The Cars franchise kicked off in 2006, proving an immediate hit with fans and parents alike. Whether the world has asked for, or needs, a third installment in the Pixar franchise is an open question, but the latest trailer for Cars 3 demonstrates the studio intends to appeal to audiences that have grown older with the series.
Keeping with the somber tone of previous trailers, “The Limit” shows the aging Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson) grappling with being an older-model race car in a modern world. This trailer offers a bit more of McQueen’s determination to prove he’s not down for the count, with support from his friends back in Radiator Springs and a new race technician, Cruz Ramirez (Cristela Alonzo).
Complete with a scene of McQueen training on a beach straight out of Rocky 3, the trailer sets up a comeback tale as he takes on high-tech competitors, including Jackson Storm (Armie Hammer), the current star of the racing world.
The Eagles croon “Take It to the Limit” — a song so perfect for the movie, one has to wonder if it inspired the plot with lyrics like “put me on a highway and show me a sign” — as McQueen insists he decides when he’s had enough. The trailer will resonate with an older generation appreciative of the “classics” and wary of emerging tech. While it’s sobering to think the franchise is old enough to deserve a return-to-glory story, it may just be the perfect way to reconnect with the audiences that have already given more than $1 billion worldwide to see the earlier films.
Racing into theaters June 16, director Brian Fee’s Cars 3 stars Owen Wilson, Cristela Alonzo, Armie Hammer, Larry the Cable Guy, Bonnie Hunt, Cheech Marin, Jenifer Lewis, John Ratzenberger, Lloyd Sherr, Michael Wallis, Paul Dooley, Kerry Washington, Nathan Fillion and Lea DeLaria