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Review: With Cars 3, the animated franchise is running on fumes

The car-as-human idea was never Pixar’s biggest brain wave and as Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson) hits the track for a third outing, the Disney animated franchise is running on fumes.

Pixar/Globe and Mail Update

2 out of 4 stars

Title
Cars 3
Written by
Kiel Murray, Bob Peterson and Mike Rich
Directed by
Brian Fee
Starring
Owen Wilson and Cristela Alonzo
Genre
Animation
Classification
G
Country
USA
Language
English

The car-as-human idea was never Pixar's biggest brain wave and as Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson) hits the track for a third outing, the Disney animated franchise is running on fumes. To return a conquering hero to underdog status, the screenwriters have invented a bunch of younger, slicker new rivals with high-tech training methods who can overtake the reigning champion on the straightaway: Can an aging Lightning stay in the race? It's a plot that seems more likely to appeal to weary parents than the next generation of bouncy youngsters, although it does deliver one very funny scene where Lightning crashes a fancy new racing simulator as its preternaturally calm computerized voice describes the disaster. Otherwise, we get a lot of repetitive racetrack scenes – only a demolition derby stands out for the inventiveness of its animation – and a familiar message about believing in yourself.

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About the Author

Kate Taylor is lead film critic at the Globe and Mail and a columnist in the arts section. More

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