For the Pixar animated feature Cars 3, Lightning McQueen (voiced by Owen Wilson) is back, but the racing scene isn’t the same anymore and he’s realizing that he’s just not the rookie that he used to be. Blindsided by a new generation of ultra-fast racers, including its biggest star Jackson Storm (voiced by Armie Hammer), who has speed that he can’t compete with but no heart for the sport, McQueen realizes that he had to find new ways to adapt, which he hopes he can do with the help of trainer Cruz Ramirez (voiced by Cristela Alonzo), or he’ll be pushed out of the sport he loves for good.
At the film’s press day, held at the Anaheim Convention Center prior to the star-studded premiere and party at Cars Land at Disney California Adventure, co-stars Owen Wilson (“Lightning McQueen”), Cristela Alonzo (“Cruz Ramirez”), Armie Hammer (“Jackson Storm”), Larry the Cable Guy (“Mater”), Nathan Fillion (“Sterling”), Kerry Washington (“Natalie Certain”), Lea DeLaria (“Miss Fritter”) and Isiah Whitlock Jr. (“River Scott”) were joined by director Brian Fee and producer Kevin Reher to talk about all things Cars, why the films have resonated with movie-goers for over a decade now, the film’s themes, mentors, fun little personal nods, and so much more. From everything that we learned, we’ve compiled a list of 17 things that you should know about Cars 3.
- Director Brian Fee, who worked as a storyboard artist on Cars and Cars 2, thinks the films have resonated with movie-goers for over a decade now because of the appeal and realism of the characters. “I think people relate to the characters,” said Fee. “When you walk away from a movie, if it meant anything to you and you cared at all, it was probably because of the characters and the lives they were going through, and you can see a little bit of yourself and people you know in them. The characters of the Cars franchise has a lot of that to offer.”
- The film’s antagonist, Jackson Storm (voiced by Armie Hammer), is part of a class of racers called the Next Gen. They’re faster, smarter and better looking than the previous generation of racers, but there’s not the same heart, spirit and love in the sport of racing. That’s the difference between Lightning McQueen and Jackson Storm.
- Cruz Ramirez (voiced by Cristela Alonzo) is very good at being a trainer and at coaching racers to be the best that they can be, but she still has doubts about herself and her own skills, which is something that can be very relatable for both girls and boys.
- The friendship and bond between Lightning and Cruz is so important to the story and the success of the two characters in it. Everyone can fail or fall a bit short, but when you’re part of a community, they can help pick you back up and set you back on the track of achieving your dream. And we can all learn something from each other.
- Larry the Cable Guy thinks that so many people love his character Mater because he’s dependable, lovable and sweet. Said Larry, “He may not be the smartest fork in the knife drawer, but he’s a faithful guy, and that’s what everybody would love to have as their neighbor.”