fee and producer Kevin Reher introduced the film, telling us how they’d poured their hearts into this film. Before the feature, we watched another brilliant Pixar short. Titled LOU, it’s a sweet and clever tale of playground bullying.
Then the credits rolled, we heard Lightning McQueen’s famous slogan, ‘I Am Speed’… and we were off! The animation has come on in leaps and bounds since the original Cars movie. The rush of the race track, cars screeching past, roaring crowds — it’s all so vivid. Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson) is still a circuit superstar, until a new wave of tricked out cars hits the scene. Jackson Storm is all swagger and snark and he soon has Lightning eating his dust.
After a devastating crash, McQueen seems destined for the scrap heap. However his mates aren’t ready to give up on him. And Lightning McQueen is not ready to let someone else tell him when he’s done racing.
He signs up with a billionaire sponsor who hires personal trainer, Cruz Ramirez, to whip him into shape. There are some cute, Rocky-style montage scenes of McQueen training on the beach etc. McQueen and Cruz wind up in a demolition derby, where she gets her first taste of winning. It turns out she’s always dreamed of racing but never had the courage to try.
When McQueen tracks the roots of his mentor, he discovers something about the Fabulous Hudson Hornet that changes the course of his own future.
Cars 3 is filled with breathtaking racing scenes, well-drawn characters, and plenty of kick. The script is fun and often quite poignant; especially as it handles themes like friendship, perseverance, and going after your dreams.
The story hits a couple of speed bumps mid-way, but for the most part it’s a winning formula. I don’t remember feeling as emotionally connected to a vehicle as I felt in this movie. Definitely my favourite in the franchise.
Cars 3: Babes Review
(reviewed by Jed, age 8 and Ezra, age 11)
Bite size review: ‘It’s about Lightning McQueen who’s the fastest racer until a rookie called Jackson Storm beats him. So Lightning McQueen gets a new trainer called Cruz Ramirez to help him get faster.’ (Jed)
Memorable moment: ‘When Jackson Storm breaks the world record.’ (Jed) ‘When Cruz beats Lightning McQueen in a training session.’ (Ezra)
Rating: ‘5 stars’ (Jed) ‘5. It’s the best one so far!’ (Ezra)
Age guidance: ‘I think it’s best for ages 7 and up, because younger ones might be scared of the car crash.’ (Jed) ‘Any age.’ (Ezra)
Message: ‘Follow your dreams.’ (Jed) ‘If at first you don’t succeed, try and try again.’ (Ezra)
Cars 3 is on general release in UK cinemas