By Jonathan Decker (Family therapist, film critic)
Rent or buy Cars 3 here.
WHAT’S CARS 3 ABOUT?
After finding himself outpaced by younger racers, Lightning McQueen stages a comeback.
IS IT ANY GOOD? (GRADE: B)
Rebounding from the abysmal Cars 2, this finale bring the story full circle to the things that made the underrated first film so meaningful: charm, heart, and inspiration. A few laugh-out-loud moments aside, it’s not as funny as one expects from a Pixar movie but the animation and characters are rich. Like its over-the-hill protagonist (voiced again by Owen Wilson), Cars 3 takes a little too long to get into gear, but once it does (beginning with a highly entertaining demolition derby) it takes a series ostensibly about selling toys and gives it real emotional heft.
IS IT OKAY FOR YOUR KIDS?
Cars 3 is rated G. There is a fairly intense car wreck on the speedway, a comical demolition derby that seems like a wrestling match, and two very mild innuendos (“He didn’t like fast women” about a speedy female racecar and “life’s a beach” while driving on the beach).
ANY WORTHWHILE MESSAGES?
Those who do not see their weakness do not progress. The younger generation need mentors to teach them by word and example so that they can meet their potential.
Looking for more Disney cars-driven fun? Check out The Gnome Mobile (1967) about a family on a road trip that stumbles upon a colony of gnomes! Rent or buy it here.